Ballsy mobile devs can now monetize their games with cryptocurrency

A new software development kit (SDK) for Unity has been released, allowing indie developers to monetize their mobile games from top-to-bottom with KIN cryptocurrency.

As of today, mobile games made with the Unity engine can support earning, spending, and tipping KIN in-game, and even reward users with cryptocurrency for interacting with each other.

Players can be given cryptocurrency for participating in groups, or helping other players. Devs will even be able to sell their users extra lives for KIN.

There is also functionality for studios to purchase additional cryptocurrency to inject into their in-game economies to support growth.

CryptoKitties 2: Kin Foundation Boogaloo?

This is quite a lofty endeavour from the Kin Foundation, the group that’s both tied heavily to the Kik messenger service and behind the Kin cryptocurrency.

It’s especially so considering all of the tokenized in-game activity will reportedly take place entirely on the Kin blockchain – including real-time account and wallet creation.

“Yes, everything is happening on-chain. This includes earning, spending, and peer-to-peer (sending and receiving) transactions,” a Kin spokesperson told Hard Fork.

Readers would be forgiven for having flashbacks of December 2017, when a meteoric rise of an Ethereum dApp called CryptoKitties rendered the entire network barely usable .

At the time, Ethereum’s blockchain was just not ready to handle so much on-chain traffic, and the effects of those revelations are still being felt today.

But the key difference here is that Kin’s blockchain runs on a different consensus method than Bitcoin or Ethereum. It uses a system similar to the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) model utilized by the EOS network.

In this framework, “traditional” cryptocurrency miners are replaced by a select group of “block producers,” elected by other blockchain participants to validate transactions.

While this style of consensus has been heavily criticized for its centralizing nature , DPoS blockchains tend to process transactions a little quicker than Proof-of-Work blockchains like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Kin is confident it can handle it

Kin marketing materials assure us that its blockchain is capable of processing more than 100 transactions per second. The question still remains over whether that’s enough to handle devs adopting the Kin SDK en masse.

The Kin spokesperson told Hard Fork: “Short answer, yes. When we forked Stellar to create the Kin Blockchain, we prioritized scalability, knowing that we needed to deliver a solution that was capable of handling high volumes of transactions from dozens of apps. ”

They also mentioned there are currently more than 30 apps running “real Kin transactions on the Kin Blockchain without any delays in processing,” and it has handled more than four million transactions in the last 30 days.

The release of Kin’s SDK does come at a rather sensitive in gaming, as communities across the internet move to reject microtransactions and other monetization schemes.

One does wonder what repercussions are in store for any game dev brave enough to build their mobile games around rewarding (and charging) users with cryptocurrency to get the most out of their games.

(Edit: This has been updated to properly describe the consensus method utilized by the Kin network.)

Israel regulators support ‘heavily regulated’ cryptocurrency trading platform

An Israeli financial market regulator has given its recommendation for the creation of a heavily regulated cryptocurrency issuance platform, Reuters reports .

According to the report, such a platform should allow companies to “raise money by issuing digital tokens to investors.”

If you were starting to think this sounds like a securities offering, you’d probably be right.

Alongside recommendations of creating a specialist platform, the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) suggests applying already existing securities laws to digital assets like securities tokens and cryptocurrencies.

The ISA has not yet declared a timeline for the creation of such a platform, Reuters states.

With all that in mind, if Israel does pursue this recommendation, it’s wholly likely that it will set some global precedent when it comes to security token offerings (STOs), as the rest of the world is looking at each other before making the first move.

Earlier this year the Thai National Legislative Assembly gave the approval for the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to let Thailand-based companies issue tokenized securities . In Liechtenstein, businesses already can offer securities tokens.

But whether this potential precedent will assist global adoption of blockchain for STOs remains to be seen . A sizable portion of the world is still waiting for the US SEC to make their move.

Want to find out more about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology? Check out our Hard Fork track at TNW 2019 !

Venezuelans go after diamond-backed cryptocurrency Ponzi with $30M lawsuit

A group of Venezuelans that moved to the US to “start a new life” are suing a $30 million cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme that allegedly backed its coins with real diamonds.

On Friday last week, a group of Venezuelans submitted a lawsuit claiming they were fraudulently promised massive returns on investments into the supposed diamond-backed cryptocurrency, Argyle Coin, Law360 reports .

The perpetrators, Jose Angel Aman, Harold Seigel, and his son Jonathan Seigel, were reportedly running two diamond companies – Natural Diamonds and Eagle Financial – and an associated cryptocurrency business that offered the diamond-backed digital assets. According to the report, the perps defrauded over 300 investors.

The group of Venezuelans said they were amateur investors and were sucked into the $30 million scheme after being misled by promises of big returns. Natural Diamonds said it would buy and cut raw diamonds to sell on for a 24-percent return.

The Venezuelans initially invested in Eagle Financial, which also leveraged Seigel’s reputation as a supposed diamond expert to trade high-end diamonds.

“[Eagle Financial] and its principals overstated their experience in the diamond and jewelry businesses to lure investors into trusting [Eagle Financial] and its principals with their investment,” the court document reads.

In reality, the funds that were invested in Eagle Financial and Natural Diamonds were being used to repay earlier investors.

Eventually money ran out, so Aman created Argyle Coin to continue luring investors in an attempt to keep the scheme running. Argyle Coin reportedly offered “risk-free” investments into a diamond-backed cryptocurrency.

However, the digital asset was never developed. The funds beguiled from investors were again used to pay off earlier investors of Eagle Financial and Natural Diamonds.

Aman, Seigel, and Seigel allegedly secured the cryptocurrency with a $25 million performance bond and physical diamonds. But the Venezuelan’s calls for evidence of this and for access to digital wallets containing Argyle Coins, went unanswered.

A troubling cryptocurrency

In April, more than a dozen lawsuits were filed by those lured by Aman and his fake diamonds and cryptocurrency, Palm Beach Daily News reported .

In May this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a suit against Argyle Coin forcing it to cease trading and freeze its accounts, calling it a Ponzi scheme. The halt also prevented Argyle Coin from undertaking its initial coin offering .

All three of Aman’s firms were charged at the time, The Wall Street Journal reports .

The scheme began in 2014 when Aman began offering investments in Natural Diamonds, promising the return of 24 percent on top of initial investments, within two years.

Aman and his accomplices then sold investment contracts in Eagle Financial in 2015, and used the funds to repay earlier investors, WSJ says . Aman was also said to be using the funds to live a “lavish lifestyle,” another report stated . Eventually Argyle Coin was created to perpetuate the scheme.

The group of seven Venezuelans are the latest to join a growing list of parties going after Argyle Coin and its deceptive “creators.”

Hunter Jones

Hunter Jones

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