Jonny’s GazeCoin Virtual World And BokkyPooBah’s Token Teleportation Service
Written by Bok “BokkyPooBah” Khoo, CTO/Chief Scientist at GazeCoin.
This is part one of a few part series of articles on plans to integrate GazeCoin’s Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality world with Ethereum blockchain crypto-tokens and more.
Who Is BokkyPooBah?
I am an Actuary who enjoys working on software. I have been working as a quantitative software developer for over 28 years, but jumped into the Ethereum ecosystem in 2015 as it was just too exciting to remain in the traditional finance industry. Creating transparent, trustless, and decentralised applications with short snippets of open source code is far more satisfying than writing an algorithm that works within a closed corporate and institutional environment.
You can find me on Ethereum.StackExchange.com, GitHub.com and reddit.com/r/ethdev. I run the decentralised trustless exchange contract CryptoDerivatives.Market site and am working to tokenise the revolution. I also run a dev incubator for Ethereum projects and workshops to grow the number of Ethereum developers, in Sydney.
My Dally With 3D And Virtual Reality
As a software developer, I was curious about building games in 3D and tested out the Unity 3D and Unreal Engine software in late 2016. I worked on extending the Unreal Engine tutorial sample that you can see in the video below.
It turned out to be a painfully slow process due to the resource limitations on my laptop and my graphics cards were all tied up mining the Ethereum blockchain, so I placed this project on hold.
I attended a New Year’s eve party at the end of 2016, and my old friend showed off his latest virtual reality (VR) set. He got his party guests to experience the VR plank walking game that required people to ride an elevator to the top of a tower, walk out on a narrow plank, and finally jump off the plank to exit the game. Some people at the party could not walk the plank, and some of those who walked the plank could not jump off the plank. Here’s a video of the plank walking game:
My friend loaded Google Earth and I visited cities and other tourist attractions around the world from the middle of my friends living room. We tested the VR controls by touching the controls together and could measure the corresponding resolution in VR to about half a centimetre. Impressive. His setup cost was not insignificant. Maybe I should spare one of my mining graphics cards and explore VR a bit more.
But I set aside any further thoughts about VR until August 2017, when George Samman asked if I was interested in working on a project to integrate a VR world with the Ethereum blockchain.
Jonny’s GazeCoin And Virtual Amsterdam
So I first met Jonny Peters, CEO of GazeCoin, in his specially built green screen studio in Paddington, Sydney. The photo below shows what it looks like inside the studio, through an overheating 360° camera lens. The curtains draw all the way around and the cameras record the subjects. Video editing software easily distinguishes the green colour from the subjects and edits it out, allowing the subjects to be transplanted into Jonny’s virtual world.
Jonny was then recording the performance of the catchy Don’t Hold Back by The Potbellez. The footage for the performance will later be transplanted into one of the apartments in GazeCoin’s virtual world.
I had a walk through VR Amsterdam and visited a few apartments. Below is an empty apartment in VR Amsterdam.
Jonny described his vision for GazeCoin in between his recording session. He wanted to build a system that measures “gaze” in his virtual world, and use GazeCoin tokens (GZE) to facilitate micropayments between content producers, advertisers and consumers.
There is no easier way to create a cryptographically-secure tradeable tokens than on the Ethereum network, where such an ERC20 (Ethereum token standard) contract can be deployed for the cost of a few dollars in a few minutes, if you know what to do. (It’s no wonder that 92 of the current top 100 crypto-tokens are Ethereum ERC20 tokens.)
Jonny had started trying to implement such a token as a coloured coin on the Bitcoin network several years ago with Jeremy Lam, but this proved too hard a problem to solve.
Jeremy, who is now Head of Product for Blockchain at OmiseGo (OMG), has plans that GZE eventually move onto OMG newfangled Plasma blockchain.
In the meantime, I will have to work out the plans for integrating GZE tokens into the GazeCoin world.
GazeCoin And Ethereum
Users wandering around the GazeCoin virtual world will initially be earning the GZEs by “gazing” at sponsored contents, and they will want to spend these tokens for access to purchase virtual assets, and goods and services.
As less that 1% of the worlds population are users of cryptocurrency, there will be a large proportion of users within the GazeCoin world that will not have transacted or hold cryptocurrency.
The first problem I will have to solve is to enable the easy onboarding of non-cryptocurrency users into GazeCoins virtual world. Users should only need to know that they have points that are being earned and spent, and not have to worry about the attributes of cryptocurrency, or transactions fees.
BokkyPooBah’s Token Teleportation Service
Having built the CryptoDerivatives.Market decentralised trustless ether/token exchange contract market in November 2016, I’m familiar with some of the issues of interacting with smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain and started searching for solutions.
I am proud to announce the proof-of-concept for a solution to ease the process of using crypto-tokens by non-crypto users. Details can be found at my BokkyPooBah’s Token Teleportation Service Smart Contract (BTTS) GitHub repository.
The GZE GazeCoin token contract will be built with BTTS technology. GazeCoin users simply create an account in their app or in a webpage, and backup the 12 or 24 word mnemonic seed phrase. Users will then be prompted to write down these words in case they need to restore their account at a later date.
The mnemonic seed phrase will allow for the creation of one or more Ethereum addresses within the users wallet. Users can then hold GZE tokens in these Ethereum addresses.
Now for the sexy part. The GZE token contract will be built with smart contract functions that will allow the user’s address to sign instructions that allows another Ethereum address to transfer GZE tokens on the user’s behalf. This optional functionality is built on top of the an ERC20 token contract, so normal Ethereum ERC20 token transfers will be the fallback position for users.
The user’s wallet will craft the instruction and use the user’s private key to cryptographically sign the instruction. This instruction is then sent to the BTTS service provider, and this service provider will then execute the token transfer on the user’s behalf.
The user will pay for transaction fees in GZE tokens that the BTTS service provider will receive, to compensate for the ETH transaction fee that the BTTS service provider pays to execute the user’s GZE crypto-token transfer.
Technical details on how BTTS technology works is summarised in How It Works.
If the user chooses to, the user can still transfer GZE tokens while directly paying ETH transaction fees. BTTS is an optional add-on technology only to ease the process of GZE token transfers.
This BTTS technology is the first of the solutions to ease the onboarding of users onto the GazeCoin platform. There are many other problems that will need to be solved, and these will be outlined in a few upcoming articles in this series.