This guide is on FunFair (FUN), a decentralized project focused on casinos, though it does more than just bring cryptocurrencies to casinos. Do read my other guides, including Decentraland (MANA), Ripple (XRP) and iExec (RLC).
For a long time, the Ethereum platform has been accused of not providing enough real values to the world of decentralized applications (dApps). Many Ethereum skeptics often say that Ethereum has not been doing enough job to promote the usage of dApps even though Ethereum itself has stayed on the top of crypto popularity for the past few years.
Many crypto enthusiasts often believe that the first-gen of useful dApps will come in the form of casual gaming. However, if you think about it, the industry that can easily adapt to blockchain technology is the casino industry.
Casino players use chips instead of real cash whenever they gamble in real-life casinos. In the online casino industry, players also need to “exchange” their real money with some type of virtual chips before they can gamble.
That’s why the idea of introducing cryptocurrencies to the world of casinos is not a stretch. Just replace virtual chips with cryptocurrencies, and it will be easy for the players to adapt.
FunFair, however, is not just a blockchain-based casino with cryptocurrencies. It is an Ethereum-based casino platform that licenses its games and technology to online casino operators. By doing this, FunFair hopes to be able to “scale” much faster as it grows its network of casino operators.
So, how does FunFair actually work, and will it speed up crypto adoptions? Let’s find out together.
History of FunFair
The founders of FunFair - image source
The team of FunFair is based in London, United Kingdom, and the team leader is Jez San. Based on the information that we gathered from ICOBench, apparently, FunFair started as an initial coin offering. They started their ICO on June 22nd, 2017, and it ended on June 22nd, 2018. The ICO itself successfully raised around $26 million USD at the time.
First, let’s analyze the team leader. Prior to his time at FunFair, Jez San used to spend his time in entrepreneurship and the gaming space. He was the founder of Argonaut Software and was the first creator of chips for 3D games.
Apart from that, San was also the co-founder of PKR (an online 3D poker room), and it’s believed that he is one of the investors at Kraken. Along with Jeremy Longley and Oliver Hopton, Jez San chose to start FunFair because they see the potential in the blockchain technology.
Talking about Jeremy Longley, basically, he also co-founded PKR and has more than fifteen years of experience with development team management. With FunFair, he works as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
The last co-founder is Oliver Hopton, who acts as a Developer at FunFair. He has more than a decade of experience with gaming development, and he also spent ten years with PKR as Software Development Manager. Besides his experience with PKR, he was the Chief Technology Officer at EveryFan.
As you can see from the three founders, they seem to be linked with “PKR.” You might be wondering, what is PKR? From my LinkedIn investigation, apparently, PKR is PKR.com, which was an online poker website or something. When I checked the PKR website, it is not operating anymore.
Status of PKR.com, a website FunFair's founders were previously working on - image source
That being said, we believe the core founders have enough capabilities and experiences in the online casino industry. Their experience will help FunFair tremendously.
FunFair itself already has games that you can test by yourself. They have made good development progress since 2018. The beta platform was already operating since May 2018, and the closed beta version for FunPass was already launched in August of the same year.
CasinoFair is powered by FunFair technology - image source
For your information, FunFair aims to lower the barriers for casino operators to migrate among casinos that are powered by FunFair seamlessly. They can do this by utilizing the power of the blockchain.
Since 2018-2019, FunFair has been developing its platform. They completely understand that the platform will become popular when online casino players can also “test” how good the live casinos that are built based on FunFair.
Once the online casino community understands the real potential of FunFair, the hope here is that the platform will be able to attract various online casino operators from all over the world.
Recently, it is believed that 1.25 billion of FUN tokens have been gambled on FunFair-powered online casinos, which is quite an amazing achievement.
Purpose Of FunFair
Some people misunderstand the purpose of FunFair. It’s actually not a casino. FunFair is the underlying gaming technology that can be used and licensed for casino and gambling platforms. The two are different. Even though, of course, you will use FunFair to power the online casinos at the end of the day.
FunFair actually addresses some of the biggest issues that traditional online casinos face. For example, an extremely expensive operational costs, lack of trust among the users, and the problem of speed. FunFair utilizes the blockchain and its own version of state channels to improve all of these issues.
How Does The Technology Of FunFair Work?
Visualization showing Funfair as a protocol/tech built atop of Ethereum - image source
The technology of FunFair is pretty straightforward. Let’s say you are a casino operator. You can get the license of the FunFair tech and launch your next online casino within two clicks. You can also customize how the gaming system works within your casino thanks to FunFair’s flexibility.
Another important thing about FunFair technology is the all-in-one approach to its solutions. Many casino players often complain about the need to download multiple casino apps just to test different online casinos. They also need to re-register every time they want to test the new casino app.
With FunFair, it removes all these issues with the same users trying to use different online casinos. FunFair casinos are operated in the form of HTML5 so they can run perfectly on the web browser. They also introduced their own version of the KYC solution called FunPass. It means that different casino operators don’t require different KYC verification. They can just utilize FunPass as it’s built into all FunFair casinos.
Last but not least, another great technological feature of FunFair is its own state channel technology that they call Fate Channel. So, the idea works like this. Every gaming room happens on a Fate Channel instead of the Ethereum blockchain network. Fate channels here support everything between the casino and the user in the gaming session, as well as the smart contract settlements.
How Fate Channels Work - FunFair's way to make it less dependent on Ethereum -image source
The gaming session only interacts with Ethereum at the beginning and at the end of each session. By switching back and forth between Ethereum and Fate channels, the hope is to reduce the workload of the platform and make it less dependent on Ethereum while still utilize the blockchain network at the same time.
Use Cases Of FUN Token
FunFair token logo
The native cryptocurrency of the FunFair platform is called FUN token. The use case of the FUN token is very straightforward. It’s needed for all bets and winnings and pretty much everything else. The players on FunFair-powered online casinos will be able to use FUNs to play and buy credits. They can also cash out the tokens when they want to. Affiliates are also get paid in the form of FUN token.
Controversies And Challenges
There’s no controversial headline involving FunFair. The team stays away from spotlights and negative attention. This is one of the good things about FunFair.
Regarding challenges, this is where things get interesting. First of all, FunFair has no direct competition in the same niche. Keep in mind that most people have a false assumption about the platform.
FunFair itself is not exactly an online casino that’s being built on the public blockchain network. It’s the underlying technology and licensing behind the online casinos that want to utilize the power of the blockchain. And in that case, FunFair is not the competition to all of these gambling dApps that you can easily find on top of Ethereum or EOS.
However, the challenge here is the market adoption itself. There’s still a lot of uncertainties in the online casino industry. The majority of big players still doubt the need to migrate to crypto and blockchain. They believe a centralized platform with traditional software still works just fine, and it will take time to change their mindset.
Whether FunFair can finally pull it off or not, only time will tell. I believe even the core team itself is hoping that crypto will get more popular in the next few years. Because, otherwise, it will not be easy to convince big traditional casino operators to test-trial FunFair.
FUN Token In The Crypto Market
At the time this post was written, FUN token had a market cap of $21,413,751 USD with slightly more than $300,000 daily trading volume. It was ranked outside the top 100 crypto rankings by market cap but still inside the top 200.
You can trade FUN on Binance, LAToken, Vebitcoin, OKEx, Bitfinex, and some other top crypto exchanges.
And keep in mind that FUN is an ERC20 token. That means you can easily store FUN on any wallet application that supports Ethereum and ERC20 tokens (i.e. Metamask, MyEtherWallet, or Trust).
FunFair is a unique platform that tries to bring the power of the cryptocurrencies and blockchain to the online gambling industry. It’s not directly competing with any other big altcoin, but it’s also operating in the untested niche.
Whether FunFair can become a success or not in the future, that’s still a big question mark. That being said, FunFair itself has made good developments in the past two years, and hopefully, they can become more mainstream in the near future.