About 65% of online gamers have paid to acquire services on the Internet. With the advent of ‘gamification,’ a technique used by game developers to make playing interactive, competitive and rewarding, more gamers are paying to acquire virtual goods and services. In 2018, game developers like BitGuild are tapping into the potential of blockchain technology to bring gaming to a single, decentralized platform.
Gaming in the Blockchain
Popularized in 2009 by bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, the blockchain is a decentralized public ledger. A group of computer owners with special software takes part in verifying transactions made on this platform before the data is stored permanently.
Gaming startups are taking advantage of blockchains’ tight security, ease of access and ability to facilitate micropayments using digital currencies to solve some of the major issues gaming has always had.
BitGuild is a Singapore-based startup with a blockchain developed on the Ethereum platform. The startup’s goal is to bring online game developers and players together where they can interact. Game players will have the ability to purchase virtual goods using virtual currencies known as PLATs. These currencies are ERC-20 tokens developed with tools provided by Ethereum as well.
Problems in the Online Gaming Industry
Although the gaming industry is valued at $2.3 billion and more than 2.3 billion people have played a mobile or video game in their lives, most of the revenue goes back to governments and game developers. BitGuild wants to monetize gaming for gamers and solve the following other problems:
- Provide True Ownership of Virtual Games
For so long, gaming platforms have stored virtual goods already purchased by gamers on their servers. Gaming companies also make rules as to how the virtual goods are accessed and used. Sometimes, the gaming company can suspend a user’s account and repossess all of their virtual goods.
BitGuild wants to solve this problem by providing total ownership of virtual goods to players. Gamers will store their purchases in digital wallets. The virtual goods can only be sold with owners’ permission.
- The Gaming Industry is Divided by Local Laws and Regulations
While the Internet is available in almost every country, gamers have never had the privilege of interacting with gamers from all parts of the world. In some countries like China, games that show blood and skeletons are prohibited. In some regions, game latencies prevent gamers from sharing their content with everyone with interest to play. International payment methods also vary depending on the region, complicating the industry further.
BitGuild plans to solve this problem by having a series of games hosted on their blockchain. All micropayments for these games will be done using PLAT coins. Gamers will also be able to interact with other gamers and developers in a seamless manner. And since the blockchain supports low fees, gamers can trade or sell their in-game goods and characters easily.
- Eliminate Fraud in the Industry
One of the biggest challenges game developers face is dealing with stolen credit transactions. A huge number of gamers have put gaming companies into great legal trouble for using stolen credit cards. Additionally, some gamers have a habit of canceling their credit transactions after receiving in-game purchases. The gamers cancel transactions claiming that they had not received the intended purchase. Gaming companies, therefore, waste a lot of timing fighting fraud and credit company issues.
BitGuild plans to solve this problem by providing a one-way, payment service for all transactions. Once a payment is completed using PLAT coins, it cannot be reversed. This way, gaming companies will spend more time interacting with players and designing better games rather than fighting reversed payments.
In general, the BitGuild blockchain platform will provide several unique benefits to both gamers and developers:
- A wide range of mobile and web games with lots of characters and features.
- Opportunity to monetize their gaming activities.
- Have more control of their game achievements
- Own cryptocurrencies that can be converted into real cash
- Developers spend less money on marketing by monetizing their games.
- Developers can raise funds from gamers through the use of smart contracts.
As already mentioned, BitGuild’s PLAT is an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum platform. The tokens will be stored in a special wallet built by the company. This wallet will also have the ability to store other ERC-20 tokens, including Ethereum. In addition, the BitGuild wallet will always display all the virtual goods the player possesses.
The company is still in its initial stages. They only introduced their whitepaper recently and are raising funds through an ICO. The funds raised will help bring game developers together and build an international community with games suited for all kinds of communities.
What is an ICO?
An initial coin offering, ICO, is a fundraising system where a blockchain startup like BitGuild offers their yet to be valued tokens (plats) in exchange for already valuable cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. An ICO is related to an initial public offering (IPO), but it’s easier to launch, hardly regulated and does not involve selling a company’s shares. Read more about the complexities related to ICOs here.
The BitGuild token sale is currently ongoing and tokens can be purchased on the company’s official website. Anyone who wishes to participate must buy at least 0.5 worth of Ethereum coins. Investors can only buy a maximum of 1500 worth of ether coins. The company’s token sale will continue until the 5th of April 2018. BitGuild has already raised 30,000 worth of ether coins. Some famous figures in the blockchain are investors.
Pros of BitGuild
- Qualified and Experienced Team
BitGuild consists of highly qualified developers, blockchain entrepreneurs and advisors based in the USA and Asia. The company’s founder is an experienced game developer, while advisors include the CEO to a top 20 cryptocurrency (Justin Sun is the founder of TRON) and chairman of the blockchain foundation (Brock Pierce).
- Great Product
The startup’s platform aims to build a hub for gaming while monetizing and increasing efficiency all-round.
- Good Token Sale Terms
BitGuild will lock up tokens distributed to the founders and advisors for at least 2 years. This ensures the team is focused on making their product succeed. Investors, on the other hand, can buy up to 1500 worth of Ethereum tokens to maximize their profits.
- Still at Initial Stages
While they have an ambitious project, BitGuild is yet to build any viable product. All of the company’s goals are on a whitepaper and little but partial funding has been achieved.
BitGuild is an ambitious startup with clear goals and a roadmap of how to achieve them. The company is one of a few blockchain startups that aim to unify the gaming industry. If their goals are achieved, a lot of gamers and developers will embrace their services.