Blockchain developments – ICOs gain momentum

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GamCrowd has previously written extensively about the booming initial coin offering (ICO) market and the degree to which it is attracting the attention of various gambling-related startups looking for funding or to disrupt previous models.

Blockchain will be featuring heavily during our digital transformation course taking place in Cambridge on 19-20 September when no doubt the pros and cons of ICOs will be a feature of conversation.

The latest news on the ICO front is hard to ignore. Fresh from seeing Funfair.io raise $26m from its own FUN token offering in June, news has emerged that the previously announced token offering from the esports-only betting operator Unikrn will be seeking to raise $100m in September when it moves to release its Unikoin Gold tokens.

Subsequently, news has come in of another token offering, this time from another esports proposition called Herosphere.gg, an online esports prediction platform founded by Paul Polterauer, Herosphere chief executive, with the backing of, among others, former Casinos Austria International chief executive Hubertus Thonhauser.

The company has said will it will issue the Ethereum-based HEROcoin in mid-September, which participants will use to predict the outcome of a variety of events and compete against friends for winnings.

Herosphere says the decentralised coin puts control of the money flow in the hands of the community “cutting out any greedy middlemen.”

It has some other names on the advisory board that give the company some bona fides including Andreas Petersson, the developer of the popular bitcoin wallet Mycelium and a lead blockchain developer and Michael Altrichter, a well-known business angel, an investor in HitBox, and co-founder of Paysafecard and payolution.
 
During the ICO, participants will be able to purchase HEROcoin for Ether. The value of the coin will be decided by the market-variable exchange rate. The company says HEROcoin makes Herosphere’s platform completely transparent and decentralised.

Users will use HERO on Herosphere.gg to predict the outcome of esports games, such as League of Legends, CounterStrike, and DOTA 2. Prediction contests can be created for the entire HEROcoin community or a specific group of friends, depending who first opens the pool.

Herosphere says that holders of the tokens will be able to liquidate their holdings by trading them on an exchange as soon as it is listed.

We are thrilled to announce our plans to launch HEROcoin on the blockchain as an Ethereum-based peer-to-peer coin,” said Polterauer. “There are many fundamental problems in betting and gambling industry today. Herosphere, a trustworthy, transparent, and initiative-oriented platform, will use HERO to revolutionise the gambling world as we know it.”

It is a bold claim. The company says that unlike on traditional gaming platforms where users compete against an unknown middleman, the implementation of HEROcoin on Herosphere allows the community itself to become the house.

Participants will compete only against themselves: if one user loses, another user wins, so the money stays within the community. Herosphere utilises smart contracts to enable secure and reliable processing and payouts will be processed by the Ethereum blockchain so transactions are publicly verifiable, viewable, resistant to counterfeit, and not subject to the risk of institutional processing.

Payouts are based on the crowd size participating in a certain prediction contests, as well as initial pledges. Herosphere says it offers transparency and tangible incentives,

The gamekeeper turned poacher Thonhauser added: “I invested in Herosphere because of its vision to solve a fundamental problem in the betting industry today, by cutting out middlemen and toll-takers like bookmakers, and giving more power to the customer. The company provides an online peer to peer prediction platform secured by the immutable Ethereum blockchain technology.”

Hans Lombardo will be leading the discussion on blockchain as part of the GamCrowd/Totally Gaming digital transformation course on 19-20 September in Cambridge. Contact Chris North, chris@gamcrowd.com for further information.