Gal Buki

CoinGeek Backstage: PowChess’ Gal Buki on how the lockdowns and a Netflix series brought in users

When the world went into lockdown as COVID-19 wreaked havoc, billions turned to their phones and computers to get through the pandemic. Online platforms, be it Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video or gaming and esports platforms, saw a rapid surge in the number of users. PowChess was one such platform, and in fact, a Netflix series played a part in pushing new users to its platform, co-founder Gal Buki told CoinGeek Backstage.

PowChess is an online chess game that allows players to play against each other, but not just for bragging rights. Through its integration of HandCash and BSV’s micropayments, it allows players to compete for cash prizes, making it a play-to-earn game

Buki was in Warsaw for the Blockchain 4 Gaming event organized by the BSV Blockchain Association, which showcased the best of Bitcoin gaming, from PowChess to Haste Arcade and more.

“The two major events were COVID and later on the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit – those attracted many players to online chess,” Buki tells CoinGeek’s Becky Liggero.

Chess is one of the world’s most popular games and certainly one of the oldest, having been around since the 6th century. PowChess, while not reinventing the game, is rethinking the incentives with its micropayments, Buki noted. It also incorporates NFTs, updating every move a player makes as an immutable record on-chain.

For most games, ads are the primary way to make money for the developers. However, for the users, it can be annoying and intrusive. PowChess is steering clear of this pitfall, giving users an ad-less experience while relying on a small cut of the micropayments made between the players for its revenue.

Bitcoin SV powers the game because there was simply no other option, Buki said.

“For us, it was very important to have a blockchain that is stable and can handle everything you throw at it. BSV is stable and its scale has been proven several times with gigabyte-sized blocks and millions of transactions in a single block. We’re confident that BSV can handle what we need,” he noted.

Buki was at the Blockchain 4 Gaming event to educate the attendees about PowChess and BSV in general. In his presentation, one attendee came on stage for a game of chess, on PowChess, with fellow co-founder Alexei Torgashov, with $200 at stake.

Watch: Blockchain 4 Gaming & CoinGeek Bitcade Warsaw highlights

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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