FAQ about Virtue Poker

The Virtue Poker Team has compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Please comment with any additional questions we may not have covered.

General

  1. What is Virtue Poker?

Virtue Poker is a decentralized platform for playing online poker with Ether (ETH) . Virtue Poker leverages the Ethereum blockchain to provide the first blockchain-based online poker experience where players never have to deposit money on a site, the shuffle is provably random and cards are cryptographically secure. Virtue Poker was conceived in 2015 and is incubated at ConsenSys.

2. Who is on the Virtue Poker team?

The Virtue Poker team consists of 16 full-time employees comprised of platform developers, a technical product manager, front-end developers, a security team, a CEO/business strategist and a CMO.

In addition, Virtue Poker leverages internal ConsenSys personnel for legal due diligence, business strategy, web development, Solidity due diligence and marketing. To date, 30+ ConsenSys personnel have contributed to the formation and execution of Virtue Poker.

3. What are our goals and objectives in building our application?

Virtue Poker aims to leverage cryptography, blockchain technology and peer-to-peer networking to create a more secure and trustworthy online experience. Our aim is to rejuvenate online poker through new technologies and frameworks, and to create an extensible, decentralized online poker network that other operators can plug into, and other developers can build new functionalities on top of.

Application Overview

4. How does registration work?

Players download and install the Virtue Poker application and the uPort mobile application. Players then create and validate a uPort identity that will be used for each login to Virtue Poker.

5. How does depositing/withdrawing work?

Virtue Poker does not store any player funds. Unlike traditional online poker companies, Virtue Poker players do not have to trust Virtue Poker with their personal funds. Instead, players fund a wallet that is always under their control. To join games on the platform, players send their buy-in to a table contract which escrows all buy-ins, and autonomously pays out players directly into their digital wallets. The funds in escrow are controlled by the blockchain contract and not by Virtue Poker or any other single entity.

6. How does card shuffling work?

Virtue Poker uses a cryptographic protocol called Mental Poker for shuffling cards and reporting results. Each player in a hand is involved in the shuffling process by encrypting and shuffling the deck and then passing it to the next player. The deck never resides on a vulnerable server that can be hacked.

7. What random-number generator is used in Virtue Poker?

Virtue Poker uses /dev/urandom or the OS-dependent cryptographic PRNG equivalent (CryptGenRandom(), under Windows) as its source for random numbers.

8. How is Ethereum used in your application?

Ethereum smart contracts are used for the following purposes:

  • Table Contract: used for short-term escrow, results reporting and game parameters.
  • Casino Contract: used as a registry of all available games on the platform.
  • Multi-Table Tournament Contract: Manages players across multiple tables for multi-table tournaments.
  • Justice Contract: Manages Justice stakes and assignment to tables on Virtue Poker

9. When are transactions sent to Ethereum on Virtue Poker?

Currently, our application requires all players to send transactions when they join or create a table, at the end of each hand, and when they leave a table. In the production version, all gameplay will take place off-chain, and only results will be sent to the blockchain.

10. How many hands can the application currently play in an hour?

A 6-handed game currently plays at a rate of approximately 80 hands per hour.

11. How are results reported?

All players and Justices cryptographically sign the results of each hand with their private key. This verified result is submitted to IPFS for storage. Click here for more information about the Justice System.

12. What forms of cryptocurrency will Virtue Poker accept?

Initially, Virtue Poker will accept both ETH and VPP, the Virtue Poker Points token.

13. What language(s) is the application built in?

The proof-of-concept is written in Python with a Javascript frontend. The production client will be pure Javascript, wrapped with Electron.

14. Does Virtue Poker have any dependencies on Ethereum’s ongoing development?

The application can run at speed with the current version of Ethereum. However, there are issues that affect all DApps on Ethereum such as network congestion and high gas costs. In addition, we’d potentially like to use Whisper for P2P communications, and Swarm/IPFS for data/history logging when they are available. Neither is currently in a production state.

15. How far along are you in your product development?

The first version of Virtue Poker is complete. The team successfully implemented a state engine which runs using a Mental Poker implementation, and hooks into Ethereum creating a custom smart contract for each table instance. The roadmap section of the Virtue Poker White Paper outlines the significant engineering tasks that need to be completed prior to a full-scale product release and launch.

16. What is your estimated timeframe to launch?

Our goal is to launch by end of 2018.

Anti-Cheating

17. How will Virtue Poker ensure that peers don’t misreport results, collude, use multiple accounts or run bots?

Virtue Poker has developed the Justice System to combat cheating on our platform. Please see more information about this system here.

18. What are VPPs and what are they used for?

VPPs are the Virtue Poker utility token. VPPs have three core utilities within the Virtue Poker network. They can be (1) staked in a smart contract called the Justice Registry that enable users to stake tokens and validate hands on the network in exchange for fees from players, (2) used as an in-game currency and (3) used to access special tournaments.

19. What are Justices and how do they work?

The Justice Pool is composed of a limited number of players who are active on the Virtue Poker network. To become a Justice, players must acquire VPP, stake tokens in the Justice Registry, and must have their machine on and their application open and set to “active” to be assigned to tables. The assignment rate of Justices to tables is based on an individual Justice’s stake.

Marketing/Business Strategy

20. How does Virtue Poker plan to acquire players?

Virtue Poker will acquire players through a multi-pronged approach. First, we will utilize traditional marketing in both blockchain and poker spheres. Second, we believe the unique value proposition of our platform to existing players in the industry will cause significant viral adoption. Third, to promote such adoption, we’ve entered into several exciting relationships with some of the most recognizable names in poker — Phil Ivey, Brian Rast and Dan Colman, who collectively have over $70 million in tournament earnings. Fourth, we will host and subsidize promotional events on the platform to generate significant interest (e.g. celebrity tournaments and special games).

21. What will the rake be on Virtue Poker?

Our substantially lower costs should allow us to have among the lowest rake in online poker. This will keep more money in the poker economy, create a larger share of winning players and encourage players to continue playing on our platform. The Virtue Poker team will test multiple rake structures and seek feedback from the poker community through our private Alpha and Beta before announcing our initial rake structure.

22. Will Virtue Poker offer rakeback, deposit bonuses, referral credits, and affiliate programs?

Yes, our goal is to use VPP to offer rakeback, deposit bonuses, referral credits and affiliate deals with our players and partners. We are still finalizing these structures. Our goal is to leverage these programs to create a more balanced and fair poker economy that will enable our users to enjoy using our platform and encourage player retention.

23. What are Virtue Poker’s competitive advantages?

Virtue Poker’s unique P2P and decentralized architecture will allow us to eliminate costly servers and payment processors costs from our operations, and operate at a lower cost than traditional centralized (server-based) platforms. In addition, our platform will eliminate player deposit risk, as well as reduce player concerns about the integrity of games on our platform. Lastly, our hope is that new functionalities are built on top of our platform. One of the unique benefits of Ethereum is the interoperability of DApps, and we believe that Ethereum developers from our community will build new projects that integrate with Virtue Poker.

24. Do you plan on expanding into other game types?

Initially, Virtue Poker will focus on building a successful online poker platform. In the future, we may explore integrations with other iGaming companies or seek to build other games ourselves.

25. Do you plan on white labeling your software?

Our goal is to first launch as a business-to-consumer poker platform. Eventually, our aim is to be able to white label our software to new licensees across the globe who are seeking to leverage our unique architecture in offering online poker to their residents.

26. Do you plan on doing a token launch? If so, when does Virtue Poker plan on launching it?

Yes, Virtue Poker will be conducting a token launch beginning on April 25, 2018. More details are available here.

Legal

27. Is this legal? Does Virtue Poker plan on obtaining a gaming license?

The Virtue Poker team has already contacted regulators from across the globe, and our goal is to obtain gaming licenses as needed prior to launch.

28. What countries will Virtue Poker operate in?

The Virtue Poker team is working with our legal counsel and regulators to ensure that we operate legally in every jurisdiction in which we choose to offer Virtue Poker to players.

29. Has Virtue Poker sought legal advisement?

Virtue Poker has received legal advice on US gaming matters from Ifrah Law LLC, ISOLAS on Gibraltar regulatory matters, and a legal opinion from a US securities analysis perspective from Hogan Lovells LLP.

Hiring

30. Are you actively hiring? How can I get involved?

Yes, the Virtue Poker team is actively hiring! Please send your resume and desired role to ryan@virtue.poker and we will get back to you if we believe there is a fit for you within Virtue Poker.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS BASED ON CURRENT TEAM, SYSTEM AND PLANS. ALL ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

The Virtue Poker Team