Merging Virtual Good Economies and Cryptocurrency with GoNetwork

Photo by Rami Al-zayat

The Age of the App

Much time has passed since Apple launched its first iPhone back in the 2000s. The app wave that the iPhone ushered in had since spread to different platforms such as Google Play and Android, with everything from study tools to photographic light meters to games of all types have all seen tremendous growth. There are now so many apps that it is now hard to choose between multiple apps vying to help consumers in the same way.

One of the most interesting economic developments to come out of this technological development is the creation of entire worlds — virtual yet expansive — that connect users across the world via their mobile devices. From RPGs to something as simple as a Doo Doodle Jump, these games consistently rely on in-app purchases to turn a profit for their developers and investors. This holds especially true for apps that are free.

While there are apps, such as Tinder, that offer free and premium versions, games do not have that luxury as that could easily make it difficult to integrate the gameplay experiences of different users. As such, competitive edge is given to users that are willing to purchase items from the game that they could either earn (at the cost of time and energy) or unlock at a later point. The global infatuation with the Pokémon Go app during the summer of 2016 saw millions spent on virtual Pokéballs simply because many found that more convenient than waiting a period of time or roaming around to refill their supply.

By 2021 the mobile app economy is set to be valued at $6.3 trillion, of which 10% is projected to be from in-app purchases. The fact that so much wealth is channeled into in-app purchases leaves users wanting to find someway to utilize that wealth. For instance, buying Pokéballs in-game is a one way street; but does it have to be that way?

Infinidy Corp. has been behind the development of a number of multi-million download mobile games. Their games, Happy Park, 2012 Zombies Vs Aliens, Happy Monsters, Flappy Zoo, and Dubsquad will become the first games linked in a multi-game mobile exchange for virtual goods. With a collective 15 million downloads these games will serve as a case study in the scalability of in-app economies.

Developing Off-Chain Transactions

What makes this case study even more interesting is that the entire enterprise is tied to cryptocurrencies’ rise. As more blockchain based digital currencies come into circulation it has become clear that certain issues remain with the technology many hail as infallible. Most frustrating about blockchain technology is the wait time needed for the blockchain to complete transactions. This leads to a slowdown that hampers the scalability of cryptocurrencies as something for everyday use.

The developers of Inifinidy’s games recently won a prize at the world’s largest Ethereum hackathon for their idea: the GoNetwork. The idea is basically this: a mobile exchange for cryptocurrencies that will allow transactions to happen off-chain in order to allow transactions across the chain to happen more expediently. This would solve the biggest hindrance to crypto’s integration into the mainstream economy and solve for existing users one of their biggest sources of complaint.

The GoExchange will serve as the incubator for the GoNetwork, and prove that transactions using electronic tokens in a mobile economy is feasible, plus with potentially 15 million users it would also prove its scalability. In-app purchases will be made with tokens native to Infidity games, which will allow for users across games to make transactions for virtual goods.

These tokens can be purchased with fiat or Ethereum (plans are set to later allow purchases with BTC), which will be the currency that this innovation will aim to improve. Users can purchase ERC20 tokens and then in order to allow for rapid blockchain operability p2p transactions will take place in off-chain state channels. These are effectively closed transactions where both parties have allotted a set amount of ETH to transfer (this is what the blockchain will account for) while the users between themselves work out the particulars. When the transaction is finalized and agreed upon one or both user(s) can upload the results and the balances are figured into the blockchain. For more information about their token sales, I recommend you check out GoNetwrok’s whitelist for more information.

While there are surely a number of challenges ahead of GoNetwork in accomplishing so many innovative goals it bodes well that many of their developers have been behind numerous widely successful apps. Furthermore, winning the ETH Waterloo Hackathon is a clear sign that founders and community alike are behind GoNetwork’s ideas, which could transform both the app economy and cryptocurrencies applicability.

Currently the market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is worth around $182 billion, with an upward trajectory as more governments and companies see the value and applicability of them. GoExchange will seek to demonstrate the viability of crypto in a mobile world and bring blockchain up to speed enough to keep up with the rapidly growing app economy GoNetowrk’s team already seen huge successes and profits in.

Offering my insights. Essayist, fiction writer, mercenary wordsmith.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store