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Can Blockchain Gaming Drive Cryptocurrency Adoption?

Can Blockchain Gaming Drive Cryptocurrency Adoption?
The gaming industry, with its approximately 2.5 billion gamers worldwide, is a lucrative target and an immense field of application for blockchain itself, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that could no doubt give a mighty push toward taking and making the technology mainstream. Honestly, this is not quite a news as the efforts to establish cryptocurrencies in the entertainment sector have gone a long way, with varying degrees of success.
by StealthEX
What they were, how it fared, and where things are going now – these questions deserve their own inquiry. So let’s take a look at how gaming facilitates cryptocurrency adoption, in what ways, and whether exposing the blockchain tech to a user base of a third of the world’s population would help oil the wheels of this sportster in a major way and ultimately cause a tectonic shift in the gaming industry itself.

A Little Bit of History

As Bitcoin kicked off in late 2008, with its first transaction hitting, or effectively starting, the blockchain in early January of 2009, it had taken well over two years till the cryptocurrency got involved in online gambling. It was the now-defunct mobile poker platform, Switchpoker, a developer of an online poker room that started to accept Bitcoin as a deposit and payment option. You can still find a topic on about this news dated back to November 23, 2011.
In April 2012, Erik Voorhees, an American entrepreneur and early Bitcoin adopter, founded Satoshi Dice, arguably the oldest online cryptocasino on the block, which is still pretty much alive today, although Voorhees sold it in a year. What makes it truly intriguing is the fact that during its early years the casino was generating half of all the transactions on the Bitcoin network. In short, online gambling was critically important in Bitcoin’s infancy years as it helped promote cryptocurrency awareness that led to future growth and expansion into other areas.
Some folks are certainly going to argue that gambling is not the same thing as gaming. The commonly accepted view is that gaming is based on skill while gambling on chance. We won’t debate over this point. However, as every poker player knows, the outcome of a poker game depends not only on luck, but also on skill and expertise. Put simply, there are large gray areas and overlaps. All things considered, our exposition would be missing a big chunk of significant history without giving due credit to gambling and how it helped Bitcoin adoption.
Now that online gambling is off our chest, we can safely turn to gaming as it is understood in the industry, and look at how it helped the blockchain space. One of the first uses of Bitcoin in a major game that we are aware of started in 2014 with the launch of BitQuest, a Minecraft server that used Bitcoin for in-game transactions. Within the gaming environment you could buy valuable in-game stuff from other users with the so-called bits, small fractions of a Bitcoin, and earn them by completing in-game tasks or challenges like killing local monsters.
BitQuest closed the server in summer of 2019, and its brand name now belongs to a different entity not involved with gaming, but it still produced an impact. In essence, this effort successfully demonstrated how a cryptocurrency, in this case Bitcoin, can be used in lieu of a native in-game currency that players can earn, buy and spend as well as withdraw. This has serious implications for two main reasons. First, Bitcoin, unlike any other purely in-game currency, has uses outside the game and its ecosystem, and, second, its supply cannot be manipulated by the game developers, which makes the game by far more fair and square.
Needless to say, the example that BitQuest had set encouraged other market participants to look into Bitcoin as an alternative option for in-game currencies. Another popular Minecraft server, PlayMC, also introduced Bitcoin into its world in 2015, but ceased the operation just two years later. There were a few other servers experimenting with altcoins, more specifically, Dogecoin, but most of them disappeared from the scene shortly thereafter, failing to attract enough die-hard Minecraft fans.

What Has Changed?

With the arrival of smart contract-enabled blockchains such as Ethereum, EOS and TRON, the phrase “blockchain gaming” has taken on a more literal meaning as these blockchains allow games to be designed and played entirely on-chain in much the same manner trades are made on a decentralized exchange. While TRON stands for “The Real-time Operating system Nucleus”, there is an obvious reference to a once popular arcade game based on a titular 1982 science fiction film that ultimately garnered a cult following.
CryptoKitties is likely the most popular game ever released in the Ethereum ecosystem and probably in the whole crypto space so far. Its test version was made available on October 19, 2017, and it was an instant success. By the end of 2017 over 200,000 people signed up for the game, spending over $20 million in Ether. We won’t delve into its “gameplay” as it is beyond the scope of this article, and most certainly you are well familiar with it anyway. But what we absolutely should write about is the effect it made and the repercussions it produced.
It could be said that CryptoKitties was to the Ethereum blockchain what Satoshi Dice had been to Bitcoin in the early days of crypto. At the peak of its popularity the game reportedly accounted for 20-25% of all Ethereum’s traffic that clogged the entire Ethereum network, with transaction fees skyrocketing. No wonder lots of people got pissed off with this turn of events. However, despite all the rage and fury, CryptoKitties amply demonstrated what a success means in the blockchain gaming field, how it looks and feels in practice.
It is hard to estimate how much CryptoKitties contributed to cryptocurrency adoption. But given that a few hundred thousand people got involved in this game alone and many more with dozens of blockchain games that it has spawned, like Etherbots, Gods Unchained, The Six Dragons, etc, this indisputable triumph surely counts as a massive contribution by any definition or metric. Moreover, it also revealed the weaknesses of the contemporary blockchain solutions and what exactly should be done to overcome them.
Evolution never goes linearly. In fact, it generally doesn’t go in curves, circles, or zig zags, either. It always moves along very diverse routes, directions and entire dimensions like plants and animals, viruses and bacteria, and, well, dinosaurs and mammals. The evolution of gaming in crypto space is no different. СryptoKitties and other games share essentially the same tech under the hood – building games on some advanced general-purpose blockchain such as Ethereum. But it is not the only front that crypto gaming has been advancing on, nor is it the only way to introduce gaming to cryptocurrencies, and vice versa.
A more recent approach is based on designing either a standalone cryptocurrency or a token on a smart contract-enabled blockchain to be used across many games that support it as an in-game currency. As a result, gamers can enjoy true ownership of their in-game assets (the so-called non-fungible tokens, or NFTs), safe item trading outside the game, and cross-game compatibility. This path has been taken by such projects as Enjin (ENJ), GAME Credits (GAME), Decentraland (MANA), WAX (WAXP) and others, with their respective cryptocurrencies fueling a range of games.
A somewhat different avenue is taken by Funfair (FUN), Chromia (CHR) and Lucid Sight, which are offering platforms that blockchain games can be built on. Thus, Lucid Sight’s Scarcity Engine is focused more on game creators than end users, that is to say, gamers, allowing developers to integrate blockchain into their games. It aims to obliterate the difference between blockchain-based games and traditional gaming platforms. Funfair, on the other hand, leans more toward creating custom-built blockchain casinos, with its FUN token as a casino “chip”. So much for no more gambling, huh.
Our account of events would be incomplete if we didn’t mention yet another attempt to make use of Minecraft for the purpose of introducing cryptocurrencies to the gaming public. This time, a new Minecraft mod called SatoshiQuest has emerged. To participate in it, the gamers pay $1 in Bitcoin and get one in-game life. The pooled coins make up the loot, and the challenge is to find a minimum of 400 key fragments into which the keys to the Bitcoin wallet containing the prize are divided. And who said that evolution doesn’t loop?

Challenges and Future Prospects

The knockout popularity of СryptoKitties has clearly shown the scale of cryptocurrency mass adoption that blockchain gaming can trigger. As the game developers themselves put it, their “goal is to drive mainstream adoption of blockchain technology”. They believe that “the technology has immense benefits for consumers, but for those benefits to be realized, it needs to be experienced to be understood”. Speaking more broadly, as more people start using cryptocurrencies for gaming, they may eventually become interested in using their coins for purposes other than playing one game or another.
With that said, it is now as clear that there are two main barriers on the way there. The first is the limitations of the blockchain tech itself that essentially limits blockchain gaming to NFTs, in-game currencies, streamlined payments, and similar stuff. This is mostly a technical challenge anyway, and we could realistically expect it to be solved sooner or later. The other issue is applicable to the gaming industry as a whole. People en masse would only play games that are truly engaging and immersive, technical issues aside.
So the bottom line is that we need the convergence of these two vectors to make blockchain a dominating force in the gaming industry. First, the blockchain tech should have the capacity for running multiplayer games that major video game developers like Blizzard, Valve and Ubisoft produce, no trade-offs here. Then, we actually need the games like Warcraft, Counter-Strike or Far Cry that can be played on blockchain, to make it matter. Only after we get there, the gaming industry will likely become a primary driver behind cryptocurrency adoption.
What are your thoughts on how gaming facilitates cryptocurrency adoption? Tell us your ideas in the comments below.
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submitted by Stealthex_io to StealthEX [link] [comments]

How to do Cold Storage: Some Concepts

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Ok, so here’s my quick guide on cold storage address generation. This is actually very simple and straightforward, but seems very complicated at the beginning because you first need to understand some basic concepts about information security. Just take your time, and only do this after you feel like you really understand it. You can even try it out with a small amount of bitcoins first just to get the hang of it.
First I am going to write up the theory behind what we’re doing (this part), then I will simply write a step-by-step guide for how to generate a cold storage address, and put that up later. However it’s important that I explain why we’re doing each step first
So before we get into my cold storage method; you need to understand some simple concepts first, which I’ll go into detail later:
  1. We generate cold storage addresses OFFLINE, and with a RANDOM INPUT
  2. Computers are not good at producing randomness
So point 1 is just explaining how we’re going to generate the cold storage address, which has two parts to it: getting an address generator that is not connected to the internet (just in case you have a virus that is watching what you’re doing and tries to send your bitcoin keys to it’s creator), and generating an address from a physical random input (such as rolling dice! More on this later). Point 2 is just what it says, and it needs to be drilled into people's skulls: software can not reliably give you a random number.
The Offline Address Generator
So first let’s get an offline address generator. is a publicly available address generator that has open source code and therefore has been checked and verified (as far as I can humanely tell). You need to open this website on a device that is 100% definitely safe (you could even wipe and re-install the operating system just for this), then turn off the internet on that device. The website will still function as normal but anything it generates will not communicate with the internet.
Now, a lot of people advocate for creating a separate Linux boot disk, booting into linux, opening and then generating your addresses on there, but to be honest I found this so difficult and time consuming that I ended up just taking my iPhone, opening on it, disconnecting the internet and generating my cold storage addresses on there, and then wiping my internet history, cookies and caches when I was finished. This was the safest easiest way for me to do it and I felt like it was safe enough.
So! now that we have an offline device, it’s time to generate a RANDOM INPUT.
Science of the Random Input
First, a quick primer on the science of randomness and information security!
A bitcoin address is generated by taking an input, applying an algorithm to it, and producing an address. There are many ways of giving the algorithm an input, but the key thing to remember is that for it to be safe, it needs to be truly random.
Now, the problem is this: computers are not good at randomness. You will see a lot of programs around on the internet for dice rolling, or random number generators, but every single one of them is at it’s very basic level, just a piece of code or an algorithm that produces a predictable outcome. This is bad, because any bitcoin thief that can predict your address’ input, can predict your address.
To understand this, let’s do a simple experiment. For your input, let’s assume you wanted to use your birthday as an input. Since your birthday is the 1st of January 1991, you use the numbers 01011991 as your input and put that into… poof! It spits out an address. This is great! You think to yourself; now I have a bitcoin address that is easy to remember!
WRONG. Somewhere out there, someone has already thought to check these addresses, and can check every possible birthday in the above format in one afternoon! Even worse, they’ve probably already done this, and have a computer in their room that is permanently switched on, watching these addresses and waiting for someone to deposit some bitcoins into them so they can steal them.
The problem was, your input was NOT RANDOM. It was a date, a predictable string of numbers that any hacker could easily reproduce and check; and this goes for any input that is not generated randomly: your mother’s maiden name, the lyrics to your favourite song… these are all inputs that thieves are already reproducing and watching.
Try this out for yourself! Go to, click on ‘brain wallet’ (i.e. an address generated from words or phrases) and use ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ as the input. Now, take that address and go look at it on blockchain. People have already sent bitcoins here, some even with messages to Satoshi, and all of them have been ‘stolen’ because anyone in the world can use this address.
Anyway, back to generating randomness: this is where the physical dice come in. When you roll a dice, in real life, in your own room with no-one watching, it becomes increasingly impossible to predict the string of numbers that will result from rolling the dice. If you think about it, anyone that can reliably predict the result of 10 dice rolls in a row is close to psychic, and places like Las Vegas would collapse overnight. In fact they’d probably make more money by just going to vegas and winning at gambling a lot!
*A note on randomness: randomness is called ‘Entropy’ in science; and the more entropy something has the more random it is.
The Diceware Method
So, for our address’ input, we’re going to use the numbers from (real) dice rolling; the more the better. Let’s roll the dice and generate some numbers, just for shits and giggles:
That is a totally random string of numbers from 1-6, perfect! This would be a fine input to use for a cold storage address… however, it’s a little difficult to remember, and it’s kind of a pain in the ass to write down or type out. If I screw up just one of those numbers writing it down somewhere, I will lose every one of my coins, and I really don’t want that to happen.
Hence, it’s probably better (and just as secure) to use diceware. Diceware is a list of 7776 words that are chosen by the result of 5 dice rolls. For instance, when I roll five dice and get a result of 16656, this gives me the word ‘claw’
When I enter my previous set of random numbers, I get the following randomly generated password:
argon zilch ababa katie orate feat mud snack bovine must yl corn parke maybe must sort billy bowen bald 
It doesn’t make sense, but it’s much easier to write down or type into a computer without error. This is a great method to use; because it’s just as random as a bunch of dice roll numbers, and is still cryptographically secure, even if the attacker knows you’re using diceware! This is because for every single word you use in your sequence, the attacker has to use exponentially more computing power to try to crack it. In fact a diceware passphrase of 8 words or more would require the sum energy output of the entire world for one year to crack… and that’s assuming the thief even knew you were using diceware! The website itself recommends a passphrase of no less than 6 words.
Hopefully that helped you understand the basics of cryptography and how we generate cold storage addresses. Now that we know what we are doing, the next thing I’ll write up is a straightforward step by step guide on how to actually generate and store these addresses so that we can retrieve them later.
submitted by omen2k to BitcoinBeginners [link] [comments]

Do any gamblers actually make a profit in the long run on sites like just-dice?

Recently there have been a few posts of people losing hundreds of bitcoins on just-dice. On sites like that you cannot affect or predict the outcome in any way possible. What's the appeal to people (except I think I can get rich in 10 mins) that makes them gamble so much away? The system ensures that the house wins in the long run so there is no way to beat the house. I maybe haven't phrased it properly but you get the point.
submitted by 5m0 to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

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