Cloudbet has been a prominent operator in the crypto iGaming, sports and esports betting space. The website was launched as an attempt to pioneer and introduce cryptocurrencies into the regular gaming and sports betting sequence and it has been a success. To consolidate its footprint, Cloudbet has been among the first to adopt stablecoins giving mainstream consumers a way to understand cryptocurrencies without necessarily venturing out into uncharted blockchain territories.
The company has been largely responsible for the successful adoption of stable coins into the mainstream and has shown a middle-ground for consumers. Cloudbet has released a number of “zero-margin” promotions to incentivize sports bettors and has added numerous tokens, including PAX and DAI most recently.
Cloudbet is often releasing turnover data that allows readers and perhaps even competitors to garner an insight into where the betting action is. In 2020, Cloudbet has posted numerous partnerships and strategic alliances. We had the opportunity to talk to the Cloudbet team and kick off 2021 with a good recap of what the company has achieved over the years and what its future plans are.
Q: Cloudbet has been in the market for over 7 years now. How has the project evolved from your standpoint over the years? Does it feel like your concept is more settled/focused now or are you still finding your place?
A: In the beginning, we began as a kind of cryptocurrency experiment, where we were members of this cryptocurrency community building things in and around crypto. Since then, we’ve obviously seen this space become more robust, more mature. There are more and more conversations, there are more companies building things, more companies monetising things.
In that time, our place in this world of cryptocurrency has become a bit clearer. Our product offering is defined: We offer casino products, we offer sports products. We’re not a political organisation, we believe in financial freedom, we believe in offering as agnostic a service as possible to people in this industry, providing them with entertainment and cool utilities for their assets.
It’s about making our offering for cryptocurrency customers more comprehensive in order that they get more choice, so they can transact more easily in whichever way they want to transact.
Q: What are the benefits of providing a product that relies on blockchain? How do cryptocurrency gamblers differ from traditional fiat currency gamblers? Why should players opt for crypto?
A: When we first started talking about the virtues of bitcoin and betting, the benefits were always so easy to describe: Ease of payment from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world – both instantly and at extremely low cost. Of course, with very few barriers, you solve a lot of payment challenges, alongside solving a lot of logistical issues for participants in this world. That remains true to this day.
Q: What are your thoughts on stablecoins especially now that you seem to be adding more of them?
A: One of the major downsides of bitcoin is price volatility. The bitcoin price moves by huge amounts within a single day. You can see bitcoin move 10% either way in one hour, so to inherently take on that level of FX risk and volatility is going to deter some customers – certainly mainstream players.
Stablecoins eliminate this challenge. You don’t have to worry about price movement or volatility of the asset that you hold, because it’s dollar-denominated, or euro-denominated. It’s backed by a currency, held in a bank account in the legacy traditional banking system. As a recreational customer, wherever you are in the world, you can transact with all the benefits of bitcoin without taking on the price volatility.
So, a stablecoin is a vehicle to unlocking the benefits of blockchain for people that don’t want to believe in the philosophy behind a coin, or perhaps don’t have the inclination to explore the evangelistic or the anarchic components of blockchain. They just want to be able to play, and play in a way that they understand that’s safe and easy – and stablecoins present a really good way to secure that peace of mind.
Q: More broadly, what informs your philosophy on which new coins to add? What new coins will you be integrating next year?
A: The main determinant as to which coins we introduce is which coins our customers request. Simply put, we want to give the users of our product what they want. That’s first and foremost. As far as future coins are concerned, there are no specifics at this point. It comes down to the largest market cap ones. Whatever our customers desire. Our technology is now at the point whereby we can go through the top 20 coins on any given day and switch them on.
Q: What markets do you feel excited about in Latin America and do you reckon the potential for blockchain betting there exceeds other markets? Brazil seems to be very close to regulating its own sports betting industry.
A: Latin America is interesting for a number of reasons and we believe in our ability to acquire customers there. After all, so many Latin American countries have payment challenges. Can you use credit cards online? How do you use betting sites online? It’s very slow, it’s very difficult and in some cases, simply not possible. Cryptocurrency solves that, so there’s a great opportunity there.
Q: Beyond South America, what other continents or countries are you actively looking to break ground in? Do you think India could be a possibility with its populous sports base?
A: We’re definitely looking at new markets, but no specifics at this point. Our considerations for a market entry is that it must have:
- Naturally high cultural propensity towards betting
- Difficulty with payments for betting
- Easy access to bitcoin, or ideally, regulated access to Bitcoin
That’s the “Holy Trinity” right there. To go one step further, we would naturally factor in product preferences – what do we have to offer a particular market, what do we need to add, and what can we easily add? Thanks to the highly-advanced status of our technology, it’s taking less and less effort to customize our product for a particular market.
Q: Esports betting was part of one of your earlier website overhauls earlier this year. What are your thoughts about this segment?
A: It was good to do it when we did – and we’ve certainly learned a lot already from it. Because there are so many events, there’s always something to bet on, with so many discrete events. As the pandemic has highlighted, that’s a source of huge utility when traditional sports get sidelined. In esports, there are maps, there are kills, and lots of other interesting bet types. For that alone reason, it was always exciting for betting communities to embrace.
It’s what younger audiences are watching, so it also provides as glimpse as to what betting might look like in 10 years’ time. That said, it’s already become a very relevant segment in its own right, and will become increasingly relevant as time goes by. We need to make sure that we’re staying in the game and planting the right seeds.
The thing to do, moving forward, is to allow esports to organically diverge from the rest of the sportsbook. We can’t continue to look at esports as a subset of sports. Esports customers need, want and expect things that are different from traditional sports customers. So, an esports product has to be deliberate and effortful by design if it is to succeed.
Q: We are close to the turn of the year; would you like to take this opportunity and outline your roadmap for 2021? Or any general teasers about what the market can expect from Cloudbet next year?
A: Speaking very broadly, for sports: We’re developing technologies that allow us to take the largest bets that anyone in the world has ever taken. We’re providing a platform for a customer to not need to go anywhere else for the bets that they want. If you want larger bets, you can have it with us. You want better pricing, you can have it with us. If you want niche markets, you can have it with us. That’s especially relevant for the VIP customer. If you bet any substantial amount of money on sports, then you should do it with us and never have good reason to go elsewhere.
For casino, we’re working on a huge expansion and improvement in the casino product in the way that we reward customers, so that they will never have any reason to play anywhere else.