Following up Episode 5 of the Contrarian Island Bitcoin Podcast, where podcast host Matt sat down with Ross Ulbricht’s (founder of the Silk Road) mother Lynn Ulbricht, Episode 6 is tackling today’s highly fragmented, costly, and monolithic sports betting landscape with BlitzPredict CEO (and former professional poker player) Brett Richey. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the major points hit in this recent podcast, how BlitzPredict is overhauling traditional online sports betting platforms, and the benefits of decentralized betting exchanges.
Let’s take a further look at Episode 6, where Richey explains the current failings of today’s gambling markets and how BlitzPredict stands to remediate such.
Contrarian Island Episode 6: Brett Richey
In Episode 6 of the Contrarian Island Podcast, podcast host Matt talks with his first non-Bitcoin focused guest, Brett Richey – a former professional poker player and CEO of BlitzPredict (built on the Ethereum blockchain).
In the early half of the episode, Richey talks about his transition from professional poker (11 years), to heading Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) applications in Vegas, to the moment he realized blockchain tech was still in its infancy and near overnight foray into crypto.
Having come from a background of a high risk tolerance, one manipulated and highly saturated with unsavory actors and opaque business practices, blockchain tech was a no brainer for Richey – recognizing today’s present day cat and mouse sports betting industry generated diminishing (and unbeatable) returns for average persons.
Richey proposed a solution, one focused on a healthy long-term sports betting ecosystem, where funds, lines, control exist solely “in the hands” of its users (thanks to blockchain’s distributed ledger technology). Richey cited their original goal – to become a global aggregator of gambling (similar to how Kayak is at the forefront of travel deals and bookings). Cue BlitzPredict, the “Future of Betting. ”
BlitzPredict: A Decentralized Sports Betting Exchange Built on Augur & 0x
“There’s no difference between a bookie and a market maker, the difference really is just in the verbiage.”
Tackling today’s highly fragmented, centralized, and traditional online sports betting platforms, BlitzPredict is a low-fee, highly transparent decentralized betting exchange built on the Ethereum blockchain and powered by prediction market protocol Augur and P2P asset exchange 0x Protocol.
Specifically, Augur is set to assist in one of the biggest hurdles – liquidity – while 0x Protocol enables speed (something especially important for market makers) – settling transactions on the blockchain (all while keeping the order book off-chain).
Essentially, BlitzPredict is a regulated and curated portal to global liquidity portals for sports betting and gambling. Furthermore, they’re aimed at accessibility and the user-experience, looking to “mirror the ease of William Hill’s app.”
Richey goes into depth about several core problems plaguing today’s sports betting markets (and blockchain as a whole):
- Highly centralized and manipulative actors and framework,
- Vulnerability of user funds,
- Banning of winning gamblers without justified reason,
- Delayed or non-existent cashouts,
- Exorbitant fees.
While BlitzPredict has only deployed its testnet so far, Richey anticipates the mainnet to go live sometime later this year (noting if all things go smoothly, it will be in conjunction with Augur’s V2). Due to the regulatory uncertainty and restrictions in the United States governing online gambling and sports betting, BlitzPredict will not be available for U.S. residents at mainnet’s first launch.
There’s a whole lot more to unpack in Episode 6, such as BlitzPredict’s format operating similar to Matchbook and BetFair, their emphasis on utility over hype, the creation of markets, and more. We recommend checking out the rest of the podcast for yourself over at Contrarian Island’s Twitter, Spotify playlist, and iTunes page.