Gaming and Bitcoin have had a one sided relationship. Those in the Bitcoin community are quick to preach how Bitcoin payments could be a boon to developers and gamers alike. From our perspective, it seems like a simple proposition: Cryptocurrencies are designed for digital purchases and would help developers bypass the exorbitant fees placed on them by Google and Apple.
From the developer's stand point, well, we don't really know. Their engagement has been less than one would hope. There are very few games that take advantage of cryptocurrencies and the majority of the ones that exist, or are in the works, come from inside the Bitcoin community, not pure game developers.
Perhaps with an eye to that, Coinding is launching a hackathon contest that focuses on putting Bitcoin into gaming. Prizes totaling US $5,500 have been announced, with US $3,000 being awarded to the 1st place winner. No word yet on if winner will be paid in fiat or Bitcoin. Anyone can participate, the only requirement is that the game must utilize Blockchain technology in some way.
To help facilitate that, Coinding does have a public API coders can use. It does not appear to be a requirement for the contest but it can be used to quickly and easily integrate donations and payments to game developers, grab information about the bitcoin network, bitcoin wallets, or even tip other players.
The contest organizers are hoping that developers will do more than simply add in app purchases (IAPs) using their technology, but that is the most obvious usecase. Bitcoin's virtually free transactions could allow the consumer and the developer to have a more direct relationship, without the intermediary of Google, Apple, Microsoft or Steam.
A few other ideas that come to mind when considering Coinding's API capabilities include events based on Blockchain statistics, casinos that reward players in-game currency based on the amount held in random bitcoin addresses and of course, tipping other players or esport competitors. Coinding's CEO Emiliano Velazquez explains the goal of the hackathon:
“We’re looking to create better ways for game developers to fundraise their games, for esports players to earn money doing what they enjoy, and new ways for gamers to be rewarded in-game.”
The submission deadline is February 2 and winners will be announced on February 5. In addition to the $3,000 1st place prize, there are also announced prizes of US $1,500 and US $1,000 for second and third place respectively.
You can find out more, and Coinding's geocaching bitcoin app and their open API on their official site.
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