Affiliate Industry Review caught up with Toby Lynas, Head of Operations at the Peerplays Blockchains Standards Association (PBSA), to find out more about BookiePro, the world’s first decentralised sports betting exchange.
Affiliate Industry Review: Hi Toby. Can you begin by introducing BookiePro and outlining what it hopes to bring to the already saturated world of blockchain-based sports betting?
Toby Lynas: BookiePro is the world’s first decentralised sports betting exchange. No single person, company, or central authority operates BookiePro or the Peerplays blockchain on which it is built. In June, we released the public beta, BookiePro.fun, where bettors use play tokens while competing in competitions to win real Bitcoin. We are in the process of adding additional sports currently, and hope to launch new competitions in the Fall.
The full version of BookiePro will be released later this year. When looking at the current sports betting options available on the blockchain, the main feature that sets BookiePro apart is the focus on a true peer-to-peer exchange.
Without a central control, bettors have full transparency. The recent success of the launch of the beta platform for the FIFA World Cup proved that there is a clear desire in the market for a provably fair sports betting exchange.
AI: What is your relationship with the PBSA and what is the governance structure?
TL: The development of BookiePro has been ably supported by the Peerplays Blockchain Standards Association (PBSA). This is a non-profit, based in Canada, and dedicated to promoting transparent and fair gaming standards for the Peerplays blockchain.
No single person, company, nor central authority owns or operates BookiePro. Instead the BookiePro DApp is a decentralised application that interfaces with the Peerplays blockchain. PBSA holds no sway over the blockchain. It’s simply a steward of standards to ensure a provably fair product.
AI: The World Cup is always a particularly lucrative period for betting firms. Was this the case for BookiePro during this summer’s tournament?
TL: The public beta leverages play-money called BitFun, so there wasn’t any exchange of funds in the initial betting on the exchange, so not a lucrative position in and of itself. That said, we paid out five bitcoin in prizes to some lucky beta testers, with world’s first public showcase of provably fair sports betting, so test environments have seldom felt more definitive or informative. Indeed, over the course of Russia 2018, in excess of 100,000 play money bets were placed via BookiePro, which runs off a platform capable of processing 10,000 transactions per second.
As we’d hoped, the market’s palpable desire for a provably fair sports betting platform was quickly in evidence. Thanks to our talented team’s hard work, users have been able to experience a truly decentralized betting exchange for the first time and BookiePro happily stood up to their examination with a fast, responsive performance and a seamless user experience on the blockchain.
AI: What is it about bitcoin that gives your product an edge?
TL: Blockchain technology has already had a significant impact on the betting and gaming industry, and this process will accelerate in the coming months. Bookie’s decentralised betting exchange will use bitcoin as its means of payment basically due to bitcoin’s strong brand and widespread adoption in the cryptocurrency space. It is far more widely adopted than any other coin, making it the logical choice for operators. After all, unlike new, gambling-focused currencies, bitcoin also has other use cases.
It is increasingly accepted by a wide range of merchants, meaning potential customers have somewhere to spend their winnings rather than simply converting it to fiat. Further, with its dominance of the total crypto market means that a lot of its capital is disproportionately in the hands of the same tech-savvy, younger audiences that gaming operators have thus far struggled to engage.
It is a major opportunity to reach a new demographic of potential customers.