Discussion: The original Bitcoin network was not developed for the use as a public network for entertainment and gambling, but in response to the global banking crisis of 2008 in the USA. The distributed ledger technology that was formulated by the rogue and occult cryptographic group at that time under the assumption that a censorship-free currency could help separate the relationship of bank and state. Generating a censor-free currency between peers in the Bitcoin network was an astonishing success, considering that no major hack has yet occurred to the network in the near 10 years of existence. In this time, some of the largest banking institutions, financial managing companies, and even global personal data companies have been violently intruded with theft of personal data and funds at large. As blockchain has gained attention in the public eye, many potential use cases have been hypothesized from the Bitcoin template of distributed consensus. Having a globally-distributed ledger to account for all kinds of assets, including currency, was a natural extension of blockchain design based on its improved security to current databases. Legacy database architecture relies completely on a single source of data, in fact, concentrating it in vulnerable places that are easily accessible by the internet. In the past, a thief had to at least travel to a bank or a business to commit robbery, but because the internet allows speed-of-light travel to places of value, hacks have become commonplace. The digital asset heists of the past few years were not because of the Bitcoin network design, but from weaknesses in Bitcoin storages by exchanges. If this problem is solved, the future of digital assets could become a massive new asset class rivaling bonds, stocks and real estate. However, an individual sector of the economy that could undergo a substantial boost in technological innovation with a distributed ledger is clearly the online gaming market.
Online Games: The fusion of a public decentralized ledger and the massive online gaming industry is an inevitable progression in the history of social interaction on the internet. The current state of technology allows users to play real time, high-speed games in a globally-distributed network through a central server. The ‘hub-and-spoke’ topology or network design favors a middleman database, hosted by the gaming system (i.e./ Sony for the Playstation) with all players aggregating to the host for high speed. This database design is ideal for the high-speed actions of a Massive Multiplayer Online game (MMO) since it optimizes throughput and time ordering of actions. However, a downside of this centralized gaming host architecture is the vulnerability that is imposed with all players storing their game data into one place. Personal stats, leaderboard data, in-game assets such as skins, weapons and characters are completely reliant on the hosting vendor, such as Sony, to protect their information from a greedy hacker. Despite all kinds of security protections, these centralized servers have been routinely attacked with DDoS and outright theft of personal data. In some cases, the game assets themselves are lost by destruction or even deletion of the central silo of data. It is because of this vulnerability that the MMO industry will most likely be disrupted by the emerging market of distributed ledger technology.
Hashgraph Games Use Case: At the height of the Fortnite MMO frenzy in 2019, over 250 million users were playing an online game at the same time, setting a global record. Epic Games had just reported receiving $3 billion USD in the prior year, 2018, even though they had offered the game Fortnite for free to all players. The revenue generated from this massively popular game was through in-game purchases and accessories for character features like skins, character taunts, etc.. This game’s success was meteoric and even came with an in-purchase virtual currency for the additional digital assets. As a player improved and earned assets with time, a personal inventory of digital possessions like skins, weapon, and rank is eventually collected. Integrating distributed ledger technology with the MMO industry would be seen as a hybrid of central gaming servers hosting the online game and Hashgraph managing the digital assets. Because the Hedera distributed public ledger is safe, secure and fast at hosting digital possessions, it could be used to store and record the assets of any game with the right design. What’s more is that the Hedera network could allow an open marketplace for buying, selling and trading all kinds of novel online assets, allowing experienced players to sell their character rank/success and possessions. The specifications of the Hashgraph algorithm permit high throughput with bank-grade security of these coveted digital entities in a free market of exchange.
Hashgraph Fair Gaming: For some online games, the time order of events is also a significant issue when many people compete on a global massive multiplayer online game. If one player is regionally closer to the servers hosting the online game, there is a technical/geolocation advantage of his actions in order, relative to all players. So, if this player is able to register a shot or an action earlier than others, solely because of this regional bias, the game permits an unfairness that cannot be easily accounted for. One player may think they shot first, but the action could be reversed by the central servers, regardless of fairness of spacetime. Centralization of gaming has this apparent downside. With Hashgraph, the events of a game, live auction, stock market exchange or even a decentralized exchange, would fairly record the timestamp based on the median (middle) time of each transaction, as the ‘whole’ network sees it. That equalizes the geolocation advantage of players, or even stock market participants who may reside immediately next to a hosting server. In fact, the proximity of a High-Frequency Trading (HFT) server next to a stock exchange, like the NYSE, allows it to have the fastest microsecond speed of trade advantage. This inherent unfairness of the HFT market is now under scrutiny for this and other inequalities to other market participants The Hashgraph consensus algorithm is the first-in-class to create true timestamps on any event, communicating any kind of digital information, such as, online gaming player moves, shots fired, rank, weapons owned, contest winners, etc. This fairness is a feature that should be integrated throughout the entire online gaming market to induce fairness of access and play action, without any unfair advantage of resources or location.
Hashgraph Games with Hbar Prizes: Since Hedera also allows financial transactions with the hbar cryptocurrency, the integration into online gaming should be seamless and exciting. Imagine playing an online game with your friends, and a betting pool is put into a Smart Contract that escrows, or holds the funds. Each player placing hbars into the winner’s pool to play. When the game ends and the winner is based on the highest number of points, rank, or kills, that data would be the input into the Smart Contract and pay the winner, straight to their hbar wallet.
The speed of Hashgraph is so much faster than any blockchain that it could easily transfer the winning pot within seconds in an equally secure way as with PayPal, Visa or a bank-transfer. Having the throughput that is in the network allows distributed ledger technology the ability to interface with online games and create both a trust layer of data (winner’s ranks, possessions, game histories) but also a frictionless financial layer of capabilities.
It is clear that Hedera Hashgraph has the technical specifications necessary to meet the speeds of online games, achieve a global scaling network and maintain bank-grade security in the process. The most successful online games of the future with ensure that both trust and finance are added to the thriving entertainment industry with this wonderful use case of the Hedera public network.
Hashgraph Gambling Games: With the trust layer and the financial function of the Hedera wallet, a whole new arena of possibilities in gaming came be created. In the current gambling world, the financial transaction process takes time, a large amount of personal data, and uses payment processors that charges fees. This payment friction is a major limiting factor in the use of online gambling games.
By using the Hedera network for gambling games, a user only has to have their digital wallet active with the game, and send-and-receive hbars with ease, in seconds and expose no personal data. The future is here and the use of Hashgraph will enable all kinds of trusted new features to gaming and gambling.
Fairness of gambling can also be proven with Hashgraph in lotteries and raffles. By entering all funds into a common pool in a Smart Contract, the winner is assured that the outcome is truly random and not manipulated. Hashgraph removes the middlemen in these contests, which also removes the fees or funds they may require to run the lottery or raffle. With Hashgraph, you can make the first decentralized lottery, raffle or contest with full transparency.