Blockchain Games: The Lowdown form PlayToEarn

Blockchain games are the newest trend in gaming. They allow players to earn cryptocurrency while playing video games, and they are seeing a huge growth in popularity despite some controversy surrounding them. 

To find out more, we spoke with PlayToEarn, a platform that helps gamers use this technology to take control of their game time and get rewarded for it. Here’s what you need to know about blockchain games.

What is a blockchain game?

A blockchain game is a type of video game that exists within a decentralized ledger. All transactions within the game are stored on that public ledger, meaning they are transparent and cannot be changed once they have been submitted into the chain. 

As well as being decentralized, many of these games are also provably fair. This means that each roll of the dice or card draw can be checked against previous activity on the chain to ensure it adheres to all of its rules. 

How do they differ from classical online games?

Typically, this kind of transparency would be frowned upon by players because it makes botting and cheating easy to spot. However, in decentralized games, much like the real world itself, trust must be earned by other players.

This sense of community ensures that many blockchain games are a little different from the face-to-face games we might enjoy at a local tavern. 

What is blockchain technology?

The technology behind decentralized ledger systems such as blockchains is still very new and could have wide-reaching impacts well beyond the gaming industry. Decentralization means that there is no central bank or governing body which can arbitrarily change its rules and shut down an entire game with ease.

This also enables gamers to stay in control of their funds and not be subject to the decisions of a central power like a game developer or publisher. 

Why do we need blockchain games?

Blockchain technology has already allowed for the creation of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, but its use goes far beyond this. It can be used to track any kind of transaction between parties in a transparent way. This then allows players’ actions within the game to have real-world consequences. 

This means that gamers can earn money while playing their favorite titles.  

So, there’s no middleman?

That’s right – unlike typical online games, which use a central server, blockchain games run on thousands of individual computers. This means that transactions between players are done peer-to-peer, and the game’s creator (or indeed another player) cannot simply decide to shut it down or steal your winnings. 

Are there any downsides?

At the moment, you’ll struggle to find many titles which allow full player-versus-player interaction due to speed issues with transactions waiting for verification on the chain before being accepted. However, this is expected to improve as new generations of blockchains emerge. 

It will also increase in speed as more people start mining or staking tokens within a particular blockchain – where they offer their computing power in exchange for rewards from the system itself. 

What can I do with games based on a blockchain?

There are currently two main types of blockchain-based games: Collectible Games and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). A collectible game is one in which the player purchases items or characters, similar to opening a pack of trading cards. 

The value of these assets comes from players desiring them due to rarity, so it’s more like investing than traditional gaming. These tokens can be bought, exchanged, and even sold for cryptocurrency. 

Blockchain technology really shines with its use in NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, where each token is unique. An example would be Cryptokitties, where each kittie is unique. As they aren’t necessary to win the game, they can be traded for other in-game items, cryptocurrency, or fiat currency. 

How do blockchain games make money?

Unlike most video game publishers who sell access to their games and then profit from microtransactions, blockchain games instead focus on creating tokens that people want to own and use within the context of a particular title. 

The more valuable these tokens become through popularity and scarcity, the bigger the potential profit margins for those behind them – especially as there’s no middleman taking a cut! 

Do I need cryptocurrency to play blockchain games?

No – you can play many blockchain titles without needing to buy any cryptocurrencies at all. Some games can be played using a standard web browser, and others require a free download to run on a computer or mobile device. 

Our favorite crypto games

Cryptocelebrities – A celebrity trading card game where members of the public can trade ‘celebs’ including Paris Hilton, Elon Musk, and even YouTubers.

Ether Shrimp Farm – This viral title allows users to breed shrimp in a race against time to harvest their eggs for Ether tokens. It’s currently one of the most popular blockchain games out there. 

Etheremon – A monster-collecting RPG in which every element of the game is backed by Ethereum’s blockchain technology.

Axie Infinity – A game where players fight with and breed fantasy creatures called Axies. It even allows you to create your own characters, future games, and items based on them. 

War Riders – A post-apocalyptic car combat game where the vehicles themselves are blockchain assets that can be stolen or exchanged for cryptocurrency. 

Is it going to be the future of online gaming?

Blockchain is currently in its infancy, but if more developers embrace this technology, we can expect things to improve as time goes on. In particular, as new generations of blockchains come into being, they should become more robust and scalable, increasing speed and hopefully eliminating those pesky transaction fees which have been so prevalent up until now. 

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A Discussion with James Novello about Resiliency, Living in the Present, and Finding Happiness After Unexpected Change

James Novello is a life and resiliency coach born and raised in San Francisco, California. While in college, he began his career as a volunteer for the local fire department, eventually joining SFFD full time after receiving his degree. Over the years, he obtained many additional certifications to help with critical incident response. After a number of severe injuries on the job, James was faced with the reality that he couldn’t maintain the demands of being a full-time firefighter and paramedic until retirement age, and he ultimately chose to leave his career as a first responder. However, he learned a great deal helping others in peer support while in the fire department, and it was this work that eventually led him to his new career as a life and resiliency coach.

Why did you decide to create your own business?

I had been a firefighter and paramedic for ten years, and had several major injuries. At that time, my shifts at work would sometimes be two weeks on and a couple of days off. It could be very intense, especially since I worked in a larger city that has one of the busiest systems in the nation. After the last serious injury, I wasn’t able to keep up with that intensity the same as I had before. I had worked with peer support within the department as one of many light duty assignments. I found that working with others in order to improve their lives was incredibly fulfilling, and I was really good at it. As I learned more skills related to helping others achieve their goals and find happiness in life, I realized that I would be able to apply these principles to a variety of professions. After this initial success, I realized that it might be a viable new career for me, and I decided to pursue it. It can be difficult, especially in highly stressful jobs, for people to maintain a healthy balance in life. With my experience as a first responder and helping others in that field, becoming a life and resiliency coach was a natural transition for me.

What do you love most about being a life and resiliency coach? 

I love to see positive changes in people. Having overcome some significant obstacles myself, I know how to get people to where they need to be. Identifying someone’s problems and helping them find success is as rewarding for me as pulling someone out of a fire. As a first responder, you don’t always know the outcome for someone who has experienced a medical emergency that you’ve helped. You get them stable and you get them to safety, then you are on to the next call. As a life coach, you get to help someone from start to finish, you see the improvements in their life, and you get them through the whole process. It is very fulfilling.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

My days start with mediation and gratitude. I spend the mornings reaching out to clients to check in. I spend at least an hour each day researching books or articles in the field. Lately, I have been really diving into the neuroscience relating to human behavior, happiness, and mindfulness. There has been a lot more information available over the last several years on those subjects as more people have become aware of just how much of a positive impact mindfulness and gratitude can have on your overall mindset. I do my best to stay current with any new research or tools that I can use. I will also meet with other support counsellors or meet with clients throughout a given day. At the end of the day, I set an hour aside for exercise or strength training. In the evenings and on weekends, I spend time with my family.

What keeps you motivated? 

Studies are coming out all the time about new modalities and what effect they may have on overall health. I love to learn new processes and put them into action. My motivation is helping others learn how to help themselves and find happiness. I work with people from all walks of life and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to have a proper understanding of what happens in the body as we work to improve our overall state of mind. For example, understanding dopamine reward pathways: a person may experience a temporary increase of dopamine from eating a dozen donuts, but the next day may experience a dopamine deficit which results in a repetition of this unhealthy behavior. Whereas the same person could achieve that surplus of dopamine through habitual vigorous exercise or completing complex tasks. With this approach, a dopamine deficit is followed by a long lasting (and healthy) increase of dopamine. This is one of many ways we can apply neuroscience research to how we go about our lives, and I think it illustrates my point about how everyday behavior can impact how we feel. In any case, one of the things I want to teach my clients is how to maintain their dopamine and cortisol levels as much as possible in a healthy way. Finding that balance improves so many aspects of life.

How do you motivate others?

That depends on the person. Some will respond better to a hard approach and others need a softer touch. I set expectations early. I let them know up front what we want to achieve. A lot of people have a difficult time believing that the goals we set at the beginning can actually be met, but I know with the right mindset and energy we can achieve them. It may take some time, again depending on the person and their specific situation, to reach the goals we set but we always get there.

How has your company grown since you began? 

It’s grown from working one-on-one with clients on a more casual and off-the-cuff basis to now scheduling clients for appointments and meetings several months out. It began almost as a hobby, but now I have a full panel of clients. A lot of that was accomplished through word of mouth, but increased to this level after I started to actively market my services in the area.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

I get a lot of my inspiration from those who I worked with in the fire department. I still use a lot of the tools I learned while working there. The fire department gave me the foundation I needed to expand my knowledge while I was injured and worked modified duty. I was able to identify and improve upon aspects of their peer support program that could be more effective, but if it wasn’t for the experience I received while working for the fire department I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I am astonished and grateful every day to have found a career that bestows the happiness and lifestyle I have today–I never would have thought anything could be as good as a fire department career, but I really was mistaken.

Who has been a role model for you and why?

There are only a small number of people who have been able to transition from what they thought would be their lifelong career to something totally different. When something happens unexpectedly that changes your entire identity, it takes a lot of strength and determination to turn that into a beneficial experience, especially one that ends up giving you a far better life than what you previously had. I have witnessed a few others make that kind of significant change successfully and I consider them to be my role models. One thing they taught me is that living in the present, gratitude, and being positive are key parts of finding happiness.

How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?

When I was working as a firefighter and paramedic, the work schedule was a major impediment to having any kind of balance. Sometimes it could be up to thirty consecutive days on instead of just the usual week. Now that I no longer have to keep that unhealthy schedule, I have the ability to attain real balance. I try very hard to not work on weekends. My family and I make sure to schedule trips regularly so we can enjoy quality time together. I exercise throughout the week to maintain balance as well. Having a healthy diet is something most people don’t think about but is key to feeling good and supporting the activities needed for work-life balance. My diet is close to keto as I avoid sugar and flour but I’m not as strict as I used to be when I first started endurance sports. Strength training is, of course,  one of many additions to diet and cardio. In fact, strength training is key to both longevity and balance. Having a healthy body helps you maintain balance.

What traits do you possess that make you a successful leader?

One thing I do with my clients is ask them a certain critical question at the outset of their treatment: “What can I do to help you be successful?” That is a big part of how I lead. Barking orders at others doesn’t make you a good leader. Listening to people, being approachable and open-minded makes you a good leader. Many of my role models practice servant leadership, and I’ve found this to be one of the most effective ways to lead. I firmly believe that if you help your people be successful, you will in turn be successful yourself. I have always thought that was true.

What suggestions would you have for anyone interested in becoming a life coach?

For any industry, really, I would suggest getting to work right now. Don’t put off your plans, don’t procrastinate—if there is something you feel strongly about, something important you want to achieve, work toward it starting today. So many people are unhappy with what they are doing, but also feel they are trapped and can’t do anything else. I helped a lot of people in the fire department who were unhappy with where they were at – in some cases it only required a lifestyle change but others thrived by finding a new career. It is an incredibly difficult thing to change your entire life, and most people don’t have the motivation to do it on their own, but with determination and hard work it is possible for anyone. Advice I can relate to the reader of this interview is that my circumstances made the decision to change my career logical and therefore easy, but you don’t have to wait for some catalyst before making a change and reaching for new goals. Learn what it will take to make your dreams happen and then just start doing it.

A Discussion With Dwight Hayter On His Role as a Consultant and How He is Helping Other Businesses Thrive

Dwight Hayter is a successful entrepreneur and business professional based out of Watrous, Saskatchewan. After completing his post-secondary education at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Dwight took a position at his father’s well and exploration drilling company. After strengthening his skill set at his family business, Dwight made the decision to venture out on his own. At the age of thirty-one, Dwight established Dwight’s Drilling and Geothermal, which quickly grew to become the largest geothermal unit installer in Saskatchewan.

Dwight eventually went on to work for a family business, Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa. Assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer, Dwight experienced significant growth before selling the company to a small group of Ontario-based investors.

Dwight is now the owner of TRIUMPH Business Consulting. Offering both onsite and remote business consulting services, Dwight and his team of professionals help company’s reach their maximum profit potential.

Where did the idea for your consulting business come from?

I really wanted to help other business owners on a large scale. With years of industry-related experience, I was confident that I had the knowledge and resources to guide individuals through certain decision making processes. My team is dedicated to each and every one of our clients, and I think we are helping to fill a certain void in the marketplace.

What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your job?

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job has been helping individuals and businesses navigate the global pandemic. So many businesses have had to re-evaluate their operations and find new ways to generate wealth amid uncertainty. I am fortunate to be in the position to help others through challenging times. At TRIUMPH Business Consulting we help company’s establish comprehensive growth strategies, which includes contingency planning and preparing for worst case scenarios.

What are some strategies for cultivating positive client relationships?

Cultivating a positive client relationship is vital to long term success. When you’re in the consulting business especially, individuals want to be certain they can trust you to help them make important financial decisions. I think that the best way to cultivate a sense of trust is to ensure you have an open line of communication at all times. Never brush over potential issues, and always be honest about certain risk factors. Clients always want to be aware of situations, and the best way to do that is by communicating regularly.

What do you love most about your industry?

My area of expertise requires a high level of critical thinking skills, so I enjoy the daily challenges that my career brings. I also love seeing my clients succeed, despite having to navigate certain challenges. I am always searching for ways to improve and to better serve my clients. Unlike most people, I also value constructive criticism and seek out personal feedback.

What professional achievement are you most proud of?

I think that my time in some of my other previous positions really helped prepare me for my consulting business. In 2009, I took over my family’s business, Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa, which was a primary draw for tourism in my hometown of Watrous. Under my management, we received the 2015 Saskatchewan Tourism Business of The Year Award. It really showed me that hard work and dedication pays off. It also inspired me to start my own venture.

How do you balance work with personal obligations?

I am someone who enjoys working and I genuinely love what I do. However, it is essential to establish boundaries between your personal and professional life. While it can be very tempting to check work emails after hours and take business-related calls, you really have to practice self-control. In the business world, it is very common to work more than a standard work week, but many people are left feeling tired and burnt out. Taking the time to relax can decrease mental stress and ultimately fuel your productivity when at work.

What are some tips for avoiding work related stress?

Aside from setting clear boundaries for yourself, my advice would be to engage in activities that you enjoy. Whether that be exercising or meditating each morning. Find whatever puts you at ease and then incorporate that into your daily schedule.

What is your future goal for your company?

I am very proud of my staff and all that we have accomplished to date. I have really enjoyed helping businesses thrive during these uncertain times. If I could think of a future goal for the company it would be to expand our service offerings as well as the types of businesses that we help. I am always learning and I look forward to our future success.


A Conversation With Nitin Bhatnagar on Chasing Professional Milestones While Balancing Personal Obligations

Nitin Bhatnagar is the co-founder of Ellington Group –  a premiere real estate development company operating out of Dubai. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Nitin worked for the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New Delhi, where he prepared reports on the financial creditworthiness of Indo-Japanese joint venture companies.

Wanting to pursue more professional opportunities, he worked in executive positions for several industry leading banks including the Standard Chartered Bank of India and the ABN Amro Bank, where he served as Vice President and Head of Sales of their Dubai office. 

With over twenty years of experience in financial services, Nitin and his team have a portfolio of eighteen residential projects. As an ambitious entrepreneur, he hopes to expand his company to the global market. 

Why did you decide to create your own business?

Ellington Properties came to life when my partners and I sat together and decided there was a gap in the marketplace. We noticed that quality apartments were very high in price, and those that were affordable, were often unliveable. We want to create value. This meant developing beautiful, modern living spaces that were also cost-efficient.

As for Canarax Trading, it was based on my investment banking experience where I wanted to be part of certain industries that made it to the banking world, so I started a trading and manufacturing business for metals and other materials.

What do you love most about the industry you are in?

How dynamic the real estate industry is and how it is linked to government activities. I just love how every day is a different day and you always must be on your toes to get the most out of the market and get more share of wallet in the industry.

The industry also gives you a great opportunity to meet various types of people and get acquainted with people from other industries who can help you expand by applying cross industry best practices.

How do you motivate others?

I constantly look for reasons to compliment people for what they do as it also helps bring out the best in people. I love people telling me I am good at doing something and it makes me want to prove myself even more to that person so why not make others feel the same way and want to always expand their horizon and do more for themselves which ultimately helps in expanding our business as well.

How has your company grown from its early days to now?

Ellington Properties was founded in 2014 with one project being designed and when the project was handed over in 2017, the company was able to sell the other three projects in design and from there our portfolio has grown to eighteen projects under various stages of development, design, and completion while we were able to secure over thirty awards for our design led architecture and interiors.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

My partners and I believe in the quote “Work hard play hard” – it is very important to balance your work life but also more important to enjoy your personal life whether it is with family or friends. It helps energize you for your next day at work and gives you a goal to work harder towards so you can provide a better lifestyle for your loved ones.

What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?

Macro management – let people excel in their own way and let only results speak for them and not how they do it. I believe in what people have to offer but always communicate the goals the company needs to achieve and the high-level milestones to achieving it. Then I let them do what they are best at to achieve it while knowing that I am always there for them when they need support or advice.

Outside of work, what defines you as a person?

I am a people person, and I am a human being.

As professional as I can be in the office but at the end of the day, I am a human and I believe that everyone working with us are not just numbers, so I always like to chat with different people and get to know them better. 

What trends in your industry excite you?

Innovation and finding solutions for gaps in the market is what excites me the most.

Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?

I will talk about where I see Ellington Properties and Canarax Trading in the next 5 years since I believe that with the company growth, I will learn a lot of new things from our teams and the market trends. I see Ellington Properties development in markets outside of Dubai and especially expanding their reach to London, Canada and maybe one or two eastern European countries. I see the group going into other business sectors to support our growth like contracting, leasing and brokerage, fund management for build to lease projects and more. I see Canarax trading owning more mines across the world and completing our Silicon Plant in Kazakhstan and becoming one of the top player in the metal manufacturing and trading business. 

Explain the proudest day of your professional life.

Everyday Ellington Properties or Canarax Trading signs a new joint venture or buys a new land or buys a mine as it only shows the strength of the organization and that all of us are doing the right thing hence our opportunities are getting bigger by the day.