There’s a new player in the online poker world and it happens belong to an office located in Brooklyn, NY. Virtue Poker is preparing for its formal launch in May as an online poker site based solely in the cryptocurrency space. Started by parent company ConsenSys in 2015, Virtue Poker relies on the Ethereum blockchain for transactions between players and the host. There is no server holding monies for players, only a wallet that a player opens when they create their account.
As Head of Business Development and Marketing for Virtue Poker Ryan Gittleson puts it, the software is “immutable, transparent and tamper-proof.”
With years of research and development sitting behind it, Virtue Poker is ready to move forward into the official online poker marketplace. The company’s modest beginning played a role in where it is today.
ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin is a huge believer in blockchain technology. So much so, that Lubin is credited with being a co-founder of Ethereum. The net worth of at least $1 billion owned by Lubin is distributed across the 47 start-ups owned by the ConsenSys incubator. Virtue Poker is one of those start-ups.
A full operation in its own right, ConsenSys has 750 employees of its own with 100 of them based in New York City. Many of the projects ConsenSys incubates work side-by-side in one of the six offices the company has spread from New York to Bucharest to Dubai.
According to Gittleson, ConsenSys helped to develop the prototype and business model for Virtue Poker along with initial funding. Virtue Poker has 17 employees spread out across the globe.
The Key People
Gittleson credits a multitude of folks for getting Virtue Poker to where it is today. 2017 was the year for Virtue Poker to add more poker-related members to their team. There are currently 12 project managers and developers on staff. Virtue Poker hired former members of the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker teams to assist with creating a quality client-facing product.
The product created by developers have put in front of the three brand ambassadors for Virtue Poker. All three in the top-10 all-time in career tournament earnings and are led by Brian Rast. Soon after Rast signed on, Dan Colman reached out to Virtue Poker and was soon on the roster.
The last get was the hardest and that is to be expected from Phil Ivey. Gittleson flew to Hong Kong in the middle of 2017 and spent a week with Ivey to coax him into joining the mission. The paperwork was signed and Ivey jumped onboard with his latest endeavor as an ambassador.
Gittleson sends all three players a blueprint and beta version of designs for Virtue Poker and engages in feedback before making a final decision.
The Brooklyn Project
ConsenSys is harnessing their New York energy in the form of the Brooklyn Project. Virtue Poker’s goal is to provide the best consumer protection in online poker and the Brooklyn Project allows for this to happen.
The idea behind the Brooklyn Project is a base for setting the guidelines for the best in consumer protection within the token economy.
Gittleson says the goal behind the project is for all ConsenSys’ users to have the utmost knowledge of the projects they are engaged with. Details like wallets, reading the Whitepaper, and understanding the token transfer process are part of what allows the Brooklyn Project to thrive in shielding their customers.
An informed customer can make good decisions to protect themselves, is the general reasoning from ConsenSys.
What Does This Equal
The mantra behind Virtue Poker is they are the same body as every other online poker company but what’s under the hood is what separates them. In Part II of the Virtue Poker series, learn about how the company is planning to change the game with their groundbreaking use of blockchain technology.