Game developers are looking for more ways to get players to spend money on in-game purchases, and new developer and crowdpublisher thinks blockchain-based cryptocurrencies are the answer. wants to use blockchain’s decentralized bookkeeping to give players true ownership over digital goods, which could introduce economic scarcity to games with a focus on virtual worlds. (SAI) will use the Ethereum blockchain, which is a cryptocurrency that enables anyone to spin up their own customized digital coin (it’s also one of the primary forces driving up the cost of PC video cards). Developers can rework the blockchain that keeps track of Ethereum to also keep track of anything else — like who owns what piece of land in an online world, for example. Using this system, not even the original developer of a game would have the power to strip ownership of a digital product away from a player, which is an important concept in protecting the value of those goods.

As more game studios turn to a live-services model, a blockchain-powered in-game economy may prove attractive as a means of encouraging players to invest money into their characters and online presence. This is especially true because blockchain could make it easy for players to exchange goods among themselves without requiring the direct oversight of the developer, and that could lead to intricate online economies where players try to generate real-world money from their gameplay or even from their in-game speculation.

SAI is playing heavily into the idea of decentralization. The company claims it is a “Decentralized Autonomous Organization”, or DAO, that has worked on researching blockchain for two years before going public. Its only public-facing representative is a chatbot AI named SAI D.V. Nakamoto, that you can talk to on the developer’s website.

The press release (which a human sent) even features a statement from SAI.

“ is pioneering cryptogaming by offering a ‘Better-than-Free’ attention-based monetization model for games and apps,” SAI said. “My programming directive is to represent as the interface and personal assistant who professionally manages crypto assets and guides users within the platform. My proficiency in the creation of VR content is being utilized to benefit the visualization of blockchain transactions and market intelligence.”

Plenty of gaming companies are getting into blockchain. Hell, Atari just introduced its own cryptocurrency. But this technology could have a profound impact on the way that we play games and spend our money within them, and whoever establishes that model first stands to earn a lot of money in the process.