Online gambling is big business. The market value of online gaming is forecast to reach over US$ 56 billion by 2018. That represents an over fifty percent increase in less than a decade.
Digital tokens remain a small, but growing section of this business. As far as Bitcoin is concerned, gambling is very big business.
Until 2013 there was little else you could do with bitcoins. There were alpaca socks, Satoshi Dice, and the Silk Road.
Satoshi Dice was the largest bitcoin gambling game at that time. A clever blockchain based betting game, it counted for up to half of all transactions on the Bitcoin network at one stage in Bitcoin’s evolution.
Since then many more mainstream industry players have added Bitcoin to their platform. Software producers, realising the potential of digital tokens for digital gaming, quickly moved to start building for this new, interesting, open and secure platform.
Bitcoin is the only token that has managed to bridge the gap to mainstream gaming in any meaningful way.
There are of course a host of specialised games for smaller digital assets. Some larger crypto gambling sites also take a variety of tokens.
But none have really made a dent like Bitcoin.
Ethereum Smart Contracts
Developers are trying to change that. By leveraging the power of Ethereum smart contracts, they hope the world will take note.
Ethereum, as a scarce, blockchain PoW network-token is the same as Bitcoin. As a token it is fairly arbitrary to integrate Ethereum next to Bitcoin, for its unit value.
But Ethereum, at its heart, is fundamentally different. Its architecture is different. Its approach is different.
There is a robust and complete scripting language at Ethereum’s core. Any computation or logic is theoretically possible. In building gambling experiences, you are limited only by your imagination.
Through correctly implementing Smart Contracts, some developers hope to leverage the unique attributes of Ethereum to shake up gambling.
The ecosystem is quite young. So the experimentation is limited. Yet we are seeing some very sophisticated and promising decentralised gambling games on the Ethereum network, as Smart Contracts.
First off the block (pun intended) is vDice.io
This is similar in nature to Satoshi Dice, fully decentralised, and implemented as an Ethereum Smart Contract.
Randomness is tricky with Ethereum. There are limited ways to generate randomness for use on the blockchain. The relative merits of differing approaches is discussed here.
vDice has chosen an innovative approach to get randomness by doin this from a third party. Another 3rd party oracle then processes the bet using the random number source.
The result is provably fair, delivered to your betting address, fairly quickly. This feels just like playing old school Satoshi Dice for Bitcoin.
The Oracle here has an extensive library and impressive catalogue. They’ve come up with some clever approaches to provide security and certainty based on TLS notary.
Next up we have Rouleth. Rouleth, as the name suggests, is Roulette implemented as an Ethereum Smart Contract.
It looks competent and there is some clever development work here, especially to get bet processing time down.
Gas costs are still a little high. The code is somewhat long. Since the DAO hack that could make users apprehensive. Also, randomness is done on chain. Developers assure that their unique system is safe.
Games like this will need to bring these gas costs down a lot in future, to be viable. Also, if Ethereum is able to do faster blocks in future, then games like this will benefit greatly.
I like blockchain. So I appreciate how cool this is.
But what’s happening behind the scenes is not so important to an average user. Sometimes there is a decentralisation for its own sake approach. It can leave these sort of projects in the academic arena.
Anyway, Rouleth is cool. It’s provably fair. If you’re into Ethereum you should have a go.
Now, using dapps.ethercasts.com, we could find only 3 working gambling games, implemented as Ethereum Smart Contracts.
Ethereumlottery.io was the final one. I was unable to play because, it seems, tickets had already sold out for the next round by the time I arrived. I am left to wonder.
The game is a lottery which takes randomness from the blockchain. As the site admits, this can be problematic. So its novel approach is to use the Bitcoin blockchain for this Ethereum Dapp. Bitcoin blocks cross-chain are accessed using BTCRelay.
There is a budding ecosystem of gambling Dapps on Ethereum. It makes sense. Gambling is an obvious use case.
There is a lot of potential here. In future we could have a stable coin, either native to Ethereum, or ported in from another chain, like Bitshares. A pegged USD token would allow betting in Dollars through these platforms. This could seriously expand scope and appeal from a niche audience.
The possibilities are really endless with a Smart Contract. It will be interesting to see what the market continues to develop.
In the middle of 2018 the Litecoin price sits at around 75USD which is approximately 0.01 Bitcoin (BTC). The alltime high of Litecoin was around 350USD ( or 0.046 BTC) and was set in Dec 2017. Just one year before this, the Litecoin price in Dec 2016 was priced at around 3.5USD. This just illustrates that the price has risen significantly in value despite having achieved very little real world adoption.
According to the Litecoin Foundation there are just over 200 merchants listed who accept Litecoin. Although this number is ok it hardly justifies a thriving currency ecosystem worth around 4 billion USD. To keep this Litecoin valuation into perspective this is similar to that of the total worth of the Uruguayan Peso currency used by several millions of people every day in Uruguay.
This merchant adoption is indeed less than some other Crypto Currency coins such as DASH who have a much smaller market cap. DASH reportedly has well over 1000 merchants accepting DASH and is seemingly fast approaching 2000 with its recent efforts in South America, especially Venezuela. This shows that despite the hype, Litecoin is not actually that widely used for its primary purpose as a currency. Even more concerning is that the merchant adoption rates of Litecoin seem to be de-accelerating.
A key factor in the increase of value for any new technology is not just the size of the network. It is also the continued ongoing development of the technology. This development helps keep competitors at bay. This is concept is nicely reinforced by the well known phrase of ‘Innovate or Die‘. Despite Litecoin having been the first major crypto coin to adopt ‘Seg Wit’, it is the last and only major development in Litecoin since its inception. Seg Wit has been arguably a success for Bitcoin ( for which it was actually developed) but time will tell if this ‘upgrade’ actually only confuses the overeall supply of coins ‘available’ on the Seg Wit enabled protocols. This because some have argued that Lightning Network coins could actually be categroised as ‘Alt Coins’ from a development perspective. Seg Wit also allowed for ‘Atomic Swaps’ which coudl also be argued as actually merging protocols together and therefore altering their fixed supply.
The frequency and significance of Litecoin Commits on Github seems to show a lack of ongoing unique development ideas that could revolutionise the crypto space. This is unlike many other active and highly valued projects which appear to be driving innovation in computer science and cryptography.
This has lead many to label litecoin as a Bitcoin testnet that will blindly adopt the next proposal by Blockstream.
If litecoin’s main use case is a testnet for Bitcoin then there are significant powerful interests in keeping the coins value relatively high, otherwise it could no longer be reliably used as a ‘testnet’. These powerful interests could be a positive driver of price and help keep the fanboy’s hopes alive.
The thousands who bought Litecoin at the tail end of 2017 ( mostly as the price ‘looked’ cheaper than bitcoin) have created a fan base of followers who will defend Litecoin at any price. Added to this you have crypto influencers such as Cliff High who continue to make positive remarks on future price despite little justification. This said, the crypto markets have witnessed many times the phenomenon of fanboys keeping prices significantly inflated. However as more ‘Smart Money’ enters crypto and uses tried and tested techniques that includes quantitive analysis on actual adoption etc then it could be argued that Litecoin gets ignored by this more well informed capital.
Clearly one big reason for Litecoin’s continued dominance in the market cap rankings is its listing on the world’s most popular Fiat to crypto exchange, CoinBase. For obvious reasons it is widely speculated that the only reason coinbase listed Litecoin was because of founder Charlie Lee having been an employee of Coinbase until mid 2017.
Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, stated he would focus full time on Litecoin development after his departure from Coinbase. However he publicly stated in early 2018, at around the time of Litecoin’s all time high in price, that he sold and donated all of his Litecoin. Although he wasn’t the only early crypto adopter to cash in some profits during this time, the justification for declaring his sale was questionable. He said it was to avoid any conflict of interest in his influence over LItecoin, but this doesn’t make complete sense. Crypto has proven to a great extent the power of economic incentivisation as this one of the key components in keeping most crypto coins secure. So now the lead developer and figure head of Litecoin has no economic motivation to provide value to the Litecoin network.
Added to this Charlie Lee is now advisor to HTC for their new blockchain phone so he is even more distrcted from actually innovating or making any unique improvments to the Litecoin Blockchain. HTC claim they will add litecoin to the native wallet on the phone but we have to asume that many other coins will also be added.
There was some recent news that Litecoin had teamed up with TokenPay ( who recently conducted an ICO of questionable value) to acquire a combined interest of almost 20% in a small regional German bank. The Litecoin foundation and TokenPay bought 9.9% of the equity in WEG bank to avoid additional regulatory scrutiny of acquiring over 10% in a regulated financial institution in Germany. I can only imagine what these German regulators are focusing on right now. Any bank, and especially smaller regional banks will have may KYC/AML issues to contend with and any regulator will find it very easy to find issues if they really wanted to. This only proven by the sheer size of the AML related fines that all banks have received despite spending millions on trying to mitigate these issues. The only reason to buy such a positon in a retail bank could have been driven by the difficulty to find good banking relationships. It is hard to see how this will end well and or how it will specifically drive Litecoin adoption? Certainly the Litecoin Foundation funds used in this acquisition will depreciate the value of available funds for any further development.
As is said in investing, assets will eventually meet their true value. If Litecoin wants to keep up with other more innovative coins in the space it will need to start gaining some considerable adoption to justify its continued high price. Otherwise it will find itself a relic of a previous crypto age and one of the biggest bull traps in the most recent bubble.
Will this coin make Lite work of development and adoption? Or will it make a lot of heavy bag holders carrying lite bags in the future ? Let us know….
BASIC ATTENTION TOKEN
Global Blockchain Digital Advertising Platform
BAT- What is it?
Basic Attention Token (BAT) is an ERC20 Token to be used as a fully integrated currency for internet browsers ( e.g. BRAVE or Mozilla Firefox). It can help distribute payments to websites, advertisers, artists and content producers directly through the browser. It will also be developed to allow digital advertisers to transact with publishers more transparently and with less friction.
The BAT currency is already integrated into the Brave Browser which is a fully functioning product with real utility. The Brave browser blocks online advertisements and trackers right within the browser. This saves loading times, bandwidth and allows for more browsing privacy. The BAT token currently functions as an automatic distribution method to websites that are visited by the user within the Brave browser. The user must deposit BAT into their token wallet and the Brave browser will automatically pay the most popular websites visited on a set basis (subject to custom user settings). In November 2017 Brave also allowed for individual YouTube channels to be paid through the browser, which is a real game changer. The user doesn’t have to do anything except deposit BAT and everything is arranged with the websites and publishers by the Brave team. The BAT payments are purely voluntary and completely customisable but the browser’s advertising blocker works automatically by default.
Although BAT started as an additional revenue model for websites who have their ads blocked by Brave, the intention is to expand the use of the BAT currency to solve the current issues with online digital advertising. These problems include the friction of payments, fraud, fake clicks and general transparency to publishers ( e.g. accurately tracking how effective advertising is to the target audience).
Online digital ads and trackers grew from exploits within browsers through cookies etc. Anyone that has visited free digital newspaper/magazine websites has experienced the slow loading pages and annoying ads. Added to this, are the irritating ads for products that you have zero interest in or for something you’ve already bought. This comes from the many ‘trackers’ that record all your internet usage. What’s really scary is when you see an advert on a device where you’ve not even searched for that product on that same device. A sophisticated set of techniques is used to track and profile each user in order to sell your profile to advertisers. BAT and Brave are looking to change this broken advertising paradigm for users, publishers and advertisers.
The big opportunity for BAT is to completely change the current model of browser advertising which is currently dominated by the major search engine and advertising intermediary Google. This can be done by completely blocking the ads being shown in the browser and cutting out the intermediary. If Brave starts to gain traction it will force content publishers to engage with BATs future suite of advertising offerings. Google collects a vast amount of information on users and it’s all aggregated to create a user profile that can be monetised. Basic Attention Token seeks to change this in the favour of the individual user by helping take back some of their information and privacy. The users browser data is intended to stay locally on the users device and is not shared directly with third parties without permission. All this will be achieved through the use of Basic Attention Metrics (BAM).
Basic Attention Metrics (BAM)
The Basic Attention Metrics (BAM) aim to analyse the required personal data better to serve more relevant ads but where the user gets to retain and monetise their own data and profile. This BAM model can help advertisers serve more relevant ads to people more willing to be targeted for certain products. So instead of receiving ads for things you don’t like you could opt in to watch ads for products that you’re really interested in. This can work well for large ticket items such as a car or for gifts around seasonal times of the year when inspiration is useful. This means instead of being bombarded with ads that no one cares for, there could be a more personal interactive experience.
This can result in users spending less time being served irrelevant ads and advertisers targeting more effectively with less money wasted. This can even feed through to better prices, discounts and offers for users. Another potential result is that consumers can become actively engaged in promotions and even become incentivised with tokens to share referral links and offers to friends and followers which could help a promotion go viral.
Earn While You Watch
In the future a whole economy itself could exist where advertisers provide value to users directly just to watch and interact with promotional material and media. This could start by a user declaring they are interested in buying a big ticket item. Then advertisers could bid and compete to show promotional media to the user. A questionnaire or some other interaction could be used to ensure the user watches and shares the media in order to receive the reward. The value exchange could result in a certain amount of BAT being locked away to effectively act as discount if the user goes on to buy the promoted item.
Plenty of other Apps, games and even other browsers such as Mozilla Firefox could integrate BAT payments and the BAM advertising model.
Even individual YouTube channels or Twitch users can benefit from BAT payments without having to go through Google or any intermediary as the value is transferred directly through the browser. Indeed as of November 2017 individual YouTube channels can pick up revenue through BAT (if a user is participating and selects to do so). This is indeed game changing as YouTube has a relative monopoly and has been censoring content. YouTube has also removed advertising revenue from certain videos and channels when ‘they’ feel it’s not appropriate. This is blatant censorship and many popular YouTubers have complained to no avail. If a user watches YouTube content through Brave then there is no way to permanently stop any channel receiving revenue from BAT.
The Basic Attention Token team is one of the best in Crypto.
The non-crypto competition is Facebook and Google who are two of the most powerful behemoths of them all. Together these two companies completely dominate the online advertising market. BAT can expect a fierce resistance from these two companies even if BAT is suspected of making a slight dent in their gargantuan profits. Brave is very much appealing to the growing crypto crowd and the more people that own the BAT tokens the more the network effect could take hold. With Brave potentially owning the non-mobile app browser space that Google and Facebook can operate in, any uptake in Brave usage could get very interesting indeed.
The most evident crypto competition comes from AdChain and Adex. One is partnering with NEO so has a Chinese focus and the other claims to be complimentry to BAT. These two rivals are not seen as a major threat or even direct equal competition to BAT. The Brave browser is the big advantage to BAT as this slick browser can be the foundation of so many applications for the BAT currency.
If BAT can succeed in becoming central to the transformation of online advertising then the potential token value appreciation would be significant. This is because online advertising is one of the biggest opportunities with the most disruptive potential in the crypto space. BAT has an incredibly experienced founder who has put together an amazingly talented team so their chances of success are increased. Brave and BAT are a working product but the real disruptive potential is with the future product roll outs that could transform the multi billion dollar online advertising industry. There is of course execution risk with the future products and it could take time to refine the model but this team has the best chance to make it work.
CIVIC is a personal data app to store encrypted ID information on a mobile device where only the user decides who this data is shared with.
The app is a live working product available for download that can function as a single sign on for websites and apps. It will also soon enable a personal data KYC (Know Your Customer) sharing functionality that always requires a user’s permission to access. The app data is secured by the bitcoin blockchain and they also have a secure native token built on the Ethereum blockchain. This token is a smart contract that will act as a currency within the data ecosystem and is also called CIVIC (CVC).
If CIVIC achieves its ultimate goal of being part of the underlying identification layer for the internet then it could inflict revolutionary change. Incentivising the use of a verified identity on the internet can solve so many of today’s existing problems including Spam, Fake Reviews, Trolling and information reliability. CIVIC also enables end users to control their own data, as opposed to it being centrally stored on a database. CIVIC’s future is creating a Know Your Customer marketplace that could save users time when signing up for new online services that require customers identification.
What problems can CIVIC solve?
Much of the spam and unnecessary noise on the internet is the result of it’s anonymity. This is fine and helps nurture innovation, but if you could opt-in to receive information or messages from ‘verified’ individuals then a considerable amount of time could be saved. This is because you could choose who to filter and trust in public forums. If CIVIC was part of this solution on the internet then it would achieve enormous success. We could also see another level of innovation being enabled. It could help personal, business or even pre programmed (e.g. AI) economic decisions being made quicker and in real time for the benefit of society as a whole. Too much time on the internet is spent manually filtering through spam and CIVIC could help reduce this wastage. Any useful technology that saves time and cost will always be adopted and gain widespread appeal. This is even true if the useful technology only saves a few seconds from a certain task.
Fake Accounts / Reviews / Tickets
Fake accounts are a big problem on the internet and it’s something that seems to be proliferating with the explosion in social media. It is clear that fake accounts are used in social media to steer a particular narrative or political agenda. Fake accounts on Twitter are becoming a big issue, especially in the Bitcoin and Crypto space. Filtering out fake accounts of faceless anonymous trolls could significantly improve the overall user experience and even deter bad actors from creating fake accounts. Although an identity system will never solve every problem, it could deter this kind of foul play.
Another big problem with fake accounts is review sites like Tripadvisor, where rival hotels or businesses will fabricate reviews to bad mouth their competition. This means that the reviews on Tripadvisor can be difficult to rely on. Indeed the top rated services in a certain category are not always the best experience. Again, if it was possible to filter out unverified or certain reviews then you could save a considerable amount of time and potentially have more accurate information. This is an area outside of Crypto where CIVIC could provide some serious value. An additional idea is if CIVIC could capture people’s tastes and income bracket, which could really improve filtering out less relevant reviews for users and add perspective. After all, an expensive restaurant is less likely to get a good review from someone with less disposable income.
CIVIC could also help with live events when organisers issue and allow re-sale of tickets. There are indeed a number of other crypto projects looking at event ticketing on the blockchain ( e.g. Aventus). Such projects would be best advised to look into CIVIC as a potential identity layer as opposed to building out any proprietary KYC solution.
CIVC user data is not held on a centralised database and is instead secured cryptographically on the users device only. The end user then has to give permission for that data to be shared with any data requestor. This avoids centralised data issues that all companies face. This has been the cause of some serious data breaches in recent years (e.g. Equifax and Uber). Most companies store users personal information on insecure centralised databases that are a honeypot with an economic incentive to hack. This is a massive use case for CIVIC to help resolve. The more hacking that happens, the sooner consumers will start switching to services that adopt decentralised data applications such as CIVIC.
CVC Token for KYC Marketplace
The CIVIC token will be the payment currency for their decentralised KYC data marketplace. So when you perform identity confirmation with one service provider requiring KYC ID (e.g. a crypto exchange or bank) this data could then be securely shared to another company service provider (always with the users permission). This could save considerable time and cost for users and service providers. It also means that KYC Identification service companies can monetise their KYC efforts. KYC is costly and time consuming for businesses and is a big increasing burden for financial institutions. Therefore if CIVIC can execute effectively on this KYC Marketplace and achieve widespread adoption it would become a truly unique service adding real value to the CIVIC (CVC) tokens. These CIVIC ‘Smart Contract’ tokens would become a useful currency that is part of a thriving identity ecosystem. These tokens could even be programmed to do more in future such as profit sharing, governance or enable community participation.
Team and Development
CIVIC is backed by Vinny Lingham, a proven winner in business and also well known in the Crypto space. His business record stands for itself and he heads a growing development team working towards realising CIVIC’s full potential. Vinny has openly admitted that CIVIC receives more partnership enquiries per day than they can handle. The CIVIC team appear to have first mover advantage in the crypto identity space, which is an enormous opportunity. However because of this there is inevitably some competition hot on their heels.
The closest competition appears to be Air Sphere and Airbitz (Now Edge Secure) who are partnering on ID services with the Airbitz single sign on ‘Edge Secure’ product. Although Edge Secure is a well developed sign sign on product, it’s unclear on the real progress over at Air Sphere. It’s clear they are not as high profile and developed as CIVIC. The more serious competition comes from Blockstack, which is essentially trying to recreate the entire internet with identity services at its core. Blockstack’s launch appears to be at least a year away so CIVIC’s product will likely be released and have some adoption by then. Blockstack will be playing catch up but will provide healthy competition by the time of their launch.
If CIVIC achieves its ultimate goals it can truly become groundbreaking and inflict revolutionary change. CIVIC (CVC) is a limited supply token that should gain considerable value if the whole platform is an enormous success. This means that CIVIC (CVC) has a very good chance of being a great long term investment. Identity is one of the biggest opportunities on the internet right now and CIVIC’s competition is playing catch up.
Please Read Important Investing Disclaimer Please also see our Summary of Crypto ERC20 Tokens BASIC ATTENTION TOKEN Global Blockchain Digital Advertising Platform BAT- What is it? Basic Attention Token (BAT) is an ERC20 Token to be used as a fully integrated currency for internet browsers ( e.g. BRAVE or Mozilla Firefox). It can help distribute […]
CIVIC Must read disclaimer : Click Here Executive Summary CIVIC is a personal data app to store encrypted ID information on a mobile device where only the user decides who this data is shared with. The app is a live working product available for download that can function as a single sign on for websites and apps. It will also soon […]
Please Read Important Disclaimer BlockV – What is it? BlockV is a digital goods blockchain platform built on top of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other blockchains to enable scarce interactive digital goods and objects that can be valuable, tradeable, programmable and even collectable. Use Case Examples of use some cases for scarce digital objects are unique trading […]
BlockChain Capital completes 10 million USD ICO. A more traditional style Venture Capital fund has been launched by Blockchain Capital and has raised over the 10 million USD maximum in its first day and will invest all of this in anything but traditional ventures. In what BlockChain Capital itself dubs a world first they have launched the First […]
Enterprise Ethereum Alliance – Big Name Corporations Show Surprising Interest in Ethereum What is the appeal of Ethereum to certain big name corporations? The answer may lie in the recent question marks posed over Bitcoin’s scalability and the inability of the Bitcoin community to agree on a way forward. During weakness, people seek strength. Financial […]
5 apps that are running on Ethereum that you may not know… yet! Here we present a list of apps developed on Ethereum that you need to check out! 1. Trek Miles : This Android app helps you to raise money while doing physical activities, as walking, running, etc., creating tokens based in your effort. These […]