special guest joining us on the show. He was the CEO of Better Betting Foundation and now taking over FUNToken. Having been recently appointed as CEO, he has a wealth of experience in the online gaming industry. Starting in 1995 with lotteries and progressing through all gaming verticals over the past 25 years. So Adriaan Brink, thank you so much for joining me today.
Adriaan : Hi, thanks for having me.
Yanni : It’s an absolute pleasure Adriaan. We’re here today to uncover what’s currently in the pipeline for FUNToken and how FUN is transforming online crypto gaming. Could we start by having you tell us more about your background in the online gaming industry and maybe talk more about your role as a CEO in FUNToken? What intrigued you the most about this platform?
Adriaan : Sure. Well I started in igaming in 1995 as you mentioned earlier. It’s a funny story actually. We were involved in the internet right right back in ‘94 when it first started to appear on in the old Mosaic browsers and in various different products and looking for something new to do. We were going to start a bank actually, that was the first idea and then someone in our company said, “Why don’t we do a lottery? It’s more fun!”
Adriaan : So we went out and got a license and started the lottery in 1995, which was the very first online gaming site in the world. We ran that for ten years. It had its challenges for sure in those early days but that’s how I got into the industry, which of course grew hugely over that time and now is a massive industry that it is today. Subsequently, I have been involved in casinos and sports betting and many different verticals in gaming. The last being Better Betting, which is a crypto based peer-to-peer betting system, which we ICO’d in 2017 – actually about three months after the FUN ICO. In fact Jez, who started FUN, is a good friend of mine and he was one of our advisors and was quite helpful in helping us get going with Better Betting so it’s sort of almost like a big circle coming back together again in a way.
Yanni : FUNToken just recently announced this week that it will acquire all technology developed for BETR. Now what could we expect from the FUNToken platform with this recent news of BETR acquisition and what will it look like for FUNToken holders?
Adriaan : Well you know in some ways we’re following the same path. We’ve both, Jez and I, committed to the same fundamental concepts, which was to bring blockchain to gaming in a way that was really to put more transparency into the whole operation and move as much as possible of the gaming technology onto blockchain. Jez focused on casinos and of course we focused on sports betting, so Better Betting, which launched with the World Cup in 2018, brought peer-to-peer sports betting to the blockchain and you were able to place bets against other parties with no central party holding the funds so the funds all held on blockchain in a secure manner. It was quite a lot of work actually. There’s an enormous amount of complexity in the betting landscape, but the end result was a truly peer-to-peer offering for sports betting and of course that technology has now been acquired through the deal with the fund.
Adriaan : We look forward to bringing that to the FUNToken and enhancing that with a bunch of other measures specifically, moving all gaming activity to sidechain. So moving away from Ethereum, which has had its challenges, both in terms of the performance and in terms of the gas speeds, which are just ridiculous at the moment. It’s impossible right now to operate any sort of interactive gaming on Ethereum just because the gas fees are way too high. I’ll give you an example of that; The last bet placed on BETR about two months ago was a $20 bet and it cost $500 in gas fees. Clearly that’s not a sustainable business model. Jez spent two €200,000 in gas fees in the last month of FUN casino. These fees are substantial, they’re real costs and they’re not sustainable, so really we had already been looking at side chains and more performed blockchains and now with the merger with FUNToken we’re able to really fast track that and we will be announcing very soon some sidechain technology that will make a huge difference to the possibilities and the things that we can do.
Yanni : That sounds very intriguing, I look forward to it. I want to move on to the freebitco.in acquisition of a whopping 3.75 billion of FUNTokens. Do you mind telling us the story on how this came about and what was freebitco.in plans for this investment?
Adriaan : They actually started their process before I became involved with them and hats off to them. They looked for a token that they could use in their Premium Membership program and they chose to use FUN and proceeded to start buying it on the markets, which I think if you look at the price graphs and Coinmarketcap, you can you can pretty much guess where they’re sort of buying about three months prior to the big deal.
Adriaan : They acquired a significant number of the tokens on markets, probably one and a half billion or more and then they went to the FunFair team and said, ‘Look, you know we’re gonna we’re basically most of your liquidity. We have plans to make this work and we have the player base make this work so we’d like to take control of the token.’ Both Jez and I and pretty much everyone in the space battles with even more than technology is – player base. It is extremely expensive and time consuming just to acquire sufficient players to get enough mass behind any gaming operation than it actually works in a commercial way.
Adriaan : Freebitco.in have 41 million users and have had a significant uptake in their FUN Premium Membership, where they essentially sold about $100 worth of FUN to anyone who wished to participate in the program. They’ve had over 110,000 people buy into that program in the last two months, which if you compare it to the overall circulation of FUN on Ethereum right now – it’s about 82,000. They will be more than doubling immediately the usage in terms of the number of users of FUNToken and that number is growing by the minute.
Adriaan : This is very exciting for all of us because a token is not just about technology or about how much it trades or about where it trades and that sort of community. For it to be a true utility token it needs to be used for something and the ability that they bring with this massive user base to actually get usage into the token and have users participating in the activities of the token is what really makes the thing work. I’m really looking forward to taking that asset, the user base and bringing it into some real opportunities on the FUNToken.
Yanni : That was really impressive by the way and what does this acquisition mean for FUN then? What are your plans to grow in specific regions?
Adriaan : Well what it means for FUN is that the token can start to show all of the things it’s been working towards over the years in a true utility in the space of blockchain gambling. The liquidity in the token is significantly increased. It already had a fair amount of liquidity but in the past three months that’s increased substantially, the trading volume is now north of $20 million dollars a day and I would expect this to continue to increase as we go forward.
Yanni : How are you establishing yourselves to be the cryptocurrency of choice in the gaming token landscape? What kind of measures are you implementing to make this come into fruition?
Adriaan : Well we have a number of things we’re working on, not all of them we can talk about right now of course. As I get back to what I already said; fundamentally for any token to be the token of choice in whatever industry, it needs to have a user base. That’s really the first hurdle to break down and I think we’re well in the way towards doing that. That’s what drives everything else. If you don’t have a user base you can call yourself the token for the gaming industry or whatever, but in reality you aren’t. It’s all about users and about liquidity and about tradability and these are all hurdles that we’re well on the way to dealing with.
Yanni : What kind of problems is FUNToken solving in the gaming space?
Adriaan : We’re bringing transparency to the gaming industry and I don’t wish this to be misconstrued, I am not for the moment saying that the gaming industry as it exists today is not honest or fair or anything like that. The reality is that there are hiccups and there is exposure to the operators. Even what looked like large and substantial operators, for example, Sporting Index here in the UK can have their problems and the more than one can ensure particularly that the financial transactions are sufficiently capitalized.
Adriaan : In other words, if you make a bet against a casino or spin a slot game for a dollar and the maximum price is $30,000 then you wanna be sure that there’s $30,000 in the pot to pay you out. If the slot game hits whatever the winning combination is and really it’s all about that. It’s about ensuring that there’s sufficient capitalization in the market when bets are being placed in real time in a transparent manner, so every transaction is recorded on the blockchain. You can check the results and then it goes beyond that to things like blockchain-based RNG’s (Random Number Generator), there’s a number of different solutions to that and really getting away from the operator in the middle to some extent. With the peer-to-peer betting there is no operator in the middle. You’re placing a bet against the layer, that’s it. The blockchain takes care of escrowing funds from both parties and then settling in favour of the winner.
Yanni : Do you see FUNtoken moving beyond current gaming opportunities?
Adriaan : Yes absolutely. I mean, there’s no reason why it can’t be used for anything, it’s essentially a token of value. I would certainly look into the space of social gaming. When I say social gaming i’m not particularly talking about the sort of free money gaming, free money casino games, but more things like mahjong in Asia games, peer-to-peer games where multiple players play against each other and using the token as a means of transparently settling in favour of the winners. So there’s a lot of opportunity beyond the pure gambling space as we know it as sports betting, casino and by the way poker is also a great opportunity for us and we’re in active discussions now with some very interesting parties in that respect.
Yanni : Well splendid! Can you tell me more about this new token that you’re launching on the side chain? What is the goal of this token? How will this fit into your crypto portfolio plan?
Adriaan : yeah I’m hesitant to say too much about it because we will make a major announcement about it in the coming weeks, well maybe a few weeks. Basically what we’ll be launching is a token that is a one-for-one exchangeable fund through an escrow mechanism so essentially in order to have this token you will have to lock away some FUN, taking that fund out of the circulating supply. This token will be on a blockchain with zero gas fees or minimal gas fees, it may be on multiple blockchains and will be available for gaming opportunities on these other blockchains. The idea is to move to create a parallel token of exactly the same value as FUN. It doesn’t trade, it won’t be tradable in any exchanges, it’s purely there to be used for the utility. So essentially it will become a gaming token you’ll be able to move between different gaming opportunities at zero cost and zero latency. You’ll be able to use it for sports betting on this chain with no issues of gas and latency that we’ve had with Ethereum. In principle if Ethereum provided that we wouldn’t have to do this but in reality it doesn’t. Four years ago when Jez and I both launched, Ethereum was the best option out there and it looked like it would do that, but what happened over the four years is the gas prices crept up and then crept up faster and the latency increased so it really became a victim of its own success.
Yanni : Now Adriaan, looking ahead, what kind of future plans do you have in store for 2021 and beyond?
Adriaan : Well it’s more of the same to some degree. We will be looking at further opportunities for the token within the gambling space looking at how this measure of value that which now has a user base and has the tradability and the exchangeability can be used in in other verticals or in similar verticals. So really just expanding the usability of the token. The usability is fundamental to everything we’re doing, the more the people use the token whether that’s using it on chain for whatever opportunities they have or using it on our parallel chain with our new token and the less that token is trading and the less that it’s circulating supply, which effectively means that the demand will be exceeding supply and that’s what will drop the price of course and everything else so from a tokenomics point of view it’s all about getting people to use the token.
Yanni : Fantastic! Well Adriaan this has been fun. I loved hearing about all of your plans and your very impressive milestones so thank you for taking the time to speak with me and we look forward to seeing your progress.
Adriaan : Thank you and it’s been a great pleasure to talk to you.