Live Player Games, a software development team from Israel, has launched the first Android-based poker app that uses cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Donald Trump is going to send a man to Mars during his presidency. Elon Musk plans to send an Ark full of people to Mars in the next six years. And all of this interplanetary travel makes sense, if, as I read, scientists are on the verge of solving the human ageing issue by sending nanobots into our cells and arteries to deal with the things that eventually lead to our demise.
And yet with all of this happening, people still sit down in a casino, hand over paper fiat money, receive plastic chips, and play poker, a game that has been around since the early 19th Century.
Things will have to change, right?
Live Player Games, a software development company based in Israel, are one of the innovators looking to do just that. They are behind the world’s first Android-based online poker app that uses the blockchain technology Ethereum.
Uncle Finney’s Poker, allows you to compete in heads-up contests using virtual currencies, but unlike the 250+ poker apps currently available in the Google Play Store, at Uncle Finney’s you use the cryptocurrency Ether (ETH), and that’s real money.
How Does it Work?
To understand how Uncle Finney’s Poker works we have to understand what a smart contract is:
What is a Smart Contract?
If I want to play heads-up online poker on one of the major online poker rooms, I need to transfer money from a bank or other payment processor into the account of the online poker room, or whatever payment processing firm handles the transactions.
In 1994, a guy who loved computers called Nick Szabo termed the phrase ‘smart contract‘ to describe a more advanced and secure method of dealing with contract transactions by using a computer to do the work for you.
Fast-forward to the world of cryptocurrency and Ethereum developed smart contracts to handle a variety of different contractual matters such as storing data and sending ETH from one person to another without the need of a payment processing giant wading in, taking a chunk, stealing your money, and slowing things down.
The smart contract is available to be seen by all users of the blockchain.
The smart contract used on Uncle Finney’s Poker is called the E4ROW contract. E4ROW plans to bring blockchain technology to the masses. They want to start a revolution.
It’s all very Matrix I know.
The Big Difference
The obvious benefits of using blockchain technology and smart contracts are the removal of third parties historically used to handle your monetary transactions.
This peer-to-peer transaction method managed and recorded on the blockchain removes any potential for fraud, reduces your costs, and speeds up the process of getting money on and off the site because you don’t have to.
One of the problems Uncle Finney’s Poker faces is the difference in speed between Ethereum’s slow block times and the real-time pace of a live poker game. To deal with this, the game’s developers have separated the innards of the poker game from financial transactions. A back-end server handles the poker action, and the E4ROW smart-contract handles the ETH. Think of it as an electronic escrow service.
It all sounds so right, and yet so wrong.
With all these nanobots scurrying up and down our spinal column and Elon Musk’s magic wizard hat on our head are we even going to be interested in playing poker?
What’s your view on the move to cryptocurrency gaming apps?
Does is frighten you?
Are you excited?