Blockchain Gaming Crosses Over Into the Internet of Things

Blockchain Gaming Crosses Over Into the Internet of Things


Yet Another Reason Why Distributed Ledgers are Revolutionizing the World

Not long ago, I gave the Publish0x community a heads-up about scoring 40 free NFTs for testing a blockchain game known as KOGS. The article will teach you more about the game, but keep in mind registration for the freebies is now closed.

In a nutshell, KOGS is a reimagined, digitized version of POGS, the schoolyard game that saw its popularity peak in the mid-1990s. 

Although the game's more proof-of-concept than AAA blockbuster with a million-dollar budget, it's setting itself far apart from other blockchain games. How's that, you ask? Well, it's the world's 1st mobile game to compute 100% game logic on a blockchain in real-time. No other game in existence can do that. 

Whereas other, mostly Ethereum-powered blockchain games have centralized servers doing all the calculating, KOGS doesn't need those.

Every move and in-game transfer of non-fungible tokens records onto a chain as you play. There's no 'gaming' the system to gain an edge because all gameplay data is immutable and publicly verifiable on a block explorer. 

Now, there's only one way this game will ever work. Without a new, lightweight piece of software, the gameplay is way, way too slow. Nobody expects players to wait 60+ seconds for block confirmations in between turns!

To sidestep the threat of lag—certain death for any online game—the devs implemented a new style of payment verification. And although you may have read about SPV in the Bitcoin Whitepaper, you're most likely unaware of the notarized version. 

And today, I'll put together all the pieces to explain how the combination of blockchain tech is bleeding into other industries.


A Solid Read

The basis for this article comes from a denser, somewhat technical post found here:

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How a Pioneering Blockchain Game Blazes Trails to Tech Evolution

While I certainly won't plagiarize, I'll provide you with a top-level view of the key takeaways. There are many ways that IoT can benefit from a combo of blockchain and smart contracts that execute without human interaction.

To begin, let's address some persistent problems across the IoT landscape...


Mo' Data, Mo' Problems

IoT devices—ordinary things that use sensors to collect and transmit data to other things—share common issues. For example, if your smartwatch loses battery power and fails to capture data, it's no longer a 'smart' device. But in addition to energy requirements, IoT devices face similar threats:

  • Cyberthieves

  • Computational power

  • Transmission speed

Ironically, a simple yet one-of-a-kind blockchain game is leveling up a long-established industry employing billions of global devices. But before we look at how distributed ledgers can solve IoT shortcomings, let's briefly cover some of KOGS underlying tech.


Going 2 Levels Up

Satoshi offered Simple Payment Verification (SPV) as a means to address blockchain scalability issues. Without it, every wallet transacting on the network requires a copy of the entire blockchain.

How big is the Bitcoin network? At the time of writing, the ever-expanding chain occupies 274 GB of memory. To combat this massive hurdle, Mr. Nakamoto ideated SPV as requiring far smaller file sizes—containing only the headers of the chain's blocks.

The KMD Connection

Komodo Platform secures its blockchain by embedding data into the Bitcoin network every 10 minutes. The network's dPoW—delayed Proof of Work—algorithm not only locks down its own chain but is also available to other projects as a service.

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Image credit: Komodo Platform

KMD's application of SPV—notarized SPV (nSPV)—vastly accelerates confirmation times. Rather than using the block headers of an entire blockchain, nSPV ties into specific nodes to verify only 20-30 headers.

In other words, nSPV is a mechanism of 3rd generation peer-to-peer payment verification. Here's the evolution of wallet syncing requirements:

1) An entire chain — bitcoin
2) A chain's headers — SPV
3) A network node's headers — nSPV

And now that you know what nSPV does, let's discuss its overflow into the entire Internet of Things...


Delivering 4x Solutions

We previously identified four significant limitations of the IoT field. Here's how a blockchain game can help each one:

Cyber Criminals

This category doesn't require nSPV whatsoever. Blockchain-based IoT devices store data within encrypted, time-stamped, immutable, distributed ledgers. Because there's no central point of failure, there's nothing for thieves to attack. Sensitive data—a patient's health history, for example—belongs on a blockchain.

On-device Computation

IoT devices operating out in the field have finite space for processing power. Compared to devices currently running SPV software, nSPV is up to 1,000x smaller at only 500kb of RAM. A smaller software footprint leaves space for additional sensory data, opening the door to on-device computation rather than in-cloud calculations.

Sustainable energy

Not every IoT device has the luxury of a hard-wired power source. Remote devices rely on alternative energy supplies to keep them collecting and transmitting data at full capacity. And if you've ever had your phone shut down too soon because you were running multiple apps and streaming music at the same time, you know how minimal data processing can conserve battery life.

Transmission speed

This category also ties into nSPV's overall size. Tiny data packets are quicker and less costly to transmit than their bloated counterparts. Imagine the download strain on your laptop when you have 15 tabs open at once. Your Internet connection or CPU may not be able to handle all that data and begin to bog down.


Final Thoughts

The combination of blockchain security, featherweight software, and self-executing smart contracts is a massive boon to IoT.

And because IoT makes our lives far simpler, I hope you can appreciate the benefits of nSPV.

They say necessity is the mother of invention. In the case of KOGS, its inventive nature can uplift complementary industries. Blockchain is a powerful technology! And sometimes, you don't even know what any given tech can do until you test its limitations.

And thankfully, for the IoT and other industries to come, a Southeast Asian startup bundled a small group of groundbreaking tech—nSPV and smart contracts—into a simple blockchain game.


What's Your Take?

How do you see the combination of smart contracts and nSPV expanding to industries outside of blockchain and the Internet of Things?

Share your imaginative use-cases in the comments below!


BlockchainAuthor
BlockchainAuthor

Writing for the love of technology.


Blockchain, Crypto, & AI
Blockchain, Crypto, & AI

Emerging tech is poised to disrupt modern society for the better -- the blockchain uprising has only begun. I love tech, and sometimes the feeling is mutual.

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