The past few months have been very busy, and the Gimbl team has been hard at work. We have a lot of exciting developments to share with you below, and we appreciate everyone’s patience with waiting for updates.
I’d like to introduce Theo, a relatively new member of the Gimbl team, based in our Malta office. One of his responsibilities is to act as Community Manager, and this part of his role was specifically thought out because we want to commit ourselves to being more communicative and more transparent with our backer community.
As CEO of a startup, more of my focus needs to be on product development, compliance, and business development, which doesn’t leave a lot of time for me to interact with our followers and backers. This is one of the reasons I’d like to hand off this particular duty to Theo, who will be able to dedicate more time and attention to this, as I truly believe that open and regular communication with our community is vital for Gimbl. Theo will be present here on our blog, as well as on our Telegram, Discord, and social media channels, and will be publishing a Gimbl Update like this one each month.
Compliance & Licensing
Over the past few months, we’ve been in constant discussion with Maltese regulators (MFSA and MGA) and EU authorities to make sure that we’re compliant with all regulations. This is of paramount importance to us, as this is essential for us to be able to launch our product.
Dan (our CEO and one of our co-founders) and Johan (our Managing Director) have been in regular communication with the MGA and the MFSA for a while now. The MFSA and MGA have informed us that the issuance of gaming licenses for companies that use virtual financial assets (i.e. cryptocurrencies) is going to take longer than initially anticipated. While the two agencies worked together to release a sandbox on the “Guidance on the use of Innovative Technology Arrangements and the acceptance of Virtual Financial Assets and Virtual Tokens” in October 2018, they are not yet at the stage to start issuing licenses.
One of the main roadblocks here is that the MFSA needs to start onboarding crypto fiat exchanges, and writing laws around their needs. Once this is done, it would enable the MGA to issue licenses to companies like ours who will utilize crypto transactions. To be clear, these are roadblocks that every crypto venture is currently experiencing, and is in no way unique to Gimbl. Each venture trying to do anything even remotely similar to what we are, whether they are in the iGaming industry or not, are currently being faced with this same obstacle.
Of course, we will continue to work hand in hand with both organizations to make sure that Gimbl is compliant, secure, and gets to market as soon as possible.
A Roadmap Diversion
While the issuance of a gaming license is essential for our betting platform, it isn’t required for our Gimbl Challenges and Donations platform. After much deliberation, we’re very excited to announce that we will be going ahead and bringing these products to the market in the coming months, with betting being implemented as soon as we can.
What this means is that:
- Gimbl will be going live relatively soon
- Our users will have the ability to use GIM Tokens to challenge streamers and directly donate to them
- Our amazing tech-team will have more time to work on and improve our betting product.
Everyone at Gimbl is excited to be able to bring our work to the market, and we can’t wait to see streamers and viewers interacting in a way that isn’t available on any other platform.
What are Gimbl Challenges?
Gimbl Challenges are a new form of viewer-streamer interaction based off a universal gamer behavior.
How often do gamers, gathered together in one place around a screen, say things like: “I bet you can’t get 15 headshots this round” or “I’ll give you €5 to finish this level without using weapons.”?
All the time, but this aspect of gamer interaction hasn’t transitioned to the live streaming phenomena, until now. Gimbl Challenges will allow viewers to set challenges to streamers, helping push their favorite streamers to new heights, and reward them for success.
All a viewer needs to do is select a challenge and choose how much they’ll pay the streamer on completion, and the smart contract is complete. If the streamer succeeds, not only do they get bragging rights, but they get a financial reward too.
Bringing Crypto to the Masses
We understand that not everybody owns cryptocurrencies and that for those who aren’t already crypto-enthusiasts, crypto exchange can look daunting, and possibly a little scary.
After 2018’s bitcoin collapse, a lot of people became very wary cryptocurrencies, but this is finally changing. Flexa, for example, is a US company that has signed on over thirty-thousand retailers to begin accepting cryptocurrency payments through their app, Spedn.
We’re looking into different ways to make it as easy as possible for crypto-first-timers and to also explore every option available to us. The issue seems complex and possibly problematic, however, we are looking into solutions that the most promising blockchain companies have on offer.
Julien C., our CTO and one of our co-founders, has been discussing this with the brightest minds in the blockchain ecosystem, in order to find solutions to partner with to ease the process for potential Gimbl users who may be crypto first-timers.
We Are Legion
As we get closer and closer to launch, our team has started to grow, and we have plans to grow even more. The team will soon be expanded with the hiring of:
- A Marketing Manager
In order to help us prepare to make a splash when we launch. Helping us build hype, and get the word out about our products.
- A Fraud Analyst
To ensure the safety of everyone in our platform, making sure that everybody is playing by the rules so the users can focus on the fun instead of unpleasant surprises.
- A Business Developer
As our concept is groundbreaking, we need to have the best person out there to ensure that we talk to the right influencers and show them the possibilities the platform enables.
- An additional FrontEnd Developer
To ensure that the product gets to market as quickly and as refined a product as possible. This person is going to be our resident fine-tuner.
Our New Communication Strategy
Moving forward, we’d like to focus on improving the communication between us and our followers and backers. As said above, Theo will now be taking on Community Management duties as part of his role and will be a more regular presence on our social media channels, Telegram, and Discord.
We’ll be publishing an update each month, detailing what’s new in our tech, our business, our partnerships, our team configuration, etc. We’re all excited for the next stages of Gimbl, and we want to share this journey with you.
Plus, we’ve managed to automatically log out users after a period of inactivity with respect to the server API, and also log them out when they log in on a different device/browser to ensure session exclusivity.
Moreover, bet and challenge cards are now ready on the Front-end side.
Until now, we had an easy-to-maintain Next.js static export of our Server-Side-Rendering application. Due to the need for features such as internationalization and mobile landscape forcing, our Next.js application can no longer be exported as static.
Thus, what we can do is build and deploy it to serverless Lambda functions managed by Zeit Now. Each and every page of our application is put inside an independently built Lambda function. Each time we push a new feature, Zeit Now creates a new deployment, and when the feature is merged into the master branch, Zeit Now allows us to define the staging (sub-)domain to point to the latest deployment of that feature.
There is still one issue with internationalization that you can see in Zeit’s GitHub. Indeed, with all kinds of internationalization packages that are compatible with Next.js, such as react-intl or react-i18next, there is a need for a custom server.js. This forbids then the usage of one Lambda per page, but a real Node.js server, making that deployment “server-full”.
Someone got back to us with a quasi-functional solution and we’ve managed to integrate it with all state-of-the-art best practices of Next.js and Zeit Now 2.0.
Regarding the back-end, we forked express-session so that transactions can be powerless while still ensuring secure internal wallet transactions.
Features that we have worked on lately:
- Wallet disabling and wallet association with only one user right for MGA requirements;
- The player safety feature: Take a break;
- Live streaming monitoring;
- Management of how we work with the available games in the product;
- Onsite promotional and communication functionality;
A (Not so) Final Note
While we can’t help but be a little disappointed that we won’t be able to launch all of our products all at once, we’re thrilled to be able to unveil some of our work very soon. Stay tuned for a more visual teaser coming next month.
The next calendar year is going to be an exciting one for Gimbl. Our team is growing, our ideas are coming to life, and we have some exciting things planned. Check back here in a month for our next update, and until then, follow us on our social media. Don’t forget to head to our Telegram and Discord, and say “Hi!” to Theo.