ICO Spotlight: Interview with Steve White from ETH888
This post is part of the ICO Spotlight, a series of posts with the teams behind the different projects covered by Coinschedule.
Hello Steve, please start by telling us: What is ETH888?
ETH888 will be the first Asian Themed Ethereum casino, featuring provably fair result generations under blockchain environment, with absolutely high transparency and level of privacy protection. By adapting blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, the online gambling industry is going to face destructive changes!
Can you tell us why your entering the gambling industry and why your using Ethereum?
In 2016, online gambling industry values up to 45 billion USD. With the rapid growth of the Internet population and its infrastructures expanding, momentary from Asian markets contributes a significant proportion of the total market value. In this industry, here comes two major issues: fairness and privacy. Players in general have insufficient transparency to verify or trust the result’s fairness, forming a barrier for trust and loyalty buildings. Moreover, previous generation online casinos request players signing up with real identity, to facilitate fund transactions from banks, also an obvious barrier against new comers stepping in.
With Ethereum’s technology, all core logics of ETH888 can be programmed into the smart contracts which are 100% transparent / open-source in a block. Everyone can get access to it via block explorers and see how it operates in an expected way. It lets the audiences be absolutely clear how ETH888 operates, to eliminate doubts with us, further consolidating our revenue model.
In player’s point of view, two most crucial issues in a game are: result fairness and prize distribution. These are fully executed by and binding with smart contracts, in which everyone can check how the random results are generated and verify the past results also its fairness. In prize distribution, it utilises the advantage of cryptocurrency, instant fund withdrawal, in which only very low transaction fee applies and is completely anonymous, no registration required.
Tell us a bit more about your revenue model?
We maintain the house edge of all games at around 6-16%. Some casinos emphasize zero house edge, with a doubtful assumption, treating it as a gimmick to make the house attractive to the audiences. They assuming, even with zero house edge, it will also be profitable by blessing elite players making mistakes or beginners will compensate the loss. Indeed, it is impractical, as unlike physical casinos, there are no restrictions on how the players interact with the games, such as getting real-time AI hints from gambling master softwares / devices. Undoubtedly, every player can instantly become a blackjack master. Does it sound an attractive business to stakeholders? Or does anyone have interest in operating a casino with negative ROI?
In player’s points of view, playing with a trustable partner is superior. Especially to Asian players, in general, they do not care the existence of house edge, but do care whether they are being cheated. They merely look for opportunities to get their hopes up, given a reasonable chance to win and an easy-fair environment to have a try.
Why are you launching an ICO?
It seems so obvious that, with positive house edge, it is a “sure win” business. Why do we launch ICOs and not privately 100% owning it? Indeed, to operate a casino platform, there involves huge amount of cashflow for paying all winners and consulting legal services. We have expertise and technologies in online betting domain while investors have capitals. Why not sit in the same boat to create more values? In this way, launching ICOs is an ideal approach to maximize the benefits of all parties.
Different from most ICOs, ETH888’s ICO is divided into 3 stages. The next ICO will never start before all promised / compromised milestones in the previous stage are achieved. At the same time, the ETH888 Team will hold 10% of Vanil token as the incentives for developers to strive for complete project deployment, so to have a 3-win (players + stakeholders + developers) scenario.
For the first ICO, 10,000,000 Vanil tokens are for crowdsale. Contributors can invest 1 Ether to exchange for 1,250 Vanil tokens. The circulation volume of Vanil is fixed, totally 37,500,000.
Why do we need Vanil tokens?
Although running a sure-win business is attractive, it involves incredibly complicated operations. Having Vanil tokens is a way for individual investors to get steady long-term returns from this mystery industry. In each month, 40% of ETH888’s profit in ETH will be split into a sharing pool for all Vanil token holders to share the return in the amount directly proportional to the quantity of Vanil tokens they owning.
For example, A invested 100 ETH for 125,000 Vanil tokens and the total profit of ETH888 in that month is 10,000 ETH, so 4,000 ETH (0.4 x 10,000) will be split into the sharing pool. The total circulation volume of Vanil token is 15,500,000, so A will get 125,000 / 15,500,000 x 4,000 ～ 32 ETH as his return in that month.
Besides, with the business scale mushrooming and thus higher amount of monthly return achieved, Vanil token has a foreseeable potential of getting much higher market values than ICO prices.
What are the challenges in generating provably fair results in a blockchain environment?
In a centralized world, getting a random number is a piece of cake. In contrary, under blockchain environment, everything is deterministic and no intrinsic random factors exist. Some may use block hash, a unique long string to identify a mined block, as a random hash to generate a so-called “random” result. However, this leaves a chance for miners to cheat the upcoming result, by giving up a currently mined block, given the reward return much more than 5 ethers.
Finally, the team did figure out a moderate workaround. Before the player makes a decision in a bet, a SHA-512 encrypted hash (encrypted from a source random hash generated from a hidden node in the mainnet) will be given. During result announcement, the source random hash will also be given, so the player can verify that, a random factor had been generated before the bet decision was made, by SHA-512 encrypting the source random hash once to check if it matches with the previously given encrypted hash. To experience the concept, welcome to visit out Asian themed demo:
What can you tell us about you and your team?
To capture market shares in Asia regions, our team of course composes of Western and Asian industrial talents and advisors. We are currently a group of six core members with fairly balanced expertise in related scopes.
For my background as a mathematician, studying and researching cryptocurrency algorithms by adapting mathematical models, indeed is just my cup of tea. With our indispensable partner Gordan who was committing to online gambling industry in Asia over a decade, he supplements the team’s knowhow in how ETH888 should operate as an online casino and tackle the pain points in the industry.
To operate a platform, here we have Richard who was a senior network application developer previously working for cryptocurrency exchanges in China. For game developments, George and Peter are our core members in building cross-platform web games coupled with blockchain technology. Also we have Lily, a young and energetic Chinese lady formerly working for international digital agencies, with solid experience and networks in marketing and promotion.
For more details and connecting with us, you are welcome to visit our team profile:
Thank you so much Steve and good luck with your ICO!
Welcome and we are trying our best! Thanks for all contributors in building a revolutionarily fair casino!