Bettium CEO Nathan Hunt: AI and Blockchain Will Transform Sports Betting for Good

May 26, 2018 at 13:24 // News
Guest Author
Bettium CEO Nathan Hunt

Bettium is a global decentralized platform enabling users to bet on sporting events against each other, each using big data and established experts to improve forecasts and strategy. Bettium provides direct access to AI, Big Data and powerful analytical tools to help the bet-tor make smart conclusions and smart bets against peers.

Before we dive into anything too deep, could you share how you first became involved with AI-based systems and the Blockchain technology?

I started following the blockchain industry in 2015 and immediately recognized the disruptive potential of the technology. This movement has many similarities to the dotcom boom of the 1990s and early 2000s — a technology that changed the world in ways that could not even be conceived 10 years earlier. Similar to the dotcom, we are seeing explosive growth that will likely be followed by a temporary downturn, eventually shifting to an upturn again, synthesizing the blockchain industry into a stable market as the technology becomes firmly integrated into everyday lives.

There was never a question of whether I would get involved or not — only when and with whom. Several factors contributed to the final choice, primarily the impressive architecture of the Bettium platform, which unifies blockchain and AI. In fact, our CTO, Alexander Kamilov, brings an impressive track record in the tech space, great energy, and an enthusiasm for developing the platform further to meet the needs of a mass-market audience and allow amateurs to bet like professionals.

Bettium aims to disrupt sports betting. What is the biggest problem with the industry today and where does Bettium fit in?

Problems with current platforms include a lack of transparency, high (and often well-hidden) fees, dependence on banks and various financial intermediaries that severely limit amounts paid in or out, the potential for fraud and identity theft, vulnerability to hacking, and more. Taken together, these factors have done nothing to improve the perception of the betting industry and have in fact hindered growth at a time when expansion should be rampant with the advent of e-sports.

We are using blockchain to mitigate these problems and provide bettors with a safe and transparent platform on which they can enjoy the thrill of peer-to-peer betting without a middleman setting superfluous betting limits. By design, the technology allows us to disintermediate banks and third-party payment systems as well and ensure that all transactions are set in stone with irrevocable smart contracts. In addition, our fees are minimal, an order lower than those of old-line betting sites. This factor will propel the Bettium platform to a higher growth trajectory.

How exactly does Bettium and its AI-powered analytical platform help to level the playing field between experts and amateur bettors?

This is one of our most exciting features! If a recreational bettor, an amateur, decides to place a wager using a traditional service, he will lack the professional tools needed to process all of the relevant information associated with a given event. He will generally choose a winner based on chance and end up with results no better than a “black or red” gambler at the roulette table. While he may win from time to time, 90% of sports bettors lose money over the long term. Players naturally become frustrated with such results, and often end up leaving the field entirely.

On the other hand, there are experts who make successful, lucrative bets on a regular basis with tools of their own making — which are not publicly accessible. These professionals utilize big data and AI-based algorithms, just as Bettium will, to develop a reliable, stable betting strategy that produces real profit over the long term. In fact, they often sell their services for a handsome profit to the general public — and we will provide the same expertise at a fraction of the cost.

Speaking of AI, Bettium features a comprehensive databank, and a powerful, self-learning AI assistant named “Merlin,” which provides reliable recommendations for specific sporting bets. Moreover, it considers numerous conditions at the bettor’s request: how well certain teams do against other opponents, in certain weather conditions, with or without their key players, against certain types of offenses or defenses; the list is endless. With the Merlin, even the least experienced bettors will make profitable bets based on real data and analysis rather than a coin toss.

In the US, betting companies continue to face regulatory challenges. Now, though, the Supreme Court has cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting, lifting the 1992 ban. What implications does it have for Bettium?

Indeed, the sports betting market is regulated differently, depending on the jurisdiction, in accordance with each country's laws. This piece of news about the US market, in particular, is quite sensational and it essentially unlocks so much untapped potential for us, the size of which we’re yet to estimate completely. Today, every state is supposed to make an independent stance on the issue of sports betting, and according to several sources, most states are indeed leaning toward a favorable decision. Given this regulatory milestone, we have a very positive outlook on the future of our final product in the US market.

Tell us a bit about how the blockchain fits into your vision. Can you provide any details on what exactly sets your implementation apart from numerous other ‘generic’ blockchain startups?

In fact, some of our competitors have certain aspects of the system — for example, P2P betting — but none have all the features. Bettium 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 a single ultra-functional platform that will radically transform the way common people relate to sports betting today. In turn, blockchain provides key advantages to our project: low fees, instantaneous transactions, transparency, and data integrity.

What excites you most about the project from the standpoint of technology?

I’d have to say I enjoy the combination of AI and algorithmic betting. I’m looking forward to seeing how a self-educating AI-powered bot can compete with real humans and reach the point when it can indefinitely maintain a positive bankroll with minimal user interference. Imagine setting up a basic account with a small investment, putting it on “auto-pilot” with AI, and watching your funds grow day-in, day-out, week-in, and week-out. That’s the functionality we will bring to the industry.

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