Hashing Systems
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Hashing Systems

What do Kitties, Tokens, and Hashgraph have in common?

The internet (and the wider sphere of tech) has come full circle with everyone’s favorite carnivorous mammals, kittens, now permeating blockchain technology with CryptoKitties. This is video game that sees users create, buy, breed and sell digital felines on the Ethereum blockchain. These are actually the backbone to a huge advancement made in the last few years. Bigger advancements than tokens like Ethereum or Bitcoin.

Let’s define fungible by looking at Bitcoin. If I have one bitcoin and replace it with another bitcoin, as all individual bitcoins are identical in use, each one holds the same value as the next. Similarly changing $200 worth of bitcoins into lesser denominations still sees the lesser sum retain the same value as a whole. There’s really no difference between one or the other at the end of the day. This is what makes them fungible. Now let’s dive deeper into non-fungible tokens, or most commonly known as NFT’s.

What are Non-Fungible tokens?

As the old idiom goes ‘money makes the world go round,’ and in much the same way tokens are used as the medium of exchange in cryptocurrency. Fundamentally tokens can be built one of two ways; ERC-20 standardized fungible tokens or ERC-721 standardized non-fungible tokens. These ERC’s are Ethereum standards for smart contracts and show us what type of functions do they need to have in order to be considered “compliant”.

Non-fungible tokens are unique in that its largely impossible to value them against other non-fungible tokens. This means the NTFs, used in the likes of CryptoKitties can’t be denominated into smaller parts or be added up into a bigger bunch (unless you bunched them up into another NFT-holding token).

As NFTs are distinguishable from others this makes them as desirable as they are unique. So while the ERC-721 standard is similar to that of ERC-20 but because of its ‘unique-ness’ element represents something far more scarce and ultimately valuable.

Crypto collectibles that are ERC-721 compliant, like CryptoKitties, have opened the gateway to NFT based content and game platforms like that of our digital feline friends. You can breed these NFTs and create new ones which become especially valuable depending on their traits. The perceived higher value that is commonplace with NFTs can be seen in the ten CryptoKitties that have each sold for over $100,000 to date.

Can we make games more real?

Imagine a game where the developers can’t simply go into the database and generate the item for you. The only way to do it is to earn it through the game by using other resources within it. If you don’t have those resources, you have to find someone who does in the virtual or even the real world.

Given the open nature of these standards and how smart contracts function you are able to have multiple gameplays be affected by these tokens. Your experience on one game could affect the experience in another one. It could unlock new areas or characters within a game. This could be as simple as the game detecting you owning a CryptoKitty and rewarding you with another virtual kitten, in-game. Mind you this would happen without the developers needing to communicate at all. This could be done all with the help of these decentralized platforms and standards.

How does this tie in with Hashgraph and gaming?

With the rise of online and offline worlds converging in these ways, Hashgraph is positioned to be able to support millions of users that follow the trend. This is exactly what you need as a developer when you’re building a system for normal people to use. Within the Hedera platform, game developers can utilize this new symbiosis of market demand and market ability to reduce payment pricing to a fraction of the norm — through microtransactions of digital currencies and NTFs with sub-cent transaction costs. Developers can also move away from upfront payments and instead offer in-app user purchases to monetize platforms much more efficiently.

Hash Name Service

We plan to take full advantage of the NFTs touched on in this article to manage our registry of domains — with domain ownerships being managed through an NFT smart contract. The resolving of the domains will be handled through the Hashgraph querying solutions. Users can transfer and manage ownership individually while still maintaining a lightweight protocol. Ultimately creating value in the ebb and flow of the changing landscape of NTFs and the promises that it holds.

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