BetDEX CEO: “We are confident decentralized betting will go mainstream”

After raising $21m in funding last year, blockchain-based sports betting exchange BetDEX saw its first action on the Solana mainnet during the World Cup. CEO Varun Sudhakar sat down with Crypto Gambling News to discuss the launch and what comes next.

Please can you introduce our readers to BetDEX?

The BetDEX Exchange is a sports betting exchange built on the open-sourced Monaco protocol. The exchange is fully non-custodial, meaning BetDEX never holds or touches customer’s money. Today while we are in beta we don’t charge any commissions and long term we plan to keep fees to a minimum. In addition as an exchange we welcome winning players. 

The BetDEX Exchange is fully licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commision. The founders of BetDEX were previously founders and early employees of FanDuel and the company is backed by leading investors including Paradigm, Multicoin, and Lightspeed.

 BetDEX recently launched on Solana mainnet – can you share how that launch has gone so far? What sort of volumes are you seeing on the exchange?

 We launched on Solana mainnet on November 24th. This was an incredible achievement by the team to build and launch a regulated sports betting exchange in just under a year. 

 It’s still early days, but the trends we are seeing are encouraging. We have had hundreds of bettors on the platform in just a few weeks who have wagered on our pre-match World Cup matches. As we add more markets and in-play we plan to more broadly market the platform. 

Why do you see web3 and sports betting as such an interesting match? 

Sports betting is rife with operators who each have their own discrete and fragmented liquidity pools which results in poor odds and inability to take bets at scale. In addition because the book is the counterparty they limit winning players. As an exchange that can pool bets from around the world BetDEX offers the opportunity to take bets from anyone (winning or not) at scale.

Secondly, BetDEX is non-custodial which means we never handle customer money. Normally when you bet with a bookmaker you deposit money with them and have to trust them to pay out when you request it. With BetDEX you never deposit your money. When you bet your stake goes into a smart contract and if you win the winnings get paid directly to your wallet.

Lastly, BetDEX is built on the Monaco Protocol which is an open source permissionless betting protocol. This means that other operators can build on Monaco infrastructure and share liquidity. So instead of lots of poorly built proprietary software the industry can collaborate to build better solutions.

Left to right are BetDEX co-founders Nigel Eccles, Varun Sudhakar, and Stuart Tonner

 

The BetDEX team brings together huge experience in the sports betting space. What has attracted the team to a blockchain project such as this? 

The team has experience building betting products for 10 and in some cases 20 years. We saw that crypto really had the potential to solve some long standing problems in the betting industry, namely, sub standard products, split liquidity pools and lack of common infrastructure. In addition we felt we could build a company with a strong culture of technical excellence. 

BetDEX has raised significant funding. Where will this funding be invested and what's the growth strategy for 2023? 

BetDEX raised $21M in 2021. The main investment has been and will continue to be in building an exceptional product for users. We’ve already seen that without any significant marketing users are looking for new betting solutions. In 2023 we will continue to invest in the product but also start to focus more on customer acquisition. 

Can decentralized betting go mainstream? What are the primary challenges if it is to do so, and how is BetDEX addressing them? 

We are confident decentralized betting will go mainstream. The key challenge will be to clearly communicate and prove out the benefits of betting on a web3 platform. This is a lot easier said than done given how young and (comparatively) immature the crypto ecosystem is.  

The most important thing we can do to help bring users onboard to our platform is to deliver a markedly superior user experience characterized by high liquidity and low fees on a noncustodial platform. Our internal north star is liquidity, and that’s where we’ll be dedicating our efforts to in 2023 whether it's through content strategy, user acquisition, additional betting markets, etc.  

What were key learnings on the exchange during the World Cup? 

The most common request so far has been to offer in-play markets and expand our sport coverage, both key initiatives for us in 2023.

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Written by David

Co-founder

David is co-founder of CryptoGamblingNews.com, and has worked in the crypto gambling space since 2015.

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