To understand the JoyToken proposition, it helps to begin with an overview of the industry that they are aiming to disrupt – online gambling.
Currently, online casino platforms operate under a centralised model where the games they offer are governed by in-house software whose fairness (or otherwise) is not open to scrutiny.
Users, then, need to trust the brand or operate from the principle that there is some kind of regulatory authority which oversees the implementation of those games and, in its turn, can guarantee their fairness – in other words, ensure that they have not been rigged in favour of the platform.
It should be noted that, under strictly unbiased conditions – with a perfectly constructed roulette wheel, for example – the house still retains a small mathematical edge against players. It is this which guarantees the house profitability over the long run.
Within the online gambling industry, some houses have been known to apply fractional adjustments to the odds to tilt the edge further in their favour. Even minimal adjustments – which are generally imperceptible to a single user – can increase profitability massively.
JoyToken proposes a new relationship structure between online casino houses, gamblers and gaming developers that aims to bring games with transparent and verifiably fair systems to gamblers, with developers getting a more equitable cut of gambling house profits. The benefit to casinos is that they can now demonstrably prove the fairness of the games they platform.
Concept and White-paper
The project’s concept operates around a set of core features which sit on the Blockchain: smart-contracts which simulate slot machine outcomes and something known as the RNG – Random Number Generator. The RNG provides mechanisms for simulating randomness in a provably fair way – in other words, it imitates the behaviour of a fair roulette wheel, for example.
The idea is that developers will create casino games which communicate with the RNG via an API. The games that they will develop can still be rolled out to gambling platforms in the usual way. However, each time the game runs an instance of itself – i.e. a bet is placed by a user, be it on a virtual roulette wheel, a virtual slot machine or something similar – the game will communicate with the RNG in order to fetch the outcome of the bet.
Being both open-source and based on the blockchain, a game becomes both transparent, secure and provably fair – no more accusations of in-house manipulation of the numbers and their outcomes.
A further advantage is that players place their bets with the JOY token itself – something that they manage from their own wallets. Assets no longer have to be entrusted to a third-party.
As a result, online gambling platforms can now platform the usual suite of casino games but which the public can now explicitly trust in its entirety.
At the same time, since payments are managed on the fly by the Blockchain upon the outcome of each bet, developers can now get paid in real-time and those who develop more attractive products will now be able to negotiate a higher cut in fees by pointing out the transparent success of their products.
At the time of writing, the JoyToken Developer API is due for launch within the next two weeks. Combined with its pre-existing partnership with PlayCosmos Casinos – which will act as JoyToken’s first platform for newly developed products – the two most important elements appear to be in place for a full go-live of the initial gaming products in June 2018.
The token derives value in a straight-forward way – gamblers will need to purchase JOY token in order to play the casino games which depend on it. They use JOY token in order to place a bet, and their winnings are equally paid out in JOY token.
Developers and casino houses pocket their own rewards in JOY token also – splitting between them the proceeds of gambler losses.
A further advantage to gamblers is that they may also enjoy anonymity by platforms which offer it as an option – there are a number of Blockchain-based gambling platforms in existence already which appear to enjoy success specifically for this reason.
The range of games on offer, however, is currently limited – and if the JoyToken project executes well on delivery, it may find itself filling a significant gap.
The token circulation – 700 million – appears high, although it is envisaged that all unsold tokens from the sale period will be burned. At the same time, the token targets the online gambling public. That should mean that if the project enjoys even moderate success, the risk of oversupply should be eliminated fair quickly.
Team and Marketing
At ICOExaminer, we have become acutely aware of the importance of marketing. In the ICO space, project teams are often engineering-heavy and often treat marketing as box to tick as opposed to being a central objective. Judging from the interest that this project is generating – very weak, at time of writing – this ICO appears to be falling into that trap.
However, we do see a project lead and co-founder, Mike Leys, who is a marketer by profession and with a history of successful gambling start-up projects under his belt. He is backed up by another project lead, Adam Spargo, described as a social media and branding specialist. Ordinarily, the expertise and experience corresponding to their profiles should be cause for reassurance.
The frontline team – numbering ten in total – all provide transparent profiles with LinkedIn profiles. They each appear to demonstrate relevant experience covering a range of domains including marketing, compliance and engineering.
Whilst it appears not to be the central pivot of the project team’s own overall strategy, our own feeling is that what will likely lend success to this project is its ability to attract a wider community of developers. If they can offer up an expanded range of attractive games for the growing number of anonymous gambling platforms out there, then the JOY may just find itself in high demand.
That, of course, will hinge on the team’s ability to deliver a solid product – particularly in relation to the smart contracts and RNG mechanism that will offer the kind of transparency and verifiably fair interactions discussed above, along with the Developer API. On the other hand, this does not rank amongst the more technically challenging projects out there so this aspect should not be a major concern under normal circumstances.
By our reading then, this project hinges on two critical aspects: its ability to form partnerships with existing online platforms who can be persuaded to accommodate the new JoyToken conception of the user-developer-platform dynamic; and, secondly, its ability to market. We have a question mark over the latter.