Esports and blockchain are two neat buzzwords floating around the business world. They each serve a particular purpose, and because we are humans, we have to put everything with everything else to see what would happen. Little do we know esports and blockchain need each other.
Blockchain is the technological foundation of cryptocurrency and is particularly useful in financial transactions due to the decentralized, shared ledger process that makes it inherently more secure. It’s not completely hacker proof, but the digital paper trail makes detecting problems much easier and quicker.
Blockchain allows automated transactions and reports based upon smart contracts coded into a network. This means once the conditions of the contract are met, payments and other consequences are meted out immediately without the need for a human to click a mouse.
So how does this exactly help esports?
A major issue with esports events is fraud. Contract fraud between players and organizations. The transactional fraud that results in high fees to offset the need for a human eye on money exchanges. Even protecting intellectual property rights. These are all things blockchain can do better for esports than the current structure. Let’s go one by one.
Player Contract Fraud
The stories of professional orgs not paying players run throughout the industry. Two recent stories revolve around Naventic and Denial both owing money to players and yet not paying for not having the money to pay.
Smart contracts are a solution to this issue. Smart contracts set up automated transactions based upon conditions set up in a secure blockchain to which all parties have access. This creates a defacto players union so when conditions aren’t met and money isn’t paid, players will know immediately and can act accordingly.
This technology is still in its early stages. It doesn’t completely remove humans from the equation. Instead, it creates a trackable paper trail and a rock solid evidence chain for legal action.
Transactional Fraud Sees the Light
The primary barrier to real mobile gambling is the lack of transparency. Betting on events and being paid properly are always covered in a veil of doubt. This is due to a lack of transparency on both sides. The distributed ledger process of blockchain is based upon consensus. That agreement among all members of the network is where the security lives and trust are built.
While traditional sports betting books and sites will never really embrace esports as a piece of their business, there are several companies developing a mobile gambling app which would serve the needs of event attendees as well as open doors to betting while watching streamed events.
Companies like Unikrn are building their ideas on blockchain not just for the trust factor, but also to capture the growing cryptocurrency market. All this because transaction details and payout terms are transparent and handled via consensus then, as a matter of course, trust is cultivated.
Protecting Content Creators
Stealing content, especially proprietary software, music, and art, is easier than ever with the power of the internet. Additionally, the barriers to patents and trademarks are often too high for smaller entities and most definitely for individuals. This puts the little guy in a decidedly bad spot from the start and discourages some from even trying.
Blockchain solves these two problems by proving ownership rights and creating a decentralized registration system.
Proving ownership rights is built directly into the blockchain through its consensus mechanism because time-stamped ledgers create records that cannot be retroactively altered. It also provides traceable use case conditions for third parties.
The decentralized registration system streamlines the verification process and reduces wait times. This Hacker Noon article lays out deeper details and has further links if you desire the nitty-gritty stuff.
Blockchain Needs Esports
Blockchain has a perception problem because getting rid of trusted third parties is hard. Better the devil you know, right?
What blockchain needs is a young fan base that trusts it and grows up using it. Then, at some point in the future, businesses without blockchain will die off simply because of market forces.
Basically, blockchain needs a marketing push, and esports fans are the right audience. They are willing to try new things for the right reasons. They want fast, secure, and seamless solutions to problems. Blockchain does that all.
Now, all we need is a champion. Esports serves that role well.
Featured image courtesy of tibco.com