GamerToken Presents: In-game Item Rental

“Let’s get rrrrready to rental!”

The GamerToken tech team have been hard at work fine-tuning the details of the newly deployed rental system for our Marketplace Demo. Our hierarchical ownership apparatus allows players to rent out their in-game assets to strangers or friends for a specified period of time — while maintaining true ownership.

How Does it Work?

We’re doing the hard-work so that players don’t have to. With the security of an Ethereum smart contract designed to specifically for rental transactions, gamers (and savvy entrepreneurs) can choose to list their ERC-721 tokenized items on our Marketplace for other users to test and use!

It begins with the original owner choosing their unique item they are willing to loan, selecting the total time (currently set to a maximum of 7 days) they wish to rent it out for, as well as the rate (in GTX) that they would like to charge for the total rental period. Then, the user hits the “Offer for rent” button and the offer is displayed on the Marketplace for all users to see!

In the Marketplace, rentable items will be denoted with a stopwatch symbol on the item card and when a user clicks on the item, the details of the rental contract will be shown under the item description. If the user accepts the terms of the contract (the total rental time and cost), they pay the total cost in GTX, become the new temporary owner, and the item is shown in their “My Items” page. The new user is then given control over which in-game character the unique item can be transferred to. A countdown will also be shown in the item description, showing how much longer the rental contract will last.

When the contract period has ended, the original owner will find the item back in their “My Items” page of the Marketplace, where they will have full control over where to Transfer their item. The smart contract ensures that the unique item is once again securely under their control of the original owner. Simple!

How Does the Smart Contract Operate?

The rental system is operating using the security and verifiability of the Ethereum blockchain and the power of smart contracts. With a system such as rental, we want to remove the idea of necessary trust in an exchange between users. In terms of blockchain technology, this is one of the hallmarks of the platform that prevents users having to worry about other users holding up their end of the bargain. One thing that is important to remember is that any transaction on the Ethereum blockchain requires a fee to be paid, known as ‘gas’. This fee is what drives the blockchain, incentivizing block producers to continue working to secure the Ethereum network, which in turn means your unique items have real provenance.

On a more technical level, the transaction begins by the original owner paying a two small gas service fees. The first allows the item’s control to be taken over by the rental smart contract, the second is then used to record the item ID (“itemID”), original owner (“originalOwner”), rental length (“rentalLength”), and cost (“priceTotal”) as variables and to then create the rental offer. Finally the Marketplace is used as the frontend to display the variables from the smart contract to other users.

After another user discovers the offer on the Marketplace and chooses to accept the terms of the contract, they pay the total GTX cost of the rental period and an additional small fee to record themselves as the temporary owner (“temporaryOwner”) of the item. They are then added to the smart contract, triggering the smart contract’s initiation.

Since smart contracts are not able to call themselves, a outside check is currently run every minute that identifies whether or not a rental period has expired. If there is one such rental contract found, then it is finalised by returning total control of the item to the original owner

During the rental period, the original owner will not be able to list the item for sale on the Marketplace, ensuring that the total rental period has to be fulfilled.

What Are the Benefits for the Original Item Owner?

The system provides the original owners with a new method of being rewarded for being a part of the GamerToken ecosystem; anyone can rent out their rare items when they aren’t in use, giving your items even more ways to be utilised, and a way to earn GTX from your idle assets!

What are the Benefits for the Temporary Item Owner?

There are many reasons that a gamer would want to rent an in-game item. Perhaps they want to test-out an item before committing to a full purchase; perhaps they have a big match coming up; perhaps they’re fine-tuning a new style; perhaps they want a chance to use an epic skin from a championship game; perhaps they just want to mix things up.

Furthermore, because item-rental history is immutably recorded (alongside ownership history), renting an item allows players to put their stamp on gaming’s ever-evolving history.

What’s the Catch?

Unless you count the tiny service/gas fees, there simply isn’t one. It’s one of our many features designed to bring power back to the players.

If you have any more questions related to our rental feature or anything GamerToken, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! As the lucky part of the GamerToken team get to travel the length and breadth of the world visiting gaming and blockchain conferences, our tech team is knuckling down to develop more cutting-edge features. To make sure you don’t miss them, follow our channels:

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