How Signal Zero is rethinking game rewards with Loot, its Proof of Skill blockchain
While the majority of blockchain game companies are pure startups, those that are looking to use blockchain to improve or scale an existing business appear the more likely to be successful.
The reasons are obvious.
We’ve got revenue. We’re already profitable.
They already have the experience of being a company, running a business, and fulfilling the needs of their users. Adding the advantages blockchain can provide to such a situation is much easier than creating something new.
And that’s the background to this week’s Big Interview with Tobias Batton.
Loot – connecting the dots
As the CEO of US outfit Signal Zero, he can point to the fact the company has been running its Tokenwall mobile web rewards scheme since 2014, and its mobile web game tournament platform Tap Rivals since 2017.
During that time, it’s dealt with millions of users, handed out prizes worth $7 million, and more importantly, gained understanding in the psychology that see users engaging with adverts and skill-based tournaments to earn the likes of Steam, Xbox and Amazon credits.
“We’ve got revenue. We’re already profitable,” Batton points out.
Yet these businesses have their own challenges.
In the case of Tokenwall, it’s ensuring there’s enough supply in terms of ad-funded offers to meet demand, while Tap Rivals’ problem is players have to wager cash to participate.
“Blockchain joins the two up,” he says.
“It’s the fountain of youth; no-one has to pay and they never run out of things to do.”
Loot – finding the perfect balance
Called Loot, the way Signal Zero’s new system uses a custom blockchain that’s a hybrid of the sort of Proof of Work protocol used by Bitcoin and a distributed Proof of Stake system.
Batton labels it a “Proof of Skill” solution.
The Proof of Work aspect is handled when players interact with the Loot platform, playing games. Meanwhile, the Proof of Stake part is like an experience point system in which the more tokens a user has the better access they have to games and rewards.
Batton says as a blockchain it’s similar to Steem or BitShares.
In terms of how the system works, developers looking to get their games on Loot will run their own nodes (as will Signal Zero), and generate a certain number of Loot tokens by defining how they want players to interact with their games.
Blockchain is the fountain of youth; no-one has to pay and they never run out of things to do.
These tokens will then be made available to gamers to earn within the platform by fulfilling those preset actions, whether be delineated by lap times in a racing game or frags in a shooter.
As ever with blockchain, there will be plenty more detail available in the forthcoming whitepaper, but Batton is certain of the company’s ability to leverage blockchain to its long term advantage, as well as to rise above the current generation of simple Ethereum-based game services.
He’s also bullish about Loot’s ability to attract developers to use the network.
“We’re talking to the full range of companies but I think Loot will really hit the sweetspot for those inbetween indie and triple-A – double-A – studios,” he says.
Announced partners include Dungeon Defenders developer Trendy Entertainment and esports outfit Catalyst Sports, with more to be revealed.
To find out more about what Loot is up to, check out its website.