BlockSports co-founders Tsering Redmond and Mirren King-Smith were interviewed by Lewis Harland of the NEO London community. In the informal “Fireside Chat”, Redmond and King-Smith discussed the beginnings of their project, decentralization, data oracles, their upcoming BSX token, and the NEO blockchain itself.
Both co-founders are from Brisbane, Australia. Tsering ran brief experiments with CPU mining on the Bitcoin blockchain in 2011. In early 2017, Ethereum’s growing ecosystem of decentralized applications (dApp) and wave of ICOs attracted both of them to the cryptocurrency community as developers.
Tsering mentioned discussions with the third BlockSports co-founder, Sergej Stojanovski, regarding perceived problems with many other dApps unveiled during the planning phase of BlockSports. The founders believed that many projects didn’t truly need a decentralized solution, or were abstract concepts years removed from real-world impact. Sergej and Tsering were after “something that people could start using right away and was tangible to a consumer audience,” and so they decided to build a decentralized exchange (DEX) for sports betting.
The co-founders stated that their sports DEX is intended to “remove the counter-party risk involved in trusting platform operators to hold your funds in escrow”, and drew clear parallels to decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges which do not assume control over funds that are deposited on the platform.
Like many other projects from early 2017, BlockSports was first designed for the Ethereum platform, but concerns about performance and transaction volume caused the designers to look for alternatives. Tsering said, “When we investigated NEO it was a no brainer for us,” and offered NEO’s increased on-chain performance, ease of development, and supportive community as reasons behind the switch.
Bets on the BlockSports DEX will be placed and collected in NeoGas (GAS). Settlements are handled on-chain by the BlockSports smart contract. Because the BlockSports smart contract needs to be told accurate outcomes of the sports events being wagered on, Mirren plans to introduce community-run oracles, and require them to reach a majority consensus on the incoming data. He also plans to use multiple data sources. Mirren stated in summary that “by utilizing a diverse range of oracles and sources we can ensure that incorrect reporting will not impact the end user.” He further stated plans to increase the number of oracle operators over time in order to appropriately match increased community sizes and increased betting volumes on the exchange.
Mirren outlined four criteria which define the decentralization of the BlockSports platform:
- Event and outcome data reporting must reach consensus amongst multiple parties,
- BlockSports must not have administrative control over the storage and processing of user funds,
- Matching verification must be performed on-chain and not require BlockSports to execute, and
- Core exchange functionality can be directly invoked by any user.
Having settlement and bet matching handled on-chain ensures that critical functions will be processed by the NEO blockchain directly, and is not dependent on the BlockSports team.
Other challenges facing the program’s co-founders were discussed, including liquidity. Tsering mentioned designing solutions to ensure sufficient liquidity for the platform’s users, and claimed to have developed an API to allow existing bots to provide cross-platform arbitrage with centralized exchanges. He also mentioned private arrangements with sports betting syndicates and companies to make markets on the BlockSports DEX.
The BlockSports platform will use GAS as its utility token. Referring to GAS, Tsering commented that “we didn’t see the value in creating another needless utility token when there was already a perfect utility token available.” GAS will be used directly by the BlockSports platform for betting, while the BSX token will give holders a share of the fees generated by the decentralized exchange.
The BlockSports project has not yet entered its KYC or token sale phases.
The interview can be read at the link below:
For more information on BlockSports visit the links below.