Interview with BetProtocol team

Question 1: How would you describe BetProtocol?

BetProtocol allows entrepreneurs to launch their own scalable, secure, and regulated betting apps, with no coding required. It works like Shopify for betting.

If you think back, what did Shopify do for the eCommerce industry? It drastically lowered the barrier to entry, leading to a huge boom in eCommerce and a bunch of new entrepreneurs being able to work for their own dream, instead of working for someone else’s dream.

Similarly, what did Wordpress do for website creators? Same thing. It made it a lot easier to get an online presence for everyone, including entrepreneurs, and not have to pay a developer a lot of money just to put up a landing page.

Building something like BetProtocol is important because it not only lowers the barrier to entry to being an online casino operator (and later Sportsbook and Esports) but it also brings a lot more transparency to the online gambling industry through the use of blockchain and smart contracts.

If you are an entrepreneur or someone who already works in the industry and has a lot of know-how, you can now become your own boss and launch your own betting app with a fraction of the cost and time as before. You can set the edge on your casino, provide it with liquidity, choose to offer games from our selection of games, and customize it for your brand.

BetProtocol takes out all the complexity and difficulty of development, backend needs, security, uptime, compliance, payment processing, you name it…and replaces it with an easy to use back office interface where you can control everything, without having to touch any code. All you’ll need to do is focus on customer acquisition, distribution, and getting your name out there.

Question 2: How can you change the tokenized betting industry?

BetProtocol is building an ecosystem and not just another betting app. Right now if you want to launch your own blockchain based betting app, you have to build the whole stack yourself. People right now are building silos, building vertically. But that’s the old model. Blockchain allows you to leverage work already done by others, which is what we are creating: a shared resource that other entrepreneurs can leverage off of. So that means we are building horizontally, we are building the foundation, and letting people build on top.

We are laying the groundwork so that you can build your own house, whether that is a casino, sportsbook, Esports or prediction market.

In terms of specific use-cases, we provide turnkey solutions:

Whitelabeling will allow people to basically piggyback off our license and offer a fully customized and compliant online casino or sportsbook right out of the box. KYC/AML tools, chat, and odds generation are all fully integrated.

Our graphical back-office with risk and liquidity management tools make upkeep fairly easy. Imagine being able to run your BetProtocol betting app from a smartphone while you are remote, going about your day. That’s the level of usability we are aiming for.

For payments, we have integrations with providers that allow anyone to deposit and withdraw over 100 different cryptos and 28 fiat currencies. And once deposits are made, they are converted with our solution provider into a stablecoin, like Dai for example, and then made available for gaming. So this is very different from our competitors who force people to buy their own coin in order to gamble on their platform. This is really exposing the player to two gambles: one on the conversion volatility of a small cap coin, and again in the casino itself. We want to offer stablecoin support to our players so they aren’t exposed to this unnecessary risk.

In terms of compliance, our back office generates automated reports that are formatted to exactly what regulators require when running a compliant online gambling site.

So there are many use cases for BetProtocol, but in summary, the goal here is to turn the blockchain betting industry more cost and time efficient while bringing in more transparency and credibility.

Question 3: Who’s behind the project?

The CEO and co-founder is Rui Teixeira who is a developer and entrepreneur, specializing in distributed systems and blockchain development. The CTO is André Moniz who has a ton of experience in the online gaming space having exited a company to Betfair. The COO and co-founder is Justin Wu, an entrepreneur and blockchain industry veteran. The CMO and co-founder is Miguel Leite, an entrepreneur who scaled companies to +500,000 users and founded Coinvision, blockchain research firm.

Question 4: What makes BetProtocol special?

BetProtocol allows you to dream of being an online casino operator one morning, and actually be one that same day. That’s incredibly exciting for people who are currently priced out of the industry because startup and compliance burdens are high and difficult to overcome.

Most of our competitors are B2C, while we are B2B. We enable others to build online casinos, while others basically just run their own games.

We also want to be as transparent and compliant as possible. Lots of blockchain betting companies consider compliance and KYC/AML as an afterthought, however we know how important that is. We give our operators the tools to ensure compliance needs are done so players can be safe.

BetProtocol also acts as a bridge between the legacy space for online gambling and the blockchain based space. Since we are modular and SaaS, we can go to large legacy firms like Betclic and Bet.Pt and offer them technology that really does help them reduce costs. For example if one of them just wants to accept crypto and nothing else, they can do that. Or our compliance and reporting module, they can use that too.

We had a meeting with one of the largest online gambling firms in Europe, who said that just our compliance and reporting module would revolutionize the industry. Did you know that gaming operators pay tens of millions of dollars in fines to regulators per year? The reason for that is the info the regulator has from his inspections are always different from the reports the operators have to submit every week or month. Each divergence in data here implies a fine and hours figuring out what went wrong.

On BetProtocol’s system, all bets, transactions, deposits, withdrawals, and other relevant KPIs regulators look at are recorded on the blockchain. This same blockchain is the source for both operator reports and regulator inspections. So, there is in theory never any divergences, therefore no fines or trying to figure out what went wrong. This alone saves tens of millions per year and countless administrative and development hours.

Lastly, we are a company with client operators already signed and thousands of users waiting to play our games.

Question 5: What is your view on the current betting industry and its future?

Blockchain will completely dominate online gambling in 10–15 years, maybe sooner. The main reason for that is demographics. The vast majority of players in online gaming are the baby boomers, and it’s clear that this group of people will not be able to game for that much longer, for obvious reasons. So the online gambling industry is facing a crisis in their player base because soon they will be too old to visit their websites.

In order to attract the 21 to 35 years old demographic to online gambling, the industry needs to cater to their specific wants, interests, and needs. That demographic resonates with transparency, being your own boss, social media and a whole host of design cues and user interface norms that don’t apply to older generations. These elements need to be present in the new iteration of online gambling that BetProtocol is building.

We also know that the side-hustle, passive income entrepreneurship dream is strong in this demographic. Having your own online casino where you set the odds and earn a daily return is very attractive, especially when BetProtocol does all the heavy lifting of development and compliance in the background. You can focus on what you do best, which is marketing, YouTubing, social media, and otherwise distribution efforts while the smart contracts work in the background.

People nowadays are incredibly distrustful of centralized entities, be they banks or governments or black box online casinos. If you go to a legacy online casino, if you bet and lose, you always have that thought in the back of your mind, “hmm maybe this game is rigged against me so I always lose.”

With blockchain and smart contract based online gambling, you can always look and verify the game’s code openly on the blockchain. If the code says there is a 1% edge for the house, then you can be sure it’s 1%.

Once more people realize that in blockchain based betting they don’t have to trust the operator that they aren’t being swindled, there’ll be a huge groundswell of support and shift from legacy black box operators to open and transparent blockchain based operators.

Question 6: What is the current status of the project?

We are far along our roadmap already, having started in late 2017. In middle 2018 we raised initial capital and accelerated our development for the first MVP. The API structure and backend is functional, and awaiting security audits and further tests. The frontend and whitelabel casino solution with our first games is finishing development and should enter testing soon after.

Clientwise we signed on the largest Ethereum gambling dapp by volume. We also are working with one of the largest betting companies in Europe in the legacy space to add cryptocurrency integrations. Many other clients are in the pipeline, and interest is high in both building on BetProtocol as well as in our upcoming token sale.

Thanks for your time

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CR

Investor & Trader. CEO of Blockground Capital. Based between Andorra and Bangkok.