Some interesting questions and points were developed in this reddit post about Litemint IAPs so I decided to gather them in this quick blog post.
Litemint 1.3.0 has now been released with its instant games platform, decentralized, cross-currency in-app purchases and 2 games. Main features in this release:
Decentralized In-app Purchases Through Path Payments
Developers publishing games and apps on Litemint can list in-app items as well. They can choose the asset they wishes to receive as Litemint runs payment path finding queries for price conversion and resolution through the Stellar DEX. The user may choose any asset to buy in-app items, their order is routed through the series of assets and lands in the developer wallet.
Seamless Gaming Accounts through Federated Addresses
Whenever a player logs into a game/app on Litemint, developers can identify them uniquely using the Stellar Federation protocol and provide services such as cross-device syncing of player data (scores, leaderboards…) as well as purchase deliveries to player accounts seamlessly. This is currently implemented in both games available.
Q: What does Litemint solve and How?
Although the longer-term goal is to expand the service beyond the vertical gaming sector, I have chosen to start with a strong focus on casual gaming as I have a background in this industry.
Litemint, as a platform, acts on two main fronts:
- Allowing app and content publishers (i.e. game developers initially) to cut the middleman from their publishing business. In-app payments are routed directly to their wallets via payment paths executed on the DEX. If the platform grows enough, this could offer an attractive alternative to indie game developers as they would be able to monetize without relying on larger but centralized publishing businesses (imposing NET30-60, reversals, held earnings, fees, revenue share, sub-licensing rights etc).
- Using the platform to bind cryptocurrencies to real-world utility besides speculation. Whenever an in-app item is bought, as it executes though a series of orders on the DEX, it immediately creates a buy order, at least in the merchant chosen currency. This buy order is triggered, not by speculative intent, but by the satisfaction of buying some digital in-game item – straight real-world utility for crypto.
With the upcoming collectibles marketplace, players will also be able to sell their collectibles similarly and monetize their play sessions.
Q: How are you planning to solve IAPs without custodial accounts?
There will be 3 possibilities for developers:
- The traditional (centralized) way: they handle player’s data on their server and redeem their accounts upon payment confirmation on the blockchain. This may be favored by smaller games with lower retention, or in case they already have a set infrastructure and do not want to introduce players to a new process flow (trustlines). Currently used in pie ai.
- The decentralized way: they issue tokens for consumables (e.g. gold, skins), players will have to add respective trustlines (the app will provide UX for introduction to the concept). These items would also be available in the (upcoming) collectibles marketplace for players to trade/auction. This may work well for bigger games which have higher retention and content.
- Alternatively devs can create a mixed system where they would initially handle items redemption the traditional way and issue them to the players upon (optional) trustline addition for a more streamlined experience and prevent leaving players at the door. I will probably play around this idea with my upcoming litemint.io game.
Thank you for reading.
Prev. Developer and Technical Lead for BGC Partners, Crédit Lyonnais Bank (trading systems) and British Government National Program for IT (smart card technology in healthcare). Indie game developer, co-founder of Israeli-based video game company Massive Games (pie.ai) and winner of the Honorable Mention Prize at the 2014 Linux Foundation & Samsung Tizen App Challenge.