Kal Suurkask on ‘Hashing It Out’ Episode 15: TAAL as the backbone for on-chain data management and NFTsNovember 16, 2021
Last week was a busy one, with both eSports Insider (ESI) London and Betting on Sports Europe (BOSE) taking place, two gaming industry events where I had the opportunity to participate in three blockchain-related panels. At ESI London I moderated an NFT panel and at BOSE I moderated a blockchain for sports betting panel and was honored to have Kal Suurkask, Chief Commercial Officer of TAAL, as a speaker on both.
TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. (CSE:TAAL | FWB:9SQ1 | OTC: TAALF) is an enterprise blockchain transaction processing company, or the “meat and potatoes” as Suurkask likes to say. While TAAL works with many industries, the gambling and gaming space is an area that is primed to benefit from the infrastructure services that TAAL can provide. Suurkask pointed out that the iGaming sector can not only benefit from blockchain technology for payments, but also as a data management system.
“You can put players’ habits on the blockchain, you can solve issues like responsible gaming, provably fair gaming. You can do this all on one blockchain,” Suurkask revealed.
The “one blockchain” Suurkask referred to is Bitcoin SV (BSV), a blockchain with such low transactions fees that TAAL’s data processing services are far cheaper than the more traditional technology that iGaming companies are using.
Suurkask went on to explain why iGaming companies should take advantage of blockchain tech to keep track of their responsible gambling initiatives, echoing the sentiments of Nick Hill when he speaks of nChain’s Kensei solution.
“[Gambling companies] are following the proper procedures so that if there is a problem gamer out there, they can show the regulators that they have done corrective action and they can prove it,” Suurkask said.
“The problem though is when this is stored in a database or an internal database, anything can happen. The database could get hacked or the gaming company could go out of business. There’s a number of things that could happen,” he warned.
“But imagine how you can take this data or a hash of that data and put it on a common ledger that can be shared with regulators. It can be pulled up anytime because it’s on an immutable ledger as well it is timestamped so you know when it happened, it’s verifiable and it’s open to the public,” Suurkask said.
“I think this will be a game changer for a lot of gaming operators as they mature because it’s inviting the regulators into their world, but at the same time, it’s getting ahead of some of the regulation that will come,” he added.
Micropayment capabilities are another attribute of the BSV blockchain that excites Suurkask when it comes to the iGaming space, something he refers to as a “game changer.”
“Imagine now you can start betting a penny here or there on which way Tom Brady is going to look before he throws a football and then you can see it in real time—in your wallet—and you see that one penny, two pennies, three pennies,” he said.
Imagine the affiliate marketing opportunities as well. The history of a referred customer can be tracked on the immutable blockchain and through smart contracts and micropayments every time that customer plays, the affiliate receives a penny in real time, straight into their wallet.
A solid use case of BSV blockchain technology for gaming is CryptoFights, a play to earn “Dungeons and Dragons” type game created by parent company FYX Gaming.
CryptoFights moved over to BSV from Ethereum (ETH) because they were running into a lot of scalability, cost and tooling issues. Suurkask explained how CryptoFights first tried moving over to a second layer solution, but that platform went out of business, so they had to start over again and ended up coming to BSV.
“And the reason is because again, you can scale en masse, you have a huge amount of transaction throughput and your cost of transactions are so low,” Suurkask said of BSV.
“For [CryptoFights], it makes sense because not only are they using BSV as a payment network, they’re using it as a data ledger. Every single move that their players do online is tracked on the blockchain so it can be audited, they can look for cheating, a number of really neat things,” he said.
And of course, TAAL is processing all the CryptoFights transactions.
“[CryptoFights] got up to a point where they’re doing a million plus [transactions] a day. That’s huge. And now imagine when you have all these other games coming on and as they grow, we’re going to see billions and billions of transactions. So TAAL’s in a very good position as an infrastructure company to process those transactions,” Suurkask confirmed.
While BSV has unmatched capabilities by any other blockchain, ETH is still the most “popular” blockchain for gaming companies, especially when it comes to NFTs. However, to avoid outrageous transaction fees (or gas fees as they are called on the ETH network) and congestion, developers must often resort to layer two solutions as CryptoFights did. But why bother with layers if it can all be done on layer one with BSV?
“CryptoFights may be a good example, the reason they came to Bitcoin SV is because they said, well, why would we go ahead and build all this complexity and do all this extra tooling with two layers when we can do it on one layer?” Suurkask pointed out.
In fact, TAAL has released its own NFT platform, the STAS Token Protocol, a layer one protocol because the NFTs are actually built off the Satoshi token itself. Gaming companies that wish to join the NFT ecosystem can store NFTs on chain as opposed to in the cloud or on a server somewhere that could disappear overnight.
“The nice thing is because it’s based on that first layer, it has all the attributes of that blockchain so it can scale, its low cost, there’s no third party that’s sitting there and governing it,” Suurkask explained.
“If you could do it all on chain, your data, those tokens, they’re always going to be there. So if that company that’s helping you build this token disappears, guess what? You can go and retrieve those tokens,” he said.
“So there’s a lot of really good things happening when you do things on a layer one blockchain,” Suurkask added.
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