Azuro Closes $4m Funding Round to Build Decentralized Betting Protocol

Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol, announced on Monday that it has raised $4 million in a funding round contributed by participants, including Hypersphere, Gnosis, Merit Circle, SevenX, and Quiet Capital.

Azuro, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) building a protocol for blockchain-based betting, aims to disrupt traditional online betting with a  more transparent decentralized alternative.

Traditional betting firms go to great lengths to make betting unfair and opaque, Rossen Yordanov, a core contributor to Azuro project, said in a statement. “The problem is incentive misalignment. Profits are zero-sum, so many betting companies go to great lengths to create unfair and opaque environments for the players,” he stated.

The key mission of the Azuro project is to replace traditional centralized online betting exchanges such as Bet365, 1xBet, 22Bet, MarathonBet, BetWinner, 888sport, Betsson, sportsbooks, and others, which are often seen as predatory and profit-motivated.

In this way, Azuro is working to disrupt the $200 billion betting industry through blockchain smart contracts and web3 technologies to bring full transparency to the sector and increase liquidity in betting markets.

In the recent past, Azuro launched its mainnet on Gnosis Chain. The fund raised will be used to expand it to more blockchains, with Polygon its main target currently, as well as create a non-fungible token (NFT) bets marketplace and add further betting markets, the company said.

Hypersphere co-founder Jack Platts explained why they backed Azuro in the funding raise: “Betting markets are one of the few applications where crypto was always supposed to shine. So far though, none have been able to crack the nut of bootstrapping liquidity for popular betting disciplines. We believe Azuro’s team can finally make that promise true.”

Azuro leverages prediction markets, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), DAO governance, and liquidity pools on its backend to minimize costs associated with the betting process for users.

The latest funding brings Azuro’s total fundraising to $7.5 million. In January, Investors, including AllianceDAO, Arrington Capital, Ethereal Ventures and Delphi Digital led fundraising of $3.5 million for the project.

Decentralized Sports Betting on Blockchain

Betting is a common practice across a broad range of a variety of fields, including the sports industry, casinos, and others. The latest development by Azuro shows the entry of decentralized sports betting platforms is beginning to revolutionize the way people place bets.

Decentralized sports betting is a new type of betting mechanism that is set to revamp how traditional centralized online betting sites operate. Run by profit-oriented individuals, conventional sportsbooks and betting apps are known for charging high fees and taking advantage of users.  

Decentralized betting platforms are built on an open-source approach that incorporates blockchain technology. Furthermore, decentralized web 3.0 sports betting services normally don’t have actual business people who run the platform as there is no central authority in charge. In the platform, all users actively participate and decide whether or not to wager against the person who launched the market.

Lastly, decentralized sports betting platforms do not levy exorbitant fees and are regarded as safe because all data is stored on the blockchain, providing another layer of transparency.

Image source: Shutterstock


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DraftKings Marketplace plans to launch gamified NFT collection next NFL season

The Nation Football League Players Association, or NFLPA, in collaboration with sports betting operator DraftKings Inc., announced the launch of a gamified nonfungible token, or NFT, collection to drop on DraftKings Marketplace during the 2022-2023 NFL season. Starting next year, fans will be able to play NFT-based games featuring their favorite NFL Players, according to the company.

OneTeam, the official media business partner of the NFLPA, helped facilitate the deal with DraftKings, giving them the necessary licensing rights to use the name, image and likeness for active NFL players.

In a statement shared on the Draftkings website, Beth Beiriger, SVP of product operations for DraftKings Marketplace said, “The future of fandom is unfolding in front of us, and few organizations beyond DraftKings are as equipped to capitalize on the increasing intersection between sports and NFTs that will be cornerstones of engagement and entertainment within Web3.”

The Draftkings Marketplace went live this past August with its inaugural Tom Brady NFT collection in partnership with the NFT platform co-founded by Brady himself called Autograph. Besides NFTs, Brady further displayed his backing of crypto by giving a fan 1 BTC for his 600th touchdown pass.

Related: Rams player Odell Beckham Jr. will accept NFL salary in Bitcoin

The announcement suggested that DraftKings’ upcoming NFTs will enable customers to buy and sell collectibles via the Polygon network, and use them within games against other players. The goal of the DraftKings’ NFT experience is to “create authentic connections for avid fans,” according to Sean C. Sansiveri, General Counsel and Head of Business Affairs at NFL Players Inc., the marketing and licensing arm of the NFLPA.

Related: Pro sports leagues are no longer resisting NFTs: Dapper Labs

Last month the NFL also entered a collaboration with Ticketmaster to tie NFT collectibles to select game tickets when purchased, emphasizing the pro sports league’s broad adoption of blockchain technology.