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The Genesis League Sports (GLS) platform, as well as all of the individual games that run on it, will be built as a second-layer solution on top of the Hive blockchain. Some may find that to be an unusual choice given the myriad of other blockchain platforms that are currently available, which boast much higher market caps for their tokens and command much more media attention; however, we believe that Hive is far and away the best choice in order to be able to achieve our stated goal of creating a decentralized platform that also provides a secure and user-friendly experience for all types of potential players for the reasons described below.
The Hive blockchain was created in March 2020 as a fork of the Steem blockchain. Dan Larimer originally created the concept and software, and it is now a completely community-owned chain with no pre-mine and a DAO to fund ongoing development and operation. For more information about the Hive blockchain, please see https://hive.io.
Scalability and stability are essential for running any large, mainstream application, but they are often difficult to achieve in a decentralized blockchain platform. Many newer blockchain platforms boast incredibly high transaction throughput benchmarks, but few of them have proven this in practice.
When many of these platforms have started to be tested with real applications, there have been repeated instances of instability, downtime, and vulnerabilities that may take years to fully iron out.
In contrast, Splinterlands has been running on the Hive blockchain (and originally the Steem blockchain before the fork) for over four years. Players currently submit over three million daily transactions to the chain on average.
The Splinterlands team has already been through instability, downtime, vulnerabilities, and multiple market crashes while operating on the Hive blockchain. As a result, we feel that it is the most battle-tested, highly-scalable, decentralized blockchain platform available right now, which makes it the best choice to power our new projects.
The “gas fee” model employed by the vast majority of blockchain platforms is a non-starter for any mainstream blockchain-based application, in our opinion, and the Hive blockchain handles this very easily and elegantly with its implementation of Resource Credits.
Rather than paying cryptocurrency to submit a transaction, users on Hive are given Resource Credits (which you can think of as bandwidth) that are used to submit transactions based on the amount of HIVE tokens they have staked (or “powered up”) in their account. Additionally, Hive accounts can delegate their Resource Credits to other Hive accounts, which allows one account to basically pay for other accounts' transactions.
This way, rather than requiring users to acquire cryptocurrency and manage their Resource Credits themselves, applications that operate on the Hive blockchain can be the ones that receive the HIVE tokens and can manage the Resource Credits on behalf of all of their users via delegation.
By far, the most important and challenging piece of providing a user-friendly and secure experience for mainstream users on a blockchain-based application is handling wallets and private keys.
In order to maintain the true digital asset ownership at the heart of blockchain-based applications, users must hold their own keys and manage their own wallets rather than a centralized entity holding the keys and acting as a custodian of users' digital assets. That typically leads to a situation where users are completely responsible for the security of their assets and wallets, and if they lose their keys or their keys get compromised, then they will lose all of their assets and value they have invested into these projects and not even the company that created the application can help them to recover it.
We believe this is an entirely unworkable and unrealistic solution for the vast majority of users. The Hive blockchain is the only platform we have found to date that provides a reasonable solution for protecting users from the loss or theft of their keys while still maintaining decentralized player ownership of assets.
Unlike most other blockchain platforms, Hive wallets are not simply a public/private key pair. Users choose their own account name which is their public wallet address, and is similar to familiar web2 platforms like Twitter. Each wallet can have multiple varying public/private key pairs associated with them with different levels of permissions in the account, and those keys can be changed if any of them are ever compromised.
The Hive blockchain also includes a decentralized account recovery feature that allows an account owner to recover their account with the help of a chosen trusted third-party even in the event that all of their keys are compromised. Genesis League Sports games will require players to lock their assets before they are able to be used in the game, which means that before the assets can be transferred out of the account they must first be unlocked which will take a period of time.
This means that if a user’s account is compromised, the hacker can only start unlocking their assets and will not be able to transfer them out of the account immediately. When this happens, the original account owner will receive a notification that an unlock has begun on their account, which will alert them to the fact that their keys have been compromised. They can then work with their recovery account (which will be the Genesis League Sports team, by default, unless the user changes it) to change the keys associated with their account.
This will remove the hacker’s access to the account, and then the user can simply stop the unlock process for their assets. This way, users can recover their account - even from being completely compromised - without losing any assets while maintaining full and sole control of their wallet and keys.