As you may know or not, we, at FlipHodl, were serious gamers past in the days. You know… those days, the YOUTH. So we were naturally interested by this new category of betting systems which popped up on our radars. For our third review, we will analyze Gimli, a cool project involving true gamers. We also interviewed the CTO and made a short comparison with its two competitors, Unikrn and HeroCoin.
Betting in eSports
eSports is a quite recent thing. It started to be mainstream during the first years of 2000 and involved millions of dollars in prizes and sponsorship with the advent of free to play DOTA-like games. Betting in eSports is indeed an even more recent thing. It is only when eSports became a well organized, popular and lucrative activity that many betting websites started to integrate it to their offer.
So why does eSports betting need to be decentralized or “smart contractized” while betting involves to be administered by humans anyway (centralized) for all the odds/listings part? Well, actually it doesn’t, literally. And that is maybe the reason #1 why the eSports betting projects we reviewed don’t propose betting systems alone, but fully featured systems that allow gaming communities to interact and do business together. They could actually develop their app on top of an existing blockchain, but ICOs are a nice way to get kick started and the transparency that is involved with smart contracts can only be a good thing. The small issue here is that we don’t know to which extent they will use on-chain solutions.
What is Gimli
The concept of Gimli is actually rather simple. They issue tokens during the ICO and you use those tokens to participate in eSports bets, challenges, and surveys. In their White Paper, they describe their project as a decentralized eSports betting system that aims to “allows streamers to create transparent and trustless real time betting that does not depend on a third party acting as a bookmaker”. This is the interesting part of Gimli project: streamers create bets, polls, etc. and monetize their content this way. This way, streaming monetization will not be limited anymore to streamers’ ability to attract viewers, but it will also rely on their ability to create interaction.
Gimli gives to streamers complete control over the way they get their money, disrupting the current centralized monetization system operating in the streaming industry. For this to happen smoothly, Gimli will grant monetization ability to streamers that are registered as Partners. It is still unclear how they plan to do that in a decentralized way, but I’m quite sure that they will figure this out when they will start to further develop the project.
How it works
Now I have a good and a bad news.
The good news is that they overcome the “trustless odds” issue by designing a system which automatically redistributes the money pool to the winners. The concept is rather simple: Users X bet a total of 1500 tokens on Player A and Users Y bet a total of 3000 tokens on Player B. Let’s say Player A win, then the losing pool (3000 tokens) is redistributed to Users X proportionally to the amount betted by each user minus a fee that goes to the streamer. They also plan to implement an algorithm that will allow late bets with diminished rewards.
The bad news is that this betting system may be flawed. I developed a very similar system when I was younger, so we could bet with my friends on any event outcome. I needed automatic odds so we could bet on anything and I naturally chose a system that redistributes all the losers money to the winners. It turned out that it was not interesting at all to bet a lot of money whatever the outcome was, because if the losers pool is too low, the risk/reward is way too high. Also, it means that you may have interesting odds at the moment you place your bet, but they are likely to move a lot until the bet is closed, which makes it a very random experience. However, the scale of Gimli project is different and with some tweaks the currently advertised concept may work.
|Total supply||150 000 000 tokens|
|Conversion rate||1 ETH = 700 GIM (Gimli Token)|
|Soft Cap||4 000 000 $USD|
|Hard Cap||35 000 0000 $USD|
|Distribution||53.3% investors – 20% founders – 13.3% advisors – 6.6% Reserve – 6.86% salaries.|
|Use of funds||?|
Gimli team’s background is one of Gimli strengths. Some of them are well known and trustable dudes belonging to the French gaming community. I’m particularly thinking about Thud, who played a key role in the scene as a streamer and event organizer.
We quickly interviewed David, Gimli’s CTO, to learn a bit more about the team.
Gimli was born within the eSports community, with world champions (Stephano – SC2 world champ ex-Korea, Luffy – Street Fighter European champ) and popular streamers (Sean Gares, Thud, Skyyart, and more…) helping us design a platform by gamers, for gamers. We came up with Gimli when we were looking for a way to safely allow the eSports community to bet on matches, and strengthen the viewer-streamer bond during those short intervals between matches.
The roadmap of Gimli is succinct and a bit difficult to find too. Clearly, it doesn’t look like a document made by a team needing 35 million dollars.
What we learn though is that a beta release is to be expected in the next 6 months following the ICO and that the web app should be available in the next 12 months. On the long term, they plan to propose tournaments with prize pooling features.
There is two big competitors with their ICO happening as soon as Gimli’s ICO.
Unikrn is a solid project. It is under development for years and already backed by working structures (Luxbet). It is tough competition on the technical plan but Unikrn plans to raise 100M$USD with only 20% of the token supply allocated to investors. While we think the valuation is way too high, this project is still interesting and may be a good long term investment. The second one is HeroCoin.io. Maybe the less hyped one, HeroCoin is a betting platform with an unclear roadmap, 14M$USD CAP with 30% of tokens allocated to investors, which is OK-ish.
We also asked the CTO of Gimli what he thinks about his competitors.
Unikrn, Herocoin, skins betting platforms and traditional bookmakers (Pinnacle, Betfair, etc) all have the same problems inherent to centralized operations: they are fully in control of the betting and payout process, and can decide to halt payouts, modify odds, and improve their cut however they want. Gimli offers a safe and transparent betting solution that is entirely on-blockchain – all the bets are executed and paid out through smart contracts, which are out of our hands.
Another major difference is the decentralized business model. Unlike the existing platforms, which monitor and decide which matches to offer from outside the eSports ecosystem, Gimli reaches viewers virally through the “nodes” of the eSports network: streamers. By marketing Gimli as a tool to streamers, we are a part of the strong bond they share with their viewers and connect directly with the eSports community.
Gimli is an interesting project which feels like the team is passionate. The way they plan to monetize streamers content (interaction vs views) is really well thought and most of the people involved sure know the challenges of the gaming industry. However, every document that we checked appeared to be elaborated in a sloppy way. The whitepaper is clear and honest but it also clearly shows how early stage the development is at. The ICO is a bit greedy too, seeking for more than 35 million while keeping almost half the tokens is a lot to ask when you have nothing tangible yet to show. For these reasons and the fact the project is not really trending, we think that you must be careful if you are looking to Flip Gimli tokens. It may be a good long term investment but, again, there is too much uncertainty to give a mark superior to 6.