With the end of Q2 approaching we’ve put together a review of the main events from the first half of 2018 and taken a look at what is still to come this year.
We’re live on Mainnet!
Let’s start with some big news. We recently commenced testing our casino platform on Mainnet. A huge achievement considering we have yet to reach our first anniversary – that accolade is reserved for next week, 22 June when we celebrate our Token Sale birthday.
We wanted to keep the FunFair community at the heart of our beta process, and subsequently invited a select group to participate in the testing. Now over three weeks in, we’re seeing strong trends develop in terms of popular games and user behaviour.
In fact, the activity of our beta participants has seen us regularly top the casino category on DappRadar as users interact with our smart contracts on the blockchain.
Software development is a comprehensive process, and those involved have been phenomenal in testing for a wide range of bugs including reliability and usability issues in a bid to help us ensure a seamless experience for all future users of the platform. Participants are being bankrolled with FUN tokens as they play a growing range of premium games including FunFair’s latest slot, Treasures From The Crypto, and our new Blackjack title.
The launch of the beta also coincided with a substantial update to the showcase UI (read more about that here), providing users a richer experience across our lobby and a wider selection of games including updates to existing slots and the introduction of a new breed of instant win games.
Initially we expected the beta to run for a four week period, with the possibility of it being extended depending on progress. Having successfully completed the first phase of testing we have decided to allow more time to add extra features including our very own KYC process (called a FunPass) and our brand new slot and dice games.
We believe the additional time will enable us to have a more complete product in place for when we launch our first casinos, ensuring both operators and players enjoy a first rate experience.
Experience what beta testers have been testing for yourself on our Showcase platform.
FunFair’s first casino
As we have communicated in the past, one of our key aims is to learn how to best serve the crypto community, which games and stakes they prefer, and how they will access and use the casino technology. To this end, we are pleased to announce a new company, owned by the group, will launch a casino on the FunFair platform in Q3.
This venture will be used to accelerate our learnings of the platform and token ecosystem, giving us valuable insight into the life of an operator and consumer behaviour. For those familiar with the industry this is a proven model that enables rapid product improvements.
This move will not change the focus of the core FunFair Technologies business as a B2B blockchain technology provider. In fact, holding an operating licence will add to our offering by enabling us to provide the platform as a white label solution to brand owners without requiring them to hold their own licence.
We are also excited to update that we are soon to announce our first B2B casino partnership that will see us launch a casino brand with a successful gaming affiliate company. We expect to be in a position to share more details on this deal in the coming weeks.
We believe this model is one that can translate very well to support the thousands of other affiliates out there. Converting and empowering them to launch their own casinos is one of many use cases for the FunFair platform.
We expect to launch both casinos within a short time frame of each other with future third party operators benefiting from having the same optimised platform, with all updates and improvements released in tandem across all clients.
Innovation precedes regulation… Legal update
At FunFair one of the most frequent questions we get asked is about gaming licences, which jurisdictions we’re looking to enter and when we’ll receive our first licence.
As many of you know, we have been working with the UK Gambling Commission over several months, including liaising with the UK government’s department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. This is an educational process for both sides as it has never been done before. Trust me, this is true pioneering stuff!
That said we are continuing to provide information to them that we hope will meet their requirements. We expect an outcome in the near future.
As well as the UKGC, we have held productive meetings with the three main blockchain friendly jurisdictions of the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Malta. We have met with senior officials from the Gambling division of the government of Gibraltar who have indicated they will welcome an approach from FunFair whilst we have also been working with the MGA in Malta on their sandbox and have contributed to their consultation. All three of these are respected and well regulated jurisdictions and we’re expecting to be in the first licensing wave for blockchain companies.
The casino launched under the new company owned by the FunFair group will operate under what will be our first gaming licence – in Curacao. This jurisdiction has an advantage over the more mainstream jurisdictions in that it takes less time to acquire a licence and hence enables us to go live quicker.
Beyond the aforementioned two operators we continue in talks with a number of commercial partners from various trade shows, events and networking as well as developing new leads and are confident more deals will follow.
To give this even more focus and help accelerate these discussions we have hired a highly experienced SVP of business development with 20 years of experience working in high growth digital companies in the igaming industry. They will be joining the company in August.
On the game developer front, we were extremely excited to sign up Spike Gaming early in the quarter. Their work on integrating our technology into their Alice Cooper slot is progressing well and they are set to begin work on a second game in the near future. We also have a number of other developers on our radar and we’ll be looking to announce a new partner before the end of Q2, with a focus on content aimed at the Asian market.
The team have been busy with numerous events across the globe to build the brand, spread the power of the blockchain and get in front of operators. We recently returned from a productive week in Macau and Hong Kong for G2E Asia and have also had a presence at other high profile events such as Consensus, Ethereum Community Conference in France and Disrupting Online Gambling here in London. Jez also spoke at the World Blockchain Forum held in New York earlier this week.
In the coming weeks we are set to attend numerous events including the World Gaming Executive Summit, attended by the industry’s leading industry executives, and iGB Live in Amsterdam as we target both affiliates and operators.
With everything else going on we have been keen not to lose sight of the bigger picture and are further refining our strategy, planning and structure. Successful start-ups and indeed businesses of any shape or size succeed by being crystal clear in terms of what they want to achieve and fully understanding what they need to do to get there. They also need to be able to execute efficiently and adapt quickly when required.
We believe this is particularly important given the unyielding pace of change within the blockchain sector, which we fully expect to continue. We have, and will continue to learn many lessons which will help grow our business in future.
As part of that process we will be building upon the original strategy and this will manifest itself in many different ways across the business and will get published in an updated commercial white paper (2.0) to be made available in Q3.
We have already started implementing aspects of this strategy and will continue to do so over the coming months, quarters and indeed years as we continue to evolve and adapt to market conditions.
Q1 saw us launch the official FunFair Telegram group. The platform was created to provide a unique space of our own where our community can engage with key FunFair stakeholders whilst also receive the very latest FunFair announcements. Since its launch on March 20th, the community has grown organically to over 4,600 members with regular access to the FunFair team helping build a healthy community ethic.
The new group was one of the platforms used for the first ever FunFair team chat, a two hour window where community members could post their questions to a specific team within FunFair. So far our marketing and dev team have answered queries on all things FunFair, helping keep our community informed on what is going on behind the scenes.
We also held our first ever FUN token holder gathering whilst over in Hong Kong. The intimate gathering allowed us to gain real insight into the social world of crypto and take on board suggestions on how we can continue to spread the FunFair message across new community platforms. We hope to announce details of our next token holder gathering in London later this year.
We’re also proud to say our recruitment drive continues to bear fruit as we grow the team with the appointment of talented individuals with strong experience in the gambling and blockchain industry. In total we’ve grown the team by 15 with a mix of contractors (four) and permanent (11), all joining the FunFair hub in London. Taking the total number of FunFair employees to 41.
To aid with our search for the best of the best, we’ve rebuilt our LinkedIn page, website (career and team page) and attended a very successful recruitment event in London – Silicon Milkroundabout – where we were pleased to meet many passionate blockchain candidates, FunFair token holders and fans.
If you think you would like to work for FunFair Technologies, you can view our current vacancieshere. We’re looking for smart, ambitious people that believe in blockchain and crypto space and have a genuine interest in learning and working with our talented team. If you tick those boxes, plus have a friendly personality and a great sense of humour, you’re the perfect candidate!
FunFair in the news
During the last few months we’ve received coverage across a wide variety of media outlets, with some of the biggest names in the blockchain industry name checking FunFair. We’ve collated some of the best below:
Michael Novogratz, founder and chief executive officer of Galaxy Digital Capital Management, mentioned FunFair during a discussion around the impact of cryptocurrencies on institutional investment.
PanteraCapital CEO Dan Morehead gave a shout out to FunFair on CNBC’s Fast Money show
Jez chatted to blockchain blogger Crypt0 whilst over in New York for Consensus 2018 back in May
And an honourable mention from the co-founder of Ethereum himself Vitalik Buterin on Twitter.
Finally, and the most important part – a massive thanks to the community for their ongoing support and commitment. With a special thanks to those who continue to support the beta testing programme.
Thanks for reading!
David, Jez & the FunFair Team