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BETR Goes Multi-Currency

February 21st, 2019 No comments

Today I am excited to bring you news about a potential game-changer for the BETR ecosystem. I cannot over stress how important I think this is for the tokenomics of BETR as a whole.

A recurring question that I had throughout the ICO and after relates to the volatility of tokens against other crypto and fiat and how we handle this in betting.  If I place a $10 bet at 2/1 and then when I win I expect $30 back.  And my perception of $30 is related to where I perceive value.  

While there is a correlation between different sources of perceived value the reality is that in today’s world fiat currencies ($/£/EURO …) still sit at the top of the tree, followed by other assets (eg. gold) or cryptos roughly in line with their size. With the crypto crash of the past year this has hit home to many who were venturing into a new frame of thinking – their perceived wealth took a hit because they denominated it in one or other crypto which lost value against the “real world” fiat currencies.

Enter the paradigm of tethered currencies such as Tether (USDT) which are supposedly secured by “real world” wealth and stablecoins such as debt backed Maker Dai – all striving to somehow achieve a stability in crypto wealth while remaining independent of the thing they are in parity with.

At BETR we are fortunate that our problem is somewhat smaller (in risk scale anyway) in that the length of time for the average bet is relatively small and any stability around the coin only has to survive the time that the bet remains un-resulted. 

So … we have a problem with a potential solution.  

Enter multi-currency betting

We need to stabilise the exchange rate around a bet but ONLY for the period of the bet resulting.  We also need to do this in a way that is robust and secure and it needs to have sufficient collateral to work.  By backing all bets onto a BETR denominated layer pool (remember that “global liquidity pool” we talked about in the ICO?) we have a controlled environment.  We know the ratio of tokens available for exchange hedging against those committed to lays – in real time.  We know the exchange rates on exchanges against existing crypto pairs – in real time. We know the lifetime of a particular bet. We can calculate the volatility of these pairs.  So – we can provide a robust foreign exchange mechanism.

Today we introduce native ETH betting secured by the BETR liquidity pool of peer-to-peer layers. From a betting perspective the change is small – you can now bet in either BETR or ETH.  If you bet in ETH you will be paid winnings at the correct amount in ETH.  Simple. And it works.  Seamlessly.

Looking to the future and this brings an exciting addition to our platform.  We are working on adding cross-chain crypto currencies such as EOS and LTC to the client and hope to have more news on these soon.  We are also, as a part of this change, moving to a technical architecture where we will be able to migrate the core systems from Ethereum if this is the right way to go.  We have been looking at alternatives for some time but the optimal answer is not yet obvious.  And finally – we are in a position where we can relatively easily put in place exchange agents with crypto currency including local tethered coins with local payment presences.

How does it work?

A bettor simply chooses the currency that they wish to bet in.  The system is now multi-currency – bets are be stored in any one of the supported currencies and mixed on the bet history (and of course in the underlying smart contracts).

Every bet is recorded with a fixed exchange rate which is used to calculate the winnings (if applicable). The bet is laid against the peer-to-peer layer at the BETR amount according to this rate.  From the layer’s perspective this is a BETR bet – layers will always lay in BETR and the underlying escrows will always happen in BETR – this is fundamental to the concept of BETR.  Affiliate payouts and any other rev shares will also remain in BETR. The underlying liquidity pool remains in BETR.

Liquidity Management

The nett effect of this will be that net losses in other currency betting will require further BETR being used in the system.  These will be sourced from treasury reserves and by buying on exchanges.  Ultimately this leads to an influx of liquidity to the BETR system.

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The truth in response to Mr Ehrlich’s fictitious allegations

November 13th, 2018 No comments

Hilly Ehrlich has, over the past 5 months, subjected me personally to an onslaught of emails, calls and meetings instigated by him with the sole purpose of his and his friends’ personal financial gain.  These came to a head on Friday morning with the release of an article on a supposedly independent industry blog that simply puts Ehrlich’s allegations forward as the truth with no attempt at any pretence of journalism or fact checking.

Firstly, I strongly and vehemently refute each and every one of Ehrlich’s allegations. Not a single allegation he has made has any factual basis and they constitute harassing and libellous behaviour on his part.  I have not and will never disburse Foundation funds or assets for any reason other than in pursuit of the goals as set out in the White Paper.  We have released software and will continue to do so, in line with the stated aim of the Foundation and any funds used are deployed solely in the pursuit of these goals.

I have evidence of all of the above together with detailed and substantive responses to every single one of his allegations – these are with our lawyers and they are advising on the correct legal action.

Over the past 10 days I have been dealing with a demand letter from Hilly’s Estonian lawyers.  It threatens to go and lodge criminal complaints in Estonia unless I pay him EUR 500K of foundation funds. I am simply not prepared to do that.  I offered to respond with detailed responses to their complaints, but they were not interested in hearing any responses – just in supplying the bank details so that I could settle the money to them.  The end result of my refusing to bow to this blackmail was the article in Calvin Ayre and whatever complaints they may have lodged with the police.  I am quite prepared to defend each and every one of these complaints and will of course deal with this in the correct and legal manner. Bear in mind that anyone can allege anything and lodge a complaint with the police and then say they have done this – this action lends no validity to their claims.

The article in Calvin Ayre has left my reputation tarnished and caused severe damage to the BETR Foundation – all without any balance or presentation of the other side of the story. Quite how any blog masquerading as a news source could publish such one-sided stories is beyond me.  But anyway – here it is – the truth.

I have known Hilly for many years.  Indeed, I regarded him as a friend.  We went on a trip to Jerusalem together. I rode camels.  We did stuff that friends do.

In 2016 I started thinking about how the sports betting industry could benefit from the new smart contract blockchain systems such as Ethereum and how I could apply these new technologies to bring out some cool technology.  I wrote a basic white paper on sports betting and showed it around some of my industry friends.  I talked about my ideas in social gatherings – some of which Hilly was in.

In 2017 I witnessed the growing interest in ICOs.  Surely with a decent idea and prototype technology I could also raise some funds and pursue my blockchain ideas?  I got out the white paper and started refining, building the token model and putting together a game plan to put sports betting onto blockchain.  I shared my ideas with Hilly and he asked to be included – said he could raise all the money.  It all sounded like a good idea – we agreed a piece of the founder tokens for him and we moved forwards.  By the end of the early stage seed round he had raised $110K and I had brought in $340K so we were ready to put the ICO marketing and machinery in place and go for the main raise.  Hilly was also a part of the main raise – bringing in about 20% of the overall funding. Everything was great.  We concluded the ICO in January 2018 and I set about putting together the business.

My initial intention with regard to development was to have an outsourced partner (in Estonia) who would develop the product.  About 2 months into that development I took the view that this was not going to work and had to terminate the agreement and put in place a team that I could run.  I have developed software for the past 30 years so I knew I could deliver.  I had no confidence that the Estonian team was delivering.  It was the smart choice in terms of delivering on our ICO promises. The downside was that I would personally be far more involved in development and would have less time for other aspects of the business, but I felt that this was the right path.

I was lucky to tap into talented engineers who had worked with me previously and together we established a great team.  I wrote a significant part of the code, and we were able to get a product out for the World Cup which was our stated goal. We also put in place some supporting resources to take care of other aspects of the business.

Unfortunately, despite achieving success for the business, Hilly started to turn against us.  He had other ideas in mind it would seem, both for the product direction – in this regard we followed the timeline and published goals in the white paper – and for the company which he seemed to think did not require any staff.  Hilly has no idea how to create a successful software product – has never done so in the past. Which is why I took responsibility for delivering our product – delivering successful software products is not new territory for me.

When the crypto markets suffered a bear market in the middle of this year our token price was hit – along with pretty much all others and the major cryptos such as Ethereum (which we had taken in significant quantities during the ICO).  Token holders were suddenly in a position where the price which had traded north of the 10c ICO price was plummeting.  Believe me – I was as unhappy as anyone with this, but it was out of my control.

Hilly’s solution was seemingly to bail out his friends at the expense of other token holders. It has come to our knowledge that he has used Foundation assets, to which he had access, in order to do this and we are going to turn to the police with this evidence.

Hilly accused me of many things – some of which are aired in the Calvin Ayre article.  They are all simply fabrications – I think sometimes he believes his own story – regardless of the truth.

There were legal letters sent back and forth – I offered on many occasions to sit with Hilly but he was not prepared to even meet without a guarantee before meeting that I would “make reparations”.  I refused to meet with a pre-ordained outcome that I believed was fundamentally wrong. In all these discussions I consulted with and agreed responses with the Foundation board and stuck to open and proper governance – a process that Hilly appears to have no idea about.

I will continue to fight to do the right thing for all token holders.  We have a tremendous product and much more to do and I truly believe that the token price will recover with usage and utility which is what it needs to do – to move out of trading land to where the price reflects its real utility. I am immensely proud of the product and the great team who have put it together. Stay strong BETR!

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