It is in the human nature to seek thrills and follow passions. Perhaps in no other sector of the economy is this as true as in the gambling market, and blockchain can represent the next step in those thrills.
Across the globe, the gambling industry moves USD$450 billion per year. Estimates indicate it will be worth USD$495 billion by 2019.
However, the gambling market has, for long now, not been restricted to casinos and booking agencies. If anything, the traditional gambling markets have slowly stagnated. On the other hand, in recent years, the online betting market has soared, now being worth USD$37.91 billion worldwide, particularly through the growth of sports betting platforms that democratized and made easier for people to bet on their favorite sports teams.
These changes have come to make the sector ever more competitive. High commission fees for bookies and legal restrictions on gambling in many countries have limited the amount of people that can take advantage of these services.
As smartphone penetration across the globe becomes more pervasive, there are still market growth opportunities in new online betting users, but both gamblers and the sector would benefit from a business model that would be cheaper to run and less dependent on local legislation regarding gambling.
A new project is attempting to take online sports gambling to the next level. Bethereum is making use of the blockchain’s transparency and peer-to-peer transaction advantages to build a platform that enables users to place bets on sports events without the need to use bookies or pay agency fees.
The platform allows users to customize their bets and invite friends to participate in these user-designed gambles. They can decide on which matches they are betting on, how much money will the minimum bet be and how the earnings will be distributed once the results are known. With this approach, the Bethereum team is targeting not-only traditional players, but also a growing community of casual sports gamblers, which bet socially with friends or co-workers. These sports fans seem to have different behavior patterns than traditional gamblers as they seem more passionate about the team they support than necessarily the earnings.
The Bethereum team is focusing much of its work on community-building and communication towards enhancing this aspect of their platform, as well as promoting the gamification of betting through these community structures.
By using the blockchain infrastructure that powers the Ethereum network, Bethereum will provide users with an ecosystem where they can create their own bets or join preset bets and where the pot of money to be won is built solely on the bets of all the users. Instead of betting against the bookies in a betting agency, the users bet solely against each other.
Bethereum is powered by Bether, which it uses as currency within the platform to distribute winnings and receive payments.
Smart Contracts assure the transparency of the bets made and automatically disburse the winnings once the results of the sports matches are known, performing within a minute what could otherwise be a lengthy withdrawal process when engaging with traditional betting agencies and financial institutions.
Participation fees are, in this way, greatly reduced for the user, as the platform only charges a 5% fee for the use of the smart contract where the bet is inscribed.
Bethereum itself gains from bypassing booking and betting agents as it allows it to lower its operational costs and prevents the need to invest in secondary operations that are common in traditional booking companies, including oddsmaking and funds management.
The Bethereum platform offers a range of advantages to sports and gambling fans alike. The project has great potential for the growth as it takes on the online gambling market with the use of the blockchain as a new technological stepping stone.
Safer and cheaper bets
The use of smart contracts guarantees a binding agreement between the users betting on a certain event without the need for third-party trust. The transactions are visible to anyone, the transactions are impossible to manipulate and automatically disburse the funds to the winners, without risk of human error or foul play.
Anonymity and fund control
The anonymity provided by the blockchain infrastructure will allow a row of new players to join in. Further, it also assures that the users are always in control of their funds, rather than having to transfer the funds to the bookie that places the bet for them. The funds are instead located in the user’s own wallet.
Broader user pool
The Bethereum platform receives income by charging fees from the users as compensation for using the smart contracts, rather than by betting against the users, as is the model of traditional betting platforms. This means that Bethereum’s income depends on the volume of usability rather than on winning. Hence, consistent winners, which tend to be banned from traditional gambling houses, are welcomed to the platform. Bethereum also does not limit the number of bettors in any bet, opening the door to great gains in, particularly popular bets.
The Bether BTHR Token
The project’s token BTHR, an ERC20 token, will be used to perform every transaction on the Bethereum platform. The team hopes the token might come to be widely used by online betting agencies and bookmakers beyond its own platform.
While for now, Bethereum focuses exclusively on sports events, from national leagues to regional championships, and, at the request of the users, even local sports matches, however, the team expects the platform to expand into other options. In the long term, Bethereum could come to be used to bet on electronic sports events, political elections, award shows or any real-world event. From the social gambler point of view, it could even be used to bet on video games between friends.
Here are the details of the upcoming Bethereum token sale:
Token name: BTHR
Token base: Ethereum (ERC-20 compliant)
Token supply: TBA
Token sale duration: TBA – Token sale launch in March 2018
Token sale target: TBA
Token exchange rate: TBA