Everyone says that they will switch to Blockchain. However no one says what will happen then

In just a few years Blockchain will be used almost everywhere. Recently, the creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, predicted that in a couple of years Blockchain would be comparable in size to the international payment system Visa.

This will happen due to the fact that the use of Blockchain can provide trust between the participants of a transaction without spending so much time and money on it as traditional tools. Instead of a week, a transaction takes hours, and the cost of the transaction are reduced by 2–3 times.

It’s not surprising that more and more projects — both large banks and technology startups — are switching their internal processes to Blockchain. It sounds beautiful, but how to do it? After all, Blockchain is just a technology of distributed databases.

In order to create a project on Blockchain or to switch a working product over to it, you need to select an existing platform such as Ethereum (you can create your own, but this is up to the corporations — it will require the labor of several dozen people). In 2018, Playkey had to make this choice in order to create the first decentralized gaming platform. We formulated that one needed to know about our project and users for the switch to Blockchain, and when that should happen.

Maximum understand of the product requirements

Transparency, high speed, low cost — the decision to switch to Blockchain was easy to make. However then it will not be simple. Playkey formulated the idea of cloud P2P gaming based on Blockchain technology a year ago. However we are only now making a detailed review of blockchain platforms because we needed to first formulate all of the product requirements that the blockchain functionality must meet.

For example, for Playkey the Blockchain is the method of recording transactions between the gamer who starts the game in the cloud, and the miner who leases his hardware. First generation Blockchain (Bitcoin is the best representative) handles this task: it shows how much money went to the receiver and how much the sender paid. But for the Playkey ecosystem this isn’t sufficient because the relationships between players and miners are built based on a more complex system than the simple buyer-seller.

The size of the miner’s compensation depends on the capacity of his equipment, the quality of the transfer, the length of game session, and other parameters. To automate the deal taking these parameters into consideration, smart contracts will be needed — this technology tracks whether the contract conditions are achieved or violated and makes independent decisions based on a specific algorithm.

The ability to implement flexible smart contracts is provided by second generation Blockchains (Ethereum is the most popular example). They are the choices to select a project whose main task is to ensure the interaction of the project users based on different scenarios, and not simply record the internal processes.

Study the user scenarios

Interaction between a miner and a gamer

Determining the necessity of smart contacts is not enough. We need to specify as much as possible who, how, and for what they will be created and to automate the process so that each participant in the ecosystem is not forced to endure a long wait time with the creation of an individual smart contract. For example, in Playkey dozens of different user behavior scenarios are possible, and, accordingly, dozens of types of smart contracts:

  • Between the gamers and miners, the latter can either accept the recommended Playkey terms, or create their own smart contracts regulating the duration of the game, the cost of an hour, subscription discounts, quality, and other parameters
  • Between the miners and their investors who will finance the regional miners to reduce delays and increase the quality of the streaming service
  • Between cybersports teams and their sponsors
  • Between game publishers and streamers who advertise their products
  • Between the blog creators and their readers, sponsors, advertisers (various schemes are possible for monetization of blogs via smart contracts)
  • Between many other participants of the ecosystem

It takes time to learn the logic of the behavior of all users. For example, we know how gamers behave, since Playkey has interacted with game lovers for more than three years. But the user scenarios of the miners and other prospective participants of the system are not known for certain. And before starting to implement a system based on a specific Blockchain, you need to investigate the needs of this category of users — Playkey is at this stage now.

Implementation of Blockchain — the last step

The project implementation process after the ICO can take years. At the same time, everything is changing rapidly in the Blockchain world. Just four years ago, cryptocurrencies were the lot of anarchists, while in 2017 new digital money appears every week — only this Tuesday the creation of the first cross-blockchain cryptocurrency was announced. So if you choose a technology too early, by the time of implementation, it may become obsolete. Therefore, you should not flaunt the already chosen way of implementing the project on the same ICO — otherwise you can fall into the trap.

How will does this trap shut? At approximately the mid-point the project team can understand that another blockchain platform is better for its implementation. But to move from one blockchain to another so as not to lose all the data, even for 2017 is a task that is not trivial and costly. On the order of how to switch an entire office of an average company from macOS to Linux.

So before you write the code, it is worthwhile to think over your product and its needs — this is not the case when it is better to roll out a raw prototype. Especially if there are not a few business angels waiting for implementation of the project but rather hundreds of people who believe in the product for ICO investors.