Monetising Game Play on Social Network Sites
Jon Matonis
31 March 2011

Chief Forex Dealer at VISA International
Director of Financial Services Vertical for VeriSign, Inc.
CEO of Hush Communications, creator of encrypted
Editor of The Monetary Future blog on digital currencies

Social Gaming and Virtual Currency

Revenue Shift Away from Advertising

Virtual Goods Revenue Increasing

The Entrance of Facebook Credits

Social Gaming Beyond Facebook

Types of Payment Choices for eGaming
Credit card/debit card
EFT wire transfer/eCheck/ACH
Cashier’s check/money order
Western Union/MoneyGram
Proxy eWallet account (Click2Pay, Moneybookers, MyPaylinQ, Neteller, Ukash, Webmoney, etc.)
Mobile payment
Non-political virtual currency unit (Facebook Credits, Linden Dollars)

Attributes of a True Virtual Currency
P2P capable
Two-way convertibility
Transactional non-repudiation
Easily divisible
Portable and offline capable
Security and scarcity
Frictionless (no transaction fees)
Nearly instant deposits/withdrawals

Previous Barriers to a True Virtual Currency
Gold bullion cannot be molecularly transported across the Internet
Emulating the anonymity features of physical cash or gaming chips is difficult
Digital bearer certificates have to verify against a centralised ‘mint’ which creates a single point of failure
Decentralisation opens up the possibility for double spending the digital ‘coins’

Bitcoin: A New Entrant

What is Bitcoin?
One of the first implementations of a concept called cryptocurrency (circa, 1998)
Does not rely on trusting any central issuer
Relies on the transfer of amounts between accounts using public key cryptography (like PGP for money)
Scarcity based on a reusable proof-of-work
Double-spending prevented by a distributed time server implementing chained RPOWs

Major Features of Bitcoin
Current size of economy (~BTC 6,000,000)
Nodes connected (5,000-10,000)
Trading turnover (equivalent $30,000/day)
Decentralised confirmations
Distributed nodes (peer-to-peer)
Open source software (peer reviewed)
Non-political unit of account
Independent market-based exchange rate

Evolution of Bitcoin
31/10/08 Bitcoin academic paper published
11/01/09 Bitcoin v0.1 released
17/07/10 MtGox exchange established
06/11/10 Bitcoin economy passes $1.0m
09/12/10 Generation difficulty passes 10,000
28/01/11 Block 105000 generated, 5.25m/21m
11/02/11 Bitcoin reaches USD parity, $1/BTC
03/03/11 Bitcoin v0.3.20.2 released
27/03/11 First BTC:GBP exchange opens

Benefits of Bitcoin
Bitcoin is ideally suited to the eGaming and online casino financial requirements
Monetary properties and features emulate the physical gaming chips in a real-world casino
Features correlate to the customer demand for a digital/virtual currency

eGaming Sites Currently Using Bitcoin

Map of Bitcoin Nodes

Total Bitcoins Issued Over Time

Bitcoin-USD Exchange Rate (Jul 2010 – Mar 2011)

Future Implications

Google is the Player to Watch
Google acquires Social Gold, a virtual currency platform (August 2010)
Google acquires Zetawire to look after NFC payments (December 2010)
Google releases BitcoinJ, a bitcoin client for Java (March 2011)
Google now has 750 staff in payments division!

The Dawn of the Cryptocurrency Economy
“Digital cash is to legal tender as BitTorrents are to copyrights.” — J. Matonis
The Dawn of the Cryptocurrency Economy
A Digital Currency Revolution will……
Fundamentally alter the current hierarchy of central banking and banks
Challenge traditional value depositories
Cause KYC rules for certain transactions to become irrelevant
Make monetary and taxation jurisdictions less important

Opportunities for Gibraltar Jurisdiction
eGaming companies that adapt
Prepaid operators
(Transact Networks, IDT, Wavecrest)
eMoney and virtual currency exchanges
Cryptocurrency market-makers

Thank You
Jon Matonis

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