25 March, 2021

Source of the Matter

Nick Hill, Premier Consulting director, discusses why gaming needs blockchain and the value of it in the ever-changing online gaming sector

The strength of gaming these days, with player numbers soaring, is in large part thanks to the convenience and flexibility of online and mobile options.

Still, there are technological barriers existing within the gaming sector that hold back progress. Trust and transparency remain a significant issue for some players, and for operators. Compliance with the licensing standards set by regulators and lawmakers poses its own problems for operators to solve. The gaming experience is often reliant on centralised systems, which in themselves are vulnerable to manipulation and hacking.This is where blockchain comes in.


Why does gaming need blockchain?

Blockchain technology offers a number of unique advantages over other systems that make it such a perfect fit for gaming. The list of benefits blockchain brings to the table is non-exhaustive, and, in reality, there are many more ways everyone benefits with it. As a result, it’s hardly surprising more businesses and operators are turning to blockchain tech to future-proof their businesses.

First, let’s discuss the transparency angle. In blockchain systems, data is written automatically to a distributed ledger, which by definition provides an immutable, trusted source of truth.

Blockchain gaming data can be relied upon by operators, players and regulators, all of whom can access the same data in real-time, and accordingly make decisions either manually or automatically. Players and regulators no longer need to trust the flow of information coming from gambling operators. Instead, the information is known to be true at the point it is generated, and time-stamped to leave a perfect audit trail.

This is helpful for resolving player trust issues and the disputes that inevitably arise along the way. But it’s also incredibly useful for operators meeting their compliance requirements. Regulators can be given permissioned access to data in real-time, building a relationship of trust between authorities and operators that simply cannot exist to the same extent in today’s siloed-data world.

Then there’s the security angle, with data held on the blockchain theoretically unhackable and totally secure. The decentralisation of this core information means operators are no longer vulnerable to hacks on central points of weakness, while delivering fairer, more transparent gaming for everyone involved.

And beyond all that, blockchain tech is just more efficient for gaming operators, allowing for automatically settled bets, more streamlined onboarding, withdrawal and deposit processes, and even low-cost blockchain payments through native tokens like Bitcoin SV (BSV).


What goes on-chain?

With the case for blockchain in gaming pretty much settled, the question turns to the technical difficulties, and what exactly operators can run on-chain.

While already technically possible, there is no need to put everything on-chain to reap the rewards of blockchain tech. In reality, the optimum system makes use of elements both on and off-chain, working seamlessly together to provide all the upsides of blockchain in a way that is feasible within current technical boundaries and safeguards the commercial sensitivities of operators.

Gaming operators can still keep hold of proprietary information and game logic, running these off-chain for privacy reasons. On-chain, player profiles and data, as well as game information, allows for more seamless operation, as well as introducing those key benefits of transparency and visibility for regulators. The combination of on-chain data, derived from off-chain game logic and interactions, makes for a model that is perfect for meeting the needs of the gaming sector.


Future-proofing your business

Blockchain tech is still improving, and at a rapid rate. At the same time, it’snow an inevitability that gaming will move increasingly towards blockchain in the years to come. While future-proofing in the first instance can seem costly, the costs of not upgrading now are comparable, if not worse. With the industry already inching towards blockchain-powered infrastructure, it’s only a matter of time before all operators will need to think about whether they invest or get left behind.

Most businesses tend to look forward 18, maybe 24 months at a time. But think of the ongoing shift over the next five to 10 years. As with cloud services, where everything has and continues to move towards the cloud, the same is happening with blockchain. The only choice is whether to integrate now, possibly on a cheaper basis, or to wait until later.


Choose BSV

As it follows the original whitepaper vision of Bitcoin (BTC), BSV is everything Bitcoin isn’t. That means fast, efficient transactions, low transaction costs, massive scale potential, and more user-friendly thanks to the emerging suite of developer tools and third-party apps. Built for developers, BSV offers a technologically superior platform for building on a public blockchain. And with the help of BSV’s native token, BSV, it even allows for automated digital currency payments to be built within on-chain systems.