Jon Matonis and Roger Ver on the solutions Bitcoin offers to the gaming industry, Bitreserve’s Halsey Minor announces new customer, and ‘decentralized gaming’ with Credits.
On February 3, the ICE Totally Gaming Conference 2015, dubbed “the largest and most comprehensive trade event in gaming,” dedicated a whole day of seminars on “Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies” - a noteworthy move in itself considering that there was just one panel at last year’s event.
The venue was full despite being tucked away in a separate 100-seat seminar room. Among those in attendance were the former Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, Jon Matonis, and angel investor, Roger Ver.
Bitcoin meets Gaming
Matonis opened his keynote saying that “disruption comes from your blind spot, which is why this session is upstairs and out of the way” and stressed the advantage of Bitcoin as a payment platform to the gaming industry including how Bitcoin eliminates costly merchant chargebacks and fraudulent transfer reversals. Jon Matonis told Cointelegraph that he predicts within 5 years, half of the top 10 gaming operators in the world will be BTC-only operators.
“Bitcoin is a digital casino chip: immediate, private, and irreversible. It enhances the gaming experience.”
Also emphasizing this point was Roger Ver, who in his closing remarks stated:
“Bitcoin is the payment system the gaming industry has been waiting for. With bitcoin they can accept payments from anyone, anywhere in the world, basically for free, and with no risk of fraud. No other payment system on earth even comes close, so they should all be scrambling to implement it."
Bitreserve Makes a Splash
In addition to BitPay’s announcement during ICE of UK-based Runescape developer and game studio Jagex accepting Bitcoin through payment service Ayden, the most talked about news of the day came from Bitreserve. Founder and CEO, Halsey Minor delivered a presentation at the Bitcoin seminar, entitled "Money Meets Innovation.”
In Halsey Minor’s keynote, Halsey addressed the critical need for financial transparency across all industries and particularly in the gaming sector. Transparency enables any party using Bitreserve, including payments processors, to trace transactions and to prove solvency of partners in the supply chain and to meet regulatory compliance standards. Bitreserve is a cloud wallet platform that works with multiple currencies, including gold, and gives users full visibility into transactions and solvency.
"We're re-engineering the entire gaming business,” said Halsey Minor, “cloud technology when applied to digital currency can yield unprecedented transparency across payments to prove solvency and assets. This fosters a level of trust and convenience that we have never before seen in this industry.”
Twenty three years ago Minor founded CNET Networks and sold it for US$1.8bn in 2008. He was an early investor in Salesforce.com as well as the first investor in the music service Rhapsody. He also co-founded Grand Central that was acquired by Google to later become Google Voice. Recognizing a market ripe for disruption, Minor has created a new financial system that connects not only traditional banking with digital currency, but now gaming as well.
Minor mentioned Bitreserve’s future plans with several gaming partners, including BlockEx - a white label platform for digital currency exchanges and capable of handling trillions of transactions a minute for online game companies. Bitreserve will provide the back-end technology for BlockEx to accept payments into segregated accounts more simply, quickly and securely with reduced costs for accepting, changing and moving currency.
Adam Leonard, CEO BlockEx commented:
"Our partnership with Bitreserve will enable our clients to move funds instantly and practically cost free. Most importantly the full transparency capability will offer a level of trust for partners and traders that will no doubt lead to greater deposits and turn over.”
‘Credits’ and Decentralized Gaming
Meanwhile, Nick Williamson, the former head of Ring Games at PokerStars and former poker player himself, also made some head waves at the event. Speaking on the Panel “cryptocurrencies – mainstream or niche business for game providers,” Williamson noted that the Gaming Industry has been slow to innovate and revealed his own new protocol for “decentralized gaming.” Williamson is the founder of a cryptocurrency startup Pythia who are building a new protocol named Credits as well as related infrastructure.
“Online Gambling currently has some stumbling blocks to embracing innovation for a couple of reasons. The first is that you need to invest immense resources to be compliant with existing gambling regulations and to provide the necessary infrastructure. The second is that you have a literal golden goose that requires very little change from the traditional casino world in order to be lucrative. This combination of high startup costs and disincentive to mess with a lucrative formula raises the risk of true innovation significantly for traditional gaming operators, even though we’ve seen the few existing ‘internet native’ gaming products take over significant portions of industry in the past few years.”
Credits is a built-from-scratch cryptocurrency that enables developers to create decentralized apps, which run as their own, very specialized, blockchains. Solving the “Nothing at Stake” problems, Credits is a highly secure, distributed ledger, which does not depend on costly mining to ensure consensus.
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