Blockchain’s Bettium Brings AI and Big Data To P2P Sports Betting

Bettium is a blockchain platform for P2P betting. The platform offers AI and Big Data analytical tools and algorithmic capabilities designed to empower amateurs to making smart conclusions and smart bets against peers.

Nathan Hunt has served as general manager and CEO of since the company’s inception. He talked with Block Tribune about the project, which offers yet another outlet in the booming world of sports books.

Nathan Hunt

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Walk me through how this betting system works.

NATHAN HUNT: Bettium is a platform for peer-to-peer (P2P) betting which allows users to engage in the following forms of P2P betting:

  • Public matchpool — pairing random bettors against each other using a complex matchmaking engine, similar to a trading pair on a currency exchange
  • Player-to-Player — a simple pairing of User 1 and User 2, where both users know each other, want to bet against each other, and set up a pre-defined pairing
  • User-created Player-to-Player — a complex pairing involving conditions and rules determined by the players — extra conditions can be added on-the-fly, as an event progresses, and accepted or declined by the other party. This requires more computational power than other types of betting and will be introduced in Phase 2.

The process will begin with a matching of opposite interests in a given sporting event based on several parameters, such as the amount bet, possible outcome, time, score, etc. Upon completion of an event, the validator (Oracle Network) will send out a message signed through a multi-sig Smart Contract containing the true outcome of the event and triggering all required calculations and payouts.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What is the difference between this and other forms of sports betting?

NATHAN HUNT: Some services already offer P2P betting, but almost all are centralized, not blockchain-based, and therefore subject to the same problems faced by all traditional systems (non-transparency, scalability, interference, reliability, etc.). They also don’t provide even a fraction of the functionality we are offering. Bettium takes the system to the next level by providing a scalable, transparent environment and a multi-feature analytical platform, giving all users access to professional tools that will allow them to make informed decisions based on facts and statistics. No other platform has combined these two roles before — data crunching and betting — because the traditional platforms bet against the user. A traditional bookmaker wins when his clients lose and if all his clients were to win a large portion of their bets, the bookie would simply go out of business. That is why they charge high commissions and use odds to manipulate the results. Traditional platforms are not interested in the bettor’s success and in fact even black-list users who consistently win, suspecting that they are using Big Data to improve their chances. We not only allow the use of Big Data — we encourage it. At Bettium, we win when our players win.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What will be the impact of new US laws on betting?

NATHAN HUNT: The May 14 Supreme Court decision striking down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 couldn’t have come at a better time. As the court acknowledged, it was an overreach of power when the federal government attempted to ban sports betting in most states which was clearly the purvey of the States. What had been legal only in Nevada is now a source of entertainment and potentially revenue in 49 other states — the floodgates are open. A few locales might ban sports betting but the vast majority will regulate and tax the industry so as to reap the benefits that Nevada has enjoyed for some time now. As a result, a vast new segment of the American public will enjoy the excitement of sports betting. The USA, which had been a minor player in the industry worldwide, will quickly become an important market with millions of users. And Bettium will be there to guide the process.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What types of bets do you anticipate — mid-game free throws, for example?

NATHAN HUNT: The sky’s the limit. The only criteria that the platform could not work with would be one with an unverifiable outcome. Other than that, anything goes, especially in user-created custom wagers, which, as mentioned before, can have multiple winning and losing conditions based on a number of parameters: goals scored, goals scored by a specific player, number of fouls, number of free throws, hat trick potential, and any other game stat of interest. Live betting will also be possible.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Have you run any tests on this yet? How are the system’s AI predictive skills?

NATHAN HUNT: We are still in development, but the potential of the Artificial-Intelligence “Merlin” module is tremendous. Our AI will predict the outcome of all types of sporting events — football, basketball, soccer, tennis, hockey, etc. — and e-sports as well — League of Legends, Dota 2, CS:GO, you name it. We will be the premier platform for data-based prediction of sporting outcomes anywhere in the world — and the go-to site for any professional or amateur who wants to capitalize on that knowledge. It’s too early to give fine details on the system’s capabilities, but believe me, our developers and fully engaged in the task and working non-stop to produce a system that will revolutionize the industry.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Does this mean the death of legitimate sports books?

NATHAN HUNT: Certainly not in the short-term. We estimate that within 3 years from launch, around 10% of online sports betting will take place on Bettium. That’s not killing anything by a long shot; we recognize there are well-established competitors who can adapt and evolve, but we’ll be working day and night to stay ahead. One of the chief factors motivating user growth at the start will be fees. Traditional platforms charge 7–10% commissions; we will be taking 0.15% from each winning bet and 0.10% from each losing bet — miniscule by industry standards.

Of course we’ll be doing our share of marketing, and organizing compelling events to keep the public focused on our platform. We will be sponsoring players, teams, e-sports tournaments, AI League, and even organizing our own betting tournaments where advanced users can pit their AI avatars against those of other developers. The exclusive features will speak for themselves, underpinning strong growth over the first 3 years.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: The house never loses — what about peer to peer?

NATHAN HUNT: Traditional operators create hidden fees through manipulation of odds that ensure the bookie will never lose. I already alluded to their 7–10% commissions and that doesn’t even include bank fees and potential middleman charges. Bettium will be a clearinghouse, taking a tiny fee from each user per bet. The 0.15% mentioned above, by the way, is our maximum. The fee will scale down from there as the size of the bet increases. In our case “the house” will take just enough to keep the platform running, but with no interest in “beating” our customers.

We will also have an interesting approach to ties or draws. With a traditional bookmaker, bettors lose when the outcome is a draw, but on Bettium, players will lose only 1/3 of their stake (to compensate the Oracle Network) receiving the remaining 2/3 back for use in future bets. We will never bet against our users — the player’s success is our success and that is the Bettium difference.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: What are Bettium’s ICO plans?

NATHAN HUNT: Our private round started June 1 and will continue through June 30. The main token sale will be preceded by a short pre-sale July 1–10, when smaller players can purchase BETT tokens with a bonus. The private round and pre-sale account for 7.5% of the total token supply with 40% going to crowd sale from July 10 through August 1. We will have a referral program active during the public token sale and will be organizing various activities for our community to provide publicity and token prizes.

The interview is published by BlockTribute:

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