2 min read

Proof of Play

Sometimes you just want to give something away for free. You'll worry about making a profit after you get a few people through the door. Maybe you're giving away free samples to entice a purchase, maybe you're offering a free trial on a subscription, or maybe the thing you're giving away earns you royalties if/when it gets sold later on. Whatever your plan, giving things away for free can be great for your business.

However, free things are tricky on blockchain. Everyone is anonymous. If you're giving away free samples of a new candy bar, your goal is to get as many people to try it as possible. If one guy disguises himself over and over and takes half your supply, that would be bad for business.

One option is to have an unlimited supply. Only possible in the digital world, but it can work. Each individual item will be less valuable, but you'll make it up in volume. That one guy and all his friends can gorge themselves on candy, and you'll still be able to attract new customers.

The other way is to impose some kind of cost. Gas fees naturally do this. It's the blockchain equivalent of giving away your product to anyone who will pay the shipping and handling cost. Even the $KOIN Proof-of-Work token launch on Ethereum came with gas costs and the cost to run your computer to mine the token.

Free things on Koinos can actually be free (no gas, no postage). So, you need to impose a cost. Proof of work is appropriate for some token launches, but not necessarily the right choice for things like NFT free mints. For these (especially when the token is gaming related), I recommend Proof-of-Play.

Build a simple, competitive, on-chain game with an element of luck. The winner of each matchup is rewarded with free tokens. Keep running matchups until your tokens are all issued. Worst case, you have people trying to operate multiple players at the same time or otherwise cheat the system. Existing bot detection and player reporting features will help, but it won't be flawless. For a lot of projects, that should be acceptable.


P.S. I've written about this concept before. If you're interested in avoiding SEC regulation, this might be a valid option for your project (but I'm not a lawyer). https://thekoinpress.com/minting-games-bye-bye-howey-test/