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Could Cash Prizes in Online Games be a Possibility?

What if players could arrange a spontaneous cash game of any multiplayer title with tailored rules and the means to enforce fairness? 

It would need to be secure, so that gamers know there’s no chance of foul play, but also has to cater to the demands of a large number of players. Otherwise, there is a risk of slowing down the entire network.

Well, a solution may lie in sidechains on Ethereum Plasma. This extension allows for mini-blockchains to be created off the main network and confers the advantages of nearly instant payments with low transaction fees.

This is the direction that several startups have chosen to take: Qlear Protocol, Loom, and Parsec Labs are making full use of the Plasma sidechain project, each with a slightly different approach but all planning to use Plasma on an ecosystem that hosts dApps and, specifically, games.

Playing for Stakes is Not the Norm, but Perhaps it Could be

Whilst direct wagers may be best reserved for verified adults – it’d be disastrous if minors began emptying parental bank accounts over server feuds – it could still alter the dynamic of online gaming forever and in a positive way.

This is made possible because it does not have to be on the same level as gambling, not at least in terms of the money involved.

Rather than fiat currency, wagers of crypto tokens can be used for micropayments; penny stakes on a game would not thus be made redundant by transaction and processing fees: fees are practically non-existent on sidechains.

But why would players bother staking such a tiny amount on a game?

Simply put, it makes for more fun and anyway, penny stakes are possible but many are more likely to put up low-stake wagers to the tune of a dollar per game. 

The ability to compete for money with friends at games is one that could see high uptake and, with many popular online games taking over an hour to complete, there really does not have to be a lot of money being lost here.

A Frictionless Experience

Speed is everything when it comes to gaming as players now demand near-zero latency. The rule applies to all aspects of the digital age: people expect things to be fast, even more so when money is involved.

Sidechains offer this to gamers and an environment on blockchain promises an immutable home for cash games online. Professional poker players could stand to benefit – they just want a safe, low latency platform – as could pro-gamers from any eSport. 

A two-layered ecosystem which consists of sidechains and a main chain brings security by taking games off of the main network until the result is recorded. 

Such a protocol can reach efficiency and security standards that for the first time make online cash games feasible on a grand scale. A sidechain solution could prove critical to the future of online gaming: zero latency gaming with a solid wager mechanism. 

It may present a new way entirely to compete with not just your friends, but the wider gaming community, all in the name of healthy competition and at last being able to play for money in a safe way.

When well regulated and secured, sidechain tech on blockchain is poised as a strong force for good by opening up new possibilities in the world of online gaming.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ shawn_hempel

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