On January 28, EnjinCoin announced its upcoming game channels technology branded as “Efinity”. Efinity represents a gamified lightning network-esque network with speeds and costs capable of handling millions of micro-transactions of items and tokens between players and game servers. Through these game channels, players and developers will be able to communicate, escrow, and transact complex in-game items and sets of items near-instantaneously.
While game channels represent a revolutionary technology that will likely change video gaming forever, it’s important to recognize the origins of game channel technology. Game channels were first coined in 2015 and fully explained in a 2016 Ledger Journal publication by lead Chimaera blockchain developer Dr. Daniel Kraft. It appears that this served as a major source of inspiration for EnjinCoin and Efinity.
Since their inception in 2015, game channels have been developed by Dr. Kraft and a number of other developers under a new project, Chimaera (CHI). Like EnjinCoin’s Efinity, Chimaera is building an ecosystem of game channels to connect players in a highly responsive, infinitely scalable blockchain-based gaming environment. While Efinity appears to have taken much inspiration from the initial game channels academic paper, it is unclear whether EnjinCoin has initiated any communication with Dr. Kraft or the Chimaera project.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EFINITY AND CHIMAERA
Structurally, Efinity and Chimaera are being built upon completely different foundations. Efinity will be built on top of the Ethereum network, while Chimaera is developing its system on top of its own, custom blockchain, forked from the Namecoin Core codebase.
Beyond this, the focuses of the two systems seems to differ. EnjinCoin’s Efinity, at least at this stage, seems to be heavily focused on virtual transactions and token exchanges, allowing players and game servers to trade, craft, and forge virtual items in an infinitely scalable manner. Chimaera goes beyond that, placing more emphasis on gameplay and game production directly on its blockchain via game channels.
Based on the announcement, Efinity appears to work in conjunction with existing and traditional game servers. Chimaera replaces the game server entirely, instead allowing players to interact with other players and games in a decentralized manner, in which games are run directly on the game channel. In more complex games, such as MMO (massively-multiplayer online) games, gameplay is sharded, or fragmented, among multiple game channels, of which players must only interact with the game channel pertinent to their gameplay surroundings.
Lastly, Chimaera maintains the obvious advantage of time. While EnjinCoin is deploying an expert team of seven coders to develop Efinity full-time, Chimaera’s network of game channels is already two years into the development phase.