[published afterwards in LinkedIn Pulse, so that you can comment there]

1 New tokens, why?

Descriptions and papers about the Libra blockchain and its Move language were released last month. Big actors are supporting it. The main goal of the crypto-currency Libra coin is an affordable, broad, & fair money transfer and payment system for everyone.

So, is Libra a good opportunity for gaming & collectibles? Can we provide new powerful tokens for games and collections?

As often with blockchain and DLT (decentralized ledger technology), the 1st implementations are around finance, followed by B2B and organisation areas. We, the people active in blockchain for gaming & digital collectibles, are used to provide blockchain products for a large number of B2C users, mainly consumers in the media & entertainment areas. It seems that we share with Libra our common mission to deliver blockchain service “for everyone”.

2 The structure of this analysis

To answer previous questions, I read the papers, and kept as excerpts the parts related ‘in general’ to our activities around gaming & collectibles, and the ones more focused on “tokens”, the needed element for digital assets ownership and apps around it. This part is available in the table with some comments at the end of this article.

Additionally, I summarized key points and related thoughts in the next chapters.

[ For more detailed info about ‘blockchain for gaming & collectibles’, read The Early Evolution of (Some) Art On The Blockchain, What the heck are cryptocollectibles, anyway?, my checklist Blockchain tokens for gaming & collectibles. ]

3 The key points of Libra for gaming & collectibles

From previous experience of gaming & collectibles products on other blockchains and the analysis of Libra with its June 2019 publications with excerpts and comments hereafter, key points are emerging that should support games and collections.

(a)  Libra ‘resource’ (token) and ‘module’ (smart contract) should allow to produce and manage efficiently robust and powerful tokens for simple collectibles to more complex games and features around digital assets.

(b) Libra and Move should allow the creation of complex applications suited for some part of “game design mechanics” (parts of the game’s application that run as features on the blockchain)

(c)  The announced priority of payments and financial applications on the “mainchain” could deprioritize, delay, or block the creation and publication of collectible tokens and blockchain games.

(d) Libra and Move are designed to evolve in the future for a massive amounts of quick & cheap transactions, but not all on its main-chain. The alternatives are around sidechain, concurrent computing, parallelization, sharding, etc.

Three other aspects to keep in mind, as identified barriers against broad blockchain gaming & collectibles usages:

  • The key role of wallet ease of use: potential wallet within chat apps already used by hundreds of millions should foster broad acceptance, other initiatives for UX-friendly wallet (similar to ZenGo) would be well suited for Libra.
  • One flexible token format avoiding fragmentation that is difficult to manage for wallets and apps: early definition and implementation of common token standard with planned evolution potential is the way to follow.
  • Tokens trade liquidity to bring enough buy & sell orders together: a DEX (Decentralized EXchange) at the same deep blockchain level like the tokens format, having only the core swap features, but allowing anyway other transaction services like marketplaces, auction, etc. to be provided on it by 3rd-parties.

4 The recommendation

Let’s review our four previous points in a simple way.

Libra tokens (a) and Move features (b) clearly motivate to build games and collections on this blockchain having the potential to reach a lot of consumers.

Gaming and collectible actors do not desire to delay or jeopardize their projects, due to the different interests and priorities for the launch of the core initial Libra financial applications for money transfer and payment (c). We find a way to progress by supporting it, and not disturbing it.

There are solutions to build games and collections products on another Libra domains that the main Libra blockchain network (d). Triple advantages:

  • We have specific blockchain network areas for our needs (powerful tokens features, massive quick & cheap transactions for game design mechanics): the gaming + collectibles Libra domain.
  • As the main Libra blockchain and our gaming + collectibles domain share the same foundation, it will be easy for provider and enduser to transfer partially some of our specific tokens to the main Libra blockchain for temporary broader tokens exposure and trading.
  • The gaming + collectibles community supports Libra for defining, prototyping, and running their initial implementations of some of their off-chain features, e.g. side-chain, parallelization, sharding, concurrent or local computing and consensus. Looking at the history of blockchain games and collections, this will bring qualitative (games complexity) and quantitative (high number of features, transactions, and users) feedback and experience on the Libra blockchain running several such apps.

5 Next steps

Let’s start the discussion. Potential online channels are

Depending on feedback and interests that I will anyway collect and summarize, a follow-up post could be released this summer.

6 Libra papers excerpts

Available in the PDF full version of this article (from page 3)

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