Outside the Box Technology

Entropy from mobile gaming

In 2017 Cloudflare announced they had built a wall of lava lamps to generate randomness, here is a link to their post about this Randomness 101: LavaRand in Production.  Why is generating randomness so important?  Cryptography, which secures your computer and your company VPN, relies on randomness to generate cryptographically secure keys to secure your data.  Without cryptographically secure keys your data could be stolen because a known amount of possibilities would be known to every hacker and they would only have to limit their hacking attempts to those known possibilities.  With a secure truly random key hackers are forced to try every combination possible, which means your data is far more secure.

Let’s look at a chart, below you can see various AES Encryption methods and how long they are estimated to take to crack.

Let me give you a little perspective on what this chart means. A researcher stated that “if you were to try and brute force the key on a trillion machines, that each could test a billion keys per second, it would take more than two billion years to recover an AES-128 key”.  This is because of randomness, the randomness introduced into each key as it is generated makes it secure.  Now it is true that nothing is perfect and a hacker could get lucky and stumble on the correct key combination early in their attempt, but the likelihood of that happening is about as likely as being able to count every grain of sand in a child’s sandbox.  It’s not impossible but the odds are against it.

The Idea

Build a company that issues an API to multiplayer mobile game developers that pulls every action taken by each player and puts that data into a pool of randomness.  This pool of randomness can then be sold to companies that need random bits for encryption.

Example

Let’s assume you have a company that runs its own VPN with 1000 remote workers who have to re-authenticate their connection 3 times per shift 5 days a week.  So they contact you to buy randomness for their VPN at $0.01 per 10 pull requests.  As you can see in the chart below that works out to $780.00 per year, not a huge amount but this is a small single customer use case example.

Now why would a game developer take the time to add this API to their game?  Well, you would pay out a daily reward to the developer.  In this hypothetical example, we’re assuming you only have one customer and one game developer, and you are paying the game developer a daily reward of $0.20.  $0.20 isn’t a lot but it’s free ongoing income for very little work to add your API to their game.  Below is a chart showing how much passive income the game developer can expect and how much you’d have left after the payout.

Now I know $0.20 per day doesn’t sound like much but game developers running ads only make between $0.05 to $0.15 per 1000 ad impressions.  If a game had 100 players and each player watched one ad per day it would take 10 days to make $0.15 if they’re lucky and can get a high payout.

So in the time it would take the game developer to make at best $0.15, they could make $2.00 without having to force more ads on their users.  This means more stable returns for the game developer, at a higher rate, and more loyal players who contribute more randomness to the API.

The mechanics

Ok, this is great and all but how would it work?  Let’s use a game I play as an example, Call of Duty Mobile.  In that game I play 5-on-5 matches, that’s 10 users in one game, and there are multiple games going on at any given time.  Every player is moving at random times throughout the match and every player on the opposing team is moving to react to the other players’ random movements.

So in a 5-to-8 minute match, you have 10 players generating randomness almost every second that the API can send back to the server to be put into a pool of randomness that is then served to customers when they submit a pull request.

Now what if multiple customers are submitting requests at one time?  Every request gets placed into a queue in the order they are received and pull requests are served with fresh randomness every 10 milliseconds.  This means that the server pool can process 100 pull requests every second, and even if the server gets 1000 requests at once it would still only take 10 seconds to fulfill all those 1000 requests.

But what if there is a big event and there are very few players online to generate the randomness?  Well, this is where the pool comes in, like a swimming pool the server pool would fill up with randomness and would always pull from the oldest data first so there would always be more than was needed for these downtimes.  Think of it like a savings account, you put money in your savings account and when you need more money than you have coming in you pull the amount you need from your savings account.  The pool of randomness is your savings account, it’s there to fill in the gap.

The big picture

In the example above I only used one company with 1000 employees making 3000 pull requests per day, and one game developer.  Now scale that up to multiple companies submitting pull requests and multiple games running the API.  Now you have randomness coming from multiple sources, and multiple pull requests generating income.

Now pair this with other revenue-generating services and you’ve got the potential for a full-scale business.  Sure you may not become a tech giant, or maybe you will, but you could at least run a profitable business.  Or maybe just add this to an existing business in the tech industry, and generate a little extra profit.

I could see this being a good business for hosting providers, just take one server rack in your data center and dedicate it to this service.  The server is already running so why not have it pay for itself?  Plus if you have multiple data centers you can spread the randomness across multiple sites to better serve your customers.

Conclusion

I have done my best to search the United States Patent Office for this idea and have not been able to find anything that matches this idea.  If there is a pre-existing patent please feel free to use my contact page and let me know, I will link to any pre-existing patent at the bottom of this post.

I have no coding skills and no way to fund this.  So to some developer out there, take this idea and make it happen.  If you manage to make a really successful business out of this idea do me a favor and at the very least credit me, and maybe a little monetary thank you, I’m not saying like a Silicon Valley style Erlich 10% of your company, I understand I just came up with the idea, you did the hard work of coding it.  In the end, I’d be willing to cosign a patent with you for a small bit of revenue share.

If on the other hand, you develop this as a totally open source project, reach out and let me know, I’m a Linux guy and I’d love to see this be an open source project.  Again I would ask that I be given credit for the idea.  But hey you can put me on the advisory board or something, I’d love to have an open source project on my resume.

I am releasing this idea under my Fair Ues Policy.

I have created a Github for this idea, while I’m not a coder I can understand what coders are talking about (most of the time) and what they may need. So while I won’t be contributing code maybe I can act as a project coordinator, not a manager.

Here is the link to the Github project page: Entropy-from-mobile-gaming

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