Micropayments: The Power Behind Blockchain Games
As blockchain starts to gain a foothold as a viable technology that can help innovate different industries, it does not come as a surprise that it is also being utilized in gaming. Most recently, the smart asset gaming platform Unbounded Enterprise has launched its own blockchain-based game called BSV2048.
Unbounded Enterprise is dedicated to becoming a leader in Bitcoin application development, and while it is currently a young and modest startup, CEO Jackson Laskey thinks it will play a significant part in demonstrating the efficacy of Bitcoin-powered apps in low-stakes scenarios with micropayments at the center.
BSV2048 Takes the Penny Route
BSV2048 takes the classic 2048 game to a new level by embracing the penny business, a feature available exclusively on the BSV Blockchain. A player’s ranking on the leaderboard determines how much payout they get, which can reach as high as 31.8% and is paid out automatically via HandCash.
“BSV2048 is a game that we think may be the most shareable Bitcoin application created to date. It is familiar and fun, but also unique. HandCash Connect, the tool we used to build BSV2048, is the best sign-up experience in Bitcoin to date, and the ease of making payments helps us deliver a modern user experience,” Laskey said.
Blockchain games are usually supported by advertisements, in-app purchases (typically $1 or more, with 40% going to Google or Apple) and paid app downloads. BSV2048 takes a different approach by charging a penny for each game as an entrance fee.
Because BSV offers transaction costs of 1/100th of a penny, developers never have to worry about high transaction fees that would make micropayments impossible. These transactions also transmit immediately, so there is no waiting for confirmation—users can send or use the penny from anywhere in the globe upon receipt.
According to HandCash Software Developer Brandon Bryant, the potential of in-app purchases and blockchain games’ payments is made more realistic with micropayments. He explains that micropayments will even help entrepreneurs in a country with a weak or developing economy launch their online content creation business.
“The first thing that will happen is creators will create micro downloadable content (DLC) and skins of users’ favorite players. They no longer need to purchase a huge content bundle; instead, they can buy individual items. That will make a huge difference and open up a huge creative economy,” Bryant added.
Micropayments to Disrupt the Gaming Industry
Consider the modern game development process. Big firm X engages a team of developers, pays them a set salary, has them design a game, and subsequently makes billions of dollars. A few critical employees get bonuses, while most of the money is distributed among stockholders.
Micropayments destabilize this economic system by splitting the money into dozens or even hundreds of ways. Suddenly, the game’s audio technician, graphics designer, scriptwriters, programmers, and everyone else involved will be paid every time a player interacts with the game.
In-game actions are permanently recorded on a public, immutable blockchain, opening up new revenue streams for developers and players and giving more transparency in eSports competitions since every activity is recorded in a public database that no one can alter.
This transparency requires micropayments, as someone must pay the transaction processors or miners to create the ledger entry. However, it does not make sense to send micropayments when each would cost from over $1 to as high as $50 in transaction fee.
Because BSV has unlocked its ability to scale limitlessly, which translates to bigger data blocks and higher throughputs—currently at 4GB blocks and 50,000 to 100,000 transactions per second—it is possible for fees to continuously be lowered to very tiny fractions of a cent. Only when transaction fees are next to nothing will micropayments become realistic and practical.
FYX Gaming CEO Adam Kling has often said that eSports competitions are riddled with cheating claims, but since the data remains on servers accessible exclusively to game developers, establishing what transpired and proving who was at fault becomes challenging.
This affects cheating disputes in eSports events. Instead of players being irritated when nothing is done about perceived foul play, third-party auditors or anybody with analytics tools can retrieve data from the blockchain to verify what happened and when it occurred. In other words, cheating charges will eventually be proven or refuted.
And BSV is just getting started. As game developers grow increasingly interested in the BSV blockchain and new micropayment-capable applications are launched—as evidenced by it reaching a milestone of processing over 20 million transactions in a single day—global adoption will not be so far into the future.
“We don’t know what all of the missing ingredients are for real adoption, but we think BSV2048 can help us figure at least a few of them out. The sooner we do, the sooner we can start showing the power of Bitcoin to transcend legacy financial and IT systems, become the foundation of a new, secure internet, and change the world,” Laskey shared.