The world’s second most popular sports website behind Yahoo! Sports, ESPN Global, has announced the launch of a newly developed online gaming platform that will utilize blockchain technology.
The new platform will allow users to deposit and withdraw funds using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and will also allow users to compete with each other in several different games and tournaments where they will be able to make money.
“As per research done by 3EA Limited, a global strategic management consulting group, e-sports and online gaming is a $140 billion global industry driven predominantly by digital micro-transaction economies, which we believe will benefit immensely from the integrity and resilience of the Blockchain technology,” said Chris Parker, one of the Directors of ESPN Global, in the announcement.
“With the Blockchain system, you can verify and support extreme levels of simple transactions without the need for a centralized platform, and this is what industries are seeing as the most attractive feature.”
How blockchain works
Blockchains are networks of computers that cut out the “middle man,” namely a centralized authority figure, and share a distributed ledger across all network participants, known as nodes. These ledgers keep an unbroken chain of transactions that emanate from the birth of the network. The “chain” grows larger as new “blocks” of transactions are approved and added over time.
Each node works together with other nodes to validate new blocks of information, while also validating the state of the entire blockchain.
For a new block of transactions to be added to the blockchain, they must receive approval from 51% of the network’s nodes, adding security to these decentralized networks.
The Bitcoin blockchain currently has over 10,000 active nodes located across the globe, meaning that over 5,000 computers would have to be hacked for an attacker to alter even a tiny piece of information on the chain.
Membership subscriptions, referral bonuses among proposed ESPN features
The forthcoming ESPN platform, which is under pre-launch currently and does not yet accept Bitcoin deposits or withdrawals, will also offer membership subscriptions for users who wish to gain priority access to slots and the most popular games.
One example of a potential future contest is Satoshi’s Treasure game, which includes a $1 million treasure hunt. Funds in the game are divided into 1,000 fragments.
In addition, ESPN Global announced that it plans to offer an Initial Exchange Offering of its Smart Gaming Token, an ERC-20 token, at launch. Each SGT token is expected to be airdropped to registered players; the tokens currently have a $0.001 valuation according to a report from Cryptoglobe.
Users will also have the option of referring friends and fellow players to join through their referral link, ESPN announced. All earnings made within the game can be directly encashed.
A Game Developers Console was also announced, which is expected to launch in January 2022. The console will allow Independent Game Developers across the globe to launch their creations on the platform.
Currently, ESPN.com has a robust esports page, which includes coverage of the growing industry that Forbes.com said last winter “is fast on its way to becoming the most financially lucrative market on the planet, thanks to huge exposure and interest in major tournaments.”