The blockchain can be used for many different things, albeit gaming is not something most people would think of right away. Takara, the first Bitcoin geocaching iOS app has added support for Counterparty assets in-app. This is the first demonstration of fungible in-game assets deployed in an augmented reality application. The game has been developed by Christian Moss of mobile game company MandelDuck. Takara, which is Japanese for “treasure”, allows users to plant and hunt for bitcoin treasures planted across the world.
By venturing into the world of geocaching, Takara is inviting Bitcoin enthusiasts to explore the world and pick up some coins along the way. Do not be mistaken in thinking this game can be spoofed easily, though, as new locations can be added, and may include a question that needs to be answered based on information found at that particular place.
Geocaching makes perfect sense to use tokens based on the Counterparty platform. Given the strong focus by mobile users on augmented reality at this stage, incentivizing people for exploring the world around them is a good way of promoting cryptocurrency and its technology. Especially fungible in-game assets can be quite valuable to players, as they gain a sense of achievement.
Counterparty is the leading platform for in-game assets and mobile token applications. Most cryptocurrency projects utilizing in-game assets and tokens are now using Counterparty. These tokens offer functionality beyond financial applications and can be used as coupons, entry passes, authentication tokens to augment password security and more.
According to Counterparty, geocaching is a logical use for its tokens, perfect for 21st century advertising techniques. The ability to drive traffic to a location by offering specialized assets at that location will facilitate never before seen marketing methods. Moreover, it believes that users will be more open to the concept of buying digital assets than they have been thus far if the in-game assets being sold are fungible, meaning they can be sold or traded later.
IndieSquare, a multi-purpose wallet for cryptocurrencies that brings Counterparty to mobile, explained in a blog post that with this integration, users can pick up not only bitcoins but also Counterparty tokens when they get close enough to the Takara boxes on the map. It works in a similar way as Pokemon Go but instead of Pokemon, Takara users can pick up bitcoins and various tokens. Tokens can represent coupons, tickets, loyalty points, company stocks, game items etc.
To prevent people from spoofing their location and stealing the Bitcoin or Counterparty asset, a location specific question can be added that the user must answer before receiving the tokens.
“The user always holds the private key of any takara they drop. If a question is added to a takara then the private key stored on the server is encrypted with the answer and the answer is not stored. The only way to decrypt that takara’s private key is to go to the location and answer the question.”
In addition to Takara, MandelDuck is behind Game of Birds, KA-GE, and the popular Bitcoin game Sarutobi and has demonstrated use of Counterparty in other games including Sarutobi. Spells of Genesis and Sarutobi were the first game in history to create an in-game asset that was used across different games.