Alpha Testnet Exchange is Live!

We are excited to release the Alpha Testnet version of the BlitzPredict Exchange! In this post, we will cover what’s contained in the new release and what to expect over the coming months as we prepare for mainnet launch, ahead of Augur’s v2 release. We are grateful for your support and excited for what’s to come! Make sure to join our Discord to chat about BlitzPredict and please reach out with any feedback as you test the exchange — it will be greatly appreciated.

There are a lot of exciting features in this release and I’m really proud of the work our developers have put in to get us to this point. Going forward, we will be focused on preparing the exchange for mainnet launch while strengthening our infrastructure and testing systems so we can move fast. I’m extremely proud of the team and we are looking forward to the road ahead!

The Exchange

The BlitzPredict Exchange is a peer-to-peer betting exchange built on Ethereum and utilizing Augur and 0x, two flagship Ethereum-based protocols. For a brief overview: Augur is a decentralized protocol for prediction markets, which allows anyone to create a market on any event. 0x is a protocol that enables the peer-to-peer exchange of assets on the Ethereum blockchain, utilizing off-chain solutions, which allow for speeds much faster than trading on-chain. This setup enables us to offer betting at the speed of traditional systems along with the security blockchain technology provides.

Similar to how a stock market order book features buy and sell orders, our exchange allows for users to either post a bet they would like to make (I’ll bet the Patriots -3), or take the other side of an already posted bet. Whenever two people want opposite sides of a bet, a match gets made, each person’s ETH goes into the Augur smart contract, and the bettors receive tokenized ERC-20 shares representing their selected outcome in the event. These tokens are immediately liquid and transferrable, allowing for pre and in-game trading.

We have built a holdings page where you can view your open orders (orders not yet matched), matched orders, and potential winnings. You can use our retraction tool to remove any unmatched orders from the order book if you want. We have built a UI for MetaMask that will clearly display your MetaMask holdings on our site. Our exchange is non-custodial, meaning we never touch our customers’ funds. In fact, in the system we are building, it is not even possible for us to access customer funds.

Another key focus of ours while building this exchange has been on infrastructure and testing. It may seem boring but the infrastructure we have built and are continuing to build will allow us to scale rapidly and prepare for mass adoption. The testing environment we’ve been creating is really helpful, paired with our infrastructure, to ensure we can iterate rapidly and add new features without breaking the current platform.

This is a good time to note that this is an alpha release — a lot of functionality that will be available on the mainnet exchange is not yet available, including our portal for Augur reporters, the ability to trade purchased shares, the ability to claim winnings, and the ability for users to create markets. We will be rolling these features out, amongst others, in the coming weeks and months.

If you are interested in testing on the exchange, you can watch this brief tutorial video. You will want to Install MetaMask and connect your MetaMask to the Kovan network. You will need some Kovan ETH (testnet, “play money” ETH for use in testing) so you can email and/or head to any of the following resources to grab some Kovan ETH:

The XBP Token

BlitzPredict’s native token, XBP, will be used primarily via staking and burning mechanisms to provide additional functionality to our users. As many of you know, BlitzPredict started with a token sale in Q1 2018. The release of our exchange gets us closer to fulfilling the vision outlined in our original whitepaper. We will be releasing an updated whitepaper this summer as our longterm focus has crystalized.

Going forward, we have a lot of exciting features planned for the XBP token. Later this year, we aim to launch our tournaments feature. Tournaments will be pick ’em, bracket, and survivor tournaments, and will require users to stake XBP in order to gain entry — escrow a certain amount of XBP for a certain period of time to enter. Users can earn ETH and other prizes and will receive their XBP back once the staking period expires.

We will also be opening up the market creation process to our users, who will be able to earn fees from the market activity. XBP will be involved in this process as well and we will be announcing more information ahead of mainnet launch. Given that users of our exchange will already be familiar with ETH and ERC-20 tokens like REP and ZRX, the barrier to adoption of XBP should be relatively low. There won’t be any friction at the exchange layer — betting will be conducted in ETH and DAI — and there will be additional, powerful functionalities accessible via XBP staking and burning mechanisms.

Preparing for Mainnet

Now that we have launched on testnet, our focus shifts to preparing to launch real money betting on Ethereum mainnet ahead of Augur’s v2 launch. We are developing trading APIs for sophisticated users, such as market makers, to efficiently interact with our markets. We have a lot planned around politics and other futures markets like who will win the Super Bowl. We will be gathering feedback from the community and responding accordingly to provide the best experience we can. Our focus is on building out the base platform, getting liquidity into these markets, and adding additional features.

Another area we’re excited about is the sports information space. There is a serious information gap between sharp bettors and the general public and the the current social media climate only amplifies the information gap — all you need to do is go on Twitter and see any number of people claiming they win 80% of their bets, amongst other ridiculous claims, not to mention the traditional sports media sites wading into sports betting as it’s getting legalized throughout the US. Blockchain technology can help bring transparency to the sports information space and we are excited for the potential in this area.

In fact, our initial launch focused on the information side, featuring a sportsbook aggregator, expert marketplace, leaderboard, and a system where anyone can record their predictions on sporting events to the Ethereum blockchain, timestamped against true market odds. This allows our users to build a verifiable record of their success — if you can beat the market longterm, you can prove it on our platform. We have a lot more planned in this space as well — although our primary focus is on preparing the exchange for mainnet launch, expect to see additional features on the information side over the coming months as well.

Longterm Vision

In its current state, blockchain technology can be incredibly difficult to use. As such, UI and UX design are extremely important to us. One of our core tenets is making this technology accessible to the mass user. We believe that, in order for mass adoption to occur, this technology must be as easy to use as traditional software. Obviously, there are still plenty of challenges in this space, but we are huge believers in the decentralized web and decentralized financial systems that are being built.

We’re really happy to be a part of this ecosystem — it’s a collaborative environment where everyone is focused on solving challenging problems together. There’s a lot of talent and capital pouring into this space and it’s only a matter of time until this technology reaches the mainstream. Obviously, the hype got ahead of the train in the 2017/2018 bull run, but projects like ours are focused on making this technology more accessible to the mainstream and that future is getting a lot closer.

Our focus is on building global liquidity pools in sports, esports, and politics while helping blockchain technology reach the mainstream. We aim to be positive contributors to the ecosystem as a whole, with a goal of onboarding new users into crypto and helping adoption of these flagship protocols. We are really looking forward to public testing so please join our Discord and let us know what features you would like to see — we are excited for the future and glad to have you on this journey with us!

Thanks for the support,

Brett Richey