Epic Welcomes Blockchain Games

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney takes the opportunity presented by the indication  that Steam may ban games based on blockchain technology to announce that the Epic Games Store will not. In a couple of tweets he outlines this stance, saying games still must comply with the law:
Epic Games Store will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group. Though Epic's not using crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance.

As a technology, the blockchain is just a distributed transactional database with a decentralized business model that incentivize investment in hardware to expand the database's capacity. This has utility whether or not a particular use of it succeeds or fails.
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Re: Epic Welcomes Blockchain Games
Oct 17, 2021, 03:34
34.
Re: Epic Welcomes Blockchain Games Oct 17, 2021, 03:34
Oct 17, 2021, 03:34
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Oct 17, 2021, 00:58:
jdreyer wrote on Oct 17, 2021, 00:32:
Does blockchain by definition require massive amounts of power? I know Bitcoin is designed that way in order that it maintain its value, but does it always mean that blockchain must use successively more resources?

In short, no.

In layman's terms, "blockchain" is just nothing more than a trustworthy ledger because each block, and the data therein, is checksummed and cryptographically signed. I won't say it's impossible to forge the veracity of any one block, just very, very unlikely and it would take someone from a incredibly tiny pool of mathematicians to pull it off.

Most people automatically equate "blockchain" with "cryptocurrency" or NFTs. Those items use blockchain technology but they are not blockchain in and of themselves. Here's an example of using a private blockchain that has nothing to do with cryptocurrency or NFTS:

Let's say you, Bob, Inez, and Ibrihim are working on a very sensitive project and you are all working out of your home offices in disparate parts of the world. You get your part done. You use blockchain to insure that the data you send to Bob is both good and secure. Bob adds his part in a new block and sends it to Inez. She can doublecheck that the parts you and Bob have sent her have not been tampered with in anyway because the data in the block matches its checksum and it matches the cryptographic signatures of you and Bob. She then adds her block and sends it on to Ibrihim who does the same thing. So all of you turn your project in and, because you have people who went to school somewhere other than ITT, they audit the entire chain. All the signatures and checksums match and the end result of your project can be determined to be true, correct, and secure.

I have started using blockchain to insure and verify the security of my backups both here and at work. It costs zero additional cycles, and therefore power, to do so. We waste much more power for playing games. You can even add blocks on to a chain or create a chain from a very low power device like a Raspberry Pi. It would take a while because of a Raspberry Pi's relatively slow speed, but it is doable.

This is an interesting post, and I've never knowingly used any program involving a blockchain, but how expensive is it (computationally) for each of the parties in your example to verify the blocks? It's more than just comparing checksums (as far as I understand it), and decoding whatever cryptography is attached has to take some computational power each time. I concede that it's probably less than a lot of other programs and of course games in your example, but as you say, slow Raspberry Pis would take a long time to perform whatever calculations are required. Does that imply that as the blockchain increases in length, it requires more and more computations, as well as more and more space, aka the main problems with Bitcoin currently? (Aside from the straight mining issues) I get that your example is far smaller in scale than Bitcoin, but on a longer timescale, won't all blockchain programs have to take more computational power to read/encode/decode/verify/whatever quickly? How expensive is it computationally for the final audit of the entire chain? Obviously your company wouldn't be using it if it was terrible, but it seems impossible that it's zero additional cycles for proof-of-work or proof-of-stake? (My apologies if that was just exaggeration to demonstrate the point)

Then, for some massive global corporation like Epic, how expensive over time would their version of whatever they are planning to do with Blockchains get? Extra verification/decoding by potentially millions of users, either games companies, resellers, or just players/customers. At that sort of company scale, it seems logical that it would get computationally expensive a lot quicker than for smaller team applications. On top of that, how many extra millions of computers(mostly users) have to end up with hundreds of gigabytes of blockchain ledger on their computers if they use EGS? (Worst case scenario)

Then the question becomes what data is Epic going to try to store in whatever Blockchains they will create; they have already come under fire for harvesting user data a couple of times.

On your private blockchains you use at your job, I'm sure it makes sense: everybody has a built in backup, whatever project's chain won't ever get too cumbersome and you can just start a new one for the next project. Somehow I don't think Epic's version is going to be that similar.
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