What SegWit could mean for the gaming community

The era of microtransactions in Bitcoin is about to begin, again. Thanks to the latest SegWit code, a use case that's forgotten could be brought back from the dead.

 Published On June 21, 2017

At the moment, making microtransactions in Bitcoin is very impractical. Most of the times fees surpass the value of the amount being transacted making the broadcast to the Blockchain a waste of computing effort.

Finally, after what the media called a “Civil War”, Segwit code has been locked-in by the mining community and the most controversial upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol has started to happen. When the BIP91 proposal activates in a few weeks, Bitcoin merchants, Exchanges and Games (that’s us) will start to use the Blockchain to create their own payment channels, a small ledger between two parties that’s only published on the blockchain after both ended transacting.

A real life example would be a typical bar could open payment channel tabs for clients accepting and verifying Bitcoin payments for drinks and cash out at the end of the night “flushing” the channels to the Blockchain. But if instead of a bar we are in a videogame, it could occur that payment channels are between two players; Perhaps player one is selling a highly coveted weapon to player two for a fraction of a Bitcoin, or maybe she’s just tipping him for being funny.

It’s already happening on gaming communities like Twitch where there’s a tip every other second, Or in Roblox where creators of popular mods earn “robux” that can be converted to USD. Each of this companies have developed a closed system of digital tokens that’s not interoperable or exchangeable. In contrast, Bitcoin is available for everyone with a Wallet software and a player-to-player transaction can happen without even sharing encryption keys with a third party. This could take away the economy from a bunch of big players with walled garden money into a hyper connected inter operable network of players, developers, modders, streamers and championships.

We’ll be hard at work testing and implementing the latest Bitcoin technology into our game Hammercoin, but also looking forward to play what others come up with. If enough developers dig into Bitcoin, it can become the official currency of virtual worlds.