The world’s first decentralized sports betting protocol has been launched after it secured the largest-ever seed round by a UK startup, and it is going to change the sports betting arena remarkably.
The FIFA World Cup is most likely the world’s biggest sporting event. In fact, it’s so huge that over 3.575 billion people watched the matches over the course of the past World Cup, which is almost half of the entire world’s population.
This viewpoint was not lost on Varun Sudhakar, CEO, and Co-Founder of BetDEX Labs, who took the opportunity to launch the world’s first decentralized sports betting protocol on 17 November 2022 to coincide with the beginning of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
And, his timing could not be better because only three weeks before the launch, the multi-billion dollar crypto industry took a massive hit after the collapse of crypto-exchange FTX, which clearly saw a massive decrease in public confidence.
But, according to Sudhakar, all is not lost in vain because ‘’with crypto betting having accumulated a degree of popularity in recent years and the World Cup boosting wagering interest and volume in general, the event was the perfect space to provide blockchain-based sportsbooks an opportunity to restore player confidence.’’
He continued by adding that he believes ‘’the best way to solve these pitfalls, is to find different ways to showcase applications which benefit users and provide something different for users compared to what they currently experience in day-to-day life. Betting is definitely one of those avenues.
“If people are having a better experience betting with crypto versus without crypto, for a variety of reasons, then that benefit will help put crypto as a whole in a more positive light.’’
The Team Behind BetDex?
Varun Sudhakar, Nigel Eccles, and Stuart Tonner all come from FanDuel, a sportsbook, fantasy sport, horse racing, and online casino, that went on to become Scotland’s first $1 billion dollar-valued startup before being acquired by Flutter in 2018. It is now estimated to be worth a staggering $30 billion
Eccles, who founded the company, worked alongside Sudhakar, (who began his career in investment banking in Silicon Valley), in senior strategy and corporate development roles at FanDuel between 2015 and 2018.
Stuart Tonner on the other end was the first engineer hired by FanDuel to develop the core FanDuel platform and scale it to tens of millions of users.
It’s undoubtedly a powerhouse team that has noticed voids in the sports betting market such as high fees and minimal product innovation.
BetDEX aims to take the opposite approach with Sudhakar stating:
“The sports betting industry charges high prices for poor products and limits trades by its most successful users. BetDEX is diametrically opposed to this approach, we will successfully compete against incumbents with a markedly superior product and low fees, which is now possible with the advent of blockchain technology. Winners will always be welcome on our protocol.”
What Makes BetDEX Different?
The BetDEX Exchange is a decentralized marketplace for sports betting that believes sports bettors have had to put up with poor product experiences, locked funds, and penalties for winning for way too long.
BetDEX aims to change this by creating an ecosystem where innovative products can thrive, liquidity is shared, and winners are welcome.
It is also non-custodial which means that BetDEX never touches the money of the platform’s bettors.
This in itself is pretty remarkable because normally when you place a bet, your money goes to the bookmaker and you need to trust that they’ll pay out when you request it. At BetDEX, you never deposit your money, and instead, when you place your bet, your money goes into a smart contract that pays your winnings directly to you if your bet wins.
Another massive perk is that BetDex is built on the Monaco Protocol which is an open source permissionless betting protocol. Why is this such a big deal?
Well, this means that operators can share liquidity because they can also build on the Monaco Protocol making it the perfect platform for operators to collaborate to develop better solutions.
While it is in the MainNet Beta stage, it will be trade fee-free during Q1 2023, but BetDEX has vowed to keep fees to an absolute minimum in the future.
And, as for its license, it is regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and is backed by leading investors including Paradigm, Multicoin, and Lightspeed.
Sounds pretty impressive!
Will Decentralized Betting Go Mainstream?
Decentralized Sportsbetting might still be young and comparatively immature but if more companies like BetDEX enters the market, chances are good that it will go mainstream.
The number one challenge is to clearly prove and communicate the benefits of betting on a web3 platform by delivering an unprecedented user experience, defined by high liquidity, and low fees on a noncustodial platform.
And, if BetDEX manages to deliver on all these promises, I’m positive that it will have a huge impact on the crypto market, not only in sportsbook but as a whole.
What a positive way to kick off 2023!