The DeanBeat: the hype blockchain train arrives at the games

Blockchain this and that. You hear it all the time now. I get launched a few times a week, or sometimes a day, on new adventures of games that use the security and transparency of decentralized general led technology. None of them realize that it has already become a cliche or that someone else has proposed the same idea a week or a few months ago.

Blockchain is a software that offers companies a ledger where they can register and verify transactions between multiple parties without the use of brokers such as brokers or exchanges or app stores.

The hype train for blockchain

  Cocos-BCX team

Above: Cocos-BCX team

Image Credit: Cocos-BCX

At companies such as IBM and Disney, it is used by large companies and small start-ups in the same way to shape the ways of doing business. IBM has 1,500 blockchain experts working to create a type of open source blockchain called Hyperledger in the foundations for commerce.

In gaming, the French video giant Ubisoft is working on blockchain technologies with startups in France, and is sponsoring an upcoming Blockchain Game Summit in Lyon. Ubisoft is proud to take more risks than many of its rivals, and now wants to drive blockchain innovation.

"Obviously we are very interested in the blockchain, we are exploring that here with various products," said Catherine Seys, director of the startup program at Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab, in an interview with GamesBeat. "What helps us embrace it is like taking a step beyond the rewards and incentives, we're not really talking about cryptocurrency, we're not working on this at the moment, but rather, we look at the value of digital resources and how they can be used in the environments we create. "

  Catherine Seys of Ubisoft is director of Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab launch program.

Above: Ubisoft & # 39; s Catherine Seys is director of Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab launcher.

Image Credit: Ubisoft

Anne Puck, another member of the Ubisoft lab, blockchain initiative associate manager and member of the Blockchain Game Summit, said in an interview, "Our task is to analyze the changes taking place in technology fields. , in society and in business practices, Ubisoft is working to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and offer players new ways to have fun.As you know, blockchain is the biggest thing on the Internet technology market. to be able to lose this opportunity, and that's why we decided to launch the blockchain initiative at the start of this year. "

The blockchain and the gaming news are coming into vogue, and I'm starting to recognize patterns in these companies. First of all, if you remember, investment fads have come and gone in games. First were the Facebook games. So you play for iPhone. So virtual reality games. Then augmented reality games and esports. Now I see multiple blockchain investments in games that occur every week or so, like Beijing's Cocos-BCX, which raises $ 40 million to develop a blockchain gaming platform. This is just one of the many blockchain financing related to the game. Animoca Brands bought game producer Sandbox Pixowl for $ 5 million for his potential blockchain.

"We at Pixowl and The Sandbox believe that the blockchain games have incredible potential and we are particularly excited about Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT)," said Sebastian Borget, co-founder of Pixowl.

Obstacles to the adoption of the blockchain

  Mance Harmon is CEO of Hedera Hashgraph.

Above: Mance Harmon is CEO of Hedera Hashgraph.

Credit Image: Hedera Hashgraph

Blockchain is hot for investors, but this is a little suspicious as it smells like being a passing fad. Blockchain conferences have arisen everywhere. Since I wrote about blockchain companies, I've been invited to cover, moderate panels or talk blockchain events in Las Vegas, Bali, France, Singapore, Dubai, Santa Monica, Scottsdale, Silicon Valley, London, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. And here's a news: I'm not an expert.

Many people who pretended to be experts gathered money through the first coin offerings (ICO, where people bought cryptocurrency coins thinking they would be worth something). From early 2017 to May 2018, cryptogenesis agreements raised more than $ 9 billion, according to the Satis Group. Up to now, blockchain startups have raised $ 1.8 billion in VC funding, but ICOs are also breaking risk capital.

But often entrepreneurs have escaped with money. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that of 1,450 Ico analyzed, 271 had serious red flags as documents of plagiarized investors or teams of fake managers. Regulators from China to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States are targeting ICOs. Many companies are switching to token sales, some of which are backed by real resources. Some are trying to develop stable currencies or without wild oscillations that make trade difficult. Cointopia is trying to collect reliable blockchain services in a market.

Blockchain societies have compromises to deal with. The first implementations of the blockchain in cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, show this problem. Decentralization leads to secure and transparent transactions, but it also slows down the process and makes it more expensive. Several types of blockchain have been invented to solve these problems, often stratifying different characteristics that can make technology more useful. Hedera Hashgraph has created an alternative to the blockchain, dubbed the hashgraph consensus technology, which can solve these problems. It can also build trust by creating a board of directors with representatives from dozens of large companies in a variety of industries. And for this, he raised $ 100 million.

  Jerry Cuomo is vice president of IBM Blockchain

Top: Jerry Cuomo is vice president of IBM Blockchain

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

Jerry Cuomo, IBM Blockchain vice president, in an 'interview, he told me that a company ready-to-use blockchain must be open and interchangeable, responsible, private, fast, secure and scalable. About 70 networks are operational on the IBM Hyperledger Project because it has these characteristics.

"It is used to protect people's personal identity or to ensure that the information provided to a clinical trial is correct," said Cuomo. "A drug you are taking is not counterfeited, or the food that contains salmonella can be recalled quickly without affecting more people and without stopping all spinach production in the US These are all things that are good for you and me, not just for industry. "

But none of these new types of blockchain and the cryptocurrencies that accompany them have gained much adherence with consumers, which is their point of reference to the game. Blockchain applications are not easy for consumers to use. A lot of wallet applications are emerging that allow people to exchange cryptocurrencies on their smartphones. But these can come with transaction fees, and they could slow down and make more expensive transactions that should happen to millions every day in games.

CryptoKitties broke out on the scene in December 2017 with the debut of his collectible cats. You could buy and sell them, and some of the kittens started to go up to $ 200,000. This brought down the Ethereum network, slowing down transactions and forced CryptoKitties to increase transaction prices.

Consumers need something motivational, like mining for riches, to adopt cryptocurrencies or blockchains in some way. "There's a game theory, or an economic behavior behind blockchain, which is at the essence of it," he said. "Some people call it mining, but every network, even in an authorized non-currency, has to be a little economic motivation in the middle of that network to make it tick in. There must be an ecosystem of buyers and sellers or suppliers of data and consumers that creates an incentive to have a place in that network – it can not be all for the benefit of IBM or the three companies that founded it – there must be that – what is it? Nash's motivational economic system. "

Ideas for blockchain in games

  Perrin Kaplan interviews Brian Fargo at GamesBeat Summit 2018.

Above: Perrin Kaplan interviews Brian Fargo at GamesBeat Summit 2018.

Image Credit: Michael O & # 39; Donnell / VentureBeat

If we assume that the blockchain overcomes its regulatory problems, its technological problems, its scalability problems and is adopted, then we can start thinking about putting some of these fanciful blockchain ideas to use in games. [19659002] Brian Fargo, CEO of InXile, has been working on games since 1981 and plans to retire soon. Yet he heard the blockchain siren sing, and presented a startup blockchain, Robot Cache, at the start of this year to convince players to adopt a new cryptocurrency. He is installing an alternative app store that will only charge 5% of transaction fees for sales of PC games, instead of 30% on Steam. Robot Cache could pay author rights in a few hours instead of 60 days, create a reward system for players, discount merchandising for publishers and enable a used game system where players can get a cut of 25 % and publishers can get a 70% cut. [19659002MoltideirivalorastannofacendactressesaconcriptoeblockchainMalasfidawhattoadjechanicalgrowthecompareFargosisforacheabbiadelleconnessioniperfarloaccadere

Some freedom comes with the property based on the blockchain. Stephen Ip, a gaming entrepreneur, said that the ability to create mods and services without a central authority or a platform that turns off or modifies the model is a big problem. Without the protection of the blockchain property, platform owners can make you lose service, like what happened to Steamspy when Steam changed its services.

Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, said that blockchain could be the core technology for the Metaverse, the virtual universe imagined by Neal Stephenson in his 1997 novel Snow Crash. Sweeney was fascinated by Ethereum because it allowed smart contracts or programs to work on the blockchain, which could eventually become a fast, distributed computer that combines the power of everyone's computers. And this would have boosted the Metaverse or the world of Ready Player One.

"Bitcoin's blockchain is updated once every 10 minutes.If you are going to run the simulation code for games, it is better to update it about 60 times per second," Sweeney said in 2017. "Stores 10 gigabytes of data from the beginning to the end You will need terabytes of data produced every day if you want to scale it for the virtual worlds I think all of these things can be done and the tools to make them are well known people just have to go and build it Now, it's a wonderful model, being able to build distributed systems on that base, where everyone can contribute and no one has control. "

Above: Tim Sweeney at the GamesBeat Summit.

Credit image: GamesBeat

Jules Urbach of Otoy hopes to take a cloud-based computer of this type and freely turn it over render graphics. It could become a tool to allow anyone to build fantastic game worlds and beautiful objects and three-dimensional environments within them. Likewise, iExec, a Station F accelerator startup with which Ubisoft is collaborating, is a decentralized blockchain-based resource computing market. It's allowing anyone to monetize their computing power, Seys said.

And Jez San, CEO of Funfair, is using the transparency and security of blockchain and smart contracts on Ethereum to create online casino games that use random number generators that are transparent. In other words, blockchain guarantees that no cheating occurs in Funfair casino games.

Philip Rosedale, CEO of the virtual reality company High Fidelity, and game developer Ed Annunziata of Playchemy separately hope to allow the characters to be moved across worlds. Rosedale provides a system in which the goods you purchase can be moved from one platform to another. Annunziata wants to allow players to take their creations into virtual worlds and move them to other worlds, particularly if a world goes out. The gaming company would no longer own the resources and simply allow players to use them. The blockchain could authenticate the ownership of avatars or merchandise, so no one can copy or steal your items. Ubisoft's Puck believes that blockchain can help players push the limits of what it means to a truly open game.

  Authenteq can scan your identity for site registrations.

Above: Authenteq can scan your identity for registration on the website.

Image Credit: Authenteq

An interesting idea with applications in games and large social media companies as Twitter comes from a startup blockchain called Authenteq, which has an account verification system that could be used for online games. Authenteq CEO Kári Thor Runarsson thinks it could be used to stop online trolls, which have become a curse for the gaming industry.

You sign up through them and they authenticate who you are through your photo and a picture of your ID. Associate the two together and find a string of hashes for the blockchain. If Twitter needs to verify your identity, go to that string of hashes and say yes, this is a real person. But they can also remember that they recently banned this person. That person can not open a second account on Twitter now. But Twitter never treats those details, photos or personal information. They only receive an answer from the blockchain. Demonstrate a fact, without disclosing private data.

The verses also created property rights based on the augmented reality blockchain. If companies build the virtual reality in augmented reality, with a still in the real world, they could build virtual properties on your home. Versi believes that you, the real landlord of the world, must also own that virtual space, so someone does not put a virtual liquor store on your property that causes a lot of undesirables to show up to your real property (remember that the problem is happening with Pokémon Go?).

Other developers go on, at full blast. CryptoKitties has raised funds and is trying to launch a complete KittyVerse ecosystem with dozens of developers who can build games on their collector platform. Kik, the messaging services company, created its cryptocurrency Kin last fall, and recently launched its Kinit app on iOS to allow people to earn and spend cryptocurrency within apps, using a kind of gamification. Kin also has dozens of developers working on consumer cryptocurrency apps.

"We think that blockchain has the potential to transform gaming experience and perhaps even to empower players as true stakeholders in their worlds," said Ubisoft Puck. "Yves Guillemot, in China Joy, has mentioned the blockchain as a potential revolution for the video game industry in the future … For us it is always a matter of players, how can we offer more, offer them something new? The distributed nature of the blockchain network and the current state of technology make it hard to imagine what the future of games and blockchain will be, but what we want is to use what Blockchain has to offer for our players. "

Blockchain can be in able to perform miracles, although it probably will not do miracles, nor will it become a substitute for a good game.

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