There was a time when going to the bookies was a quasi-religious habit for many people bent on chancing their luck and make a quick buck. Soccer matches, horse racing, boxing bouts, any competitive event was fair game and open for bets. Local bet shops became shrines of pilgrimage, refuges for menfolk on rainy Saturday afternoons.
In time, these locales began dying out as the internet took hold, with just a few big players keeping a physical presence on the high street. Out of the ashes of the grimiest bookies rose the online betting phenomenon.
It is hard to say exactly when online betting came into existence. The first betting sites began appearing circa 1994, specifically when Antigua and Barbuda passed its Free Trade & Process act. This paved the way for the granting of licences to companies intent on providing online betting services where real money would be exchanged.
The first online casinos soon popped up. Basic, with limited games and facilities, but willing and able to take your money nonetheless. Sport betting sites followed suit not long after. The industry grew exponentially, year on year.
Today, the online betting business is huge. Yearly gross yield in Great Britain alone reached almost 13bn towards the end of 2015, for example. When taking the whole gamut of online gaming aspects into consideration, the sum swells to a staggering $45bn by the end of 2016.
A new revolution is coming, spearheaded by blockchain technology. ByteBet is hoping to take online betting to new heights, bringing decentralized, peer-to-peer, community-driven betting to the masses through the blockchain.
This piece is a full disclosure, a statement of facts without any intention of advice or endorsement about the ByteBet value offer.
The House Edge: Gambling’s dirty little secret
You see, the current online gambling model (and physical casinos, for that matter) has a built-in failsafe mechanism to ensure that the house never loses in the long run. The House Edge is the term used to describe the mathematical advantage that the house holds over any player. This little secret means that the house always gets a return for the venue, no matter what, while at the same time taking a small amount of your own profit, every time a winning bet is paid out.
The House Edge’s raison d’etre is to guarantee profit, plain and simple. Staff must be paid, facilities have to be maintained, and so on. But nevertheless, the House Edge also ensures that, in the long run, your are mathematically guarantee to lose. Only the house wins in the long run.
Fair, peer-to-peer online betting across the blockchain: The ByteBet proposition
ByteBet is the first company to create an online betting platform based on the Ethereum network, so from that standpoint, it can be deemed to be a pioneering enterprise.
Online gambling with cryptocurrencies is a rising trend. From negligible beginnings, punters have staked about 4.5bn worth of BitCoin since 2014, for instance. The rising popularity and acceptability of cryptocurrencies, particularly of BitCoin has prompted ByteBet to launch this enterprise.
ByteBet proposes to use the decentralized nature of the blockchain to implement a fairer, peer-to-peer betting model that does away with the middleman, and thus removing the House Edge money trap.
ByteBet’s platform enables players from all over the world to create customized bets and play against each other, rather than against a betting house. These bets are essentially Smart Contracts that provide a transparent environment free from any sneaky mathematical intrusion. The fees gathered are then shared among members of the community.
Such environment provides the following benefits:
- Low betting fees
- A reward system
- Peer-to-peer betting
- Custom-made bets
The ByteBet Token
ByteBet relies on its token, BBET, to fulfill transactions. BBET is based on the ERC20 standard, which means all the infrastructure to store and transfer tokens is already in place.
Players will only be able to join games by using BBET tokens. Prizes and rewards will be paid out in BBET.
ByteBet in numbers: Quick Facts
- Token Pre-Sale: Started on November 21, 2017. Will end on November 29, 2017.
- ICO (if Pre-sale achieves its targets) – January or February 2018
- Soft cap for ICO – 3,000 ETH (300,000 BBET)
- Hard cap – 50,000 ETH (5,000,000 BBET)
ByteBet’s token pre-sale was initiated on November 21, 2017. It will close 8 days later.
The company plans to collect a minimum of 150 ETH worth of contributions (equal to 30,000 BBET), with a cap of 600 ETH (equal to 60,000 BBET).
Early contributors will receive a 30% discount during Pre-sale.
ByteToken will accept funds from established wallets only. Exchanges are not allowed.
- imToken (iPhone)
- imToken (Android)
The main token sale will commence circa January & February 2018.
It will be divided into three stages:
- Stage 1 – Offers 25% discount for investors who contribute on the first day.
- Stage 2 – Offers 15% discount for investors who contribute after the first day, and before the second week.
- Stage 3 – Offers 10% discount for investors
The company’s Whitepaper presents a core team of three people, aided by a number of non-specified freelancers on an as-needed basis. Their LinkedIn profiles are accessible through their pictures on the Whitepaper.
The team is somewhat lean, which is wise decision while starting up, to reduce overheads. The paper does mention that the team would be expanded if set targets are reached during the token sale.
Social Media Presence and Digital Footprint
A strong presence on Social Media is usually a good indicator of a company’s popularity, though it is not the only factor that determines success.
In this case, ByteBet appears to have a rather sparse presence on the web.
Here’s the figures:
- Twitter – 2,018 -quite good
- LinkedIn – No presence
- Facebook – 17 followers -poor
- Reddit – 5 users – poor
It is early days for ByteBet, and its online presence may become more widespread as time goes on, assuming that its proposition succeeds.
A well laid out, informative, comprehensive Whitepaper is a must for any ICO, if they are to be taken seriously. Documentation is sometimes treated as an afterthought, leaving many companies open to some criticism.
This particular paper is rather short, which is not a bad thing as long as all the points are made across with sufficient clarity. Here, they are. There is some background information regarding why ByteBet exists at all, but not a lot. There are 19 pages in total, one of the shortest Whitepapers I’ve seen in the industry thus far.
Nevertheless, the paper is well written and free from grammatical errors, which is always a plus.
Website Quality & Layout
The website is simple, and to the point. Again, it shows that the budget for big things just isn’t there right now. This in itself is not a negative point, just part of an overall cost-saving exercise, pending the success of the token sale.
The website is secure, which is a conditiion sine qua non for a site intent to deal with cryptocurrencies.
The online betting industry has been raking it in for quite some times, rather unchallenged. Its profits rank in the tens of billions, and as long as the House Edge exists, players will never, ever win in the long run.
ByteBet intends to disrupt the hegemony of current online betting outlets, handing the power of betting back to the people, in a fairer way, and giving something back in the process.
It is a laudable proposition, one which is likely to meet stiff opposition from established betting players. Nevertheless, the ongoing rise of the blockchain is paving the way for change, so the disruption of many long-established industries seems to be closer than ever.
Consult ByteBet’s Whitepaper for more information.