This week I Interviewed Dean the founder of BetKing. Couldn't believe he run the site completely by himself making $287k/month!
For those who do not have knowledge of Bitcoin Gambling ( I assume most here), BetKing was the biggest crowdfunded Bitcoin Gambling site between 2014-2016. Crowdfunded means the house was funded by investors and anyone could take part in it (I did and made some great returns). As an investor you were given 50% of the profit made by the site, which given its size was a lot of money. In the near two years Dean ran the site it made 7,391 Bitcoins in profit off a 6,000 Bitcoin bankroll.
Investing in Bitcoin Casinos is really risky as the owners are usually anonymous and can (and sometimes do) run away with all the investors money. When Dean temporarily shut down the bankroll in late 2016 he kind of shocked the community when he gave back over 6,000 Bitcoins to all the investors gaining a huge amount of respect from the Bitcoin Gambling and Investing community.
His reason for shutting down the site was simple. He wanted to turn it into something even bigger. He wanted to be not only the biggest Bitcoin Dice site in the world but the biggest gambling site in general. His ambitious goal means he will be taking on not only crypto gambling sites but also the Huge FIAT market.
This is leading to an ICO for BetKing that will start in August. I have never been involved in an ICO before (for a string of reasons), but this is one I will likely invest in.
Here is the interview:
Ok Dean first question - When did you first get into Bitcoin? What were your first thoughts?
I first got into Bitcoin around December 2012. I realized pretty quickly the benefits of Bitcoin
as a decentralized, peer-to-peer, open source payment network.
What was the inspiration behind the original BetKing?
I saw problems with online poker where it was becoming increasingly harder for new players to have any chance of winning or even have fun. I thought that I could solve this problem and launched a poker site named Pocket Rockets Casino that would then go on to become BetKing.
What is your technical background? Have you worked in the gambling industry before BetKing?
I was a software developer doing contract work before I started BetKing, but I had never worked in the gambling industry before.
What were the last 6 months of profit for BetKing?
As the site was crowdfunded all the returns were made public. The individual monthly Bitcoin returns for the last 6 months of operation before I took the site offline are below:
- July - 237 BTC
- Aug - 819 BTC
- Sep - 1018 BTC
- Oct - 321 BTC
- Nov - 188 BTC
- Dec - 128 BTC
Why did you shut the bankroll down in late 2016 Betking?I had worked on BetKing for 4 years with no other staff. I was doing development, marketing, support, promotion and security myself with only the odd contractor here and there to help. I wanted a break and time to explore some other ideas I had that I couldn't while running BetKing full time.
- To put this in perspective, Dean was basically running BetKing by himself making millions of dollars where some of his competitors have over 100 employees and likely made less than him. -
Why do you want to ICO now?
I've had a break and time to explore other ideas but there was still a lot of unfinished business with BetKing. A lot of ideas I had to make it even bigger and better. This time I've put a team together and we've worked for the past four months on the new software and planned the ICO with the help from previous BetKing investors. The ICO will allow us to bring in even more talent and make those ideas a reality.
Post ICO what do you think Betking will look like? Do you think it will be the largest Bitcoin, ETH & LTC crowdfunded Gambling site again?
BetKing will reclaim its crown as the most popular and trusted crowdfunded casino before the end of this year.
The focus is on making BetKing the number one Bitcoin gambling destination for not only dice but also casino, sports and poker.
As an investor you have been out of the market for some time and the competitors (arguably) have gotten a lot of BetKing's bankroll investment. They have also developed their sites a lot in terms of games and altcoins they accept. Why do you think BetKing will take the market back from them?
I have a lot of respect for the current crowdfunded dice sites. They put in a huge amount of hard work and are raising the bar for quality and features. The truth is though, that even with BetKing closed for 6 months, none of them have come close to the kind of stats we had. 6000 Bitcoin bankroll, 400,000 Bitcoin wagered, 7400 Bitcoin profit. This time we will have more high quality casino games and sports betting, mobile apps, great promos and new unique games that players will want to come back for.
What will BetKing look like in 5 years? Do you think you will still be running it or you might have sold it?
We will be top competitors to the old FIAT sites, taking their players and showing them the benefits of playing provably fair games and having instant withdrawals with Bitcoin.
How will you split the bankrolls by currency? If you raise 10,000 Bitcoins for example what % will go to ETH, LTC and Bitcoin?
People will be able to buy BetKing Bankroll Tokens with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash. These will be the initial currencies we support for betting and these funds will be used in their respective bankrolls. If the bankroll of one coin is low we will swap funds from another bankroll to maintain high payouts if needed.
How big is the team behind BetKing and what do they do?
There's currently me and three other developers. I am in the process of hiring graphics artists, a web designer, app developers and marketing staff. The team will grow nearer launch to include community managers and support staff. Get in touch if you fit any of those roles.
What was the biggest hack, or issue you faced running BetKing in the past?
Someone managed to gain access to our hot wallet server by socially engineering the server hosting company. They were able to steal around 15 Bitcoin. Luckily for players and investors I keep more than 99% of funds in cold storage and so their Bitcoin was never at risk of being stolen. I paid the loss out of my own pocket.
We obviously won't be using that host again and have more security measures in place this time. Players and investors have never lost any money due to any hacks or technical issues on BetKing.
Is this ICO being registered legally in the UK or another jurisdiction? Any concern for global investors? KYC requirements or anything like that?
We are setting up a new company this time in Costa Rica which will be completed before launch. We will not be able to allow US citizens to take part in the crowd-sale through our website.
I read that every quarter you will buy back some tokens with some of the profits, will any extra be paid as dividends?
There will be no dividends. I have committed to buy back a minimum of 10% each quarter. Token holders may trade privately or on any exchanges that list BetKing Bankroll Tokens if they wish to sell sooner.
Will this be your full time focus?
yes - 100%.
What will happen in the event of a sale? ICO investors are not be eligible for any equity from what I read.
Token holders are not eligible for a share of any sale price but in the event of a sale I would buy back their tokens at the current buy back price before completing the sale.
If you could start BetKing again today what would you do differently and why?
I am starting BetKing again today but with all the previous experience and knowledge learned over the past 4 years. The main difference is putting together a great team and not trying to do everything myself.
Why not retire? What motivates you to launch this ICO and run BetKing again?
BetKing was the number one crowdfunded Bitcoin dice site. I want BetKing to be the number one gambling site.
Where can people go to learn more about the ICO?
http://betking.io has all the information about the ICO and links to all our social platforms.