As online gambling continues to surge during the pandemic, it should not come as a surprise that the industry is shifting towards iGaming on blockchain. Aside from being a public ledger that immutably and chronologically records data, the Bitcoin SV blockchain has also uncapped its block sizes—allowing for massive amounts of data to be stored on it. Most recently, international gaming company BitBoss has released the first on-chain blackjack game.
“It’s a public ledger and that’s the joy of it. We’re not trying to create something that’s secretive and behind-the-scenes, we’re trying to create something very public and very useable so that new business models can come about,” BitBoss CEO Matt Dickson said.
Like other Bitcoin SV blockchain use cases, blackjack on-chain has transparency, accessibility, immutability and a whole slew of untapped potential. Furthermore, because all bets are transactions recorded on the blockchain in a chronological manner, unprecedented data can be gathered about the gaming industry. Players can also better understand and monitor their betting habits, successes and failures. In the same way, operators can use these real-time metrics to run their online gambling business more efficiently.
“A casino operator managing problem players can do that with a client-server and database system as well as a blockchain system. But with a blockchain-based system, you can say to a regulator, ‘go look at this casino operator’s player transactions and see for yourself what’s going on in real-time’—not as part of a monthly report from the operator, but in real-time. The regulator also has the certainty that the records they are assessing are true and complete, with no room for an operator to alter or exclude records,” Alex Shore, CTO at BitBoss, explained.
Blockchain development does not come without any hardship. During the course of designing blackjack on-chain, BitBoss encountered the chain limit dictated by the blockchain protocol. This occurs because every bet made in real-time are treated as unconfirmed transactions until the entire block is mined and confirmed. And these transactions are chained to prevent double spending, and blockchain protocol has a limit of about 50 chains.
“Given that, we do things to give the players more options of having different unspent outputs, or UTXOs, that they can use to place new bets, and we can start different chains on these different UTXOs. We have a limit where we can chain 50 transactions together (which works out to 25 bets), and we can do things where players can move BSV around and we end up where we have many different UTXOs to begin a new chain. We might hit the limit on one of these chains, but then we can start another and another,” Dickson said in explaining how they were able to work around the chain limit.
The chain limit is expected to be removed in less than a year; and without it, all kinds of casino games can be built on the Bitcoin SV blockchain.
“The solution that we’ve built is so much more powerful than other solutions because we’re doing everything on-chain, so when the limitation is gone, we have all of the power and benefits that we have spent a lot of time creating—with no limitation to the user,” Dickson commented.