Bitnplay changes the landscape of playing Bitcoin poker. It highlights security and speed, and it ensures complete trust among its customers by allowing them to bet directly from their wallets. A number of Bitcoin casino sites have already adopted this system, but Bitnplay becomes the first poker room to use it.
Cofounder Andreas Anastasiades shared how it maximizes the features of Bitcoin and how he hopes Bitnplay will take on the role of proving the power of the Bitcoin technology.
Every Bitcoin enthusiast has gone through a journey– what led you to be interested in Bitcoin and come to believe that it is something that you would devote much of your time to?
I was reading a piece about the “dark web” in late 2011 and the most interesting part of it for me was Bitcoin. Later on in my postgrad studies at University College London, I wrote a thesis which included the potential role of Bitcoin in iGaming, and online poker in particular. Consequently, I conducted a feasibility study on a company I named Bitnplay and as soon as University was done, started working on it.
How long did it take you to launch this gambling website?
At first we (my former colleague and I) started working on Bitnplay part-time: researching, designing, gathering feedback, raising money. By May 2014 however, we had a team of software developers working full-time.
What can you say is the best thing about Bitnplay? What are the advantages of operating it?
In short, our competitive advantage is that we use Bitcoin as more than just a payment method: we eliminate the concept of deposits and withdrawals to separate the financial and gaming aspects of poker. Thus, we reduce our liability towards our customers, and their trust towards us. More than that, we use online verification methods to restrict underage gambling and abuse from multiple accounts. We offer a gaming environment with more integrity than any other Bitcoin poker room. (Unbounded anonymity may work fine for some games, but poker is not one of them).
We’ve also just launched a crowd-sale for Bitnplay that is also unique in its offering.
What has been the most surprising challenge in your project?
Every time you make a plan and see it through within a business it’s worth feeling accomplishment. It’s worth it because more often than not you’ll find bumps in the road. So far we are happy with the results and we will always try to under-promise and over-deliver.
When it comes to the core of your business, what do you consider the most revolutionary?
We don’t think of Bitcoin as just a payment method. New technology is essentially any new way of doing things, and we think Bitcoin, the blockchain in particular, is a great example of that. That’s why we don’t hold deposit accounts for users.
Bitcoin is fast electronic money, with no chargebacks, which was one of the biggest risks for operators to allow instant withdrawals. Supporting technology and innovation is needed to restrict collusion but also other forms of abuse, like double spend attacks. But one can prohibit users from multi-accounting, as we have done with Veridu. That means they can be banned, which allows for the situation to be controlled.
But what do you think Bitcoin needs to become a more prominent and reliable form of payment?
Informative campaigns to attract interest from professionals from different industries across the globe. We also need solutions that focus on security and user-experience.
You mentioned security. How secure is Bitnplay’s platform?
We’ve done a lot of work to be able to boast a most secure solution, both through design and implementation. In terms of the game of poker, we have put in place the best measures of preventing multi-account abuse and collusion. You should feel safer than in any other Bitcoin poker alternative.
Technically as already mentioned, everyone keeps their own bankrolls in their own wallets and we only process the coins being played at any given time. Our software and servers are highly secured but it’s best not to give away technical details.
Going to the regulation of cryptocurrency and the legal side of online gambling, what are you views?
We have designed our technology in a manner that largely reduces third-party risk, money laundering, underage gambling and cheating. Instead of seeking regulation suited for a financial institution we eliminate the need for it. Regulation of payments becomes autonomous and transparent. Knowing your customer becomes a more modern and powerful process.
Geographically, who will be included and excluded from playing at Bitnplay will be the result of our on-going jurisprudence – and may be subject to change. However, we are worried about the pace and willingness with which regulators would adapt to such emerging technologies. Perhaps vested interests would play a condemning role for too long. We hope that Bitnplay can prove by example the superiority that technology can provide.
Bitnplay doesn’t support altcoins, but do you think it is hypocritical when Bitcoin supporters who are critical of banks are also critical of altcoins? What do you think of the relationship between Bitcoin and altcoins?
There is room for banks, Bitcoins and Altcoins in today’s society and for generations to come. Any discussion as to which is “better” and what will prevail is very philosophical and speculative since a lot can change and improve for all of these financial instruments.
Do you have a Bitcoin price prediction?
No. It doesn’t matter. I think we should surpass the speculator phase – Bitcoin can be adopted by main-stream users for instances where it truly useful.
Finally, for those who don’t get Bitcoin, do you have any suggestions? And anything more that you wanted to add?
Read as much as you can and get informed before you get involved. However, sure enough, if one does read enough they will want to get involved at some point.
Thank you for your time, Andreas. It’s a real pleasure.