Paruyr Shahbazyan, Co-Founder and CEO of Azuro on why the sky’s the limit for decentralized gaming.
I may not be the most objective person in the world, after all I do run a popular blockchain-based protocol for online betting, so I do apparently have an interest. But let the numbers speak for themselves. The Blockchain Gaming Alliance, conducts a report every quarter into how well the industry is faring.
According to them, “The third quarter of 2021 proved that blockchain games, boosted by the play-to-earn (P2E) movement are here to stay. In Q3 2021, the Unique Active Wallets (UAW) connected to game dapps reached 754,000, which represents almost half of the industry’s activity. The footprint of games within the NFT space became more visible, as in-game NFTs accounted for more than 20% of the record Q3 NFT trading volume.”
This is true, but it’s also true that the reason that so many players are transitioning to the blockchain is that it is a much fairer playing field for them that equalizes the difference between them and the bookmaker.
Currently, bettors are betting against the bookmakers, and they are in very unequal positions, with the majority of the power being wielded by the betting platform or bookmaker. Bookmakers are notorious for delaying payouts and bet settlements, they push winning bettors out, by limiting their accounts, and they can choose odds at will. With the blockchain, it’s nothing like that.
Classic User Experience And Then Some!
With our protocol for instance, players can enjoy the classic user experience that they are accustomed to, with many leagues, competitions and markets, with odds depicted as they normally would. However, the blockchain brings the elements of full transparency (the smart-contract is code on the blockchain and all transactions are saved there forever) and the ability to do betting without having a central authority (the bookmaker) take custody of the bettors’ funds. This means that payouts are decided by open-source code, and not by for-profit-organizations which benefit from players losing money.
More – the tech allows for bets to be minted as NFTs which powers secondary markets for bets and opens up possibilities for bets to have value even after the event played out (e.g. as collectibles) and for exciting gamification.
Decentralization and DAO
Decentralized governance (DAO – decentralized autonomous organization) is another aspect which changes the game. It means that key decisions with regards to how the protocol works (i.e. how decentralized betting works, how disputes are handled, how different participants are rewarded or penalized) are taken by token holder voting.
It also means removing the conflict of interest between the player and the bookmakers, which is an inherent problem in betting today, thereby putting more control into the players’ hands – they can now participate in key decisions around how betting works.
We also use liquidity pools, which enhance the liquidity across the entire network using our protocol, and we import odds using oracles.
Provably Fair Gaming Should Be a Given
Arguably one of the blockchain’s most attractive features is its transparency. For bettors who may already have a level of suspicion against the sites they are betting on, this comes as a breath of fresh air.
With Azuro, for instance, rather than an intermediary collecting players’ deposits and portioning out their losses, smart contracts do that instead. Our smart contracts solve around 99% of all bets made, and they feature an extra dispute mechanism, where disputes are resolved in a decentralized way via voting.
The blockchain is a desirable and relevant environment for many sectors, including finance and gaming. DeFi already took off, but decentralized betting is just about to. Blockchain and smart contracts offer benefits that operators and users can’t access without it, be it its transparency, no need for trust, automation, decentralization.
Fairer, more transparent and automated, it’s safe to say that the future of decentralized betting is bright.