During WGES Barcelona in December 2021, Phil Runyan of Veridat flew over from the States to participate in several blockchain tech panels, network and appear as a guest on the 18th episode of Hashing It Out.
Runyan, a serial entrepreneur, has a wealth of experience in the blockchain space, in addition to over a decade of experience in skill gaming. The main message Runyan wanted to share with WGES delegates, an elite collection of senior execs from the gambling industry, was that using blockchain powered currency as simply a means of funding wallets is a missed opportunity.
“Only using blockchain or crypto, which is currently the standard model, to only fund an account is an amazing missed opportunity, especially in regards to identification and all of the additional services that it can provide,” Runyan shared.
Rather, he suggests we should be looking at blockchain technology as the tool for owning our identities and facilitating frictionless payments. When we own our identity, we have a single depository to fill out all the necessary information to validate our IDs such as name, SSN, biometrics and so on, stored as a token “on chain.” And we only have to do it once.
“You can tackle all of these things in a single source and a token that you own. And instead of having to do this every single time you want to engage with an individual platform, you could basically one, two click your way into that platform,” Runyan pointed out.
Using the blockchain, a “hash” of the personal information making up your ID can be created, and this hash is what exists on chain as a token. As the owner of that token, you can determine exactly who should be able to access your information.
There are enormous benefits for iGaming operators as well, for example, the ability for customers to use their ID token for frictionless access to apps and other digital entertainment such as iGaming sites.
“Now, instead of having to bribe customers to come and play, ‘here’s a thousand dollars, here’s five thousand dollars,’ I believe that a lot of that can be reduced, especially in the bonus payments in the bonus hunting that is really prevalent in this industry,” Runyan suggested.
Rather, operators can encourage customers to try out their platform with ease and then the customer can decide if they want to engage further.
Another benefit for iGaming comes in the form of responsible gambling, meaning a single ID token can be flagged and the vulnerable customer will not be able to jump around from one operator to another if they have self-excluded, for example.
“If you have been flagged, that token has been flagged as being a problem gambler and the duration that is set on it. That person can then be rejected, which would then keep the operator from having fines levied against them for allowing self-excluded players from operating on the platform,” Runyan pointed out.
With this ID system, another benefit for iGaming operators is they would no longer have to act as a bank because customers can connect their wallet directly to the gambling application itself.
“So instead of funding, you connect the two…which again allows you to grab your ID, as well as show that you have funds available to be able to gamble. And so now you also have the ability to have the money move in and out. The operators themselves are no longer holding cash,” Runyan revealed.
At this point in time, there are a number of blockchains to choose from, but to enjoy all the benefits of on chain IDs, its essential to utilize the most capable platform to avoid unnecessary fees and other protocol limitations.
“If you move BSV from one wallet to the next, you don’t even see a dollar difference in it. [The fee is] fractions of a penny, which makes it really beneficial. And this is something that we constantly tell people. It’s like, ‘look, it doesn’t have to be this constant beating over the head of fees,’” Runyan explained.
However, customers do not need to transact in BSV if they don’t want to. Take BitBoss’s stablecoin solution for example, where customers can transact in US dollars which are essentially “wrapped” in BSV, removing the fear of fluctuation in coin value.
“And [stablecoins are] really going to be the game changer because at the end of the day, when I make a deposit or if I win money, if I win ten dollars, I want my ten dollars to be ten dollars today. I want it to be ten dollars tomorrow. I want it to be ten dollars 100 days from now instead of the fluctuation that exists,” Runyan said.
“It’s going to be really important that you do have a high throughput, low transactional fee stablecoin. And again, BSV really does an amazing job of that,” he added.
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