Peerplays ended its ICO (“presale”) on June 13th, over two weeks ahead of its scheduled conclusion. Peerplays aims to create a decentralized casino on the Bitshares blockchain, in which anyone can host and play games. Peerplays wouldn’t function as the “house”–rather it maintains the core blockchain that confirms all transactions (and takes a small fee) and provides an open-source ‘provably fair’ set of gaming algorithms that gamemakers can utilize.
The presale involved Peerplay tokens, which function as shares in the Peerplays network. Token holders can participate in governance of the network and will can collect a portion of the fees Peerplays will charge for those gaming on its platform. The pre-sale price was denominated in dollars, and according to this rate, it raised $500,000.
In a recent plot twist, Peerplays submitted a proposal to The DAO to build a sidechain from Peerplays to Ethereum. In a revised version of the proposal, Peerplays will offer another 20% of the tokens to the DAO in exchange for $1.2 million in ETH. This would raise its effective valuation to $6 million.
They estimate that if they capture .05% of the global demand for online casino card games by 2020, the DAO could earn almost $8 million in profit share.
Peerplays’ sidechain will let ETH holders bet their ETH on the Peerplays network, essentially by ‘locking’ the ether from the Ethereum chain while the holder is using them in Peerplays. This might be the digital equivalent of buying chips. Peerplays believes their technology will benefit other Ethereum developers who could immediately use the Peerplays network or simply use the sidechain technology.
Sidechains are a complex technology first proposed in 2014 and discussed by Bitcoinmagazine in 2015. In essence, they allow the transfer of assets between different blockchains without actually trading them with someone else through an exchange. This would enable developers to create blockchains without needing to launch a new currency that people buy/sell on exchanges.
Peerplays would not issue its own gaming currency but instead let players and gamemakers either create their own on the Bitshares network or use Gateway services. Gateway services on the Bitshares blockchain accept other assets (fiat dollars, gold, cryptocurrencies) and issue tokens are redeemable for those assets; this lets you trade tokens backed by other cryptocurrencies or assets.
A pegged sidechain would do this automatically and create much more certainty for Ethereum developers.
Gaming on the Blockchain
Peerplays is not the only network to focus on gaming. Breakout Coin, focused on blockchain-based gaming, is currently holding its own ICO. Gaming has long been popular on the Bitcoin blockchain. Decentralized casinos will likely remain a compelling use case for a blockchains.