The guys from Haste with Isaac Moorehouse

Tiny payments are a big deal Part 10: Re-inventing the arcade with Haste

Haste Arcade is probably the single most interesting – the beautiful simplicity of your Instant Leaderboard Payout system you guys created – is the single most interesting use case for micropayments in gaming that I’ve seen. – Isaac Morehouse

This is what’s been so cool about the Arcade and getting it to the point that we’re like crypto is in the background. You can just market this as a regular product. If you’re a gamer, here’s a new way to monetize something that you’re already doing today. – Joe DePinto

Onboarding experience is definitely tailored towards that mainstream user so if you’re listening and you’re not a crypto user, you’ve never heard of crypto, never had a wallet, this would be a great place to start and get your feet wet. It will feel just like any other platform you’ve ever signed up for. – Dan Wagner

The 10th episode of Isaac Morehouse’s “Tiny Payments are a Big Deal” YouTube series featured Joe DePinto and Dan Wagner of Haste Arcade, two former minor league baseball players who met sharing a room while they toured the country playing ball. 

Since the pair debuted on the BSV blockchain scene, Haste Arcade has been declared one of the most innovative gaming applications in the space with significant potential of appealing to the masses. According to Morehouse, Haste Arcade is “absolutely one of the best ways for normal people to experience the power of micropayments,” the precise reason why DePinto and Wagner appeared as guests on this series.

Barpay and its role in Haste Arcade

DePinto and Wagner were not gamers nor microtransactors when they came up with the idea for Haste Arcade; in fact, the “ah ha” moment goes back to their entrepreneurial days with Barpay, a contactless order and pay mobile platform.

When they were building Barpay in the mid-2010s, the pair learned about credit card processing fees and how it all works behind the scenes, seeing first hand why it’s not possible to do small payments with credit cards. When they first heard of Bitcoin in 2015 (back in the days when BTC transaction fees were not out of control) it perked their ears and this is where an interest in instant, micropayments began.

“The original thing that brought us in was [micropayments are] going to give us a competitive advantage for what we’re building with BarPay,” Wagner revealed.

Watching the rise and fall of ICOs plus BTC fee dramas in 2017 was frustrating for DePinto and Wagner, but it was out of this frustration that the focus on micropayment capabilities began. 

“This is such a promising thing, this idea of being able to move little bitty amounts of money across the internet, it seemed like this should be on the top of everyone’s mindset if you’re building any sort of tech on the internet. We’ve just stumbled across this thing that creates all sorts of new opportunities and business models,” Wagner shared.

“We’ve always wanted to implement [Bitcoin] and I think we get closer and closer every day. But [Barpay] truly is the thing that led to Haste,” he confirmed.

Haste Arcade is born

On Jan 2, 2021, DePinto and Wagner were in the office late thinking, why aren’t people getting it? This Bitcoin thing? What can we do to help? They so badly wanted to demonstrate micropayments to the real world in the way that does not tie back to “blockchain” or “Bitcoin” or “crypto,” they wanted to avoid confusion and make it simple and fun for everyone. 

This was the moment when they started thinking about games…everyone likes to game, they reasoned. They started toying with the idea of what you could do with micropayments in a game and the idea of an arcade and leaderboards just kept coming to mind.

“One of us said, ‘What if we just paid the leaderboard’? You put a quarter in and it just pays the existing leaderboard. And we were like, ‘Woah. That’s interesting…,’” Wagner reminisced.

“We would basically like to take this concept of Instant Leaderboard Payouts (ILP) and turn it into a platform and allow third party game developers to start building and submitting games,” he added.

Once born, thanks to micropayments, Haste Arcade created a new way for gamers and game developers to monetize and there are countless ways to grow and expand on these concepts. 

“We have some early indicators that this could be a thing,” Wagner confirmed.

Take crypto out of it

In an effort to appeal to the masses and expand beyond the Bitcoin enthusiast bubble, the Haste Arcade team allows gamers to sign up with familiar platforms such as Twitter and use a credit card to buy Haste tokens. This way BSV is working under the hood and the gamers don’t even need to know it’s there. 

“There’s so many casual gamers that don’t care about crypto and we just think that they’ll be into this concept. Take crypto out of it,” Wagner advised.

“Nobody cares about the technical specifications of the solution. They care about getting the problem solved,” Morehouse added.

DePinto pointed out we are yet to see blockchain/crypto companies marketing to the masses other than exchanges, but Haste Arcade is about to change that because it can be marketed as a regular product. Once the userbase grows exponentially as DePinto and Wagner expect it to, gamers who make the leaderboard can potentially start making $500 or even $1,000 a week and this is when we’ll start to see rapid user adoption.

A unique opportunity for game developers

Since the launch of the Haste Arcade SDK, the majority of the games in the arcade have been built by third party developers. These developers get paid a percentage from the revenues generated by their games—instantly and straight to their wallets—a new way for game developers to generate revenue. 

DePinto pointed out how game developers are not yet aware of the potential of micropayments, for example they can be used in ways other than paying out the leaderboard, take “kill to death” ratios for example, or how much ammo a player has left over after a match.

“Because of the micropayment you can assign it to any of these things. That’s what’s so cool about micropayments, it just creates all these new potential business models or revenue streams that I don’t think these games studios realize yet,” DePinto said.

DePinto touched on some of the future plans for Haste, including working with AAA studios and taking ILP into the physical world, for example with Pelotons—users could spend a penny or a dollar if they think their time on a particular course will beat everyone else’s. 

“ILP in the physical world is really, really fun to think about,” Wagner teased.

Why BSV?

The Haste Arcade is a perfect example of an application that could never be built using any other blockchain than BSV.

Before deciding on which blockchain to build on, Wagner went around Discord channels asking developers about their experience with Solana, how many outputs are possible from a single payment, questions like this. Wagner admitted Solana ticked a lot of the boxes at first, but once he started getting into the weeds with the ILP concept, it all just fell apart.

Wagner also explained how playing around with the HandCash SDK helped convince him that BSV was the solid choice and added how sitting around and waiting for a layer 2 solution on Ethereum absolutely makes no sense at all.

DePinto agreed and explained Haste’s plans to eventually involve other blockchains in the ecosystem simply to grow their userbase, but pointed out that everything can actually be done on BSV, unlike the rest of the blockchains out there.

“We are still super early. The masses don’t care yet. So I think that as we bring more and more people into the ecosystem they’ll just naturally start gravitating towards what they can use across a whole bunch of different products that they enjoy,” DePinto predicted.

Watch: CoinGeek New York presentation, Online Games: Next Level on the BSV Blockchain

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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