Gambling and crypto. Is there a more perfect match?
Endless Game is a blockchain casino built on the IOST blockchain that’s, well, endless. It launched last week—the first dapp to officially go live on the IOST mainnet—and hauled in a hefty 700 million tokens (roughly $6 million) on its first day, IOST co-founder Jimmy Zhong tells Decrypt.
In just over a month, the IOST blockchain has already seen more than 18 million transactions executed on its network.
And that’s only the beginning, he says. “As we ramp up our marketing efforts for Endless Game and other dapps, we are expecting engagement numbers to rise with more users seeing the benefits of IOST and migrating over to our network.”
The Singapore-based IOST is the latest newcomer to the world of competing public blockchains. It’s mainnet launched in February, six months ahead of schedule. And so far, Zhong—who, at 24, is already a veteran of several successful startups—has made good on his promise to quickly climb up the ranks.
He told Decrypt last month that IOST would become the fourth most-used blockchain within weeks.
He also said that by midsummer, IOST would become the biggest blockchain gaming platform of them all—ahead of Ethereum, EOS, and TRON.
And it’s well on its way.
Monday 6pm Singapore time:
>> $IOST wallets: 20,086
75 hours later:
>> $IOST wallets: 32,131 (+60%)
Grew 12,045 wallets in 75 hours. That’s 160 new accounts per hour. #IOST will catch up with #ETH #EOS #TRX very soon. This is just 32 days post-mainnet. pic.twitter.com/jCQ1nKCupj
— Jimmy Zhong (@jimmyzhong_iost) March 28, 2019
Of course, gaming is only part of the larger puzzle. But to bring in users from beyond the still relatively small club of hardcore crypto fanatics, Zhong is betting big on the power of addictive entertainment—and in the way blockchain is changing the game.
“Gaming is a critical launchpad for IOST to reach the masses,” he says. “The complete ownership, transfer, exchange, and sale of assets that gamers experience through blockchain technology creates an immediate appeal.”
Decentralized applications like Endless Game, Zhong says, “will help bring the benefits of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology closer to people outside of this space.” And once they’re hooked, the idea is that these consumers will “begin to engage with other dapps as well.”
At the moment, the market is wide open. Legacy gaming companies, such as Nintendo, Electronic Arts, or Activision Blizzard, have largely shied away mixing the blockchain and gaming pleasures. While some industry leaders like Ubisoft—a founding member of the Blockchain Game Alliance—have shown interest and have even begun experimenting with the technology, Zhong says the situation is ripe for blockchain-native companies to take the lead.
“While traditional game developers would prefer to maintain a ‘walled garden,’ users will naturally gravitate to platforms and games that offer more integration and a wider range of ways to spend their currencies across gaming worlds,” he says. “As the gaming industry moves to embrace a free and open market, the gaming developers that can evolve to meet this demand will ultimately stay ahead.”
While blockchain technology could eventually bridge the two worlds, as traditional games are “ported over to blockchains” in the future, “the first wave of adoption will be from new games developed on scalable networks such as IOST that leverage the true value of blockchains,” says Zhong.
And IOST is nothing if not scalable.
It’s unique “proof of believability” consensus mechanism allows it comfortably churn out a whopping 100,000 secure transactions per second. By comparison, Ethereum only does 15 transactions per second. TRON, which could turn out to be IOST’s biggest competitor in the blockchain gaming space, is able to put out a respectable though not-so-impressive-looking-any-more 2,000 to 10,000 transactions per second. (For what it's worth, even VISA can only handle a guffaw-inducing 24,000.)
From the jump, IOST has sought to build the most “developer-friendly platform” possible, and making sure the chain can handle the demand seems to be a big part of it—especially as a blockchain native to the Asian market. And developers appear to be paying attention.
Endless Game was originally an EOS blockchain game, which IOST lured over to its den—not unlike the way TRON recently snaked the HyperSnakes team away from Ethereum. And round and round we go in the game of coins.
The public chains that IOST is chasing are more or less all following the same playbook.
TRON dropped $100 million in a blockchain gaming war chest late last year. Ripple—oddly enough—just did the same earlier this month.
The writing’s on the wall. And IOST is quietly picking up the pace.
This isn’t financial advice, and we aren’t the high-rolling type. But for the betting man looking for a dark horse to win the blockchain gaming race, Jimmy Zhong and IOST are coming up around the track.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that IOST's Endless Game generated 700 million transactions, not tokens, on its first day. Big difference. Oh, and it turns out IOST is based in Singapore! Not China. (Even though it does have an office in Beijing, so, close enough?) The author has been flogged and regrets the error.