Gaming Tokens have taken the world by storm. At nearly 100 billion dollars, the online gaming industry a MASSIVE one, and it is growing every single day.
Let’s take a moment to analyze these different coins, how they are similar, and how they collectively fail to address the true potential of cryptocurrency payments in this space.
These coins all do the same thing, they allow publishers to deploy a game, leverage their platforms for decentralized payments, highscores, virtual currencies, and receive other decentralized benefits.
These ideas all sound excellent on paper but technological limitations make these traits only dream material.
1.) Most of these tokens are ERC-20 tokens, they require GAS to operate and as the price of Ethereum goes up, the price of a transaction goes up. This does not scale well for games that have many players and high interaction load with the blockchain (unless the cost is forwarded on to the players, and who wants that?)
2.) These tokens have to come from somewhere. Typically game developers create their own virtual currencies and control their own supply. This means the virtual currency costs them 0 to print, and they sell this free currency to their players for dollars. If a developer opts to utilize something like Triforce, they are buying the tokens from a third party at market rate, then selling them to their players. How do they profit from this design?
3.) A fully decentralized token (smart contract or not) is slow. Very slow. The process of consensus takes time, as decentralized players need to validate transactions. A complex game may have dozens of state changes per minute per player.
Even Waves-NG which is one of the fastest chains in existence only does 6000 transactions a minute. That is a mere 100 per second. To put this into perspective a single MongoDB database server on a single Amazon AWS instance for $25/month can do 30,000 transactions per SECOND. A single REDIS cache instance can do 220,000 key writes per second. Decentralized tech is far too slow to make responsive gaming a reality.
This is the reason that Decentralized Exchanges have not taken the reigns just yet. People want to see and react to changes in price in MILLISECONDS, not minutes. So Centralized exchange like Binance, Kraken, and Bittrex all run the show. They only hit the blockchain with a transaction when you withdraw. The rest of the time the money is in database memory.
4.) If your magic sword of killing is on the blockchain you own the text that describes it, that’s fair..but without the central game that draws the picture, and makes that text mean something and applies it to an actual game it is a meaningless piece of text on a virtual ledger. A meaningless piece of text that COSTS MONEY TO REASSIGN.
This is why it doesn’t actually matter if it is centralized or not.
Now, when discussing bitcoin and other decentralized currencies this decentralized nature definitely matters, because they are holding sums of value in a decentralized way and nobody can touch your money. As long as other people believe in the decentralized nature of this system, you can always sell a few bytes to someone else who wants to buy them, but none of it is centralized, and the ownership of those bytes are what is actually valuable.
CryptoKitties for example, this game has no value at all unless you can see the cat images. The cats don’t live on the blockchain, a link to a photo of a cat does, the photo is centralized. If the CryptoKitties company disappears tomorrow your photo is gone, your cat becomes something like this: “be6ffd0d5a65ca45b7444afff” and nobody could care less if they own it or not.
So what we have is a beautiful hybrid of Centralized and Decentralized tech.
This is how exchanges operate, and this is where the future of Blockchain gaming should be headed. Smart contracts are at the circuit stage of complexity. You have a few inputs, you get a few outputs. You can make more advanced circuit contracts that connect together but at the end of the day you have some simple ifs and thens and an output. If you want full fledged applications we need a rendering layer, a processing layer, a monetary input layer, a data input layer, and a data storage layer. This will come at some point, but not yet. In the interim people are using a sophisticated blend of centralized services, and decentralized payment systems.
LaserChain is the worlds first centralizeDecentralized war game. Think Clash of Clans or Game of War but partially running on the blockchain. Obviously building a game this complicated with all of the moving parts and changing state would be very difficult if it ran completely on the blockchain. Not only would it be very slow, but it would also cost money every the state changed. To solve this problem LaserChain runs more like an exchange — it only touches the chain when it needs to.
When players perform actions in the game the actions are stored on a database that controls the games state. The database and central servers validate rules for gameplay and award people the tokens they earn. Ownership of certain assets are stored on a chain and cross linked with the games data engine.
This game was designed from the ground up to create a fully fledged game economy both that awards and utilizes the laserchain game token during play. Instead of trying to build a massive comprehensive platform that has many titles and economies and derive the coins value from all of them collectively, the coins value is only derived from the supply and demand of the coin within the game itself.
This is a brand new way of looking at the value of a token, as the people create it’s actual value, based on how badly they want the token to remain competitive within the bounds of the game.
How does this work?
The game has a centralized bank, when people play the game the bank awards tokens to the players through certain Proof of Play hooks. Unlike traditional coins which are mined by robots using Proof of Work schemes, these Proof of Play hooks are designed to be completed in fixed time intervals, or by doing actual proof of work that can only be completed by a human. Preventing automation of this work increases overall game engagement and keeps the coin scarce, and this increases the value of the coin.
The centralized bank also gets paid back these coins when people spend them in game. This is a zero sum system that incentivizes players to pay tokens to stay competitive in the game — or risk losing their tokens to other players by force.
The game is a brutal blend of economics, strategy, alliance team building, and war.
There will be winners and there will be losers, but no matter what happens — this will sure be interesting.