This vast market is as diverse as it is large, including anything from free mobile apps to fully immersive MMOs, with users seeking anything from recreational gambling to skill-based crafts in their own right. However, one principle is common to all games, and in fact serves as the funding assumption of this multi-billion dollar industry: trust in fair play.
A game is only worth the candle if its rules are as clear as they are strictly enforced. The proverbial loaded dice, ace in the sleeve, and skewed playing field have rightfully earned their status as synonyms for deceit and breaches of trust. An untrustworthy game is not a game, but a racket.
While traditional, “meatspace” gaming facilities are relatively easy to inspect, online games very often struggle to prove their integrity. After all, end-users have very limited means to understand what’s going on behind the curtain of their computer screen. Without physical card decks and dice, many may ask themselves what actually determines their hand or the outcome of their next move.
Most games are closed-code for proprietary reasons and allow very little transparency concerning their game mechanics. This means that what’s advertised as “randomly generated”, may very well be manufactured and designed to aid the house. For this reason both, game developers as well as regulators, invest considerable efforts in safeguarding the trustworthiness of online games. This is especially true for games that are legally categorized as “gambling” but is far from limited to them only. The moment money gets involved, as is the case with many skill-based games such as poker, or even eSport tournaments, scrutiny becomes essential.
This scrutiny can take up considerable development resources and often poses high barriers to enter the market. This isn’t only problematic for gamers, but also for new game-providers entering the industry to compete with existing, already trusted establishments.
“The Trust Machine” is a nickname The Economist gave blockchain technology, when the outlet first stumbled upon the phenomenon, back in 2015. The term neatly captures the guiding principle of the technology: An instrument that allows strangers, with often conflicting interests, to trust each other without a central authority having to enforce law and order.
Qlear builds on this concept to provide a game-changing solution for both game developers and gamers alike. Developers gain a simple to integrate tool that helps them to build better games faster, with trust and integrity offered “as a service”, while gamers enjoy a safe and provably-fair environment.
“Provably-fair” in this context means that trust-sensitive gaming functions are performed outside of the control of the house, players, or Qlear itself. Instead, game-moves, dice-throws, and the like are calculated by a decentralized Multi-Party Computation (MPC) network that is as impartial as it gets. Additionally, game rules and mechanics are encoded in transparent and immutable smart contracts, for all to inspect and verify.
This array allows game developers to draw from an ever-growing library of stress-tested game components, while end users enjoy full transparency and a secure gaming environment. Need to determine the next allowed move in a chess game? Select the winning hand at a poker table? Qlear’s platform-agnostic API allows developers to call these functions and many more with a few lines of code. This coding technique ensures transparent, compliance-grade game integrity, while developers can focus on what’s really important: a stunning user experience.
To complete the Trust Machine experience, the Qlear protocol provides built-in escrow and payment channels. This means that gamers never lose control over their funds, while conditions for withdrawal are agreed upon beforehand and encoded on the blockchain. The house only gains control over funds it has won, and users can opt-out anytime.
If you want to learn more about how Qlear helps developers and protects consumers, stay tuned here, follow us on twitter, and join us on Discord.
The Qlear Team.