Blockchain technology has already established itself as a technology with numerous applications in different industries. But according to FUN Token, the gaming industry can also benefit from it.
We talked to Adriaan Brink, the CEO of FUN Token, who is an online gaming veteran with over 20 years in the industry, about the prospects of the online gambling industry and what decentralization has to do with it.
1. Why did you decide to launch a company in both gaming and cryptocurrency spaces?
I have been in online gaming for over 20 years, starting with a lottery in 1995. When I got my head around crypto and blockchain, I spent a lot of time figuring out how blockchain could be used to enhance the gaming experience and, in particular, the safety and custody of players’ funds.
In 2017, I launched BETR, a peer-to-peer sports betting system, where the entire funds processing was encapsulated on blockchain - essentially removing the “house” from the equation.
It ran for some years but gradually declined as the gas fees became more and more onerous on Ethereum. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to take the lead at the Funtoken team, and BETR was merged with FUN. We will roll out a new release of the betting experience on the new XFUN token in 2022 and are right now working on moving the custodial parts of casino gaming back into players’ hands.
2. Are you concerned about the image betting and gambling industries have and that it might affect the project?
Not at all. In fact, I would question the supposition that those industries have a bad image, particularly online.
Online gambling is a massive industry with many very large companies playing their part - the recent announcement of the $22 billion offer for the acquisition of Entain by Draftkings being a very vivid example. We are fundamentally in the business of providing entertainment for our users, and in the vast majority of cases, the activities are seen to be positive.
3. The official site mentions the launch of a “more performant and less expensive than Ethereum” token. Can you talk about that and how it would be “less expensive” -- in terms of the transaction costs?
We are pleased to have launched XFUN, which is an ERC-20 compliant token, on the Polygon blockchain. Polygon (MATIC) is similar to Ethereum (ETH) but with significant advantages in terms of transaction cost and speed. Gas fees on Polygon are very cheap for simple transactions, and the blockchain has significantly more ability to scale in the future. We have also added the ability for our applications to fund users’ transactions, which means that users won’t have to have any MATIC in their wallets in order to transact. I believe that expecting users to understand and pay gas fees is a significant barrier to bringing crypto to the masses, and with XFUN, we now have the building blocks that we need to move forward.
4. Tell us about the upcoming decentralized casino.
We tackle decentralization in a number of steps. At its core, it’s about reducing the custodial element of online gaming. In a traditional online sportsbook or casino, players deposit funds, then bet or play, and then either withdraw their funds or leave them for playing in the future. While these funds are in the operator's hands, they are not available to the player, and the player is relying on the operator's integrity to settle when they request a withdrawal.
The process of moving the funds is expensive for the operator and exposes them to fraud, so they tend to make it difficult or time-consuming for players to withdraw. During the first step, we will provide a mechanism for players to attach their XFUN wallets to the operator site, which will make the deposit and withdrawal of funds seamless, at zero cost and super fast. The result of this will be that funds will be kept in the player’s own non-custodial wallet when not in use - giving the player absolute control over their funds.
Further steps to decentralize, including sports betting entirely on-chain and on-chain mechanisms for player lay-staking, will be rolled out in the future.
5. Walk us through your roadmap and important milestones for the project?
The most important thing for us right now is to roll out the XFUN bridge and wallets. These enabling technologies will complete the XFUN ecosystem, and we will then move dplay.casino from FUN into XFUN.
We will also be launching another more fully-fledged casino in the future for XFUN. Later this year, we will start adding third-party operators to the ecosystem - significantly increasing the content available to our players.
Expect both poker and sports betting to be added to the mix going forwards. We will also be looking outside the gambling space for further synergistic partnerships - much like the one we already have with Travala for travel.
In 2022, we will work on mechanisms to bring more of the gaming processes on-chain, starting with peer-to-peer sports betting and moving on with casino and lay-staking on casino games. We are also looking into NFTs, and how they can fit within our ecosystem - while this is not officially on our roadmap, it is a hot topic at the moment.
Above all, we will be focussing on growing the user base and usage of XFUN through marketing and additional content - thus growing the overall value of the ecosystem.
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