You Can Now Earn Bitcoin By Playing Chess on Your Phone

Jason Nelson
Jason Nelson January 18, 2023
Updated 2023/01/18 at 7:50 PM
3 Min Read

Looking to bridge the gap between Web3 and mobile gaming, mobile payment firm Zebedee and mobile game studio Viker announced on Wednesday the launch of two new play-to-earn games, Bitcoin Chess and Bitcoin Scratch, a digital scratch-card game.

Launched in October 2019, Zebedee is a Bitcoin-focused gaming infrastructure company that releases Bitcoin-centric games through its mobile app. Bitcoin Chess and Bitcoin Scratch are the latest in a line of games launched with London-based Viker.

“Implementing rewards with Zebedee’s platform isn’t about players earning money, it’s about creating a more interesting and fun experience,” Dan Beasley, Co-Founder of Viker, said in a news release. “Earning these tiny rewards simply feels great, regardless of if it’s small amounts that won’t materially impact most people’s lives.”

Zebedee says both Bitcoin Chess and Bitcoin Scratch are now available on iOS and Android.

While the trading price of a single Bitcoin is well in the thousands of dollars, games that allow players to earn Bitcoin typically pay out in satoshis, or sats, named after the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, and the smallest denomination of the coin. To cash out, players enter their Zebedee account into Viker’s app, where the gameplay takes place, to withdraw their earnings to the Zebedee app.

“These are not large amounts of money, though, with players earning a few cents per session, which is what makes the concept sustainable,” the company added.

In July 2022, Zebedee raised an additional $35 million in funding after raising $11 million in Series A funding in September 2021. Zebedee and Viker have already released mobile Solitaire and Sudoku games that give players a chance to earn Bitcoin. That same year, Zebedee launched a private server for the first-person shooter game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, implementing an unofficial Bitcoin integration.

“Essentially, players receive a revenue share from the game, meaning Viker splits what they’re earning from the game with the player,” Zebedee said in a statement. The company says this model creates a more engaging player experience, leading to better retention and ultimately making the game more profitable.

“These games have a massive global audience that mostly doesn’t care about Bitcoin. And we’re not asking them to,” Zebedee Chief Strategy Officer Ben Cousen said in the release. “It really doesn’t matter that it’s Bitcoin, except for the fact that what we do simply isn’t technically possible with traditional currency.”

In September, Zebedee partnered with adtech startup Slice to implement Bitcoin lightning network payments in return for viewing browser ads after installing the Slice browser extension, a concept made popular by the Brave browser.


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