Blockchain games part 4: top blockchains
The burgeoning world of blockchain gaming is supported by a variety of blockchain platforms, each vying to offer the most robust solutions tailored to the needs of game developers.
The decision on which blockchain to use isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It hinges on a multitude of factors, ranging from scalability requirements and budgetary constraints to the expertise of the development team and the envisioned user experience.
With such a diverse palette of needs, developers often find themselves meticulously evaluating these platforms and in some instances, even opting to harness the capabilities of multiple blockchains or Layer 2 solutions to unite the strengths of various platforms.
Let’s dive into the utility of some of the leading blockchain platforms:
- Ethereum stands as a stalwart in the blockchain realm. Despite grappling with scalability challenges, its allure remains undiminished, largely attributed to its robust developer ecosystem and a well-established user base. Ethereum’s lead in the space has catalysed the emergence of Layer 2 scaling solutions, such as Optimistic Rollups and zk-Rollups, designed to mitigate its scalability woes. However, Ethereum’s transaction confirmation times can be a double-edged sword, fluctuating considerably during periods of network congestion.
- On the other hand, Binance’s BNB Chain (née Binance Smart Chain) previously carved a niche for itself during the 2020-2021 bull run by offering swifter and more cost-effective transactions compared to Ethereum, albeit using their somewhat controversial PoSA (Proof-of-Staked-Authority) model as an alternative to Ethereum’s PoW (Proof-of-Work). This efficiency has prompted several gaming projects to migrate to BNB as they sought to optimise costs and elevate user experiences. Since then a number of alternative blockchains (below ) have increasingly taken marketshare with similar or better performance and cost-efficiency.
- Polygon, previously known as Matic, emerged for those seeking the security of Ethereum without its associated high gas fees. As a Layer 2 scaling solution, Polygon promises rapid transaction confirmations, however still taking seconds, which is too long for an in-game transaction. Polygon has however built a large ecosystem of web3 games together with its Immutable partnership
- Solana differentiated with its high-performance blockchain, renowned for its faster transaction speeds and minimal fees, Solana positioned itself as particularly compelling for performance-demanding decentralised applications and including gaming.
- Avalanche offers a unique proposition by combining various consensus mechanisms to deliver both speed and scalability. Its promise of more rapid transaction confirmations and competitive fees are drawing attention in the blockchain gaming arena.
- Mysten has developed the Sui blockchain platform for decentralised gaming – offering stable and low transaction gas fees and advances in time to finality of ~600ms for in-game transactions. While perhaps market leading on speed – this is still 30-60x too slow to register a gaming transaction on the blockchain in real-time.
- Tezos prioritises smart contract security and formal verification, striving to offer a strong foundation for blockchain gaming and NFTs. Its rapid transaction confirmations further bolster its appeal for real-time gaming interactions.
In this rapidly evolving landscape, each platform brings its unique strengths to the table and are collectively pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in blockchain gaming.