Virtue Poker (VPP) ICO Analysis: A Full-Featured Decentralized Poker PlatformsteemCreated with Sketch.

in blockchain •  6 months ago

Executive Summary

Project Description

Virtue Poker is a decentralized poker platform and it aims to provide solutions to the problems facing its centralized counterparts. For instance, centralized poker platforms have often been accused of fraudulent behavior and misusing player funds. For example, the third-largest poker network, the Cereus Network, admitted that a former employee gained access to players’ cards, stealing tens of millions of dollars as a result. This is far from an isolated event, similar cases have been recorded with platforms like Full Tilt Poker and Lock Poker in the past.

Another problem facing centralized poker platforms are poker bots. These bots can be programmed to imitate real players online and in 2015, a bot ring on PokerStars carted away almost $1.5 million in $0.50/$1.00 and $1/$2 cash games. Furthermore, the more advanced the coding and the higher the processing power, the smarter these bots can become, and in this age of AI and quantum computing, poker bots are fast becoming a real danger to online players. Centralized platforms are also vulnerable to third-party tools and software that can be used to access opponent information. These tools allow unscrupulous players access opposition statistics, making it easy to find players with low win rates across various poker networks.

To solve the problems above, Virtue Poker wants to develop a decentralized platform that provides reliable services and allows fair gaming. The project plans to remove deposit risks by using Ethereum smart contracts to escrow tournament buy-ins and automatically distribute winnings based on outcomes. Furthermore, a cryptographic p2p protocol will reportedly be used to ensure that all players on a table take part in card shuffling, and that the shuffled deck does not remain on a central server.

Virtue Poker also intends to reduce player costs by removing payment processing fees and eliminating the usage of expensive servers. Operational savings will reportedly be passed back to users through lower rakes and rakeback systems that is likely to encourage player retention, leading to a balanced poker ecosystem. In conclusion, the project wants Virtue Poker to be more than just a poker platform, but also an infrastructure on which third-party developers can build new games and events.

The Virtue Poker platform will be governed by an ERC223-compliant token, called VPP. VPP will serve as the in-game currency on the platform, it may also be staked in the Justice System’s registry, giving a token holder the permission to act as a Justice. Thirdly, players on the platform can access special tournaments using VPP.

Existing Product

No working product has been released yet, but interested parties can watch a demo video here.

Hard Cap and Valuation

500 million VPP tokens are to be minted and the project aims to raise a minimum of $6 million and a maximum of $12.5 million for 40% of the token total. The remaining 60% is distributed as follows: 20% is kept in reserves, 18.8% is earmarked for strategic partnerships, 17.2% goes to the founding team, and the final 4% goes to the project’s advisors.

There will be 2 phases of public sale, the first one (20%) is expected to commence on the 25th of April 2018, and the second phase (20%) will reportedly coincide with the mainnet launch. The tokens sold in the first phase will remain locked until the mainnet launch.

The team tokens are on a vesting schedule of 4 years; 25% will be released after the first 6 months and afterwards, 25% will be released yearly. The advisor tokens and the tokens reserved for strategic partnerships are to be locked for 2 years, and the 20% kept in reserve will be locked until the mainnet launch. According to the project, there will be no limits on contribution amounts and tokens will be released within 48 hours of every sale — however, they are not transferable until the mainnet launch.

Price Per Token

Price per VPP token may vary between $0.06 (soft cap) and $0.125 (hard cap) depending on how much capital was raised during the sale.

Important Dates

The crowdsale proper is scheduled to start by 10:00 am EDT on the 25th of April 2018, and the sale is expected to last for 14 days or until the hard cap is reached.

Interested parties can register for Virtue Poker’s whitelist here. Please note that residents of China and the United States are not allowed to participate.

Roadmap

May 22, 2018 Virtue Poker Private Alpha.

Q2 2018 Pre-launch event with well-known online and live professionals.

Q3 2018 Rakeback Mechanism implementation.

Q3 2018 Build out Multi-Table Tournament Functionality.

Q3 2018 Virtue Poker Limited Release (Open Beta).

Q4 2018 Virtue Poker Public Launch Tournament.

2019 Third-Party Operator Integration.

Marketing Power

As of the time this post was published, Virtue Poker had over 6,500 followers on Telegram, 2,500+ followers on Twitter, over 350 followers on Facebook, and 370+ followers on Medium.

Prominent Advisors

Joseph Lubin

  • Co-founder of Ethereum.
  • Founder of ConsenSys.

Andrew Keys

  • Founder of ConsenSys.
  • Founder of Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.

The project also has 3 professional poker players as advisors — Phil Ivey, Brian Rast, and Dan Colman. These three men have combined earnings of over $60 million.

Team Members’ Areas of Expertise

Business experts

Dan Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer.

  • President at Fleet Street Consulting LLC for 10 years (ongoing).
  • President and CEO at Fleet Street Games, an online poker startup, for 2 years.

Jose Luis Diaz, Head of Product.

  • Co-Founder and Technical Director at Meetware Solutions, a gambling platform, for 4 years.

Target market experts

Several members of the team have years of experience in the gambling industry — which is Virtue Poker’s primary target market.

Marketing experts

Ryan Gittleson, Co-Founder.

  • Business Development and Marketing at ConsenSys for almost 3 years (ongoing).
  • Marketing Manager at TodayTix for a year.
  • National Sales Manager at Time Out New York for 6 months.
  • Account Executive at Opt-Intelligence for almost a year.

Dan Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer.

  • President at Fleet Street Consulting LLC for 10 years (ongoing).
  • COO at PlayVIG for almost 2 years.
  • Executive Vice President, Internet Gaming at VCAT LLC for 6 years.
  • Chief Marketing Officer at PokerStars for 5 years.
  • Director of Marketing at PriceGrabber.com for 2 years.
  • VP Sales and Marketing at Digitalk, Inc. for 7 years.

Legal experts

No team member with legal expertise, however, the project is working with some legal firms.

Software engineering experts

Jim Berry, Lead Platform Developer.

  • Programmer at ConsenSys, a blockchain venture, since May 2015 (ongoing).
  • Self-employed Software Contractor for approximately 15 years with extensive knowledge of the videogame industry (worked with companies like Electronic Arts).
  • Programmer at Looking Glass Technologies for 2 years.
  • System Administrator / Programmer at University of South Pacific for 2 years.
  • Programmer at MicroProse Software for 2 years.
  • Programmer at CSC for 4 years.

Daniel Ortega, Backend Developer.

  • Backend Developer at ConsenSys since January 2018.
  • Software Engineer at KLM for almost 2 years.
  • Technical Lead & Grails Developer at Odobo, a gambling platform, for almost 2 years.
  • Tech guy at INECO for over 2 years.
  • Instructor J2EE at Salenda for 5 years.

Jose Luis Diaz, Head of Product.

  • Head of Product at ConsenSys since September 2017 (ongoing).
  • Head of Development at BeGame B.V. for a year.
  • Technology and Integrations Projects Manager at Odobo, a gambling platform, for a year.
  • Co-Founder and Technical Director at Meetware Solutions, a gambling platform, for 4 years.
  • Product Development Director at VSoftCo Ltd, a gambling platform, for almost 6 years.
  • Technical Director at Grupo R. Franco, a gambling platform, for 5 years.

Colum Higgins, Senior Product Manager.

  • Senior Business Analyst at Rational FT Services Ltd. for over two years.
  • Director of Product Management at Swrve for 5 months.
  • Program Manager at Pocket Kings Ltd., a gambling platform, for almost 5 years.
  • eGovernment Consultant at EU-China Information Society Project for 2 years.
  • Business Manager at Ericsson for a year.
  • CTO at Wilde Technologies Ltd. for almost 4 years.

Raul Guiu, Backend Developer.

  • Software Development Engineer at Amazon for almost 3 years.
  • Java Contract at Orange Vallée for a year.
  • Technical Lead at Riplife Gaming Technologies for almost a year.
  • Big Data Engineer at Social Point for almost a year.
  • Java Development Lead at Odobo for a year.
  • Senior Developer at Victor Chandler, a gambling platform, for 3 years.

Blockchain development experts

Javier Franco Algarrada, Blockchain Development Team Lead.

  • Full Stack Blockchain Developer at ConsenSys since September 2017 (ongoing).
  • R&D Engineer — Blockchain Developer at The Workshop for 10 months.
  • Senior Software Engineer at Agoda for a year.
  • Full Stack Senior Web Developer at William Hill, a gambling platform, for 10 months.
  • Senior HTML5 Game Client Developer at Odobo, a gambling platform, for almost 2 years.
  • Lead HTML5 Game Developer at NEKTAN, a gambling platform, for 8 months.
  • Cloud Developer / Web Developer at SolidQ for 10 months.
  • Senior Web Developer at VSports Games for 9 months.

Token sale structure experts

No team member with token economics expertise. Some members of their advisory board, however, have significant token economics experience.

Token economics experts

Same as above.

Conclusion

Strengths

  • Virtue Poker is a ConsenSys incubated company.
  • Low hard cap — $12.5 million.
  • The project is trying to solve pressing problems facing the poker community.
  • Online gambling is a multi-billion-dollar industry and it is expected to keep growing
  • Strong advisor team from the crypto sphere + three professional poker stars.

Potential risks for investors

  • No working product yet.
  • Tokens sold in the first phase are locked until the mainnet launch.
  • It is unclear how they are going to attract users from established poker platforms.
  • Performance of the decentralized solution should be significantly lower than of the centralized ones.
  • No business/token economics experts.

Disclaimers:

  • Nothing written in this article is a legal or an investment advice.
  • Information is provided on a best-effort basis and is subject to change without prior notice. Be sure to verify everything you read with a project team.

The analysis was produced by Research Center team members: Alexander Bugaj, Mark Jedd, Eugene Tartakovsky.

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