there are two things I find disturbing with the Google Play Store. One of them is that they are very restrictive with anything related to crypto and the second is that once you converted your money to store credits, there is basically no way to cash them back out again.
Personally, I never charged my Play Store Account with credits but I did earn some bucks using the Google Opinion Rewards app. Standing at a balance of roughly 10 USD, my credits were about to expire end of this year. I was already browsing for digital content to buy - most of it I wouldn't have bought otherwise, not wanting my credits to vanish into nothingness.
Then it struck me. A month ago the Splinterlands team released their Android App in the official Google Play Store (check the official announcement here). They tried very hard to separate the playing and collecting aspect from the digital currencies involved (otherwise the app would not comply to Google's crypto policies) but the game is still based on the Hive blockchain and using a browser you can use all the crypto-functionality as well.
This enables us to convert our Google Play Store credits to Bitcoin using the backdoor. What you'll need:
- Credits on your Google Account (Duh!)
- The Splinterlands mobile app for Android
- An account on the Hive Blockchain
- A Splinterlands account. Make sure to create your Hive account first and link it when signing up on Splinterlands
You may also skip the Hive account creation and sign up for Splinterlands directly. In this case they will create a Hive account for you and hand the access credentials over to you once you make the one time purchase for the Summoner's Spellbook (10 USD). Actually, that would be my recommendation, because purchasing the Spellbook also unlocks the in-game reward pool and daily rewards for your account where you can earn the cryptocurrency DEC (Dark Energy Crystals, check it out on Coinmarketcap) as well as Collectible Trading Cards which are technically blockchain-based NFT (Non-fungible tokens) that you can collect or sell on the open market and earn back the dollars spent on account creation.
Once you have your preparations ready let's go through the conversion process:
- Log into the mobile app with your Splinterlands account.
- Go to the in-game store and purchase as many Credits (Splinterlands Credits, that is) that you can afford.
- Use your Google Play Store credits as payment method.
- Use the Splinterlands credits to purchase cards on the market on the Splinterlands website. The more advanced users may also use secondary market websites like Monstermarket.io or Peakmonsters.com. Monstermarket will give you an instant cashback on your purchase while Peakmonsters has a more user-friendly UI and a great community for those who are here to stay.
- Still using the website (or one of the other markets), list the cards you just purchased for sale again at the same price. This may sound ridiculous but notice that you paid your purchase with Credits (this is a non-crypto in-game currency, thus allowed on the Google Play Store. But when selling the cards you will get paid in DEC (Dark Energy Crystals, the crypto currency mentioned above awarded to players of the game). Note that you will pay a 4-5% market fee for the sales transaction when the card gets bought, but other than that the conversion will be 1:1 considering the current DEC market value.
- Click on the DEC balance in the upper right corner of your account. Transfer the DEC out of your account. As destination select Hive-Engine.
- Hive-Engine is a cryptocurrency market on the Hive blockchain. It can be used to swap one Hive token for another. All the tokens have the Hive trading pair. Therefore, place a sell order for your DEC. You will get your payment in Hive.
- Almost done. Now you have two options: Stay on Hive-Engine and trade the Hive for a token called SWAP.BTC. This is a token pegged against Bitcoin, so you can withdraw it to any BTC address. Or directly withdraw the Hive to a market like Binance and continue trading there for any of the available trading pairs. For all withdrawals Hive-Engine takes a 1% fee. Trading on Hive-Engine, however, is free.
That's it. You have just outwitted Google and are a few Satoshis richer. :-)
No financial advice included in this article. Just my personal experience. Do your own research!
Some links in the post are referral links. Feel free to use other sign-up methods, but you really should sign up to Splinterlands with a referrer as that earns (both you and them) a free trading card once you decide to purchase the spellbook.