Enjin has been one of the primary players in the development of a blockchain for gaming. Their popularity was somewhat hampered by Ethereum’s sluggish speeds and painful gas fees, so they developed JumpNet. For the uninitiated, JumpNet is a Proof of Authority (PoA) blockchain that offers more or less instant and gasless, on-chain transactions. This means users can mint NFTs and trade them without the barrier of Ethereum’s high gas fees.
Ethereum’s gas fees may have seemed merely irritating for somebody buying digital art, but for blockchain game developers, it could have been terminal. With every transaction often costing north of $100, trade and in-game economies were rendered almost impossible. As we have seen with many of the most popular blockchain games, their economy is paramount to their success, and so Enjin needed to create a solution, which is, for the most part, JumpNet. The ERC-1155 asset bridge is on the horizon which will solve a number of historic problems, but JumpNet is now going to add functionality that will open up the possibilities for games on the chain; JumpNet is adding smart contracts.
Smart contracts are basic programs stored on a blockchain that execute when their conditions are met. They can automate a number of tasks and add a guarantee that a buyer and seller have the terms of their agreement (i.e, the purchase of an NFT for a set price) met and without delay. The code in a smart contract is what dictates the conditions of execution. Smart contracts are irreversible once executed.
Why is the addition of smart contracts to Enjin important for blockchain gaming? They will mean that far more complex game economies are possible, including the possibility of devs launching their own ERC-20 tokens, marketplaces, and minting systems. As Enjin pointed out, this makes it possible for developers to create games with the same depth of economy as Axie Infinity — the most financially successful blockchain game.
Lead image a composite using a photograph by RODNAE Productions from Pexels, used under Creative Commons.