What would a peer-to-peer blockchain sports betting platform look like? Blok Sports takes the unknown out of the equation and explains in some detail how a tokenized sports betting industry may shake out.
The company’s ambitions spread on a global level with Blok Sports looking to provide sports fans with a safe and fully transparent betting experience worldwide. Has it succeeded and how much hard work more there is left to do?
We find the questions to these answers and more with Blok Sports founder Mitchell Chun, an industry veteran who has been around sports and media companies for the better part of his career. Today, he brings a change in a new format through Blok Sports, and here is what we have found out.
Q: Could you tell us a little more about Blok Sports and what can readers expect if they choose to visit the platform for the purposes of sports betting?
Our goal has been to make sports betting much more of a fun and social experience so we built a peer-to-peer betting platform where you can bet your friends or anyone else in our marketplace directly without the involvement of a middleman or the house.
As a result, there is no traditional house vig or margin, so we offer our players the best odds and expected value on every bet. We also don’t put arbitrary restrictions on our players the way a traditional sportsbook might. We combine elements of predictive gaming and social networking with content and data to offer a completely unique approach to sports betting.
Q: How was the idea of Blok Sports conceived in the first place? Was it a result of your previous experience in the industry?
At the time BLOK SPORTS was conceived in 2018, I had been a strategic consultant for a highly successful blockchain-based video game marketplace tasked with building out their blockchain gaming business. Despite some of its shortcomings back then, I realized blockchain was an incredibly powerful platform for decentralized finance applications, so when PASPA was repealed in May 2018, I combined my passion for sports, gaming, blockchain, and 25+ years in media technology to launch BLOK SPORTS.
Q: How is blockchain empowering sports betting and do you plan a further integration of the technology into betting?
In the time since our launch, we’ve built a decentralized finance sports betting exchange that is globally scalable and that can facilitate wagers between two parties anywhere in the world instantly, securely, and reliably without a middleman being involved – all made possible by blockchain. We’re also able to eliminate many of the risks and frictions associated with the traditional model, like arbitrary player restrictions, payment delays and refusals, and even outright fraud. We’ll be extending the use cases of blockchain into our platform to further empower and reward our players and partners as they participate more broadly in the ecosystem we’re building.
Q: Do you see the P2P model as disruptive enough to replace conventional betting, another way to elevate the experience, or something different?
We see our specific approach to peer-to-peer betting as highly complementary to conventional sportsbooks. We’re casting a much wider net with our predictive gaming, social layer, and content integration and believe we can be a highly valuable partner to many of the traditional players. At the same time, our underlying technology platform can provide tremendous efficiencies to these same players.
Q: How does Blok Sports make it worthwhile for the company when there is no house? Are fees collected from consumers?
We have a lot of flexibility with our business model and our plan is start with a small transaction fee on each wager (still significantly less than what the house would charge). We can generate multiple revenue streams from our content and data, affiliate relationships, and native commerce amongst other opportunities.
Q: Do you think the current state of blockchain regulation around the world is an important stepping stone for Blok Sports’ further growth and success?
As the environment evolves and regulators better understand how blockchain can be utilized for sports betting, BLOK SPORTS will be in an ideal position and major beneficiary of these changes. There are key distinctions in our approach compared to the traditional sportsbooks, and I would hope the regulators factor this into any future regulations – for example, BLOK SPORTS does not require our players to deposit funds and, thus, never has access to or handles their funds.
Q: What is the next big thing for Blok Sports in 2021 and beyond?
We have a high-profile partnership on the free-to-play betting front launching here soon and, of course, we are planning to go live with our token betting platform in the coming months. We’re also planning some exciting content marketing initiatives with NFL greats Marshawn Lynch and Andre Reed (both of whom are board advisors and investors in BLOK SPORTS) and other high-profile personalities as part of our launch campaign.