These Digital Monsters Live on Ethereum, But They'll Fight on Zilliqa

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Such was the end result of my first experience with Etheremon, a game inspired by Pokemon and built on the world's second-largest blockchain, ethereum.

The reason is that every update to Etheremon's smart contracts calls for "Gas," part of a complex fee mechanism that incentivizes the miners who maintain the ethereum blockchain.

Such problems - transactions that cost too much and take too long - are known by the shorthand "Scalability" in the blockchain world, and they've caused severe headaches for game designers who want to use a decentralized platform like ethereum.

As a result, the team moved "Battles" - in which users pit their mons against others' for experience points and bragging rights - off the ethereum chain and onto centralized servers.

The tokenized "Mons" that encode data such as level, experience points and evolutionary form - data that gamers have earned through many slow and costly actions - will stay on ethereum for the time being.

Amrit Kumar, Zilliqa's co-founder and head of research, said the technique has allowed the network to process 2,488 transactions per second in tests, whereas ethereum, right now, can manage perhaps a couple dozen.

"We actually feel that keeping all the in-game assets on the ethereum network is very secure," said Ngo.

"Ethereum is certainly an established network and we do understand that there's still some benefit of using ethereum."

Whatever the actual security advantages of keeping Etheremon assets on ethereum versus moving them to Zilliqa, this sort of architecture - in which a slower, battle-tested chain is used to store assets while a top layer processes transactions - may be catching on.

Loom Network offers tools to build dedicated sidechains for decentralized games that are anchored to ethereum, and has begun exploring shared sidechains that host multiple games.