Why is ULTRA Building Their Own Blockchain and Using EOSIO’s Technology.

Yellowblock September 19, 2019
Updated 2019/09/19 at 8:44 PM
11 Min Read

In this blog post we will go into more detail about why we are building our own blockchain and why we decided to use EOSIO Technology.

At Ultra, we strongly believe in the potential of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain revolution will change the way games are conceived, distributed and played. Not only will it provide a more fair and transparent experience for all actors, including game developers, influencers and players, it will also create incredibly innovative and exciting monetization opportunities for all these actors across the platform.

Smart contracts are a central component of what makes Blockchain in the games space so revolutionary. Features such as programmable money, micro-transactions (feeless on Ultra), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for games and in-game assets will enable new types of interactions that were impossible before the advent of Blockchain.

Blockchain-based smart contracts will profoundly change the economic models of the games industry.

Ultra aims to become the leading games distribution platform and ecosystem, which will make our blockchain one of the most widely used across the world.

Requirements for a blockchain that suits the needs of a company connecting millions of players worldwide are relatively straightforward. These requirements include a proven and safe technology foundation to build on, fast free transactions, and flexible smart contracts.

We also defined two other essential aspects that needed to be at the foundation of our solution:

  • An easily upgradable blockchain suited to meet the future needs of our constantly evolving technology;
  • A modern and well-defined governance system.

After studying all the technologies currently available, we determined that the best platform to build our network on was EOSIO.

EOSIO is perfect for Ultra for many reasons. First, we are confident that Block.one will provide long term reliable support for the software, and they continue to prove this, month after month. Second, transactions are free for users and the delegated system has proven efficient when it comes to the allocation of resources. Third, EOSIO smart contracts are written in C++ which is one of the primary programming languages used in the games industry.

By starting with gaming, we are tackling a very competitive market. Players are accustomed to having complex, cutting-edge technologies at their fingertips and over the years, the games industry has made an enormous effort to be accessible to the mainstream public. Thus, we believe that to be competitive against established platforms, we have to offer a cutting edge frictionless experience.

Leveraging our blockchain advantages while minimizing the technical burden for anyone using our platform is the challenging goal we are pursuing at Ultra.

In order to cleverly attract, connect and serve millions of players, we made the decision to fork the EOSIO software and to customize it to create our own custom blockchain. Here are the 3 key reasons that we will detail below:

  1. Account creation cost management and the need to minimize friction while onboarding users.
  2. Permissioned access.
  3. Governance and reward model.

Right now, it costs only a few dollars to create an account on EOS. However, the scale we have to operate at doesn’t allow us to maintain fees this high if we want to remain competitive.

Also, we believe that Blockchain-based applications shouldn’t impose any barrier to entry and that fees or staking should not be required to perform actions on the platform. We are also notably solving the spam problem by using other methods associated with our platform account creation process (e.g. phone verification).

Despite the decentralized nature of our ecosystem, we will need to control what’s happening on our network to make sure we can provide a seamless experience around the world. Each country has different regulations and it’s important for a corporate-grade blockchain to be compliant with major companies’ infrastructures.

That said, we recognize the value of EOS mainnet and we have designed our blockchain to be interoperable with it. Being interoperable allows us to benefit from innovations and updates occurring in the EOS ecosystem while, in return, we will evangelize the use of Blockchain and the EOSIO technology to developers and players around the world.

For that reason and many others, we believe that Ultra will prove to be extremely valuable to the EOS ecosystem.

Disabling voting with coins is the biggest change to our governance model compared to how EOS is operated. We identified three reasons why voting with coins isn’t currently a good idea for us.

First, the audience we are targeting doesn’t particularly understand or care yet about the underlying tech. In fact, our market studies show that advertising ourselves as a games platform using Blockchain tech doesn’t resonate well with players or even with many developers. We want our tech to be as transparent as possible for our users, therefore pushing them to vote for complex tech modifications goes against our mission to make Blockchain-based services mainstream.

Second, even if we exclude ourselves from votes, the coin isn’t yet well distributed enough to ensure a fair distribution of the voting power. Because our project involves cooperation between actors of the games industry and Blockchain ecosystems, we need to ensure an initial distribution that will benefit the Ultra network in the long-term.

Third, we need the right amount of qualified and truthful block producers to meet industry standards. For this reason, we need to keep a close relationship with partners and operators that will contribute to the maximum performance of the Ultra platform. A voting system would be premature due to the critical expertise needed during this early development phase of the Ultra ecosystem.

Our solution to this is to carefully select a mix of well-recognized block producers with high reputations from both the crypto space and the games industry, respectively called “Technical block producers” and “Corporate block producers”.

Technical BPs are the founding block producers and the backbone of our blockchain. They are in charge of running our public testnet and launching our mainet and ensure we gain the trust of crypto communities, while contributing to the technology thanks to their technical expertise and reputation. They are experienced EOS block producers that are already working with us to ensure our blockchain performs as intended. They will not only run a node for Ultra, but will also share their expertise with our Corporate BPs, helping them to setup, run and optimise their nodes to ensure our speed and security standards are achieved and maintained. Technical BPs will be the first to be announced.

Corporate BPs are trusted global corporations outside of the crypto world, all of which have a vested interest in the success of Ultra. They recognize Blockchain as a game changing technology and want to be part of it. They will be running a node and also testing our blockchain as a solution to improve their current businesses. Having Corporate BPs allows us to have direct input on the needs of each of those companies so we can continuously improve our blockchain and provide solutions that meet industry needs.

Corporate BPs are the ones that give us credibility and build trust outside of the crypto world. They are quality brands that players, influencers and game developers recognize and have confidence in. They will be integrated one by one, when we are sure that our blockchain runs smoothly and that they are technically ready.

For now we’ve defined two principles regarding how BPs will be rewarded:

  1. Inflation is defined in Fiat and paid in UOS. This ensures BPs are always profitable, regardless of the market price of UOS. This method provides the level of stability and reliability our partners require.
  2. The inflation will remain minimal as Ultra is not designed to provide incredible ROI to BPs in itself. Technical BPs will generate profit from others sources (e.g. consulting paid by companies including Ultra), and BPs are here to improve their business models rather than making direct profit from running a node.

Based on our requirements and the available solutions, we found that the EOSIO platform was by far the most relevant as well as the most anticipated software around. We decided to adapt it to create the Ultra platform by changing some economical and political aspects of the original governance model, and by designing an incredible amount of exclusive features needed for our innovative games distribution ecosystem.

In this article we explained why the fine-tuning of our blockchain-based governance model is important and how we organized Ultra’s block production so we can maintain a stable and performant network. Ultra will be the first blockchain ever run at the same time by crypto trusted Technical BPs and Corporate BPs that are well recognized in their industry. Having the best of both worlds will not only help us to secure and instill trust, it will also give birth to a standard recognized by actors of the crypto and the video game industries.

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