IBM wins a patent on proposed blockchain consensus for in-game transactions

By: Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Sweden. She loves everything positive, travelling, and extracting joy and… read more.
on Nov 17, 2020
  • Granted on November 10, the patent is entitled Gaming consensus protocol for blockchain.
  • The patent outlines a model in which MMO gamers will verify in-game transactions.
  • Apart from verifying transactions, gamers might also handle small contract execution.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted IBM a patent for a blockchain-powered consensus that seeks to handle transactions in multiplayer games with large user bases. A report unveiled this news on November 16, noting that the tech giant received the patent dubbed Gaming consensus protocol for blockchain on November 10. Reportedly, the patent outlines a model in which game participants, especially those in massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, such as Fortnite or Call of Duty: Warzone, would verify in-game transactions.

According to the report, verifying the transactions would help ensure the seamless flow of game information on the blockchain. As such, the gamers would be similar to crypto miners, seeing as they would use their hardware and software to order transactions in blocks.

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Per the patent,

“In one embodiment, the consensus algorithm is provided as a service from the game network to any blockchain network, thus blockchain networks can delegate consensus to a distributed network of game clients within the gaming peers. In the preferred embodiment, for each transaction processed by the massively multiplayer online gaming network, a fee would apply. These fees may be distributed between the participants of the consensus round (i.e. participants/users associated with each gaming peer) as an incentive, be used to maintain the network infrastructure or any other purpose that serves the gaming network and the players.”

Some embodiments might see gaming peers execute smart contracts

The document goes on to emphasize that the player-focused model only a single part of the entire system. This is because their role could expand should they be able to amass sufficient power. Explaining this flexibility, the patent noted that the execution of smart contracts would remain within the blockchain. However, some embodiments would allow the MMO gaming network to handle smart contracts if the gaming peers have ample computing power.

The document went on to note that the business case would also determine whether gaming peers should or shouldn’t handle smart contract execution. This is because different business models have varying security and confidentiality standards.

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