Community Writer Series

How Digital Assets Work on Elastos Platform

— by Kiran Pachhai

When we talk about digital assets, we are usually talking about e-books, art, music, movies, games, etc. Every physical asset can have a digital counterpart to it that can be traded online. For instance, a game publisher may decide to print a million copies and sell them to the market on a DVD that’s designed for gaming platforms like Xbox, Playstation or they may also decide to sell the same game that’s playable on a Personal Computer(PC) or maybe mobile games, etc.

Problems with the current paradigm

When you think about it, it is very hard for an indie game developer to sell the games they develop directly to the people who want to play that game. They always have to go through a game publisher if they’re to make any sort of profit. There’s always a middle man involved when you want to sell any sort of digital asset. Now, let’s think about a second problem users face in the world of today. When you buy a game from a game publisher, you decide to play the game, complete the game and then finally you would like to sell this game. Well, with the current paradigm, you could theoretically sell your game through online third party sites or maybe resell your game for cheap back to the game store. In either case, you will never be able to sell the game for the exact price you bought it at. Today’s market doesn’t let this happen because as soon as the game is opened, it’s considered a second-hand copy so it drastically decreases its value and its worth in the market. Onto the third issue users face today is that in order to play a certain game, you will have to buy a game for that platform. For instance, you decide to purchase a game for your PS4. And then, later on, you would like to continue playing on your PC. Well, you can’t do this without also purchasing the game for your PC because the game being made for a platform like PS4 is not playable on a different medium like your personal computer. In order to do this, you would have to purchase the same game twice(one for the platform and another one for your PC).

Solutions proposed by the Elastos platform

Elastos aims to solve all the above problems by using blockchain and Elastos runtime environment that can be installed on your regular devices like android phones, iOS phones, windows computers, etc. Here’s how Elastos can do this:

  1. Content creators will be able to use DApps or build their own DApps by implementing a particular smart contract on the copies of the game they plan on selling to the market. They don’t need to go through any sort of middle man where they’re likely to get ripped off as the middle man takes majority of the profit. What they can do is have a smart contract that will let them create 10,000 copies of a game. And every time each game is sold and resold, the content creators can get a certain amount of profit directly. So, the more popular their game is and the more the game copies get resold on the market, they keep on earning profit. This means that the buyers can buy a copy of this game and if this game becomes popular later down the road, they can decide to sell this game to the market for a higher price. This creates an economy of its own. This is only possible because there are only 10,000 copies of the game and no more. So, the more demand for the game, since the supply never changes, the value only goes up, thereby creating profit for both content creators and traders. In the traditional world, this is impossible. With elastos, developers will encourage game players to play and sell the game to the next person.
  2. Each digital asset(music, movies, games) will be assigned an ID that’s recorded in the elastos blockchain. This is a DID(Decentralized ID) that will be used to track each and every asset on elastos platform. This simple idea is what will help content creators create scarcity for their digital assets. So, you may create a total of 10,000 copies for your game and no more. Each of these 10,000 copies will have a unique DID that will be stored on elastos blockchain. In addition, each user will also have a unique ID they’re associated with. So, when someone buys a copy of this game, their ownership will be attached to their game copy that they own. When it’s time for them to sell that game back to the market, the only thing that will happen is that the ownership of that game copy will be transferred to the next buyer. Each game is stored and encrypted so you can’t play the game if you’re not the owner of the game.
  3. Elastos tackles the problem of ownership of an digital asset by storing the DID of each digital asset on the elastos blockchain and tying that digital asset with the ID of the owner for that digital asset. Everytime the owner tries to play the game, elastos runtime will first verify both the ID of the owner and the DID of the digital asset and check if the user is the real owner. If so, elastos runtime plays the game. If the user obtained an illegal copy of the game, the game cannot be played. Elastos runtime will be able to play games being developed for it and since the runtime can be installed on top of both android and ios devices and also windows, the same game can be played by the owner in multiple devices by just opening up the same DApp in different devices. This is possible because of the agnostic nature of how elastos runtime works.

In addition, because elastos runtime runs in a sandbox environment on top of an existing OS like android, iOS, etc, even if someone were to inject some malicious code to the game, they won’t get very far. Because each game will be running in their own sandbox(virtual machine), so these VMs get destroyed soon after the game finishes, thereby destroying any sort of malicious code along with it. This creates a huge advantage in the world of today where online games are constantly being attacked by outside source. Because there’s little to no chance of having any sort of Distributed Denial Of Service(DDOS) attacks as well, this creates a safe environment for the games to be played. Also, anytime the game holds a tournament, only valid game players who own the game are allowed to join. The player’s playing history will be recorded on the blockchain and there’s no way for players to cheat in the tournament either.

User Experience

When you open an “Elastos” app that you downloaded from apple store or google store onto your android of an iOS device, you will see the DApps that you downloaded previously. One of these DApps might be the game trading app that lets you not only trade your game but also play your game. So, all you do is open up the DApp and start playing the game if you are the owner of the game. If you would like to purchase another game, you can do so too. Or, if you want to sell the game, you can do so too. The user experience doesn’t diminish whatsoever and the end user doesn’t even have to know the app they are using is utilizing the blockchain to handle all the transactions and/or to play the game.

The user experience is no different when opening an elastos DApp compared to the regular android/iOS apps that you have installed on your device today.

Conclusion

That was a brief intro to how digital assets work on elastos platform. Stay tuned for more articles as I dive into how elastos is creating an entire ecosystem where consumers are at the frontline of managing their data instead of the middleman taking in all the profits while also securing their data in a sandbox environment provided by elastos runtime and verified by the elastos blockchain.