Buff is a play-to-earn cryptocurrency that targets the gaming market. The project’s tagline is, “Play for fun, earn for real.” The developers liken it to earning frequent-flier miles simply for playing online games compatible with the Buff platform. There is a loyalty element, as well. Once BUFF coins are accumulated, they can be spent on in-game items offered across a variety of platforms.
“Buff’s decentralized gaming loyalty platform is a groundbreaking cryptoeconomy ecosystem based only on gamers’ merits, in which gamers earn BUFF coins in direct correlation to their progress, achievements, and time spent gaming, regardless of their hardware capabilities,” the development team explained in the project’s white paper. “Through its extensive network of corporations with different gaming platforms, Buff hopes to enable holders of BUFF coins to purchase virtual goods across multiple gaming brands; trade with other holders and gamers on Buff’s wallet, which is based on blockchain technology for maximal security and transparency.”
How Does It Work?
In-game currencies are nothing new, the development team stated. In fact, many online games feature some form of in-world currency that’s earned by playing – or sometimes by depositing fiat cash – and then exchanged for special in-game content. Each game or platform tends to have its own native in-game currency, so gamers must spend time playing a specific game to acquire the currency necessary to buy things within that specific game.
“From ‘Clash Royale’ to ‘FIFA’; from casual games to high-end quests, each has its own silo economy of points for achievements, rewards, and in-game purchases,” according to Buff’s white paper. “The problem, however, in our view, remains that gamers cannot generate, bank, or accumulate their efforts into something tangible, such as a standardized currency, usable across different games, platforms and exchanges. We view games as an archipelago of different brands: each one being centralized, governed by its own one-sided rules, with currently no way to connect them in a fully decentralized manner and with as many wallets and ‘game currencies’ as there are games in the industry.”
Thus, Buff acts as a cross-platform in-game currency, allowing BUFF coins earned in one game to be used in another. Indeed, BUFF can be used across platforms in addition to games, provided the gaming platforms are BUFF partners. Presumably, Buff could also be exchanged for fiat currency if BUFF is eventually listed on an exchange, making that tongue-in-cheek dream of every hardcore gamer come true – you can get paid real money just to play video games.
The Buff team maintains that earning coins takes place in the background and does not involve specialized hardware or software, with the exception of the free Buff wallet.
To prevent fraud and ensure fair allocation, Buff plans to use a unique “proof of play” model, based on proof of stake. At the heart of this is a tiered system that rewards gamers based upon unique in-game stats. In other words, the better you are at a game, the more BUFF you will earn. You can’t earn BUFF simply by turning on a game, pausing it, and walking away.
“The aim is to have a mechanism of coin distribution which normalizes the following parameters: account data, game data, match data, data between games and between matches, and corresponding tier data,” the team wrote.
Who Is the Team Behind Buff?
Buff’s CEO is Elay De Beer. He previously served as the CEO of artificial intelligence marketing company AllAspect and founded game studio Berimbi. The company’s chief technology officer is Eyal Shamir, the former chief operating officer for technologies at currency exchange iForex.
What’s the Market Look Like?
Buff plans to launch its coin in September, following a private sale in June and a public sale in August. BUFF has a total supply of 300 million, and its price during the public sale will be pegged to a specific Ethereum price that has yet to be determined.
Who Are Buff’s Partners?
Partnership is vital to Buff, as it has structured itself as a gaming rewards program. The company’s prime partner is Overwolf, which provides overlay apps and skins for a variety of popular games, including “HearthArena,” “League of Legends,” and “Fortnite.” Overwolf supports a gaming community of over 15 million, the company claims.
What’s Next on the Buff Roadmap?
The Buff team plans to formally launch its token in September in a beta capacity. The real roadmap begins in 2019, when the company plans to add mobile capabilities and a concerted marketing effort to involve more gaming brands. By 2020, the company hopes to be servicing major consoles and launching development tools for game developers to directly incorporate Buff’s dynamics into their games.
“With all major platforms and brands in place, the plan is to double down on marketing and fuel the growth of the BUFF community,” the team wrote.
Buff noted in its white paper that it has several competitors in the cryptocurrency gaming space, though none of them are quite as ambitious as the Buff project. The defining feature of the competitors seems to be cross-platform spending. Buff, however, incorporates a so-called “proof-of-play” system that allows gamers to actually earn the currency while they play, instead of trading existing game currencies for it or purchasing it with fiat. This represents an important step forward in the gaming loyalty model. Previously, gaming loyalty depended upon spending fiat currency to support projects or obtain downloadable content. By voting with their control pads, so to speak, gamers can simultaneously support gaming projects that draw their attention and earn in-game currency that can be spent on other games. This is an important facet of Buff, as well.
Cross-platform currency is a goal of several major cryptocurrencies, but none have so far demonstrated a method whereby currency earned in one game can be spent in another. Frequently, there is at least a small fiat gateway that must be crossed. Buff introduces the idea of playing a favorite game in order to obtain special in-game items or perks via the BUFF currency in another game without resorting to fiat currency. This is likely to be popular with the casual gaming crowd due to the very public backlashes the space has recently seen against so-called “pay to play” downloadable content.
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