The GamCrowd Blockchain Report – an introduction

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You don’t have to take GamCrowd’s word on how potentially revolutionary blockchain might be, not just for the gambling industry, but for whole swathes of the online world. You can listen to Mark Blandford, one of the foremost entrepreneurs in then online gambling sector and a man whose opinion counts when it comes to innovation in this sector and beyond.

Talking to GamCrowd after our technology and innovation day we hosted as part of London Tech Week earlier this year, Blandford pointed out that perhaps the most interesting panel of the day had bene all about blockchain, its development and how it might affect the gambling industry.

“We have just been speaking about blockchain, which is I think a fantastically innovative technology, which I think is going to create a whole new sphere in terms of how things get done,” he said.

“If I was an entrepreneur today, and I was looking to make my way in the world, I would be looking at this new environment and trying to find something that sat within that new operating environment.

“I personally think the business models in blockchain will more likely be exchanges. I think this technology will be adopted by the currency, commodity and stock markets, and there is the potential for Betfair to have some competitors, unless of course somebody’s doing something very innovative inside Betfair that we are not aware of at the moment and they take on this technology as an adopter.”

These words were enough of a spur – alongside other conversation we have had this year – for us to start thinking about the report that we have put together with our friends from Chain-Finance.com. Once we started speaking to the nascent universe of companies that are starting to work at the frontier of gambling and blockchain we also saw the opportunity to give them more of a platform via the Blockchain month.

Blandford himself is heavily involved with one company we have spoken to as part of our Blockchain month, Coinsilium, and chief executive Eddy Travia says the gambling industry is in a similar position as the financial technology (fintech) sector was a few years ago with its thinking about blockchain. “We are now getting to a stage where the industry can look to blockchain and any viable opportunities it might hold for the space,” he told GamCrowd.

The GamCrowd Blockchain Report is aimed at proving an overview and genuine insight first, into what blockchain actually is and what it represents in terms of disruption across many sectors, and second, gives ideas of how it might affect the gambling sector. The companies we talk about in the report – whether it is Gnosis and Augur in the prediction markets, Gulden in P2P betting, Quanta in the lottery space or CoinGaming.io and OneTouch.io in the ProvablyFair arena – are just the tip of the iceberg.

We know that the casino space has already seen an influx of Bitcoin casinos – the kind of influx which reminds commentators of the original rush to online casinos back at the turn of the Millennium – but other areas are also attracting a lot of interest, particularly eSports where there are a number of start-ups already working on blockchain-based solutions, including GameBet, and PVP.ME to name just two we have heard of lately. More will be coming from this area.

GamCrowd is all about innovation in technology and there is potentially no more exciting area than blockchain. Bitcoin and everything it promises in terms of cheaper and frictionless payments is only the start of the disruption. As the GamCrowd Blockchain Report points out, in terms of immutability, security, anonymity and transparency, the removal of intermediaries, and it properties in relation to validation and authentication, blockchain promises opportunities across the sector that will do nothing less than change the way the gambling business operates.

As Travia at Coinsilium says: “We will likely get to a point where blockchain solutions have touched the human race on all levels of interaction: individual, community, country and internationally. It will have affected all walks of life from developed countries through to third world economies. It will be implemented by all major industries from shipping to finance to charities all the way up to international government organisations.”

That is revolutionary.