Video games are all about speed. Latency kills – in the case of a game like Overwatch, quite literally. The gaming industry isn’t about to adopt a technology that leaves D.Va bleeding in the dust because some poor schmuck’s server is in Cleveland, while the despondent player’s in Tallinn. Game over – not just for Hana Song, but also for Blizzard’s chances of securing further revenue from that customer.
But blockchain tech isn’t quite there yet – to say the least – which is why Bluzelle is turning to gaming as one of its ‘pain-point’ markets. Although partnerships are still under wraps, the startup is vying for attention in a niche market that could serve entertainment studios across the globe.
The last time Crypto Briefing checked in with Bluzelle, a decentralized data delivery network (DDN), the team had just concluded its public and private fundraising rounds. Since then, the development team has been designing an enterprise-grade database network from scratch.
Today the Bluzelle team launches its first DDN product, a distributed data cache service. A data cache is a “hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster.”
Pavel Bains, CEO and co-founder of Bluzelle, stated his team “had a year to build, learn, and see what works. Now is a great time to catch up with everybody and show what has happened over the past 12 months.”
This product launch is the first of many
Bluzelle’s ultimate goal is to develop a DDN that includes both a database and data caching services. But they are not the only company at the intersection of blockchain and data storage. Comparable projects developing decentralized storage solutions include Siacoin, Filecoin, and Storj.
While these other projects primarily focus on building decentralized file storage platforms (i.e., Dropbox), Bluzelle has focused its sights on data storage. However, creating infrastructure for a new database takes a lot of time and effort to build from the bottom, up. Further, the database requires consumer and enterprise adoption, along with the associated security needs.
However, the journey of a million miles starts with the first step.
To enter the market today, Bains and the team asked, “What can we deliver now? Something that is a great product that allows us to get customers and take away friction points?” The team landed on data cache solutions.
As it stands, Bluzelle is the only blockchain company competing against large-scale centralized data cache services such as Redis and Memcached. Both of which are technologies that are older than ten years.
The Bluzelle solution? Set up 25+ data centers across the globe to establish nodes and push data closer to various regional users.
What is Bluzelle’s primary target market, and how can they grow?
Bluzelle has identified three industries to seek further use cases and partnerships: gaming, media, and internet of things (IoT). Initially, Bluzelle’s new data cache service is marketed to serve the video game industry.
Modern video games not only encompass consoles, but also mobile devices. Bains believes “games are becoming more online and global. The security and the performance needs of those types of games, as more of them come out, are going to have to rely on decentralized technology.”
To emphasize the speed of their data cache service, the Bluzelle team recently conducted an online demonstration comparing the speeds of Redis to those of Bluzelle. The latter was much faster than its centralized counterpart; up to 20x in some test regions.
Bains has a professional background in the video gaming industry. That experience allowed him to identify a pain point that, “As a global data cache, [the video game company] doesn’t know where their customer is coming from.” A video game company in Japan or South Korea might have users in South America. If a video game takes off in another region, such as Russia, then the video game company must locate a data server closer to its customer base.
After locating a new data server, the infrastructure must be replicated and installed to ensure there is no latency in the gameplay. The process is timely and costly; Bains goes on to say, “By that time, the user might have just left.”
With Bluzelle there is a data server in multiple regions across the globe, and video game developers will only need to connect to the DDN once. Afterwards, if the customer base picks up in another region, Bluzelle can move and store the video game company’s data cache in a local node.
Bains states, “At the heart of it, [Bluzelle is] trying to make games run fast around the world without [the game developer] having any headaches.”
What are the next steps? Data collection and staking
Bains reiterated this is just the first, of many of Bluzelle’s steps. Looking forward, the DDN provider is examining a possible integration into video game consoles, as all that is necessary to be a producer on the network is computing power and storage capacity.
However, before real-world producers and consumers can utilize the network, Bluzelle must finalize its payment structures and staking systems. The team is in the “first stage” of exploring these models and expects to have a more concrete outline established by Q3 of 2019.
Bluzelle kept its head down during the bear market of 2018, identified its target markets, and built a product to service a niche.
Bains believes this is just the beginning, and there is lots of potential for growth. In the gaming industry alone, he says, there is a “massive market [that is] non-blockchain related. It’s not hyperbole to say we’re barely scratching the surface. There’s a huge upside.”