Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch appears to be ramping up its crypto strategy. The site, which focuses primarily on video game livestreaming, is now offering users a 10% subscription discount when paying with cryptocurrency through the platform’s payment processor, BitPay.
BitPay’s chief marketing officer, Bill Zielke, told Cointelegraph that out of the thousands of merchants the company works with, Twitch is the first major global brand to offer a crypto-based promotion. Zielke added:
“We are seeing more online merchants interested in using crypto as a promotional payment form, which is exciting since most marketing payment options are mainly reserved for alternative payments through PayPal. […] Twitch is the first major merchant to jump on this trend.”
Is Twitch’s interest in crypto tied to gaming?
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According to Zielke, it is Twitch that’s offering the 10% subscription discount, which is important to note because some may think the promotional offer comes from BitPay. The fact that Twitch itself is offering the promotion is quite surprising, as the streaming platform appears to have a love-hate relationship with crypto.
In March 2019, Twitch removed its Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) payment options for subscriptions. A Reddit user reported the change, noting that Twitch suddenly removed BitPay as a payment processor. Another Reddit user pointed out that Twitch canceled all their crypto-based subscriptions during this time. Three months later, Twitch reenabled crypto payment options.
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While Zielke was unable to comment on Twitch’s sudden change of heart toward crypto in 2019, he mentioned that Twitch clearly wants to attract more crypto users to the platform. “When a company as large as Twitch offers a cryptocurrency-based promotion for all its customers, this sends a clear message that they are serious about it,” he said.
Speculation would also lead some to believe that Twitch’s growing interest in crypto stems from the increasing popularity of blockchain-based games and the use of digital assets in virtual worlds. With this in mind, it’s important to point out that Twitch caters primarily to the gaming community. Recent statistics further show that over 16,000 games were played on Twitch at the beginning of July, which appears to be close to the all-time high for the platform.
Trip Hawkins, a gaming pioneer and independent board member for DMarket — a platform for blockchain-based games — told Cointelegraph that he believes crypto will steadily increase in importance over the coming years, notably as a theme in games featuring virtual goods economies and within other game-related services:
“Games are virtual worlds, and virtual worlds benefit from the trustworthiness of more currencies and reliable methods of payment. They also stand to benefit from the ownership and tracking mechanisms that crypto is known for. Hence, digital merchants will want to offer…