We have received some questions about what makes Ethbet a unique project compared to some similar-sounding projects that already exist. The following post has been added to a section of our Whitepaper in addition to being posted here:
As the size of the blockchain and Ethereum ecosystems have grown considerably over the last few years, a number of projects with goals similar to Ethbet’s have emerged. Although some of these projects are similar in nature, they either have different goals or are lacking some of the features of Ethbet. Some of these projects are summarized below, with emphasis on why they are different from Ethbet.
Edgeless: Edgelesss claims to offer betting on the Ethereum blockchain with a 0% house edge, however several notable caveats exist, namely:
- Edgeless claims their unreleased Blackjack game will have a house edge of 0%, but this only applies if every move and game played by a player is perfect. As a result, they expect the house to profit from this game1
- Although Edgeless is partially decentralized (exists on the blockchain), it is not peer-to-peer
- Edgeless does not support ETH, only their own token, EDG, thus you must purchase EDG first to use their platform
- Games such as Blackjack involve large amounts of data stored on the blockchain, and thus the fees paid to execute the involved smart contracts can be high
- Edgeless generates random numbers using their own server off of the blockchain
- No publicly readable changes to their smart contracts appear to have been made for at least several months2
Regardless of these drawbacks, Edgeless may be an appealing option for those wishing to play provably-fair games of blackjack on the blockchain in the near future, however we do not consider them a direct competitor for our target audience.
Etheroll: Etheroll was the first functioning dicing game on the Ethereum blockchain. It is similar to Ethbet, however is not peer-to-peer and has a house edge of 1% for every bet. Aside from this, it appears to be a successful platform and one of the only Ethereum projects that is already generating revenue for token holders, making it a good model for future Ethereum-based projects to follow.
DAO.Casino: DAO.Casino is a recently-funded Ethereum-based blockchain protocol. It is not a gambling application in itself, however is intended to function as a framework that allows others to create blockchain-based gambling with a lower overhead. DAO.Casino utilizes a token called BET, which is required for all interactions using its protocol. The goals of DAO.Casino are to help casinos move their games onto the blockchain and to encourage on-chain game development and participation using its protocol. This differs substantially from the goal of Ethbet, which is to provide peer-to-peer dicing on the blockchain with no house edge.
Peerplays: Among all other projects, Peerplays3 is the only one that markets itself based off of peer-to-peer interaction. Critically, Peerplays is its own currency and blockchain, completely separate from Ethereum, and thus the barriers to entry are much larger. Although Peerplays boasts its own technologies and smart contracts separate from the Ethereum network, as a result of this is is not able to benefit from the network effects of the Ethereum ecosystem or from the security and reliability of the Ethereum virtual machine and its associated smart contracts. In addition to this, there are no visible cases of dicing without a house edge being offered on this platform.
Funfair: Funfair4 is another Ethereum-based project with the ambitious goal of ‘delivering next generation gaming anywhere in the world’, according to their technical whitepaper. Although Funfair’s scope includes gambling games, their focus is on providing a variety of immersive and graphically extensive games which are ‘fun’. To quote directly from their technical whitepaper: “We don’t want just simple, boring ‘pick a number’ games. (…) they are just not fun. We are fun.”5 In order to interact with games built by Funfair, one must use Funfair’s token, FUN. Funfair uses a custom off-chain technology called fate channels which functions in a manner similar to Bitcoin’s proposed lightning network6 and is attempting to secure patents related to this technology. Funfair claims that their implementation of fate channels is provably fair, although the server-side code to it is currently not open source and implementation details have not yet been made public, purportedly to allow Funfair to retain a competitive advantage over other players in the field. Although an interesting project with ambitious goals, their primary objectives are very different from ours.
Although some of the above projects could be considered competitors to Ethbet, many of their stated goals are orthogonal to ours, and just as different cryptocurrencies serve different purposes and cater to different audiences, these projects are able to do so as well. For these reasons, we believe that the demand for the market niche that Ethbet realizes has not yet been met by any of the above projects.