Eastern Europe

Hamster Kombat Crypto Game Sweeps Russia

Durov’s Telegram benefits from craze

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A game where you pound your phone screen to kombat a hamster to earn crypto tokens has exploded in Russia, and is a huge financial windfall to the creator of ‘Telegram’ and his TON blockchain network, which looks to revolutionize payments on the internet.

TON may also become a real competitive threat to Apple and Google stores as well for applications in the future.

A Russian-developed mobile game linked to the world of cryptocurrency has proved a mega hit for Telegram, providing a big boost to the app’s founder, Pavel Durov, and his own blockchain project. Hamster Kombat, a simple game in which players pound their phone screens to generate virtual currency, has surged to 150 million worldwide users. The Bell looked into its mysterious origins and talked to sources close to the game and Telegram about its future, writes independent Russian news outlet The Bell.

  • The premise of Hamster Kombat is simple enough. Users play as the hamster boss of a crypto exchange platform have to make it as profitable as possible. That starts off as repeatedly pressing a picture of a hamster to earn in-game currency, though the tasks gradually become more complicated. The game is set up to maximize engagement — players need to be logged in for three hours a day to ensure they can advance, and missing a day means progress is lost.
  • The game is so popular in Russia that as well as inspiring a host of memes (dedicated to lovers of “tapping the hamster”) it has attracted official attention. “It’s crazy. People are downloading Telegram just to play it,” said one of The Bell’s sources in the Telegram game market. The game’s official Telegram channel has almost 37 million followers and since May 24 its YouTube channel has gained more than 23 million views. There has been widespread media and blog coverage in Russia and Bloomberg even wrote about the “Hamster CEO,” as a possible “killer app” for the crypto industry.
  • The game’s phenomenal popularity is easy to understand. Not only is it straightforward to play, but there is also the chance to profit once the in-game currency starts to circulate on crypto exchanges. A similar “clicker” game, Notcoin, hyped by Telegram founder Pavel Durov, has already delivered on that promise. In late April, almost six months after its release, Notcoin’s virtual currency started trading on the world’s biggest crypto exchanges. Experts say that top players could earn several hundred dollars for their efforts. Hamster Kombat is also believed to be preparing for a crypto listing, but there is no concrete information. Plus, only a select few will actually be able to cash-in: early adopters, influencers going big on referrals, and, of course, the game’s creators.

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