AMA with Lars Lien of Luckbox, 3/27/18

Ok guys. Ithink we are about to get started here. Hello Lars, thanks for joining! The world of cybersports is growing rapidly. And gambling on traditional sports has always been very popular. Luckbox is situated on the cross-roads of these two phenomena. Can you briefly introduce your project to us? What problems are you trying to solve and how?

Hey guys, great to be here! Hah, wow, going straight to the core! So… I think the precursor is that I’m a gamer with an entrepreneurial spirit, always have been, always will be. Having first started out my career at Sony Online Entertainment as Lead Game Master for EverQuest & Star Wars: Galaxies, I ventured into the virtual currency space back in 2004, trading game items etc, before eventually ending up at PokerStars for a number of years.

Back in 1999–2000 or so I already knew esports was going to be a big thing — at the time it was taking off for real in Korea — but it never quite materialized in the west.

Fast forward to 2014–2015, all the signs were there that esports was *finally* ripe in the west, with the audiences growing exponentially with the continuing professionalization of the industry. As mentioned, I’ve always been a gamer at heart, and knew this was the time to take my passion and mix them with all the experience I’d gained at PokerStars, to merge the worlds of esports & gambling. At the time, and this still remains true, there wasn’t really a product built for and by esports enthusiasts and it shows.

Don’t get me wrong, there are progress being made by traditional bookies such as Betway & Pinnacle to create esports products, but to me they’re just scratching the surface of what can and should be done, knowing esports enthusiasts are in many ways very different from the traditional sports crowd.

Content is consumed in a very different way. So:

Problem #1: Traditional bookies aren’t creating a suitable product for this audience.
Problem #2: Skin betting websites. Some of them have managed to unlock the code, but they are unlicensed & unregulated, with scandals left right centre.

Allowing kids to play, effectively money laundering and in some cases *literally* rigging the outcome of their casino games

So, we’ve got a situation where the people that know how to create safe & trusted betting products don’t really understand how to create a great product for the audience…. and the people who understand how to create fun product have no clue (or interest) about the gambling space.

Oh wow. That’s an in-depth answer! Thank you! So can you walk us through how does esports betting work? Will the eplayers be playing games, say League of Legends , on some other platform and you will only provide platform for betting on these games? So something similar to traditional sports betting? Will you have to pay any licensing fees to the developers of those games that your subscribers are betting on? Why do you need your own token for this? Why not use one of the existing cryptos?

Yeah, exactly — there are thousands of matches played at the professional level every year where we will allow betting opportunities. There is some indirect revenue share offered back to the tournament organizers via companies like Betradar & Betgenius who have premium access to data feeds, broadcasting right etc. These companies make a deal with organizers, create odds, etc, predominantly for traditional bookies, and we take that and apply our expertise on top to create an appealing product

We will be allowing the use of all sorts of cryptos, but when playing on the platform you’re going to need to use either fiat currencies or the platform currency Luck. There are a few reasons we’re introducing our own currency, but key is that we want to create a very community centric platform where people feel they’re part of something bigger. If you’ve got a stake in something.. where are you gonna play? What place are you gonna shill to your friends to make bets on esports?

This is also very important in the reasoning we’re in the process of a $1m Luck airdrop, with release planned around the release of the platform. Building massive hype right now is very very helpful, but such an airdrop isn’t something we’d do just in a vacuum :)

Yeah, this makes sense. I just saw the news today (posted a link above) that cybersports might be coming to the future Olympic games. This will be huge for you guys if it ever materializes!

Yeah absolutely. I was actually interviewed by ESPN Interactive on the subject a while ago.. wonder if an article materialized.. I think there are a few core questions that the IOC has to ask themselves… esports change very rapidly, a game like Dota2 is very very different now than just a year or two ago. So they need to decide:

1) is it that important to use to capture the next generation and
2) how do we need to adapt?

Because.. esports is picking up steam via a massive generational shift. Audience numbers look to exceed 500m uniques in just a couple year. (already 300m+ iirc). Right now almost everyone below the age of 35 identify as gamers.

They also need to decide whether to add esports to Winter Olympics or Summer, or both haha

Just 15 years ago, that was virtually unheard of. If you identified as a gamer you were the outcase, the geek. Now it’s becoming more and more mainstream.

I guess your biggest competitors advantage that you talk about in your WP is that you are trying to obtain licensing to make it legit. This will give you first mover’s advantage. Can you talk how this process will be going? How long will it take? What are the chances that you will obtain the needed licenses?

OK, this is a very difficult question for the same reason why questions around exchanges are difficult. Any speculation on outcome will be seen negatively by the related 3rd party. Let me try to give some background though… Lee Hills, our Director of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs have successfully completed more than 20 gaming licenses over the past 8 years, including the world’s first (and only) blockchain lottery license in a top-tier jurisdiction (quanta.im).

Archie Watt, our CFO, was Head of Egaming [Gambling] at KPMG for many years. Having to stay purely factual here, I can say the gaming inspector who is reviewing our case is meeting the gaming commission tomorrow. His agenda is to fully understand if the gaming commission has any further questions that has not been resolved in the application review between the inspectorate and our group of companies.

Got it. I appreciate that you can’t really provide too much detail here. Besides the licensing agreements what would you say makes you stand out from the competitors? BTW, who would you consider being your main rivals?

Product, product, product. I don’t feel anyone has created anything remotely close to the experience expected by the esports community.

The 3 P’s of marketing haha

Gamers expect a very different experience than traditional punters. They expect social interactions, being able to hang out with friends, do stuff together (albeit virtual/online). They expect gamification features such as achievements, quests, storylines, etc. So then you look at the traditional bookies and who’s even attempting to do this? Basically no one. The skin betting side of things is a little bit different — there used to be a lot of excitement around sites like CSGO Lounge that did skin betting on matches, but their lack of regulation eventually ensured their demise.

How hard do you think it will be for the traditional bookies to go the e-sports route? Like those giants that have a ton of resources whose ads I see on English Premier League jerseys. Feels like they can just throw a ton of money on this if they start seeing this as a huge profit potential (which it is).

They already are. Esports is one of the most important categories for Pinnacle, and Betway is sponsoring the ESL. Their products are quite decent — but very traditional and taking the same approach as when working with football punters. Issue is, gamers expect more. Can they deliver more? Sure. Will they? Unlikely. Why? Esports is not part of their DNA — it’s not their core focus area. When building the Luckbox team, the first order of business was really ensuring we staff up with esports people. The product & leadership teams really need to be in tune to create the type of products the audience actually wants. Gambling expertise is quite easy for us to acquire, naturally, given Mike & my backgrounds. :)

Ok, so let’s talk about the token a bit. You are proposing a dual-token solution. With a utility token for a start (that’s what’s being sold at the ICO) and a security-type token some time in the future? How does that work?

Sure, OK, so, LuckCash is a very standard ERC20 utiility token. We will be pushing this to reduce payment friction and allow payments in markets that are otherwise inaccessible (big problem for gamling; banks are as keen to process gambling transactions as they are cryptos…). This has tremendous benefits for the business in being able to acquirie more users and reduce the transaction costs per user. So, we’re going to give back to the users in form of increased VIP Rewards, access to special functionality etc, as well as design user journies around the concept of buying Luck. Basically creating a win/win scenario where Luckbox and its customers win by bypassing legacy systems & issues.
The second token we are *intending* to release (we can’t give promises for legal reasons; the token may never materialize), LuckProfit is going to be a full-fledged security token.

The intent is to issue LuckProfits some time after the release of the LuckCash tokens, with LuckProfit holders being entitled to a 20% net profit share. Further, the intent is tha LuckProfit may be purchased using LuckCash at a 1:1 ratio, allowing our contributors to actually be part in the success of the project.

I gotta say, your whitepaper is one of the first ones I have seen that lists a relatively detailed financial projects. Thank you for providing this!

You’re welcome :) Incredible hard exercise! Our roadmap:
https://www.luckbox.com/docs/1181/lb-roadmap.pdf

I can imagine. Especially given the recent news where most ICO projects are trying to make even their roadmaps as vague as possible. I am not even talking about financial projects :)

Crypto volatility is the only thing that worries me really, but we’ve made a decision to increase our fiat hedge right around new year, so we’ve got plenty of time for everything to rebound. I’m constantly amazed with the quality of the team we’ve put together, that makes a *huge* difference. At this point the machine would probably survive even if both Mike & I vanished overnight. Not that it’d be optimal, but a very different state of play than where we were 6 months ago. Permanently buzzed tbh having people that are better than me in almost every sense of the word :)

That’s a good problem to have ok, and I guess last question from me. I’ll step aside to see if there are other questions from other group members: What other ICO projects (not necessarily in eSports) do you like out there?

BlockV is on my radar for sure. I love the idea of cryptokitties; having a blockchain dedicated to virtual assets is a massive leap forward. The reason it hits home is how virtual assets are typically controlled by *someone*, whether that is Blizzard, Valve or others, and they can be taken away without recourse. Cryptokitties only scratched the surface, proved the use case, and I can’t wait to either create such a product or offer gambling with such assets. Friend of mine is building an esports trading card game (think: football / baseball cards) that’ll live on BlockV — so far the reports I’ve had are very good. (perhaps not an ICO, but hey..:)

Gambling on cryptokitties type of virtual assets sounds exciting 😃 ok, well looks like this might be all the questions we have. @larslien thank you very much for your time. i think it’s been very informative. Also, big kudos to @DaveChristian for connecting us. And good luck with your project!

Been a pleasure @dmitriy_perelstein 😃 Feel free to hit me up guys if you have any questions, we’ve also got a pretty active Telegram channel over here…

https://t.me/luckboxcom

Btw, more context on the market here — we’re starting to ramp up esports focused content production. https://luckbox.com/esports-news/

View Luckbox on White Rabbit here: https://www.whiterabbiticos.com/icos/luckbox-lck

@kurtybot