When a service is said to be thriving on the basis of network effects, it implies that a larger user base is evidence of more value being delivered to each user. Communication networks are an excellent example of how network effects work; before they became ubiquitous, telephones were only useful to those whose social or business circles included large numbers of people who also owned telephones. As a result, the first telephones had limited value to their users, but as the network expanded to include people from all socio-economic classes, the device’s usefulness dramatically increased for all users.
You can see clear parallels in the way social media networks operate, starting from a limited user base to proliferation across specific communities, eventually spreading across the globe, offering up increased value to users (who are able to interact with more and more people) as they grow.
Blockchain applications, such as those based on P2P value exchange like Bitcoin and Host Games, are prime examples of how network effects can develop an exponentially growing user base, especially when coupled with the reach and power of the Internet.
The Host Games protocol is a gaming blockchain that has two primary functions:
1. To allow any user on the network to become a game host and create a customizable game at zero cost. Each host will be able to invite players from their personal networks, while setting the house edge and collecting the rake on each bet.
2. To help developers create more games on a blockchain protocol that is scalable, flexible and highly programmable. Host Games will also offer developers a series of toolkits and SDKs to enhance and ease their game-building experience.
For many, casino gaming is an intellectually stimulating pastime that helps them step back from the rat race and enjoy an evening or two of edgy fun. For others, the allure of a potential jackpot brings them back to the tables, where every roll of the dice or crank of the lever offers a heart-stopping thrill of anticipation.
The global casino industry (including offline & online sectors) generates over $130 billion annually, and is expected to cross the $200 billion-mark by 2023. If you take black-market gambling and illegal operations into account, that number jumps to over $600 billion according to some experts.
Over 1.6 billion people worldwide regularly enjoy casino gaming. Couple that impressive figure with the rapid rise of socially-integrated casino apps and the immense potential for disruption in this industry becomes clear.
What aspects of gaming should be disrupted, then? To understand that we need to first take a look at the most deep-rooted issue in the industry: a chronic lack of trust.
While there are undoubtedly many honest platforms that offer customers a flawless gaming experience, their goodwill is diluted by the huge number of unscrupulous operators seeking to defraud players by:,
1. Deploying expert house players to play against unwitting customers
2. Rigging the RNG mechanisms that determine values in each game to stack the odds against customers
3. Selling customer data to third party organizations, increasing the risk of identity fraud
4. Outright refusing to pay players their winnings
These problems are particularly evident in the online gaming industry, where thousands of gaming sites have popped up, leaving consumers saturated with choice but uninformed about any differentiation between sites.
Host Games has a blockchain-based approach using a PoA consensus model, which offers unparalleled data security while delivering high-speed gameplay, a problem that other gaming blockchains have not managed to solve. Since the data is stored on the blockchain with smart-contract powered P2P settlements, users can enjoy the benefits of anonymity and guaranteed payments when they win.
Now that you know a little about how Host Games will disrupt the gaming industry, it becomes easier to see how network effects will help the platform achieve global virality in a relatively short span of time. By encouraging players to derive income from their social circles and ensuring that players are known to each other via the social connects of the host, the Host Games blockchain will eliminate the threat of ‘house players’, promote games that are more fun and sociable, and build small communities of gaming enthusiasts across the globe.
Since players are incentivized to become hosts and start their own games, each new user represents an opportunity for the platform to acquire a new social circle, forming a new gaming community each time. This viral feedback loop and the exponential growth offered by network effects are what will help drive the Host Games blockchain to becoming the most popular online gaming platform in the world.