Forget about regulation tax or even a game of thrones style winter, the nerds are coming for the gambling industry and it will never be the same again.
I’m long on smart watches, AI and simple mobile UX all being key trends for the eGaming industry, all of these right now are short-term trends and pretty much solved equations. In terms of the biggest disrupting trend to the eGaming industry they are all tiny specks compared to the impact that the blockchain will have.
So what is the big deal of the blockchain and why should anyone care? The blockchain for the uninitiated is the backbone of the crypto currency Bitcoin and there are many different variations with Ethereum being the second most popular .
The advantages a blockchain offers for gambling is four-fold. The first is visibility; it is entirely possible to use the blockchain as a Random Number Generator (RNG) to power games. This visibility into the RNG creates a situation where “provably fair” casino and poker games can be offered to players. Overnight the number of “your rigged” messages to support teams could disappear as players can individually verify each game round was a fair deal. Take a look at onetouch.io who are by my guess the market leaders in the provably fair space.
The second area is smart contracts, this will make it easy to decentralize sports betting allow the automatic placing and settling of sports bets, with the results independently verified by a number of independent “oracles”. With every bet publicly auditable and settled automatically, it counter-acts the risk of being ripped off by a dodgy backroom bookie in an unregulated market.
The third key area and the most important is that blockchains by their very nature are open, in the long run in the software industry (and wider world even) open always beats closed. If we look at how Linux (and its variants), MySQL, Wordpress, Firefox and even Android have competed and won significant and mostly dominant market share against closed source rivals, there is no reason why that in time blockchain based eGaming cannot take significant global market share.
The final advantage that the blockchain offers is the ability to issue your own “alt-coins” (think shares) in your project and raise funding through an “Initial Coin Offering” (think IPO). This allows an easy way for projects to be crowd funded online with minimum transaction, banking or legal costs. Over $200 million in funding for software projects have been raised in the last 12 months using the ICO process. Within that, I count at least 6 gambling related projects who combined have raised over $30million.
In the last few months, we’ve seen PeerPlays.com raise over $3.5 million USD and are planning on launching a Sportsbook exchange app in late 2017. Wagerr another decentralized betting platform has raised millions in the first few days of its ICO. On the table games side of things edgeless raised $3.5million for zero edge table games and VDice raised $1.3million for a dice games website.
The appetite for developers to build gambling products on the blockchain, the large number of investors willing to back them and the large pool of players in unregulated markets looking for a safe way to gamble will be enough to kick start the nerd eGaming revolution. Brace yourself!