FunFair founder Jez San on how, for the foreseeable future at least, the Ethereum blockchain is the best option for gaming
Sure, there’s room for multiple blockchains in the gaming space. Some players want speed, some want simplicity, some want a bit of everything. For us at FunFair though, we see Ethereum as ticking all these boxes simultaneously, while also underpinning the ultimate in fairness and security. Not to mention the exponential improvements we’ll see to the Ethereum ecosystem in the coming months and years.
Ethereum allows us to process games built into smart contracts, offer scalable gameplay and deliver secure randomness to give players the best casino experience possible, and going forward we see it as the only solution.
We see three significant advantages of Ethereum over competing blockchains, all agnostic of our proprietary FunFair technology: strong liquidity, copious development work and unrivalled decentralisation.
The Ethereum ecosystem is a vast and well-supported one, with users able to easily access ETH and ERC20 tokens such as FUN on a variety of exchanges and DEX’s at rates that only a competitive market with many actors allows for.
The likes of Uniswap are crucial to supporting token economies by exchanging currencies – on chain – via smart contracts, giving players the speed and choice that they desire.
Developers, developers, developers!
Ethereum’s major differential over similar blockchains. Ethereum boasts the largest number of developers and the most research into new blockchain projects, technologies and use cases.
We’ve seen blockchain casinos jump ship of late to rival blockchains, and good luck to them. But cutting the link to the Ethereum economy and its massive development and research pool is quite a risk. Whether it’s justified in the long term remains to be seen, but for now, sticking with the smartest guys in the room seems the logical conclusion.
Perhaps one of the most specific advantages to the gambling use case is that of the centralisation risk. Ethereum is fully decentralised with thousands of validators and nodes, and fairness is guaranteed by these decentralised network layers.
If I was a player, I’d certainly be more worried about playing games powered by a blockchain with a low number of validators, not to mention the reports of cartels and vote collusion at certain ones, which can introduce risks to fairness and custody of funds.
At FunFair Technologies, we introduced our own layer-2 scaling tech – Fate Channels – as a viable solution to Ethereum’s scalability. They are the first, and as yet, only live State Channels on Ethereum Mainnet.
Fate Channels allow us to execute smart contracts off chain. This brings massive scalability, currently maxed out at 10,000 off chain transactions for every channel on chain and our players are transacting 200-400 times on average off chain during a game session.
To date, our players have played games containing over a million off chain transactions! This is not just a massive saving in gas, but it also delivers the instantaneous performance that users demand in any form of igaming.
Yes, some chains, like EOS, have faster on chain blocks compared to Ethereum’s 14 second ones, but even one second blocks aren’t instant, as state channel transactions are. We believe that to achieve a user experience to rival traditional igaming operators, state channels are vital and therefore, Ethereum is vital.
Doing everything on chain, as many blockchains seem to aspire to, is squandering blockchain resources. It’s pointless to store every card dealt and every dice rolled on chain forever more. The state bloat would be insane and the blockchain would quickly grow to terabytes, and soon after, petabytes, making it uneconomic for validators to cope. Doing the ephemeral stuff off-chain using state channels, and settling balances on chain is surely a more efficient usage. Gaming needs to happen off chain wherever possible and Ethereum allows for this.
We use the Ethereum blockchain for trust, to settle balances and guarantee a fair game, not to store every irrelevant detail of the actual minutiae of the hands and spins themselves forever more!
We’re well aware that change is coming. The likes of DFinity, Cardano and Ethereum 2.0 are blockchains which will have random numbers integrated, but for now we’re confident in our method of processing RNGs off chain using our own Fate Channels, keeping our destiny in our hands. Whilst it’s intriguing to see what other blockchains do, for now, Ethereum offers the scope and ambition that fits our mission of building a world of fair, decentralised gaming.
FunFair is live, the tech works, the games are fun, fast and importantly, fair, and Ethereum is the only blockchain that guarantees the trustless non-custodial experience and security that players demand and deserve.