Online gambling, especially with the ease of access cryptocurrencies provide, has become a massive growth industry in recent years - but some gaming platforms have failed to catch up, with archaic designs and passive games.
FunFair Technologies is a blockchain gaming company working on creating casino games for the next generation of crypto users.
The Crypto Casinos’ Scalability Problem
The traditional casino model is simple - you give the house your money, and the equivalent value is given to you in the form of play chips (or, online, as an account credit).
You can then place bets quickly and easily, and once you’re done, the house exchanges your credit for cash (at their discretion).
The obvious problem with this model is trust: you have to invest faith in a third party provider, and their trustworthiness may be dubious. We’ve seen tens of casinos exit scam with user funds altogether, or selective scam (where users are randomly chosen to have their withdrawal blocked). Even with legitimate online casinos, several gaming licenses require detailed levels of KYC/AML information that is prohibitive to privacy.
Cryptocurrencies have solved the problem of custodial gambling by introducing on-chain solutions. With smart contracts on platforms like Ethereum, a bet can take place entirely on the blockchain without needing to entrust funds to a third party.
This way, bets can take place without having to put faith in an arbitrary party or authority - you are guaranteed that the bet will be executed, and you will be paid out immediately.
The primary issue here is speed and ease of use. Even on ‘faster’ blockchains like Ethereum, it can take up to two minutes to securely confirm a smart contract interaction, which is far longer than what the average gambler is used to waiting for when it comes to a roulette spin or a blackjack bet.
Despite the massive advantage of not having to trust a third party, on-chain gaming volume remains relatively low as gamblers flock to the speed and ease of a centralized website, even if it comes with the risk of their funds being locked up or lost. Some players may not even know of the risk of centralized services, and are often caught off guard when their accounts get restricted for an arbitrary reason buried deep in terms of service.
FunFair Labs: Layer 2 Solution for Scaling
So what’s the solution? How can gamblers achieve properties similar to self-custody while placing bets, and also having a smooth user experience the way centralized services provide?
Layer 2 solutions on the blockchain - technologies that are able to scale up the blockchain’s current limited capacity and use its decentralized nature in a manner that is instant. This can usually be achieved using instant settlement state channels, which is exactly what FunFair Labs is working on - looking to potentially usher in a new age of decentralized online gambling.
FunFair Labs is a division of FunFair Technologies that works on solutions to improving the blockchain gaming industry – aspects like decentralization, speed, scaling, and more.
At the moment, the online casino industry faces a fork in the road: a trade-off between decentralization and ease of use. This manifests itself in several ways, the two primary ones being custody and fairness.
FunFair Games: Next-Generation Casino Games
It’s quickly apparent that FunFair’s gambling games are different from what people are used to in normal casinos, both online and in the real world. Instead of the old slots reels, FunFair has adorned its games with gorgeous modern graphics. Game modes are genuinely interactive, making them much more exciting to play.
For example, one of their latest games, Wheel of Steal, allows users to spin a random wheel where they win a big prize if a certain section is hit. Instead of having the sections fixed/static like most other slots do, Wheel of Steal allows users to select their own winning section before every round. This adds an elevated level of interactivity, making the game much more engaging and entertaining. A similar novel element of thrill is noticeable throughout their entire game selection.
The FunFair Wallet
FunFair Wallet is a secure wallet software that can access multiple dApps through a single sign-in point. It’s self-custodial (like MetaMask) and offers standard high security features like 2FA, export wallet, and account recovery.
Given that FunFair Wallet is highly customizable, it’s perfect for developers to integrate into their own online casinos. It not only provides a standard for gambling wallets in general, but it also makes it easier for new casinos to onboard users (given that they already have FunFair wallets set up, making deposits and withdrawals even more seamless).
Online casinos also get to skip out on the painstaking process of creating an entire payment processing system: FunFair Wallet handles Web3 and EtherJS calls behind the scene with in-built web sockets and integrated Uniswap transactions too.
What is FUN? FunFair’s Token Explained
FunFair’s native token, FUN, can be used to deposit and withdraw from FunFair brand games. Instead of being forced to use slower albeit ubiquitous technologies like Bitcoin, FUN is fast, secure, seamless, and directly integrated into games. It allows for gamblers to deposit and withdraw much faster, without the hassle, wait, and expense of more popular cryptocurrencies that often have slower block times and high transaction fees.
FUN, which currently sits at $0.015 per token, has a market cap of over $156 million, an 11 billion total supply, and is tradable on major exchanges such as Binance, OKEx, HitBTC and CEX. As it’s an ERC-20 token, it’s also tradable on decentralized exchanges like Uniswap and 1inch.
FUN interestingly makes for a great potential investment, given that as FunFair captures more market share in the online casino world, demand for FunFair games (and therefore the FUN token) will naturally rise, increasing its price organically.
FunFair: The Challenges
FunFair has certainly set itself up for success with a great project, team, and roadmap - but it’s a bumpy road ahead. The gambling scene has a relatively low barrier to entry, but it’s not easy to become a big player without a lot of hard work. Here are a few major challenges that FunFair will have to face going forwards.
- Battling the first-mover effect. Several existing games providers like Evolution and Pragmatic already have hundreds of popular games set up across the biggest online casinos such as Stake and FortuneJack.
Although these games may not necessarily be the most novel or exciting, they are tried and tested. They have the advantage of being first, so casinos will be hesitant to try and fix what isn’t broken. FunFair will have to lobby pretty hard in order to show casinos the advantages of adding their new game selections.
- Competing with major cryptocurrencies. Although currencies like Bitcoin are slower and not well-suited for online gambling, they are far more popular because they are better known and more accepted across a variety of online casinos.
FUN token is a lot faster and will provide a more seamless gambling experience, but it will be a tough job to bring it into the mainstream. This is because FunFair needs to simultaneously convince casinos to accept it as an onramp as well as convince users to transition into using FUN instead of more adopted & liquid currencies like BTC/ETH.
- Highlighting the value of decentralization and self-custody. People vaguely understand that decentralization and self-custody is in some nebulous way better, but the average consumer rarely puts this principle into practice.
Those who have been burned before - by exchange hacks, invasive KYC requests, or outright scams - are more appreciative of the merits of true self-custody. Since most people haven’t been through similar experiences, it will be a major roadblock to show people why self-custody via FunFair Wallet is superior to the casino holding all of one’s funds in their locally hosted hot wallets.
With FunFair’s excellent selection of well-crafted games and their outlook on the future of scalable gambling, it’s a great project that’s well worth a look.
Online casino owners would find it wise to integrate FunFair Wallet in order to tap into a larger player base, investors can check out FUN token, and players can look out for FunFair brand games in the wild to enjoy a better gambling experience.
It’s going to be exciting to see how FunFair Labs unfolds in the future, potentially unveiling new ways of gambling or state settlement online that were previously unthought of.