Tonight at 6:30 PM EST traders will tear themselves away from exchanges around the United States and turn on the Superbowl. It's unfortunate, but if they miss it, there'll be very little to talk about with their non-crypto friends on Monday. This year cryptocurrency professionals and enthusiasts around the world can combine their two loves with an Ethereum smart contract they can use to gamble on the Superbowl.
Gambling with cryptocurrencies is nothing new. As a matter of fact, in a report by Credit Suisse this summer gambling ICO's dominated the market by sheer number. As a matter of fact, whole ICO's, such as XWIN have been dedicated to creating a trustless platform for sports gambling.
None of these platforms are live yet and many are still months out from conducting ICO's. Even so, what differentiates CryptoBowl is how simple it is. It's about 1200 lines of code on an Ethereum contract. It simply checks WolframAlpha's API to see who won the Superbowl and makes payouts accordingly. The smart contract utilizes Oraclize.it's API in order to communicate the results back to the smart contract. In the midst of the cryptomania as of late, it's simplicity is incredibly refreshing.
It's so simple, as a matter of fact, that the website's slogan is "No ICO, no bullshit." The mere existence of this product is definitely reflective of the fatigue felt by crypto traders as of late with the explosion of ICO's in recent months and the rampant price fluctuations and uncertain market conditions. Nonetheless, it hasn't proved too popular thus far. As of press time, about $200 worth of Ethereum seems to have been contributed in total with New England in the lead.
The distribution mechanism also results in a self-creating spread. According to the FAQ on the bottom of the website The winners will receive their money back plus the losers pot (minus 10% for the creators of the website) in proportion to what they have contributed. This self-creating and adjusting spread is an interesting way to go on a trustless platform and maybe a trend going forward.
While this smart contract obviously represents a microscopic portion of the sports gambling market, it's a definite sign of things to come in the crypto space. As more ICO's take off they'll have to deal with problems like setting a spread. More importantly, they'll need to find a better way to retrieve results than through a centralized system. I look forward to seeing how much more (if any) money is put into this before it closes tonight.
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