Solana-based BetDex raised $21m in funding round, as FTX targets iGaming

Speculation is mounting that FTX is planning a big move into crypto sports betting as iGaming focus deepens

BetDex – a blockchain-based sports betting platform – recently raised $21m in a funding round led by top crypto exchange FTX, in partnership with Paradigm.

This isn’t FTX’s first foray into the world of sports iGaming, and now speculation is mounting about the potential of FTX itself entering the sports betting space.

Back in 2020, Sam Bankman-Fried – FTX’s CEO and the world’s youngest billionaire – launched his first venture in iGaming prediction markets with a unique offering for bets to be placed in the 2020 Presidential Election.

The ‘2020 Election Markets’ saw candidates entered as thousands of contracts (with tickers such as TRUMP and BIDEN) that could be traded on the FTX platform relative to the market’s perception of their chance of winning.

In a blog post ‘SBF’, as he is commonly known, outlined how this new system would afford unprecedented liquidity and lower fees than traditional prediction markets – all of which offers us a glimpse into the mind at the top; and the future to come.

“FTX presents election markets similarly to general financial markets: an orderbook with a price, sizes, and trade histories,” explained the CEO.

“Another issue is fees. ‘Predictit’ – the most popular US prediction market – charges 10% of all winnings, along with 5% of all withdrawals… that’s over 10 times as high as FTX’s fees!

“Then there’s liquidity – FTX is generally known for its liquidity and the election markets are no different. You can buy or sell roughly 80,000 TRUMP contracts within $0.02 of the market right now… Predictit, in fact, limits you to just 800 contracts per market! FTX has no limit.

“Finally, there’s volume. Betfair has traded roughly 16m since inception; FTX has traded roughly 4m in the last week!”

All of this began speculation that FTX was working on big plans to get into the sports prediction markets game.

2021 has seen FTX aggressively pursue sports

Back in August, FTX launched its very own dedicated sports NFT platform – and this was quickly followed by a sponsorship deal with the Mercedes F1 team, a partnership to support Chilliz fan tokens and the renaming of the Miami Heat’s stadium as the FTX Arena in September.

By October, NFL fans worldwide were sat in their homes watching FTX adverts at prime time in the Super Bowl – and the month ended with FTX delivering a whopping $420m Series B-1 funding round that raised SBF’s exchange to a $25bn total valuation.

All of this has led to incredible amounts of rumour on twitter, with the BetDex funding round pouring more fuel on the fire of speculators.

Former Poker Pro Alex Wice suggested that we may well see the introduction of extremely attractive leverage betting opportunities as part of a competitive FTX sports betting offering.

 

Read more: Watford FC partner with crypto casino

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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