“Have you ever played a game of Monopoly and wished that everything was priced in XMR?” the zestful description for Moneropoly asks readers. “Well now your wishes have come true!”
Yes, for the zillionth time, someone has reskinned the classic board game Monopoly, around yet another wacky theme—in this case, it’s the privacy coin Monero. For $110—roughly ten times the price of the classic, generic Monopoly board game—it’s yours. Why so expensive? Not many copies are being printed, and half the profits go to funding the development of Monero.
The project was hatched by Diego Salazar, 26, of New Mexico, who designed Monero’s website and also runs the website that sells Moneropoly, Cyphermarket.
Instead of Monopoly money, Moneropoly uses paper cash that represents XMR. Instead of property deeds, it’s transaction proofs—that you can build on blockchains, with blocks, to collect transaction fees. And instead of chance or community chest cards, it’s command-line interface/graphical user interface cards.
The game pieces, too, are Monero specific. Per the website’s description, there’s a whale, “to throw his weight around in the markets.” A rocket gets you “to the moon,” and there’s a “boat at sea on which to keep your private keys safe.”
Salazar started working on the project in June, and in August took an early version to Monero’s stand at DEF CON, a hacker convention in Las Vegas.
DEF CON is where Moneropoly took off, Salazar told Decrypt. Monero’s core team played it—loved it—and the winner of a competition at DEF CON got to take a copy home. But Salazar realized that the game was far too esoteric—packed full of insider jokes, it was confusing to anyone outside of the Monero community.
Salazar thought that making the game more accessible might help get people interested in privacy. “A few pictures have started to surface around the internet of people playing with their families and using it as a tool to tell people about Monero,” he said. Playing with your mom and she lands on the community work group tile? An excellent opportunity to spread the gospel.
Of course, Moneropoly’s price tag limits its usefulness as an educational tool. The price is so high, Salazar said, because it’s a collector's item, and not many copies will be printed. He doesn’t expect a huge amount of people to buy the game. In fact, he’s sold just four, printed 11, and doesn’t expect more than 25 sales.
The official release date is the new year, and Salazar said the final version will come with a new rulebook and further tweaks to the design. If you’re looking for a novel way to convince your parents that Monero’s the future—it’s worth the wait.