The second annual GamCrowd Tech Conference took place today at London’s Hippodrome Casino, right in the heart of Leicester Square. The purpose of this event is to educate online gambling professionals on the latest disruptive technology available today and discuss how we can build them into our business plans.
Speakers ranged from online gambling professionals to digital transformation consultants to Blockchain experts and companies from outside the gambling industry. Throughout the day over a hundred attendees came through the doors to attend a series of sessions, enjoy lunch together and participate in several networking breaks.
Today’s Blockchain session featured Thomas Bertani of Orcalize, Imogen Bunyard of Zerado, Mihai Cimpoesu of DLT LAB and Matthew Warner of Chain-finance. At the start of the session moderator Hans Lombardo asked the audience to raise their hands if they were familiar with Blockchain and only a handful of hands went up. For this reason, panelists started off by providing their simplest definition of Blockchain, a “distributed decentralized ledger” as defined by Warner and why the technology has potential to change the world as we know it.
When Lombardo posed the question of what industries other than financial services is Blockchain disrupting, Warner responded with, “Its pretty much spreading to every industry that I can see. At the moment, I don’t think we really know the limits of it”.
Bertani brought up the success of Satoshi Dice, a basic and once extremely popular online gambling site powered by the Bitcoin Blockchain. Bunyard said one of the clearest use cases lies in donating humanitarian aid as using the Blockchain cuts out the third parties that take transaction fees. She added Zerado is doing a lot of work in the energy sector with electronic vehicles and peer to peer energy trading and also with health trials.
When asked how gambling operators should look at Blockchain, Cimpoesu said operators should start to experiment with it and at least try to understand it. “That’s a big, big concern. The word ‘Blockchain’ has spread like a plague, but I would bet 99% of the people don’t understand it”, he said.
Bunyard said operators must identify their pain points- is it in onboarding? Are they regulatory? Then play around and create new platforms that match your structure and strategy, she said. Panelists also discussed random number generator possibilities with Blockchain and how the need for seals from RNG testing houses would then become obsolete. Some even believe moving gambling sites onto the Blockchain will remove the need for regulators.
“The Blockchain is the regulator”, said Cimpoesu.
Today’s “Regtech” session featured Anatoly Kvitnitsky of Trulioo, Jamie Miles of Onfido, Richard Williams of Joelson and Hans Lombardo of Blockpass. Ways in which to simplify regulatory tasks at hand were discussed and Lombardo brought up how the Blockchain could be used to manage documents such as marriage certificates and property deeds. He also pointed out how the US Government is looking into Homeland Security and Blockchain.
Miles said the regulators across the world should take into account innovation in KYC. How can we use mobile phones to verify who people say they are? Lets innovate in that space, he said. Lombardo added there is now a convergence of artificial intelligence and Blockchain technologies and regulators can take advantage of that.
Marcus Wareham, formerly of Mfuse and currently a Digital Transformation Consultant, delivered a presentation on innovation strategy and provided information on the upcoming Digital Transformation Academy in Cambridge this September. Wareham explained how without failure there would be no innovation and cited a number of companies that have failed at one point or another but have learned from their mistakes and soldiered on.
“Fail fast and carry on, because if you don’t, you won’t succeed”, Wareham said.
We spoke with organizer and GamCrowd’s CEO Chris North about why events like this Tech Conference are so incredibly important for the online gambling industry. North said he believes companies that fail to track disruptive technology will be out of business in five years and traditionally online gambling companies are a bit behind on adopting the latest that’s out there, so education and awareness are both key.
For these reasons above, North and his team have created their annual Tech Conference, released a Bitcoin white paper and designed the program for Totally Gaming’s Digital Transformation Academy.