Bettium CEO Nathan Hunt: AI and Blockchain Will Change Sports Betting for Good
Bettium is a decentralized platform that lets users bet against each other on sporting events. Bettium uses artificial intelligence and analytical tools to help bettors make educated predictions about the outcome of games. This in turn helps them place smarter bets.
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Can you tell us about how you first become involved with blockchain technology and artificial intelligence?
I began tracking the blockchain industry three years ago when I recognized the disruptive potential that the new technology had. It reminded me of the dotcom boom of the 1990s. The dotcom boom transformed the world in ways we would not have imagined 10 years earlier. Dotcoms grew remarkably during the early 2000s, but then experienced a temporary downturn shortly afterwards. It then bounced back and stabilized. I expect blockchain to follow a similar path. In several years, blockchain will become firmly integrated into our everyday lives and the blockchain market will be stable.
I knew from the beginning I wanted to be involved in the blockchain industry. The only question was when and with whom. When my path crossed with Alexander Kamilov, CTO of Bettium, I had my answer. I was immediately drawn to the impressive architecture of the Bettium platform and the way that it united blockchain and artificial intelligence. Kamilov had an energy and an enthusiasm that spoke to me. He also had a track record in the tech space that showed me he knew how to meet the needs of a mass-market audience. I believed that together we could create a technology that would let amateurs bet like professionals.
The goal of Bettium is to disrupt sports betting. What do you believe is the biggest problem facing the industry today? Where does Bettium fit into the equation?
A lack of transparency and high fees are the two biggest problems facing the industry. Another major issue is dependence on banks and other financial institutions, which limits the amount of money paid in or out. Fraud and identity theft are also concerns. All of these factors have had a negative effect on people’s perception of sports betting. They have also slowed the growth of the industry at a time when its popularity should be higher than ever.
We recognized that blockchain can help alleviate these issues. Our platform will provide bettors with a safe and transparent place where they can enjoy the adrenaline rush of peer-to-peer betting without worrying about a middleman setting excessive betting limits. The design of the platform eliminates the third-party payment system entirely. Smart contracts allow us to guarantee that transactions are set in stone. Additionally, our fees are lower than on traditional betting sites. The low fees, in particular, will help Bettium grow its user-base.
How does Bettium and its AI-powered analytical platform help level the playing field between amateur bettors and professionals?
This is one of the features we are most excited about. A recreational bettor on a traditional
service often places a bet based on chance. They do this because they do not have the tools that they need to process all of the relevant information. In this case, the bettor has odds that are no better than a “black or red” gambler at a roulette table. The bettor could win using this method, but 90% of players lose money over time when they bet based on chance. This does nothing to help the growth of the sports betting industry. People become frustrated when they lose all the time, and they end up giving up.
Meanwhile, there are experts who regularly make lucrative bets on betting sites. They use tools that are not available to the public. Many of these tools rely on artificial intelligence-based algorithms to produce a stable and dependable betting strategy. These tools are the basis of the Bettium platform. We want to provide non-professionals the same tools that experts have so that they can make decisions that are just as informed.
Bettium features a comprehensive database, as well as a self-learning AI assistant that we have named “Merlin.” Merlin provides users with reliable suggestions for specific sporting bets. Merlin considers how well a given team does against various opponents, considers the effect of weather conditions, considers how well a team performs with or without key players, and more. In fact, the list of conditions is endless as users can customize Merlin to provide them with whatever data or analysis that they deem important. This customization allows even the least experienced of bettors to make lucrative betting decisions.
In the US, regulatory challenges are a major hindrance to betting companies. The Supreme Court, however, has lifted the 1992 ban, which will make it easier for states to legalize sports betting. What implications does this have for Bettium?
Sports betting regulations vary tremendously from country to country. Even within a given country, the regulations differ depending on the jurisdiction. This new development in the US is spectacular because it unlocks a lot of untapped potential for us. Yet, we are still trying to estimate what the size of this potential actually is. Every state is going to make its own decision about how to regulate sports betting. Our sources suggest that for many states the outcome will be a desirable one. For this reason, we believe that our final product can find success in the US market.
How does blockchain fit into your overall vision? Can you describe what sets your implementation apart from other ‘generic’ blockchain startups?
Some of our competitors share features with our system, such as peer-to-peer betting. However, no one else combines AI, algorithmic betting support, social betting, trust account management, access to experts and forecasts, a ranking system, bet mimicking, e-sporting sponsorship, and the AI League into one integrated and multi-functional platform. We use blockchain in a way that will radically change the way the average person relates to sports betting. Our blockchain technology will lower fees, add transparency, increase the integrity of data, and facilitate instantaneous transactions.
As it relates to technology, what about this project excites you the most?
The combination of artificial intelligence and algorithmic betting is definitely what excites me the most about this project. I cannot wait to see how a self-learning AI-powered bot competes with real humans. The possibility that an amateur bettor could set up an account, put it on auto-pilot, and watch their funds grow with only a minimal investment is something that would revolutionize the sports betting industry. That is the functionality we want to bring to the table.
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