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Exclusive Interview with Stefan Kovach, CCO at FunFair Technologies

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

This week we are diving into blockchain technology and we are taking a look at how the “phenomenon” is change the online gambling landscape, even if some refuse to admit it. Stefan Kovach is currentlythe CCO of FunFair Technologies and he is a senior commercially minded marketer with over 20 years of experience in the travel, entertainment and gaming sectors, having worked for organisations ranging from Virgin Atlantic, Opodo, bwin and PokerStars. He has extensive experience in creating and nurturing brands, acquiring and retaining customers at scale as well as helping drive commercial and product strategies. Stefan’s previous roles enabled him to build and manage significant teams, manage marketing P&Ls running into the 10s of millions and responsibility for delivering high profile cross company projects. Here is our interview and we hope that you enjoy it!

There have been quite a few changes in the online gambling landscape in the last 12 months, partly thanks to the blockchain. What do you think are the key challenges operators are facing when opting to move from “traditional” operations to a blockchain platform?

Stefan: Although it is true that blockchain technology has been one of the most exciting advances within the online gambling landscape in the past year, there are, as yet, very few viable products actually available to the market. Whilst many other blockchain gambling businesses are very much still in the development phase, FunFair is at the forefront of this curve, already having a working and operational platform following a successful beta phase.

Traditional operators need to decide whether they see blockchain platforms as a threat, or alternatively, as a diverse revenue stream that taps into an existing and vast crypto-rich audience who are conducive to gambling by their very nature.

Luckily, traditional operators won’t need to choose one operating style above the other, blockchain gambling can act as a complimentary section of their existing business, allowing platforms to diversity their offering and audience without risk to their pre-existing business model. This is especially true when operators take advantage of the consultancy we offer when onboarding and educating customers.

We feel that, in the next 5 years or so, there will be a shift in online gambling, and with rumours that HTC is launching a blockchain phone later this year, this will surely change the mobile gambling industry as well. Do you feel that this is an area you will look at in the future?

Stefan: Mobile gaming is absolutely part of our plans and we will have a first class UX on mobile when we go fully live. Blockchain technology works in the same way across platforms, albeit sometimes different browsers are required.

Any established company, such as HTC, entering the blockchain space clearly demonstrates its relevance for all businesses in the future. We’ll always be looking to partner with those who are heading in the same direction as us as the learnings and combined investment can only speed up blockchain’s mainstream adoption.

We have reported on many blockchain gaming platform launches this year. Where does FunFair position itself in this innovative wave?

Stefan: We would firmly place ourselves as market leaders for a number of reasons. To start with, we are the only platform to offer a full ecosystem for operators, developers, affiliates and players who transact in our FUN token. We are also the only platform to offer production-level gaming quality which can challenge any tier one operator in traditional gamings. Current alternative blockchain titles are not only poor graphically and auditory, but run at unplayably slow speeds, not to mention the prohibitive transaction costs. We have bypassed these issues with our Fate Channels technology, which allows the gaming session to be taken off the blockchain, allowing it to run at the speeds and quality today’s gamers expect.

You have recently signed a deal with a market-leading poker rakeback affiliate, RaketheRake. Are affiliates making a good choice when opting to become operators?

Stefan: Affiliates have had to make do with diluted revenue share and often incorrect payments which are shared by operators at their will. Using the FunFair platform,they can become operators within days and take the entire revenue stream direct, while utilising their existing marketing expertise and captive player audience.

Affiliates can also continue to benefit from the FunFair platform as an affiliate, with real-time payments that are provably fair and paid in real-time on the blockchain, rather than having to trust casino operators as they do currently.

Do you think that regulators will eventually catch up and regulate the industry?

Stefan: Of course, any positive disruption will take time for regulators to size up and decide on a course of action, but the FunFair platform and blockchain technology itself ticks so many of the boxes they are looking for; from efficient KYC and provably fair RNG to the immediate release of funds, it really is a regulatory bullseye.

We are trying to lead the charge here and are in discussions with a number of relevant bodies. As you’d expect, some are more progressive than others, but we’re confident that as blockchain becomes adopted into the mainstream, they will regulate sensibly for all.

About FunFair

FunFair was born out of a powerful idea to harness the potential of the blockchain to initiate a revolution in online gaming.

FunFair founders Jez San, Oliver Hopton and Jeremy Longley saw the potential of the blockchain in early 2013. They wanted answers to difficult questions. Could anyone use the blockchain to run a casino? Why do players worry about trusting online casinos when the blockchain could create fair, transparent gaming? Why not use the blockchain to open up online gaming globally? These ambitious questions led to the development of a new technology that has the potential to profoundly change the gaming world.

We showed our first game in Paris in 2017. The response was so positive, we knew we were on to a winner. Jez San officially launched FunFair publicly in April 2017. The impact of this new technology immediately attracted the attention of major contributors and developers, eager to get involved. On 22 June 2017, our Phase 1 Token Presale raised $26 million, selling out in 4 hours.

Since then FunFair has delivered exciting games on our prototype demo platform, and we’re in the final stages of completing the new Ethereum technology platform which will showcase at DEVCON3 in November 2017. The next radical change in online gaming is being powered by FunFair; the first global gaming brand to unlock the true potential of the blockchain.

For more details, visit funfair.io

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Cryptocurrency

Sportsbet.io expands cryptocurrency options with Litecoin integration

George Miller

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Sportsbet.io expands cryptocurrency options with Litecoin integration
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Leading online bookie reacts quickly to customer feedback and adds further alternative currency options alongside Bitcoin and Ethereum

 

Following popular customer demand, leading multi-currency sportsbook, Sportsbet.io has integrated Litecoin, further enhancing its range of extensive alternative payment capabilities.

Sportsbet.io players can now deposit, play, win, and withdraw in Litecoin, adding to the already vast array of cryptocurrencies available such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and SOC coin, as well as 11 traditional fiat currencies including Euros.

After reviewing feedback from various player forums, the Sportsbet.io development team noticed a growing demand for Litecoin.

In line with the Coingaming Group’s core goal to offer a fun, fast, and fair experience with full accessibility to all its customers, the team quickly delivered and now boasts an even wider variety of currency options.

Sister casino site, Bitcasino.io, integrated Litecoin into its pioneering crypto gaming offering in February 2019 seeing deposits increase by 22%.

Launched in October 2011, as a spin-off to Bitcoin, Litecoin is the world’s third most popular altcoin behind Ethereum and Bitcoin and offers players rapid processing speeds and importantly, lower transaction fees.

Joe McCallum, Director of Sportsbook at Sportsbet.io, said: “This is just another example of how we always follow up on customer feedback and offer new features that other sportsbooks don’t have.

Every step we take at Sportsbet.io is made with our players in mind, it only makes sense to integrate more currency options, fiat and crypto, to make our site even more fun, fast and fair for all.”

Earlier this year the leading online bookie announced its sponsorship debut ahead of the Sportsbet.io CONIFA Euros 2019, set to take place in June this year.

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Cryptocurrency

Amelco launches FinXpress

George Miller

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Amelco launches FinXpress
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Innovative product to enable punters to bet on short-term movements of bitcoin

 

Amelco, the leading sports betting software and trading services provider, has announced the launch of a one-of-kind Bitcoin betting product that allows punters to bet on the short-term fluctuations of the cryptocurrency over a set time period, such as a minute.

Operable as an extension to Amelco’s singular platform used by sportsbooks, it has been created to complement existing betting features – such as a lull during half-time of a football match, where punters will be able to make quick bets on the movement of bitcoin as it fluctuates over a short time scale.

Designed to be integrated into the existing Amelco Trading System (ATS) already used extensively by major sportsbook operators, it is set to offer an entertaining, side-betting option as part of a main event, or for a quick, enjoyable ‘gamified’ betting experience in its own right – with the chance to enjoy a quick win at any time.

Commenting on the launch, Amelco’s Head of Global Financial Products, Justin Head, said:

“We are very excited to be launching FinXpress, an entirely new type of side-bet that will keep punters entertained during betting lulls.

“Compulsive viewing and engaging, it is user-friendly and has no hidden extras – simply offering broker-free betting fun on the volatility of cryptocurrency.

“The best part is that Bitcoin never sleeps, so punters can have a simple, affordable bet whenever they fancy, with the chance to know if they’ve won in as short as minute.”                                                                                                            

Available as part of Amelco’s existing platform and designed to be as easy to use as possible – it will be expanded to also offer short-term bets on other financial indices, such as currency, oil and gold in the near future, introducing punters to a completely new way to bet on the financial markets in the most engaging way possible.

With more than a decade of experience in supplying tailored software solutions for pricing, trading and execution, Amelco provides bespoke enterprise sports betting and trading platforms to a large number of leading sportsbooks around the world.

 

About Amelco:

Founded in 2006 by veterans of the global financial sector, Amelco builds bespoke trading and sportsbook solutions for the sportsbook industry’s tier-1 operators.

Headquartered in the City of London, Amelco utilises the best technical talent available to supply some of the most cutting edge modular and end to end solutions ever seen in the industry. Born out of a history of building software solutions for pricing, trading and execution platforms in the fintech sphere, Amelco is the supplier of choice for a number of the industry’s tier-one multi-territory tier-one operators, including Paddy Power Betfair, GVC and BetStars.

 

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Cryptocurrency

SoftSwiss boosts games portfolio with Nolimit City announcement

George Miller

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SoftSwiss boosts games portfolio with Nolimit City announcement
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Nolimit City launches content portfolio on SoftSwiss platform

 

Online Software Provider, Nolimit city, signed their latest content distribution deal with the renowned online Crypto platform, SoftSwiss. This deal comes right after the latest announcement of Nolimit’s latest game release ‘Starstruck’. SoftSwiss is a leading Whitelabel and casino platform that have become synonymous with enabling some of the most interesting casino brands out there.

Players on SoftSwiss’ expansive network will now gain access to titles such as; Hot Nudge, Tesla Jolt, Kitchen drama – Sushi mania, Oktoberfest, Casino Win Spin, Fruits and upcoming titles such as Tombstone. Each game has been developed in HTML5 and comes with high end graphics, exciting sounds and solid math mechanics.

Nolimit City slots are offered via their own platform, which means they can be integrated directly to partners with a range of interesting platform features. The games also run seamlessly across desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

Malcolm Mizzi, Head of Sales at Nolimit City, said: “The people behind SoftSwiss come with multiple years of experience and true knowledge of the industry. They have the skillset met with the ambition to drive a great business partnership and we are eager to see Nolimit’s high-quality games added to their ever-growing portfolio. We are truly proud of having the leading Crypto Currency platform in our partner list”

Max Trafimovich, CCO for SoftSwiss added: “The team behind Nolimit City seems to have no shortage of ideas. We love their youthful and bold approach to game development and are confident their game portfolio will take a prominent place among the 30+ hand-picked content providers we supply as part of our Game Aggregator.”

 

About Nolimit City:

Nolimit City is a Malta,Stockholm,India-based online casino platform and game developer, offering high-quality content and services to operators around the world. The company has designed and developed its platform in-house from the ground-up; delivering a strong and powerful engine that can take large volumes of play and social interaction in its stride, on both desktop and mobile. It is coupled to an innovative back office and bonus toolbox, providing a one-stop shop for our partners. It is hugely flexible, and can be tailored to individual operator requirements and needs. We employ some of the smartest minds and artistic talents in the industry; people passionate about gambling and technology. They have helped us to create a portfolio bursting with fun and engaging games.

About SoftSwiss:

SoftSwiss is a tech company developing products for the iGaming industry. It offers widely acclaimed, certified software solutions for managing online casino operations. The company holds remote gaming licenses and certificates from a number of jurisdictions, and supplies its solutions to clients worldwide. Fun fact: SoftSwiss introduced its Bitcoin casino platform in early 2013, a unique software product at the time. The company is still regarded as one of key experts when it comes to the use of cryptocurrencies in gaming.

 

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