Contxto – Fantasy sports meets blockchain with Argentine startup, TradeStars. Its founders wanted to build on the changing regulatory landscape of sports betting. As a result, they developed a platform that uses Ethereum blockchain so users can trade digital assets, in the form of tokens, of their favorite players.
Based on the player’s performance as well as overall demand within the platform, the value of these tokens can go up or down. Much like how a company’s stock on Nasdaq rises or falls based on news and market demand.
Savvy sports fans can reportedly make a profit because as the value of their tokens rises on TradeStars, they can exchange it for the cryptocurrency, Ether. Just the same, tokens are bought using it.
No, it’s not Quidditch.
Fantasy sports is an internet-based alternative to betting on real-life sporting events. The latter, at least according to some governments, is based on chance.
Whereas in fantasy sports, a person uses their knowledge of the players and sport to build a virtual team. Friends and fans can then pit their virtual teams against each other. And the system uses real-game statistics to determine who wins.
So for example, I could have my virtual team comprised of various soccer players like Lionel Messi, Marcelo Vieira, and Claudio Bravo who in reality are in opposing teams. But in the virtual one, are together, and face off against other mishmashed teams.
However, TradeStars adds a new twist to this.
TradeStars and blockchain
Rather than building a virtual team of players and pitting it against another person’s, the player’s performance is represented in the form of a token. The value of one of these tokens goes up or down based on the player’s real-life performance and the market’s demand for that token in particular.
Players can rest assured their Ether is safe as all dealings are locked in a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain platform.
The public version of this “sporting stock exchange” was launched in January of last year. And it reportedly has around 7,000 users.
Meanwhile, TradeStars charges users a 2.5 transaction fee whenever a person buys tokens to play.
Needless to say, the largest challenges startups with this type of product face are two. The first is creating a large-enough user base for the supply and demand dynamic to work.
And second, clarifying the role of the blockchain-component in all of this.