Where Are The Prediction Markets?
The crypto community has been raving about decentralized prediction markets (a fancier version of “Ethereum betting platforms”) for a very, very long time now. “Traditional online betting is dead and bookies are out of business!” they chanted, all the way back in 2015, when Vitalik Buterin and the Ethereum team were just getting started.
Yet, we’re almost halfway through 2018, and I still can’t find a decent looking site to start betting the ether that I’ve managed to HODL up until now.
Why not? What gives?
Augur.net, the biggest player in the space, isn’t live yet. Neither is their main competitor, Gnosis.pm. And we don’t know when they will be, despite the tens of millions they’ve raised through ICOs. Bodhi.network goes live soon, but is for China only and doesn’t run on Ethereum.
CryptoBets Cuts The Bullshit. Betting Starts Now.
CryptoBets.cc cuts the bullshit. You can start betting right now, and there’s no coin you need to buy, token you need to hold, or ICO you need to partake in. Better yet: there are no betting fees, and they take no commission. You just need some ether, MetaMask, and an Internet connection to get started.
No ICO, no fees, no bullshit
Here’s a quick primer, pulled directly from the site — which, by the way, has easily one of the best and most user friendly designs in the entire crypto space:
CryptoBets is an entirely new way to bet, using smart contracts on the blockchain. Here, you can safely bet your Ether on things ranging from sports to movies to rocket launches and much more. 🤑 Unlike online betting sites, we’re neither butt-ugly nor sketchy.
We’re a safe, fun, and clean way for both casuals and enthusiasts alike to bet on different things. You don’t need to trust us, because we don’t process bets or pay out winners; smart contracts—public, automagical programs on the Ethereum blockchain—handle the work instead.
CryptoBets already appears to have hosted over 25 successful bets, ranging from the Super Bowl, which transacted ~22 ETH amongst over 150 betters, to a bet on whether or not the upcoming Star Wars movie will be rotten or fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. And the developers are taking absolutely 0 commission on the bets.
Each bet has it’s own ‘smart contract’ with publicly verifiable code. This once again highlights the potential for Ethereum to disrupt the betting industry: no sketchy bookies hold cash, the bet outcome is determined by a transparent third party oracle, and the smart contract pays people exactly the amount they earned, when they earn it.
I personally tried out the site and won a bet on the price of BTC. I predicted correctly, and won almost 25 bucks. 😎 As soon as I clicked collect, 0.09 ETH was sent to my wallet, and I got to experience a super sick money rain animation!
Augur in crosshairs? 😱
The motivation behind CryptoBets seems clear — a lot of the teams behind decentralized prediction markets seem to be more invested in the process of obtaining a nice fat check from massive ICOs, versus actually building and shipping a fun, usable product.
While people are frustrated with the lack of action by Augur and similar platforms, CryptoBets seems to be taking the exact opposite course:
More than just being trust-free, our promise lies in the ability to bring both casuals and enthusiasts into the world of betting, through a sleek and sexy platform with a sense of humor. We’ll never stray from our no ICO no bullshit model.
Capitalizing on a broken space by delivering the easiest and least money-grabbing solution to people? That’s cool. Super cool. This is the future of betting — user-friendly products that enable money to be handled by smart contracts, without any extra baggage at all.
So, yes. Augur.net should be worried.
How safe is “safe”?
Super safe, apparently. CryptoBets’ FAQ section lists five different techniques they’ve implemented to ensure a smooth betting experience:
1) Bets can be canceled by us and money can be returned back to betters at any time, available for withdrawal.
2) Bet cancelation automatically occurs after a full 24 hours if the oracle fails to successfully determine the outcome.
3) More money can be injected into the smart contracts at any time.
4) Relevant functions such as determining the winner can be manually triggered by us, and are called on an automatic schedule until success.
5) Payout collection is only available 10 minutes after winner determination. This is sufficient time to let our moderation team verify the outcome determined from the oracle was correct, and if not then cancel the bet.
CryptoBets uses a centralized oracle service (the most respected one in the developer community: Oraclize.it), and has managed to find a credible source for each of their bets, ranging from WolframAlpha to SportRadar.us to RottenTomatoes.com and more.
It seems that every single bet except one thus far has been successful. One UEFA soccer bet was canceled, apparently because of an issue with fetching the API, and the money was returned to betters (on top of a $20 bonus from the devs). Props to the team for that!
What can I bet on?
Whatever the devs put up, which seems to be anything: movies, sports, politics, rocket launches, and more. I joined the Telegram community and the team is highly receptive to bet suggestions from their users.
So, basically… anything! 🤑
Great. Let us commence the online betting revolution. Together.
Where To Follow Cryptobets