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Doing a simple Google search of “Cryptocurrency” will garner 6,840,000 results in about 0.41 seconds. Compare that with a Google search of “Rex Tillerson,” which returns a mere tenth of the results in the same time. This simple exercise in curiosity makes evident that cryptocurrency is a significant development in the market, one in which our economy has only seen the beginning.
Cryptocurrency is indeed an inevitable product of our increasingly digitalized age. Blockchain technology has led to a “cutting out the middleman” in online transactions, and is one of the leading draws to blockchain technology.
Naturally, many entrepreneurs and startup businesses are attempting to join in this rapidly growing economic sector and yield profit. As a result, Business Insider reports that there are thousands of forms of cryptocurrency online. Like any currency, cryptocurrency does not grow on (digital) trees; instead, it is developed through a process called mining.
While the anonymous and decentralized nature of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has caused concern; many startup companies see a legitimate way to mine cryptocurrency, and through blockchain technology, revolutionize industries. The cutting out the middleman allows creativity in ways that would have been unthinkable only a matter of years ago.
One such industry that can be revolutionized is the field of online multiplayer gaming.
History of Multiplayer Video Games
Ever since the inception of video games in 1973 with Pong, video games have become a staple of Western culture – to the point that four out of five U.S. households have a game console.
One of the most critical developments in video game technology has been the growth in multiplayer gaming. Ever since video game consoles started integrating internet capabilities and computer processing technology, in a few short years, the change has caused video games to be completely different from their predecessors.
The implementation of internet capabilities has allowed an explosion in online playing. While in years past, a gamer could only play as a digital soldier fighting his way on the digital beaches of Normandy against AI German soldiers; gamers can now play competitively online against other human controlled digital soldiers. It is to the point that most video game companies assume their gamers will not even touch the single player mode and opt to go straight to online multiplayer.
The introduction of online multiplayer through mobile devices has only continued to fuel multiplayer’s popularity.
Centralized Multiplayer Gaming and its Flaws
This online gaming is controlled through game servers, which video game companies own and operate. Servers transmit the data that makes it possible for gamers to play each other online and maintain the most up-to-date version of the game.
However, this has not been without dangers. In 2011, the PlayStation Network was hacked, and through the hack, the data of about 77 million users were exposed. The hacking led to PlayStation shutting down the network for a startling 23 days.
The danger of centralized multiplayer gaming resting entirely on the shoulder of one company and its online servers is evident from this story. It is also why the decentralized blockchain technology could provide a solution that gamers can get behind.
Solution: Decentralized Multiplayer Gaming
Companies like NetworkUnits.io. have created platforms that allow decentralized online gaming. In the case of NU, it is driven by its cryptocurrency: the NU Token. The mining of this cryptocurrency is done in two ways.
First, mining can occur through service providers renting their unused Internet bandwidth to the NU online multiplayer infrastructure. For doing this, Service Providers are awarded NU Tokens. Also, to ensure that other Service Providers are not being dishonest or offline, they will be penalized through the verification of random inspections from other service providers. The service providers who verify this are rewarded with NU Tokens.
Second, active clients, that being the gamers who link their wallets to their gaming accounts, will provide a second level of verification. Players will report complaints about service providers, which, if verified, will lead to Service Providers being penalized. This verification process will allow the NU Infrastructure to be strengthened.
Through this process, NU hopes to create sustainable methods to, “expand gaming beyond any geographic or economic boundaries.” The middleman of massive video game servers is effectively cut out through the blockchain’s peer-to-peer network that can be utilized for online gaming.
The revolutionary nature of cryptocurrency and blockchain’s ability to cut out the middleman of online transaction is only beginning. This capability will dramatically impact the old business models in various sectors of the economy. In the case of the video game industry, new blockchain technology has the opportunity to disrupt the market.
Considering how central online multiplayer gaming has become in the world, it is not hard to see how this decentralized multiplayer gaming service could be the most significant game-changers since the demise of Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix.