In my last article I introduced Skycoin CX, and explained why this powerful blockchain programming language is set to transform the apps/gaming industry in a way that Ethereum and Solidity never could.
To summarize the last article, it’s because CX is a fully featured general programming language, rather than a basic smart contract language. And also because the Skycoin blockchain is infinitely faster, cheaper and more scalable than the Ethereum blockchain.
But you might be wondering why that’s such a big deal. Surely there are already lots of programming languages out there, so why do we need another one, and why does it need a blockchain?
This article will provide some answers, and explain why this year’s forthcoming launch of CX mainnet is such a highly anticipated event among the Skycoin community.
But first let’s explain what we mean by ‘mainnet’ in this context.
For most cryptocurrency platforms, mainnet marks the transition from a token on somebody else’s blockchain, to a native coin on the platform’s own blockchain. For example, in 2018 the EOS and VeChain mainnets involved a transition from ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum network to native coins on the EOS and VeChain networks.
However the Skycoin currency was never a token on somebody else’s blockchain — it has always been a unique coin on Skycoin’s own Fiber blockchain. So Skycoin can’t have a mainnet in that traditional sense, because the Skycoin currency and the Fiber blockchain are already operational.
Instead, Skycoin uses the term ‘mainnet’ to refer to a transition from a preliminary or test environment to a full production environment. As such, Skycoin will deliver an unprecedented triple mainnet in 2019, with three critical components of the ecosystem moving into a live and fully operational phase. These include:
1. Skywire mainnet (already launched in March 2019)
2. Obelisk mainnet (planned for mid-late 2019)
3. CX mainnet (planned for mid-late 2019)
What is CX Mainnet?
CX is already a fully functional, deterministic and Turing-complete programming language. But it is not yet integrated with Skycoin’s Fiber blockchain platform. This means the current games and applications built using CX are ‘standalone’ and don’t yet interact with an immutable ledger.
With CX mainnet, this all changes, and developers will be able to create games and applications that use blockchain technology in ways that will truly revolutionize the industry. At the moment, developers can already use CX to write any type of program that could be written using another fully featured language like C++ or Golang. But integration with the Fiber blockchain will open the door to a whole new world of creativity and functionality.
So let’s look at some of the things that will be achievable using this innovative new technology.
CX Blockchain Applications
Consider Facebook. It’s one of the world’s most popular online applications, with two billion active monthly users. If you’re one of them, you’ve probably posted a substantial amount of personal information, photos, videos and text chats on the platform.
You might think you’re only sharing this data with your friends, but once you upload it to Facebook it’s no longer private. It becomes the property of Facebook to use as they wish. This means they sell your data to the highest bidder — typically governments and advertisers who use it for marketing and political purposes.
Facebook also censors the content you post, and restricts the content you’re allowed to view. They can even delete your account whenever they choose. And these issues are inevitable when applications are centralized. Most online platforms like Twitter and Reddit suffer from similar problems with censorship, loss of privacy and commercialization of personal data.
Another problem with centralized applications is they lack permanence. Facebook is a company, and companies don’t last forever. Eventually Facebook will go the way of MySpace, and all the profiles, fan pages and company pages that users have diligently created over the years will vanish into the ether. All that hard work — gone.
Now consider a Facebook-style application built on blockchain technology using Skycoin CX. Let’s call it Skybook.
When you create a profile on Skybook, your account is stored on an immutable ledger on a Skycoin Fiber blockchain. Your account has a public key and a private key. You share your public key with your friends, and you configure your account so only your friends can view it using their public keys.
No central authority can track or censor your activity. Your details can’t be sold to advertisers. Your data is completely private, unless you choose to make it public. The blockchain is replicated across thousands of Skywire nodes, so your account can never be deleted, except by you, because only you know your private key.
And blockchain technology can deliver these benefits — privacy, control, permanence, decentralization — not just to social media apps but to any type of application such as database software, email packages, internet browsers, communications tools and business productivity suites.
No matter what type of information or virtual asset you wish to store, blockchain technology gives you full control of your own data.
CX Blockchain Games
The first CX video games were simple clones of Pacman, Flappy Bird, Snake, Brick Breaker and Casino. But the recent release of the CXFX graphics engine gives a real indication of the quality of games to come. Skycoin is now the only blockchain platform with an integrated gaming engine capable of the stunning real-time 3D imagery depicted above.
But why do we need blockchain for video games?
Let’s consider Runescape, Guild Wars and Eve Online, some of the world’s most popular MMORPGs. Within these games, millions of players build virtual characters while vanquishing foes and collecting armor, weapons and rare items. Since many of these items are highly sought by other players, they actually have real-world monetary value. Some of the most powerful spaceships in Eve Online reach values of $5,000. And in 2010, a virtual space resort in Entropia Universe sold for a staggering $635,000.
But if you own one of these items, and for some reason your character is deleted or banned from the game, or if the game developers go out of business, then your item simply disappears.
Now imagine the game was developed using Skycoin CX and your character and items are stored on a Skycoin Fiber blockchain. Not even the developers can delete your digital assets, because only you know your private key. And even if the developers abandon the project, the game will continue to run forever because it is hosted across thousands of distributed Skywire nodes around the world.
And with the upcoming launch of the Skycoin DEX (Decentralized Exchange), even more possibilities are unlocked. Players of games running across multiple Fiber blockchains will be able to list their virtual items for trade, in the same way that users today can trade Skycoin for Bitcoin.
The key difference is that Skycoin and Bitcoin are fungible assets, whereas online gaming assets are non-fungible. In economics, ‘fungible’ refers to a commodity whose individual units are interchangeable and indistinguishable from one another. For example, one Skycoin is exactly the same as any other Skycoin. However one magical sword may be quite different to another magical sword, making these items non-fungible.
Skycoin Fiber already supports non-fungible assets, with the KittyCash gamebeing a prime example. In this Skycoin game, each player stores unique digital cats in their wallet, and these digital assets can grow, evolve, breed, and be traded with other players.
So let’s say we have a CX RPG running on one Fiber blockchain, and a CX Racing game running on another Fiber blockchain. You might decide to trade your two pieces of Level 7 Legendary Crystal Armor for four Level 3 High Speed Shock Absorbers. Or you might trade them for Skycoin, or Bitcoin, or digital cats, or even for fiat currency. The choice is yours.
The emergence of blockchain gaming will blur the boundaries between real and virtual worlds, giving permanence and concrete value to non-fungible digital assets. The only limitation is in the imagination of game developers to conjure up new ways of utilizing this revolutionary technology.
And when it comes to social media and business applications, blockchain technology offers endless potential to reshape the way we communicate and interact online.
So why not put your creativity to work. Join us today, and start building the next-generation of cutting-edge blockchain games and applications using Skycoin CX!
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