Virtue Poker’s foray into the online poker landscape features a brand new initiative not yet attempted in the marketplace. The primary currency of Virtue Poker is the cryptocurrency Ethereum. By combining the security of blockchain technology with the convenience of online poker, Virtue Poker’s business model relies on customer faith in a rocky marketplace.
How Does It Work?
Player security is a topic that Head of Business Development and Marketing for Virtue Poker Ryan Gittleson thinks about often. Security breaches on more notable websites led Gittleson to brainstorm ways to prevent the same from happening to Virtue Poker when it came time to build the product.
The answer for Gittleson was Smart Contracts, a form of peer-to-peer software. All items from the virtual deck to the prize pool for a tournament reside on a Smart Contract.
When a Sit-n-Go takes place on Virtue Poker, all funds that comprise the prize pool are stored on an individual Smart Contract. The Smart Contract carries an algorithm designed to know when a certain aspect of the tournament has taken place.
“A Smart Contract is a tool to reduce risk from players when they deposit online,” Gittleson explained. “Smart contracts are a short-term escrow agent. For example, in a Sit-n-Go, the contracts know when a player has won and distributes the prizes.”
The standard online poker operating procedure is to store all user information along with the tools of the site, like the prize pool, on a server. According to Gittleson, Smart Contracts are tamper-proof. Virtue Poker is unable to see cards at a given table nor can they access a player’s fund.
How Does Money Go On?
The next level in the use of a Smart Contract starts when a player first opens their Virtue Poker account. A method of storing money in a virtual bank on a server doesn’t apply to players on Virtue Poker.
A personal wallet is created when a player creates their screen name and then deposits Ethereum on the website. The wallet, similar to My Ether Wallet or another virtual balance holder, is exclusive to that player. Upon sitting down at a cash game, monies are withdrawn from the wallet and any winnings end up deposited into it. There is no pool comprised of every player’s funds from the site.
For the purposes of compliance, players cannot connect their external wallet to Virtue Poker. The site creates a new wallet for every player that signs up.
How to Bring Player’s to the Site
Gittleson is adamant that player security is one of the number-one priorities for Virtue Poker.
“The mantra is consumer protection and ensuring that the token is more a consumer good instead of a digital asset. We are a part of the industry-wide group in setting those standards,” Gittleson said.
One of Gittleson’s goals for the upcoming months is to broaden the marketing scope for Virtue Poker.
Through the use of content marketing, Gittleson hopes to attract players who may not be familiar with cryptocurrency but are wanting to experience a fair gaming environment.
“We’re trying to take these complex technologies and explain them in easy ways. The challenges we face is what’s going on under the hood is not what’s going on under the hood on other sites.”
Virtue Poker expects to put the finishing touches on animated short in the upcoming months to help relay the message of what the company is offering to customers.
When Do The Lights Turn On?
The app rolls out on desktops in May of 2018. Mobile is coming in 2019, says Gittleson. The finishing touches are being put on the website now with table layout the current focus.
Virtue Poker is also in the midst of a token sale with the goal being to raise $12.5 million and participants have certain perks waiting for them online, Gittleson mentioned.
Confidence from the customer base is what Virtue Poker strives for. When the product releases this spring, all eyes are on Virtue Poker to see if they are able to build on their already strong foundation.