NFTs and Their Role in Decentralized Betting
NFTs have never failed to amaze us with their imaginative utilities, record-breaking prices and celebrity following. In this article, we will explain how Azuro is going to harness NFTs to change the way bettors see decentralized betting forever.
NFTs have seen a monumental increase recently, with their market cap increasing tenfold in the last 2 years, and OpenSea’s trading volume increasing by over 800%. NFTs are now some of the most spoken about crypto-related products on the internet and the high prices of collectable NFTs leave people perplexed and amazed. The prices for NFT collectables have soared to over $50 million and the market continues to grow. Sports players and teams are fully on board with NFTs and are already offering fans the benefits of ownership of their NFTs. Owners of certain NFTs can gain access to events, view exclusive content online or receive discounts on tickets or merch. NFTs will be revolutionary for the sporting world and will change the fan experience and revenue possibilities for the creators. But how will NFTs change the decentralized betting world? Azuro will use NFTs to help solve the current issues faced in decentralized betting, bring new and exciting features, and bring an experience to the space that bettors expect.
Recently, we spoke about how “prediction markets never worked” and how placing a bet was clumsy and difficult for the player to understand their potential winnings. This all centres around the way players place bets, by buying shares and selling them back to realise a profit. Players do not receive a betting slip as they do in traditional betting, which makes it impossible for them to cashout their bets or receive set odds, making it difficult to determine their expected winnings.
Azuro will bring a UX similar to centralized betting sites. Players select the market they would like to bet on, enter their stake and receive a betting slip with their potential winnings and fixed odds. Betting slips are non-fungible, meaning they are not interchangeable and cannot be altered. Either at the point of placing the bet or after the event, the player also has the option to mint their bet as an NFT. Minting their betting slip as an NFT allows players to unlock new and exciting features such as the Azuro Bet Marketplace.
Azuro Bet Marketplace
One of the most exciting features of our solution is secondary markets for players bets. The Azuro NFT marketplace opens up opportunities for:
- Bet Cashouts
- Value Betting
- Bets as Collectables
Cashouts in traditional betting allow bettors to cashout or “sell” their bet back to the bookmaker during the lifespan of the bet, usually for a value that’s less than the expected winnings. They can be used to secure a small profit early or even to get a portion of your money back if you have lost confidence in your bet. Since bookmakers create their own cashout offers, they will always be in their best interest and are more likely to reduce your winnings than cut your losses. Still, they remain a favourite feature in sports betting, with sites like Bookmakers.bet teaching you “How to build a Cashout strategy”. In centralized betting, cashouts can be beneficial for both bettors and the bookmaker, but in decentralized betting, all the opportunities can be given to the players. The Azuro marketplace allows players that have minted their bet as NFTs to trade their bets to other players looking for competitive odds, or to even buy a bet at a discount. You may be wondering why would someone sell a bet at a discount? Or how could there be better odds available on the marketplace than on the betting site itself? This can happen if an incident has occurred that will drastically change the potential outcome of the event, such as the favourite has sustained an injury, resulting in a substantial change to the odds. Should this have reduced a players chances, they might want to get out early and sell their bet to cut their losses. On the other hand, this could be beneficial for players who are then getting far better odds, making their bet more valuable. So how do players decide the value of a bet?
Value betting is where players find odds that are better than the true odds and taking them will give you an edge over the bookmaker. Smart bettors may spot an opportunity such as a bookmaker slow to update their odds and use maths to decide the value of a bet by using the following equation.
Probability x Decimal Odds — 1 — If the result is 0 or more then there this is a value bet.
For example, we all know the chance of a coin toss is 50%, or in decimal odds, 2.0. Should a bookmaker offer odds higher than 2.0 on either side then the bet is deemed to have value due to the odds being higher than the true probability.
In centralized betting, these opportunities are not that easy to find and can involve a lot of hours of searching to try and beat the bookmaker. The Azuro marketplace will enable all players to spot value bets easily. The marketplace lets everyone sell their bets once they have been minted as an NFT. Players will be able to filter and sort their search to see the odds of the bet vs current market odds, a feature that will be welcomed by smart bettors.
Another engaging aspect of Azuro Bet Marketplace is the scope for gamification. Gamification and competition are something that you will find in almost every type of product today. Whether it’s trying to learn a new language on Duolingo or getting fit and healthy with Nike Run Club, communities, rewards and achievements are being embedded in more and more apps today. Azuro plans to capitalise on this concept and bring gamification to betting by using NFTs. Players who decide to mint their bets will open up a new experience for betting which can only be achieved through blockchain technology. Minting bets means players can take ownership of their bets and record that moment in history. Metadata on the NFT, such as wager, odds, team/player, sport, event, market, result, profit, and loss, will be stored forever on-chain. This data can be used to create leaderboards, and players can receive rewards for results including winning streaks or the largest profit. Awards such as special edition NFTs can be given out to players at the top of the league or winners of a lottery or competition, giving them serious bragging rights for being one of the best bettors on Azuro.
Bets as Collectables
Betting is more than just money, it’s an emotional experience that sparks conversations with mates in the pub or causes heated debates on social media. Betting slips could act as a snapshot to celebrate or commiserate these stories but currently, it’s not a reality. Betting slips tell stories of players losing out on thousands on the final game on an accumulator, or the lucky player who bet on Greece to win Euro 2004 at 150–1. Bets as NFTs means that players can capture moments in history such as Maradona’s hand of God or Ali and Foreman’s Rumble in The Jungle and create digital memorabilia. Players can mint bets and create unique artwork from either their images or use the Azuro artwork library. The NFT can showcase all the key info so players can show off and share it with their friends across Twitter. All NFTs, especially the collectables will be able to be sold on all supporting NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea, bringing a much wider audience and possible buyers for these unique NFTs. Collectable NFTs could later on also gain utilities, with perhaps players or sports teams rewarding bettors for backing them.
Azuro are utilising the power of blockchain technology to bring the classic sportsbook experience to decentralized betting, removing the bookmaker and passing on the opportunity for both sides to profit from cashouts or value betting. NFTs facilitate traditional betting practices which have previously not been possible in prediction markets but also bring so much more to the experience. NFTs enable us to bring a whole new side to betting that we have not seen before. Secondary markets bring value to bets beyond the event. Social interaction and gamification enhance the betting experience and create a community surrounding it. NFTs create ownership of bets giving control to the players. NFTs are transparent, fair and immutable, creating a trustless environment allowing players to trade their bets safely and fairly. There are so many more possibilities of what this technology can bring. NFTs are already making their way into our everyday lives with mass adoption in the not-so-distant future. Only time will tell what amazing features they will bring to betting.