This is a transcript of the Podcast – How Blockchain Revolutionizes Gaming and Gambling with Rahul Sood – You can listen the audio here
Nye : What is going on everybody, what is going on? As always, it’s your boy Nye, and welcome to another episode of the Evolvement podcast, where we talk about bitcoin and the cryptocurrency and the future of our financial systems.
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Nye : Today we’re gonna sit down with Rahul, the CEO of Unikrn Sports. He’s a really, really good guy. I’ve followed him on Twitter for a while. We’ve had a couple conversations via the inter webs and he’s got a lot of knowledge and experience in gaming, in gambling, and how this all plays a role in the crypto ecosystems. So, Rahul, how you doing my man? How’s it going?
Rahul Sood : I’m doing great, thanks for having me today, Nye.
Nye : Hey, glad to have you here. Super glad to sit down, have a little bit of a discussion about all of this stuff. I think that gaming and gambling are probably the, going to be one of the very first ways that adoption hits for the mainstream with cryptocurrency. I’m excited to hear your opinions on all of this stuff, so before we get into all of that, can you just give the audience a little bit of an introduction of yourself? What’s your background? Who are you and how’d you get started in crypto?
Rahul Sood : Sure. So, well, I am a long time entrepreneur, you probably see serial entrepreneur a lot out there, but you know, on people’s LinkedIn and Twitter bios and stuff, but in reality, I am serial entrepreneur. I started the world’s first PC gaming hardware manufacturer, so it was like a company that built, purpose built PCs for playing video games on many years ago.
Rahul Sood : I ended up selling that to HP and then I’ve been involved with Razor since, you know, very, very early as an early shareholder and advisor and then, you know I was involved with some, early investor or the first investor in a VR/AR company called Verbana that was recently acquired by Apple and then, I joined Microsoft after selling VooDoo to HP.
Rahul Sood : I started Microsoft Ventures. I was the global leader for Microsoft Ventures for a few years and you know, we used to help startups by investing in them and helping them grow their business. But, while I was at Microsoft, I was you know, my heart was still into video games and I had been following the Esports arena for some time and so in 2014, I decided to leave Microsoft and start Unikrn and Unikrn is essentially a venture backed, Esports company. We sit at the intersection of video games and Esports, regulated gambling, and blockchain technology.
Rahul Sood : Just to sort of pin a mission on what we do, Unikrn, we heighten every gaming experience whether fans watch, play, or compete. That’s how we think about the company and that’s what we do everyday.
Rahul Sood : Just to touch really briefly on what you said with regards to cryptocurrency you know, being led by gaming and gambling. Well, you know, to be honest with you, that’s sort of how a lot of industries are led on the bleeding edge. Like, for example, the video card industry and video and intel when they come to processors and GPUs, they’re led by the gaming industry as well. Like, the gaming industry tends to push the bleeding edge for hardware. Everything from displays to silicon technology to even you know, how Microsoft optimizes their software because you know, gaming tends to push the limits of things and I think the same thing goes with crypto.
Rahul Sood : The audience is very much aligned with the you know, crypto community. They tend to be younger. They tend to be tech savvy and you know, they have more of a propensity to participate with things like trading bitcoin and that sort of thing than anyone else does, so, yeah.
Nye : I agree man. I agree. That’s super interesting. I mean, I think that we’ve seen it in multiple different industries and mind you, I’m no expert at this at all, but I’ve definitely done some research and seen that it’s gaming, it’s gambling, it’s pornography, a lot of these kind of things lead the introduction into new technologies and how they’re going to function and I think it’s probably gonna be pretty similar with blockchain technology. But what do you think is going to happen to the overall gaming and gambling industry when blockchain technology gets introduced? Do you think it’s going to just change the way that everything functions or what are your thoughts around that?
Rahul Sood : Oh yeah, absolutely. Well, it took us, it took us about a year to get our license from the Isle of Man the way we wanted our license from the Isle of Man and what I mean by that is we could have easily gotten a license just as far as standard, real money betting you know from the Isle of Man based on the systems that we built, the platform that we built.
Rahul Sood : But, we had built parts of our backend on blockchain and you know, the way we handle things like anti-money laundering and know your customer, which in gambling is extremely important you know, from a regulation standpoint and we could talk about, you know, we could debate why go regulated with blockchain you know, that sort of thing, we could certainly talk about that, but I think it’s important to note that you know, in order to get mainstream adoption and approval, we go down this path of regulation. We do it because it’s the right thing to do and it’s responsible.
Rahul Sood : Well, in any case, as we did this, as we were being audited by the Isle of Man, they were looking at our systems and how we built them and you know, we had some really good comments on it. I mean, they normally come back with a ton feedback and changes. We didn’t have any changes. They really liked the way that we built out our platform and you know, the reality is blockchain technology is the underpinning of the future of commerce.
Rahul Sood : You know, there’s no better way to track money laundering than through blockchain. You know, you can look at Wallet History, you can look at transactions and how money flows. It’s so much better than fiat currency and you know, I always hear stories about like how you know, cryptocurrency is used for nefarious activity, but like please, that’s just not the case. I mean it’s a fraction of the US dollar.
Rahul Sood : I mean, the US dollar is used for nefarious activity every day and it’s much harder to track, so when they saw the systems that we built, they were very impressed and you know, we’re now the only gambling company in the world. Like, put aside Esports for a moment, we’re the only gambling company on earth with a license from The Isle of Man for Esport, live Esports betting, live sports betting, online casino and our skill based platform for both fiat and cryptocurrency. That’s pretty incredible because they’re one of the most respected jurisdictions in the world.
Nye : That’s awesome. That’s awesome, and so you just mentioned a bunch of different things. What all is encompassed in Unikrn Esports? Like, I think I specifically noticed is there’s betting on digital sports like Fortnite and things like that. What else do you guys have encompassed in that and how does that all play into this cryptocurrency ecosystem?
Rahul Sood : Yeah, so we actually have, we’re like a pretty broad Esports platform. We do everything from create content, so you know, we’re like ESPN for Esports. We have our own tournament system so we can actually, we allow customers to create their own brackets and tournaments online, but for us, it does a much a bigger play to it. It’s that we can actually create and run our own tournaments and invite professional teams from all over the world to participate in our tournaments.
Rahul Sood : Right now, we’re running the United Masters League on out platform. You know, we’re getting thousands of hours of content. We’re getting you know, tends of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people watching our content and then we’re able to kind of push out offers and things like that to those customers.
Rahul Sood : We have two different types of betting products. So, you know, the biggest part of our business is the betting part. So, we have the Esports betting, where you can watch games and you can place bets on professional matches. We create all of the odds on those matches and we let people kind of place bets on them and then we have something called you mode where you can bet on yourself in games like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Doda, you can actually connect your account to our platform and then we put odds on your chances of winning games.
Rahul Sood : There’s a lot of these companies out there that are doing this player vs player stuff where you know, that on your skill against someone else, but there’s a huge problem, there’s a number of problems with that model. The biggest problem is that you get sharks coming in and you know, wiping the floor with you and you never wanna come back. That’s one problem. The other problem with that is you have to wait for someone else to play, right? You have to wait for you know a competitor and in our case, we made it possible where we can put odds on your chances of winning, and you’re betting against the machine.
Rahul Sood : The way we were able to do that is because we let customers connect their gaming accounts to our platform and they earn tokens. They earn both silver tokens and gold tokens and then they can use those tokens to participate in all of the parts of our platform. Everything from betting on yourself to betting on you know, Esport matches to participating in jackpots for digital prizes, you know, playing Bingo. There’s just like a lot of things you can do with our tokens and then what we do when people connect their gaming accounts to our platform, it’s not for charity that we’re providing these tokens.
Rahul Sood : It’s that we actually collect data and we learn how to hone our odds and we also collect data on individuals so we can put odds on their chances of winning. So there’s a really neat ecosystem that we built around the Unikrn.
Nye : That’s sweet. That’s awesome. I am going to just assume, I read a few articles from you about simplicity and I think this is something where we are both 100% on the same page. It’s like these things need to be simpler, and I’m gonna assume that Unikrn has simplicity inside of it, but I think that like, the problem with adoption right now is the lack of simplicity. It’s the lack of ease for user experience. It’s the lack of congruency across platforms and simplicity whether it’s with, in the financial sector to send funds back and forth, whether it’s in the gaming sector to be simple to utilize the platform such as Unikrn.
Nye : How does simplicity play a role for you in Unikrn and how do you think it plays a role in the overall adoption of cryptocurrency?
Rahul Sood : Well, let’s start with the adoption of cryptocurrency first. So, last year we had a bunch of tokens. You know, like ICOs that were created, you know, and most of the ICOs, you know will likely fail as you know. You know, many of them are scams. Some of them are real, but you know, they underestimated what it takes to actually build a real business and their focus was purely on getting listed on exchanges.
Rahul Sood : You know, unfortunately, exchanges, many exchanges played a big role in this, but there was exchanges that charged a ton to get listed on the exchange so that you could get liquidity for your token and then these people would spend time just promoting their token so that they could raise the price of their token so that they could raise money for their platform. Completely backwards way of actually building a real platform and the problem, the fundamental problem with that was that they were using the exchanges for liquidity and really nothing else. They still weren’t building, they weren’t able to build anything and those that were able to build were highly engineering focused and they built you know, these monstrosities of applications that just make no sense to regular people and that’s why you only have like two, 300 people using those things because you know, you’ve gotta be like a crypto God to figure out how to place a bet on [Auger 00:13:53] for example.
Rahul Sood : That’s the first part. With Unikrn, what we did was we actually built our token economy in 2015, so like, three, four years ago we built the Unicoin ecosystem. We created Unicoin Silver, well it was called Unicoin back then, but then it turned into Unicoin Silver last year, but we created the Unicoin back then and we started to let you know, customers from around the world use our platform and the reason we created it was at the time, we only had a fiat betting license and you know, we didn’t have a cryptocurrency and there was people from around the world, like places like Korea and you know, United States that wanted to use our platform that couldn’t use it so we created this free token that’s non transferable, couldn’t be bought or sold, but it could be earned you know on the platform.
Rahul Sood : People would connect their gaming accounts, we would collect data. In the meantime, we were building out You Mode, you know the skill betting platform and we kept building out our platform and we had all of these users engaging on the platform and using it and you know, as we learned over time you know, we learned how to make it much more usable and much more user friendly and that sort of thing and then eventually, that led to us creating Unicoin Gold.
Rahul Sood : Now, for us, getting listed on an exchange was about discoverability. That’s it. So for us, you know getting listed on say for example, Bitrix is about being discovered by Bitrix customers. You know, they have millions of customers around the world, we want them to discover us or getting listed on Up Bit in Korea same thing. It was about being discovered.
Rahul Sood : The biggest problem in crypto for platforms like ours. Let’s say you have a beautiful platform that’s easy to use and you have customers that are using it every day, the biggest problem these customers have is how do they get access to the token and so the way it used to work is you’d go to coin base, you’d buy some bitcoin. You’d then take the bitcoin, you’d go to Bitrix, you’d convert the bitcoin into UKG on Bitrix so then you would take your UKG off of Bitrix and move it over to Unikrn.
Rahul Sood : The system is so broken that no customer, no real customer is going to be able to do that at scale. It’s just impossible. So, what we did, was we went to Bitrix and said, we need to solve the issue of accessibility. We’ve already got discovery solved because we’re listed on your platform, we’re listed on Up Bit, you know, we’re listed on a number of different exchanges.
Rahul Sood : Now, all we care about is accessibility so customers could just get the tokens on our platform directly. So, we built an application with them that currently runs outside of the US, but it will be in the US soon and it allows customers to just come to the Unikrn website, swipe a credit card, buy their tokens, and their tokens actually are taken right off the market and it’s all powered by Bitrix. It’s really neat.
Rahul Sood : Then, they can just start using the platform immediately. So, it’s like, it’s like things like that that you have to think about. You also have to think about, so not only do you have to make the accessibility and the usability of the token easy, but you also have to think about making your platform easy for the user and we’ve sorta done all of that.
Nye : Interesting. Interesting. So, first off, I think that accessibility, usability is key. I think it’s going to be, like you said, there’s no possible way that the average person is going to buy bitcoin on a coin base, move it over to an exchange, buy your local token, move that over to your platform and then want to go use your platform. It just doesn’t make sense especially when they could go to a fiat competitor, enter in their credit card, enter in their debit card and immediately be utilizing that platform.
Nye : But, there’s two things that you said specifically in there. I’m gonna touch on the first one first, that really caught my attention. ICO functions, the function of an ICO you said is a broken model, which 100% agree on. Do you think that there is a new model for ICOs that will come about? Do you think that fundraising will still happen through ICOs? What does that look like to you?
Rahul Sood : Yeah, 100%. So, you know, we’ve been involved in a project called the [Paladium 00:18:02] Project. We’re partnered with Bitrix on this project. It’s happening in Malta, and it’s effectively helping to solve a huge problem that we as a company have, which is banking our cryptocurrency and then also you know, making it easy for like legit companies to kind of list a token on it.
Rahul Sood : I don’t want to use the term ICO, but if you think about like, the concept of an STO or the security token offering, think of it like this. Soon, there will be alternative trading systems in the US and other places around the world that are going to allow you to list securities.
Rahul Sood : Now, these securities can be anything. It could equity in a company. It could be profit sharing in a product. It could be a number of different, it could be a convertible note for example. But, the difference between you investing in it as an angel investor or you know, what I used to do at Microsoft ventures where we would just invest and you know, it would be like a private holding that we would wait on for a liquidity event. The difference is that these are being tokenize and they can be traded on a liquid exchange. It’s really neat.
Rahul Sood : They’ll be approved by the SEC and so, it’s kinda like mini going public, but you’re not really going public. There’s some disclosures that the company has to give. You know, there’s a certain amount of disclosure that they have to give you know, it has to be structured as a security, that sort of thing. You know, more sophisticated investors will get involved. But, it’s not gonna be open to anybody and everybody just to come in and you know, flood the market with shit coins respectively.
Rahul Sood : I think you know, out of the 2,000 coins that were created last year, I personally think probably close to 95 to 97% will fail. Some people say 90%, I say it’s probably higher than that, but regardless of that, that’s only because they were structured, there’s a number of reasons why. I mean, mostly they were structured as securities and you know, they raised way too much money. None of these guys know how to run a business. You know, it goes on and on and on as to why that is and that sort of thing won’t happen in a legit sort of alternative trading system.
Rahul Sood : You’re question is, is there a future for ICOs. Absolutely. There’s a future for raising money for blockchain companies on an STO or a security token offering and it is going to happen and it’ll probably start sometime later this year.
Rahul Sood : You know, if the government wasn’t shutdown right now, it’d probably start earlier this year, but I think it’ll start later this year and I think it’ll bring some of the downward pressure off of [Atherium 00:20:51] you know, going forward. So, I do think there’s a big future here.
Nye : Yeah, and I think that like, one of the most interesting things for me was seeing the way, so I do a lot of traveling in Asia. I made a lot of these companies and it was so interesting and a little disgusting to be honest with you, seeing the way that these founders treated these funds. We won’t get into any like specific details, but what I’m specifically talking about is I met multiple founders who ran ICOs who raised 20, 30 million dollar minimum and their mentality literally was you know what? If we run out of the 20, 30 million, we still have our tokens, we can sell those tokens on exchanges. If we run out of those, we still have equity.
Nye : Really, like, first off, as like, I’m sure as a serial entrepreneur yourself you would just agree that’s just not a mentality that anyone should have running any sort of business. But second off, I think it brings in the question of morality. It brings in the question of is this right and what I’ve seen over the last couple months, five, six months or so when we were really heavily into this bear market is a lot of people that are trying to raise money, even if they do have a token that they’re trying to claim as a utility token are actually going the equity route. They’re actually going to find people who will invest in their company as actual shareholders, as actual people who are backing the whole company as a venture.
Nye : Do you think that equity rounds and things like that are going to also be relevant or do you think they’re still gonna like, like I guess my question is do you think that equity rounds will be relevant or do you think the security token is kinda gonna have a height phase, it’ll move into equity later. I don’t know. What are your thoughts on that?
Rahul Sood : Oh, no. So look, a security is a security. A security typically involves some sort of equity or you know, profit sharing or interest or things like voting rights and a whole bunch of other things, right? So, think of a security token almost the same thing as an equity round except there’s liquidity to it. You know, like immediate liquidity.
Rahul Sood : You know, to your question about or your point about you know, what happened last year. Yeah, your right, there was no governance. People were raising disgusting amounts of money and they thought that they could just sell their tokens on the open market and raise more money and you know, that was the problem.
Rahul Sood : The problem was fundamentally, they were using their token to raise money rather than sell a product. You know, and we took a different product where we were selling a product that actually had a working ecosystem on our platform and you know, I got criticized many times for this. There’s lots of articles out there and there’s lots of things on our discord where I said very explicitly, don’t look at this as an investment. Don’t look at buying a token as an investment.
Rahul Sood : A utility token is not an investment. You don’t get voting rights. You have no, you know, you have no rights to our company, but do you do get to use it on the platform you know, and you’ll get early access to things and that sort of thing. There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of like, benefits to a utility token if you’re a user of the platform. If not, you’re just speculating on you know, the usage of that token.
Rahul Sood : You know, while we can’t stop speculators, what we could do is just kind of you know, build a real platform and build a user base and focus on our users and that’s what we did.
Rahul Sood : The other thing that you kind of, or maybe you know, you did sorta touch on but not really was the exchange side. Like there was a ton of greed just in the exchange and services side of things. Where, you know, service companies were coming out of the woodwork you know, and charging ridiculous amounts of money to do things like build your telegram and the metrics were dumb. Like, oh, you know, if you’re doing an ICO, how many users are on your telegram? How many users are on your slack? That’s the kind of questions that the exchanges would be asking in order to get listed on their exchange.
Rahul Sood : Really stupid questions, but mainly because all they cared about was driving volume on their exchange, of which, most exchanges have fake volume. You know, I only know of one exchange that actually gets their volume audited from an outside farm, or maybe two exchanges that do and they’re US based and it’s Bitrix and Coin Base and you know, I only know of those two. There’s probably others, but you know, to get a big accounting firm to actually audit your volume, that’s important.
Rahul Sood : I feel like a lot of the exchanges stripped a ton of value, a ton of not only value but a lot of money out of the ecosystem just by charging these massive listing fees. I mean some, you know, there was rumors that some exchanges were charging you know, one to seven million dollars just to list your token and then they would fake volume and they would allow you to open up multiple accounts so you could do you know, “market making.” It was just a complete scam. It was a joke and we just stayed away from all of that.
Nye : That’s what I like about what you said earlier, you mentioned that you were utilizing exchanges for discovery. I’ve never, I’ve never heard a founder ever say that before or any sort of person involved in any sort of tokenize project. Can you discuss that a little bit and then also can you touch on what needs to change with these exchanges because I mean, obviously a lot of things need to change, but what does the future of these exchanges look like if they’re so messed up right now still?
Rahul Sood : Yeah, sure. So, let’s start with what needs to change with the exchanges. I read an article the other day that [Quobe 00:26:29] for example is facing you know, they’re laying off people and they might not last if this bear market continues. That’s because their fundamental business model was charging ICOs to get listed on their platform.
Rahul Sood : Those guys made money by charging ICOs and then you know, the volume that was created is questionable. You know, and they would drive users to the platform, but really it was just about listing fees and making a ton of money on that stuff.
Rahul Sood : The way exchanges need to change, is they need to turn, they need to think about becoming platforms. There’s, you know, Bitrix is doing an amazing job of this. They you know, they get criticized often because of their, you know the rules or whatever that you come on and you have to be a known customer and that sort of thing, but this is just about not breaking the law and it’s also about you know, being the, a legit exchange that can actually operate in the United States, which is really important if you’re going to grow internationally because people look at the US as sort of a benchmark for innovation and also for enabling technologies like blockchain.
Rahul Sood : Instead of just being an exchange where you can just trade random tokens and run pump and dumps, you should start to think about your exchange as a place to help the top tokens and the top token teams, the top projects, the top companies succeed by helping them be discovered.
Rahul Sood : When I think about discoverability, you know, I think about Unikrn as a company. Think about this, our license now allows us to operate in 30 countries around the world, including, part of our product is a You Mode, is launched in 41 states in the United States. But there’s other countries. There’s places that are like in Asia or you know, across Europe or whatever that were launched in and it’s important for us that customers discover us.
Rahul Sood : You know, one way we can be discovered is by getting listed on an exchange and then having the exchange talk about the usage, you know, benefits, of our token. So, they can talk about our token, they can talk about our company and then those customers can see it and they can use it on the platform.
Rahul Sood : You know, that was sort of the idea of what an airdrop should have been. You know like, an airdrop should have been something where you drop tokens in someone’s wallet. They look at it and they come see your platform. But, the way the airdrops actually work, is people get airdrop tokens and they just dump them on the open market. They don’t give a shit about the company.
Rahul Sood : We structured our token a lot differently from the standpoint that we actually have something called Platform UKG and then you know, Platform UKG turns into real UKG. What that means is, when you earn tokens on our platform, those tokens that you earn can’t just be dumped on the open market. You actually have to use it on the platform first, once. So, once you turn it over, once you place a bet, you can then take your winnings and take it off the platform if you want or you can continue to play.
Rahul Sood : Same thing with when we do an airdrop. When we do an airdrop, we’ll drop Platform UKG out to people so that they will look at our company, look at our platform, and come and use it. They’ll get you know, X amount of UKG and then they have to turn it over on the platform before they can sell it.
Nye : That’s kinda like when I go, like when I used to go to the casino. I don’t personally gamble anymore, but when I used to go to the casino and I’d sign up at a new casino, they’d give me 10 or 20 dollars in play, you know, and I could go sit at the blackjack table, I could go sit at the roulette table and I could utilize that 20 dollars to potentially flip into a real 20 dollars, but I wouldn’t be able to go take it to the cashier and cash out the 20 dollars immediately. I’d have to play with it and the couple benefits there.
Nye : The hope is obviously that 20 dollars gets me to sit at the blackjack table longer and play longer and things like that, but it’s also like a user thing. It helps increase the users in the, in whatever platform it is. Whether it’s your platform, whether it’s the casino’s. Is it kinda a similar thought pattern there?
Rahul Sood : Yeah, exactly right. That’s kinda the same thought pattern and I think you know, when it comes to exchanges where you know, say you’re in Korea and you get on Up Bit and you see UKG, it’s sorta the same idea where you know, we’ll give you UKG if you come on the platform, open an account and you know, place a bet or use it for something, whether it’s a jackpot or something like that.
Rahul Sood : That’s what discovery is all about. That’s the way everybody should think about the benefit of an exchange.
Nye : I love that. I love that. That’s a whole different mentality around exchanges than I’d even thought of before. I don’t think that anyone’s thinking of it that way. I think that most people think of it obviously as a place to go trade coins, as a place to go make more money, so yeah, thanks for sharing that. That’s really unique.
Rahul Sood : Yeah, thanks.
Nye : The main question that I want to get over into now is more of the relation between our current gambling system, whether it’s done in USD or done in crypto, like what’s the difference there? Why is there a difference and what makes it so effective to utilize crypto when I could for say, go on Pokerstars.net or whatever it is and go play some poker with entering my credit card. What’s the difference? Is it privacy? Is it fees? What’s the main attraction?
Rahul Sood : For us, it’s actually interesting. The majority of our customers like betting with crypto. They tend to like, they’ll bet bigger amounts with crypto because it’s just, you know, it’s like, it feels like coins. But more than anything else, you know people ask us all the time, if you can do fiat, why would anyone wanna bet with crypto?
Rahul Sood : Well, the reason is that they connect their, like our platform is more than just the betting company. We’re not just a casino online where you come and you place a bet. You can connect your Fortnite account, your League of Legions, your Rocket League account. Like, there’s a bunch of different games that you can connect to the platform and you earn tokens by connecting those games to the platform. What do you do with those tokens? Well, you use them on the platform.
Rahul Sood : That’s one thing. The other is we also do bonus events all the time so we’ll give somebody you know, if somebody makes a deposit, we’ll give them like a bonus bet of you know, 100% in UKG for example. So, there’s lots of ways to combine the benefits of it, but over time people find betting with UKG to be a lot more fun and engaging and it’s also the center of our ecosystem.
Rahul Sood : You know, the whole point of us turning Unicoin into Unicoin Silver and then creating Unicoin Gold was really about a number one, discoverability. So, discovering, you know having new customers discover our platform. It was about us discovering new usages or new ways for us to use you know, our platform or to develop our platform because you know, our cryptocurrency is sort of, it’s sort of out in the wild now and people are using it for different things. We get new ideas, you know, we’re soon opening a store. Like, there’s a bunch of stuff that we’re doing on our platform with our crypto and because it’s branded Unicoin Gold, it’s sorta the center of our ecosystem.
Rahul Sood : That’s the beauty of crypto and you know, blockchain is you can create you know, a branded token that can be used on a platform and that can also be used you know, anywhere else, however people want to use it.
Nye : I love that. I love that. That’s really interesting, and we see a lot of, I mean the reason that we’re actually on this call today is because I made tweet and I posted about someone who had solicited me in telegram to try and get me to talk about their gambling platform and literally, they said, will you use our gambling platform? We will rig it for you so that you win and you commented on the photo and that’s how we kinda got in this conversation.
Nye : This is rampant man. This is happening to me a lot. This isn’t the first time it’s happened here. It’s happened to a lot of my friends as well. How can people look out for these kind of things? What does someone look out for to say hey, maybe this gambling platform for crypto is a scam and maybe this one is legit. What are things that we should look out for here?
Rahul Sood : Well, I mean, you know, you should look out for their license. You know, where they get their license from. I think there’s probably two places on earth where the most legit licenses are. It’s the Isle of Man and Malta. You should look at you know, who’s behind the product, you know the team, that sort of thing, the usability of the platform and then other things like anonymity. Like, if you could just go on a platform and click I’m over 18 and just start betting, you should be really careful because you know, at any point in time, if you’re using a site like that, it can shutdown.
Rahul Sood : It can get IP blocked. The government can shut it down. You know, and that sorta goes to what I was touching on earlier, you know, with blockchain is you know, people talk about blockchain as being like there’s all these anarchists out there that talk about it as a way to just like you know, forget the man. You know, this about a decentralized type betting system or a decentralized economy, that sort of thing where there is no government.
Rahul Sood : Well, when there’s no government or there’s no sort of oversight, you end up with what we had last year, which is a total disaster. You know, there’s too many scams, you get a bunch of Bit Connects. You know, you get people losing their life savings by investing in garbage essentially and you know, it doesn’t matter what you do. Like, if you build a decentralized platform, you know, for a specific thing and you’re breaking the law, jail sucks. You know, it doesn’t mean that, even though the platform is out there in the wild, the people who created it could end up in prison. You know, there’s just so many reasons why you know, you don’t wanna do that and there’s a lot of ways to sort of figure out who’s a scam and who isn’t.
Rahul Sood : If you’re not regulated, you can rig the games, so games like roulette, and blackjack, that sort of thing, are easily riggable, and you know, I would imagine that there’s lots of sites out there that do that, you know they rig dice games and things like that and I’ve seen it happen before with skin betting. I don’t know if you know what skin betting is Nye, but there was, you know, there’s skins that, there are these virtual items that people get in video games and they actually have real world value and a couple years ago, there were these sites that would allow you to connect your gaming accounts to their platform and then start betting and effectively, what ended up happening was it was the underpinning of the largest underage gambling ring in the history of gambling and there was a bunch of 13 year old kids that were losing money you know, in excess of two billion dollars was lost and turned over in skin gambling over a couple years until it was, until [inaudible 00:37:39] finally sent out cease and desist and started to shut it down.
Nye : Damn. I had not heard about that, that’s crazy interesting. That’s wild.
Rahul Sood : Yeah.
Nye : I mean, even with what you just said there, like part of what you said is oh well, make sure that it’s not a site that just has an 18 up button that you click okay on and then you go start to gamble. I mean, not to poke at any of these exchanges, but I would say 80 to 90%, maybe a little bit less, but around a high percent of these exchanges act in that same, that exact same function ability.
Nye : I can go on Hit BTC or something like that and I can literally put in a fake name, I can approve that I’m 18 and over and I can go start trading. Is this like, a similar risk that we should be worried about with these exchanges?
Rahul Sood : In terms of what, sorry?
Nye : In terms of like, the IPs getting blocked by the US government or whoever. In terms of the possibility of exit scams. Things like that.
Rahul Sood : Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. There’s a big risk with exchanges. I mean I wouldn’t leave my money on an exchange, that’s not, you know, like a, I hate to say this, but it’s not a US based exchange because you know, in order to operate in the US, you have to be compliant within the law, you have to be working with regulators, that sort of thing and if you’re not, you know there’s a good chance that things do get shut down or you know, that the law catches up with you eventually and then you won’t have access to your wallet.
Rahul Sood : That happens in gambling and it will happen to exchanges as well. There’s not doubt.
Nye : No doubt. I mean, I think we’re starting to see it with [Cryptopia 00:39:24] and things like that over the last couple weeks, possible exit scams or whatever the hell’s going on over there.
Rahul Sood : Yep.
Nye : Yeah, man, really interesting stuff. This has been super, super interesting to discuss a little bit more about how blockchain, how crypto, how all of this stuff is gonna play a role in gambling and Esports and all of this digital entertainment that is obviously rampant already. It’s obviously only an industry that seems to be growing at the moment. So, thank you for coming on and can you share with us a little bit about where they can learn about you, Unikrn, Esports, things like that?
Rahul Sood : Yeah, absolutely. So, you can follow on Twitter, it’s @RahulSood. That’s R-A-H-U-L S-O-O-D. You can check out at www.U-N-I-K-R-N.com and you know, I recommend if you’re, if you’re in one of the states or countries that we operate in, you’ll be able to you know, open up an account and you know, place bets and that sort of thing. I recommend you connect your Fortnite account, your League of Legends, your [Doda 00:40:27] account to the platform and just try it. I mean it’s awesome.
Rahul Sood : You can start earning coins right away. You can start placing bets. You can acquire UKG if you’re outside of the US using your credit card, if not, you know, just pick some up from Bitrix and then come on the platform and just try using it.
Rahul Sood : It’s really fun and there’s a ton of new products coming out this year. You’ll just have to stay tuned and see what we have coming.
Nye : Awesome Rahul, man. Thank you so much again for coming on, dude. This has been super interesting. I learned a lot from you and I’m excited to see what you guys do.
Rahul Sood : Thanks man, I appreciate it.
Nye : No worries, and everybody, this has been Evolvement, the financial podcast, another episode with your boy Nye. We will catch you next time. Peace.