Sony patent outlines Bitcoin betting system for esports tournaments

Hand flipping a Bitcoin in front of Sony Playstation button symbols

Gamers and esports fans could bet Bitcoin on their favourite games if Sony gets its way with a recently published patent.

Sony’s Bitcoin patent — originally filed in 2019 — hints at an in-game system for players and viewers to bet crypto on a range of scenarios. For example, the winner of a particular game or first to virtually die.

According to the paperwork, Sony’s new system could accept a range of payment methods including fiat, Bitcoin, and game assets.

Sony’s patent docs also suggests digital rights could be up for grabs — implying NFTs may have a part to play.

Sony patent screengrab courtesy of Bloqport.

When it comes to placing bets, Sony’s patent says players could select wagers from a list of pre-determined scenarios (example: will a specific weapon hit a certain player at any point in the game).

Sony said the system will calculate odds using past statistics, a complex algorithm, or could even be set by the players themselves. Users could also lodge their own propositions for bets.

The patent states odds may vary in some cases to account for “government take out.” This alludes to Sony’s proposed system treating fiat and crypto differently.

Sony’s patent suffers from a bad case of legalese.

Neowin speculated Sony could be intending to rollout Bitcoin betting for fighting game tournament Evo, which it acquired in March. It’s not known whether Sony plans to support crypto other than Bitcoin.

Sony’s first foray into Bitcoin came in 2019, when the entertainment giant’s venture capital arm joined a $14.5 million funding round for Bitcoin bank Bitwala.

Bitcoin in games before the Sony patent

While the Sony patent awaits approval, next week sees the chess world fight for $100,000 in Bitcoin.

Sponsored by crypto exchange FTX, the Crypto Cup touts itself as the world’s first Bitcoin chess tournament.

And although spectators can’t gamble crypto on the matches, chess fans can track the Bitcoin prize’s value in real-time “throughout the broadcast to see how it fluctuates.”

[Read more: Disney sees blockchain replacing watermarks to fight film piracy]

But perhaps the most famous Bitcoin prize pool came way back in 2011. A Starcraft 2 tournament handed its unlucky runners up 25 BTC — worth $25 then but a joystick-waggling $1 million at today’s prices.

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