3 August 2022

Webinar Catchup: Breaking the Blockchain

Recently, our CTO and Co-Founder, Tim De Wachter, held an insightful webinar discussing the world of blockchain gaming, blockchain security and our experiences dealing with industry-targeting hackers.

In case you missed it, you can find the archived stream down below. Otherwise, we thought it would be good to summarise the key points about blockchain gaming our expert ethical hacker and cybersecurity specialist talked about.

What is blockchain gaming?

After Tim introduced himself, the company and our wide variety of clients and partners to our multitude of viewers, he dived right in to answer the questions: what is blockchain gaming and why is security so important?

As you know, Cyrex has a lot of experience working within the blockchain industry. With a majority of Cyrex’ audience composed of gaming industry professionals, many understand what blockchain gaming is, but we’ll break it down for you anyway. In short, the blockchain is a list of records of every transaction, cryptocurrency exchange and interaction, which are then all recorded and kept within the ‘blockchain’.

A blockchain game (or NFT/crypto game) is a video game that includes elements that use cryptography-based blockchain technologies. Blockchain elements in these games are most often based on the use of cryptocurrency or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which players can buy, sell, or trade with other players, with the game publisher taking a fee from each transaction as a form of monetization. Blockchain gaming technology allows gamers to customize their gaming items, develop their characters, and make them unique. They can also transfer them to other users and trade them on the platform.

A subset of these games are also known as play-to-earn games because they include systems that allow players to earn cryptocurrency through game play. We’ve worked with our fair share of play-to-earn games, and seen firsthand how they incentivize players to purchase and improve NFTs through in-game activities which are then resold to other players by the publisher, with the player receiving compensation for their work.

Components of a blockchain game that need security

Throughout the webinar, Tim reiterated a point we have mentioned countless times before in our blogs: The blockchain concept has been consistently proven to be secure in its design, but also once something is in the blockchain, it’s there forever, and if there is a weakness, hackers will exploit it.

Luckily for you, we are experts in both gaming AND blockchain, and your safety is our number one priority. Whether you’re a brand-new game emerging on the blockchain, or constantly ranking number one for months, you need security. Hackers are everywhere, and can easily put your player base, and your game, at risk.

Chain is immutable

When we say the blockchain is immutable, we mean that whenever a transaction happens on the blockchain gets verified, and multiple parties have validated it, there is no way to undo that transaction. Tim provided an example of a hacker being able to steal assets (such as tokens or NFTs) from another player, stating that a blockchain developer or publisher actually has no actual way of retrieving those stolen assets back.

Direct impact on game economy and players

Whenever assets get stolen from a game it has a serious impact on both the game economy and player base, due to the fact that the stolen tokens have a place in the economy. Stolen tokens will not only be devalued, making them useless, but also players won’t have tokens to play the game, resulting in your game becoming unplayable. Because players paid real money for those tokens, they’re essentially getting robbed right in front of their eyes, which will result in distrust in both your game and company, leading to churn.

Other key areas

Because this is only a recap, be sure to check out the link below to watch the full webinar and learn more insights. The other key areas that Tim addressed included:

  • Components of blockchain that need security i.e. Marketplace, Gameplay etc.
  • Typical vulnerabilities such as Smart Contract and Bridge vulnerabilities.
  • Other key takeaways such as the need for Source Code audits and Recurring testing.

Not only that, Tim closed the webinar with an insightful 10-minute Q&A section with the audience, giving detailed answers to a variety of questions including:

“What are the most common hacking tools hackers use?” “How difficult is it to publish a blockchain game in the market?” “When writing smart contracts, are there any existing libraries that can be used to optimize and enforce security by design?”

Finishing Up

Cyrex has worked on an array of games across a variety of platforms, genres, and concepts including the blockchain space. We are so thankful for the confidence of our clients and partners and their belief in us to secure them against malicious actors.

This was just a summary, so to hear the full webinar, you can see it below. To read more about our work, we have a portfolio of some of our clients available as well. Finally, if you’d like to find out more about our work with Load Testing, you can click here. And otherwise, if you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you.