The birth of cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology has not only created a new and exciting opportunity for individuals to invest in the future, but for new startups too. Initial Coin Offerings, otherwise referred to as ICO’s, has become a popular new avenue for companies to raise the required capital to make their project a reality. In fact, ICO’s were in such demand in 2017 that the equivalent $5 billion was raised across a variety of industries.
One of the most prominent sectors to join this revolution is the online casino industry, with various operators engaging in the crypto-alternative of an Initial Public Offering (IPO). This article will begin by giving a brief explanation as to what a casino ICO actually is, followed by a discussion on some of the most promising projects to keep an eye on in 2018 and beyond.
What is a Casino ICO?
The mechanics of a casino ICO are simple. A new or existing company looking to seize the many benefits of blockchain technology engages in a fund raising campaign in order to raise capital. However, unlike a traditional IPO, whereby an organization will raise real-world fiat currency in exchange for shares, an ICO raises an established cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). In return, the investor receives a brand new cryptocurrency token that has been created by the casino.
Shortly after the casino ICO concludes, this newly created token will then be listed across a number of third-party exchanges, whereby it can be traded or sold on a peer-to-peer basis. However, the real-world purpose of such a token is to fuel the casino. Think about a traditional land-based casino. You walk in, exchange your U.S. dollars or Euros for chips, gamble the chips across a variety of games and then exchange the chips back to your local currency. A casino ICO follows the exact same process, however through an online platform. For a more detailed analysis as to why crypto casinos are set to revolutionize the industry, see our article here.
FunFair is an online casino ICO in its truest form, which, upon launching, will facilitate a variety of traditional games such as blackjack, roulette and slots. Built on top of blockchain technology, the legitimacy of all FunFair games will be guaranteed through the utilization of a provably fair protocol, ensuring that the outcome of each and every game is true and fair.
The FunFair casino ICO was so popular that in just 4 hours of pre-sale funding, the project raised the equivalent of $26 million. Its native token, abbreviated to FUN, will be used as the in-house currency to simplify fast and secure deposits and withdrawals. The ICO concluded in mid-2017 and is expected to roll out its platform throughout 2018.
Edgeless casino are aiming to take online gambling to whole new level, by bridging the gap between house-advantage and player-disadvantage. In a nut shell, casinos would not have a sustainable business model if they could not guarantee a long-term edge over their customers. To ensure this is the case, traditional casino games are always slightly in the favor of the casino, with the house-edge percentage dependent on the specific game.
However, in the first of its kind, Edgeless casino will offer their games with a 0% house-edge. What this means is that if the customer players the perfect game, they are at no disadvantage against the casino. Edgeless claim that they will still make a profit, as the average gambler will at times make reckless decisions, such as twisting on 18 in a hand of blackjack. Its native EDG token will also be used to fuel the platform, allowing players to deposit, stake and withdraw funds with ease. The Edgeless casino ICO also concluded in 2017, raising the equivalent of just over $2 million.
Unikoin Gold (UKG)
Also joining the online casino ICO revolution in 2017, Unikoin Gold are targeting the ever-growing Esports betting industry. The platform will allow players to bet on the outcome of popular gaming titles such as DOTA2, creating an extra layer of competitiveness to the outcome of each game. The Unikoin Gold funding campaign raised an impressive $31 million during its casino ICO, with notable backers including none other than Canadian billionaire Mark Cuban and Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher.
Prior to its ICO, the project was already live, relying on fiat currency deposits from over 4 million active players. However, due to the regulatory burdens often associated with fiat currency deposits, especially in the U.S. (which is one of the largest markets for Esports growth), the company decided to merge cryptocurrency in to its platform. It native token is known as UKG and can be bought, traded or sold through a number of reputable exchanges.
Doing things slightly differently, Dao.Casino are looking to launch their platform on top of a decentralized eco-system. This means that unlike the aforementioned projects, there is to be no centralized third party sitting in between the player and the outcome of game. In real-world terms, it’s essentially like going to a land-based casino and playing blackjack without a dealer! The Dao.Casino ecosystem is open-source, meaning that developers are free to create casino dApps on the platform. This will allow players to gamble on their favorite games, whereby the outcome is decided by a cryptographically secure random-number generator, which is fully auditable on the public blockchain.
On top of providing full transparency, the project will also allow winnings to be transferred directly to a player’s wallet as soon as the game is complete. The cryptocurrency community believe strongly in this project, with the equivalent of $9 million being raised during the casino ICO in just 30 minutes. Its native BET token will be the in-house currency used to stake, allowing either the player or the bankroller to profit from the outcome of each game.