Post by Norse on Medium. Src: https://medium.com/@zethr/zethr-blog-2-4th-september-2018-19d5df1794c1.

Hello again, everyone!

Quick update from all of us to bring you up to speed with what’s going on behind the scenes in Zethr.

This week won’t be as heavy on the numbers as klob’s previous post, but we still have a bunch of interesting bits and pieces for you!

Profit

We’ve started the unenviable task of calculating the bankroll profits since launch. A more detailed breakdown is worthy of a post all of its own, but from our early calculations, we estimate that roughly 125,000 ZTH will be made available for redistribution to the community once ZethSnap is released.

Bankroll

One question we’ve (unsurprisingly) been hearing a lot of lately is “why haven’t we seen any more games yet?”, and the answer is “the bankroll”. We’ve been working on some improvements to the way that the bankroll interfaces with the Zethr suite of games, and we’ve been holding off on releasing our variant of Big Wheel until this is in place.

However, us just saying “the bankroll” doesn’t actually answer much, so in brief, here’s what the revamp aims to address in what I suspect is of most importance to the everyman:

1) Pending bets will be able to be resolved by any Zethr user. The benefit of doing so is in the reward system: if the bet being resolved produces a net loss for the player, a portion of that loss is allocated to the external resolver rather than going to the bankroll. We imagine that this will go some way to ensuring no bets go unresolved in future, and might also open a niche market for dedicated resolution-hunters!

2) The maximum bet for games will be significantly increased, due to a modification in the token allocation on a per game-contract basis. In short, a game will now be able to access a `free-floating’ pool of tokens in addition to its own reserved pool. More on this at its release.

3) Resolving a few rare corner cases which could lead to bets not being able to be paid out.

We’ve been holding off on releasing our variant of Big Wheel until this is in place, and will follow up with re-releases of Slots and Dice (the latter including multi-spin as well) shortly afterwards.

Off-Chain

With all of the above said, we’re aware that the games on the Zethr platform are thus far variations on randomisation, however we’ve been focusing our efforts on games which inculcate a measure of skill as well. The most prominent example (and worst kept secret) is blackjack, and we are pleased to say that we have both the prototype user interface and core logic with configurable rules in place. The joy here is that a standard template for one player-vs-dealer card game is easily extensible to others in the same vein, so we’re quite proud of this.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with what is implied by the term ‘off-chain’, a brief explainer might be helpful. For games such as Slots, you place a bet, press the “Let’s Go Nuts” button and away you go, finding out whether you won or lost within the next block or two. On the other hand, card games such as blackjack, pai gow, hold’em et al require more than one interaction in order to play, since there is generally a decision to be made after a bet has been entered into: such as choosing between hit and stand in blackjack.

This is an intractable problem for the blockchain — for example, how do you maintain a shuffled deck with certain cards removed across multiple transactions whilst keeping the cards to come secret? — and common consensus is that there needs to be an ‘off-chain’ approach to this, wherein a player interacts with a party who can provide assurances that the deck is not rigged against a player, and similarly does not allow for a player to gain any information other than what they should be able to access.

One of the things we’re most excited about recently is the development of a series of techniques which aim to provide such a trusted party whilst still making use of the cryptographic assurances that make blockchain gambling so appealing in the first place. A significant part of this work has been implemented in a proof of concept stage in a development setting, and we have been able to demonstrate (to ourselves, at least!) that this work interfaces with our blackjack contract.

Given the amount of trust which we ask to be placed in such a system, the testing phase is mission critical. As such, whilst we’ll periodically update you with latest developments, this is something we’ll be holding quite close to our chest for now.

Closing

To sum up: we’ve been fairly quiet over the last week, but that’s not for want of productivity. We’re still hammering away behind the scenes, and we’re hoping that these blog posts play some small part in lifting the veil periodically so you can see what’s currently keeping us up at night!

We thank you for your continued patience, and hope that you’re all well. Stay safe out there, and don’t max-bet Lo-98 on Dice!

Yours,

Norsefire (and others)