Blockchain-based Monaco Protocol has been announced, with the project described as “the world’s first decentralized sports betting protocol." It is now live on the Solana devnet and available for developers to build complementary products and tools.
Built on Solana, it is set to offer bettors “fast, low-cost trades across a shared liquidity pool," according to an announcement. The protocol, which will be fully decentralized, open-sourced, and permissionless, allows third parties to build their own applications and innovate on top of the platform.
The BetDEX Exchange, one of the key contributors to the protocol, is the first sports betting application built on top of it, the company said. Hundreds have been lining up wagers on soccer as part of beta testing and more than 80,000 are on the waiting list, according to BetDEX.
Traditional sports betting, which BetDEX says was worth $250 billion in 2021, is plagued by poor user experience and high fees ranging from 5% to 40%, BetDEX CEO Varun Sudhakar told Blockworks. BetDEX fees will be no more than 1%, he added, declining to detail specifics. Other problems detected by the company include counterparty risk and corresponding withdrawal issues, such as delays in cashing out, which the new solution would help solve.
The BetDEX Exchange currently supports sports wagers on soccer and plans to introduce additional sports in the near future. Additionally, community members from the popular Solana project Samoyedcoin are set to build Samoyedcoin-themed prediction markets for crypto-related events and markets on the Monaco Protocol.
Sudhakar added: "We believe the future of sports betting is decentralized in nature, and the Monaco Protocol and BetDEX Exchange puts us at the forefront of that industry advancement. We have a world-class team with deep industry expertise and we're squarely focused on securing the necessary gaming licenses this year while delivering a superior sports betting experience against an outdated status quo."
The Samoyedcoin Project Lead commented: "The Monaco Protocol is a powerful standard for decentralized prediction markets, and we're thrilled to have community members build on and contribute to the Protocol."
Founded by former FanDuel executives, including former CEO Nigel Eccles who serves as the company's chairman, BetDEX secured a $21 million seed funding round in November 2021 led by crypto investment firm Paradigm and cryptocurrency exchange FTX.
With a remote-first model, the company is headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland, where BetDEX is "growing its engineering, product, and design team," and has a US office in New York. BetDEX is pursuing multiple licenses worldwide, with the company initially targeting jurisdictions in international markets at launch, according to a press release.
In addition to Sudhakar and Eccles, BetDEX has recently hired industry experts for multiple executive-level positions, including Aidan Maughan (BoyleSports, Head of Product) as Product Director, Eoin Murphy (FanDuel, Head of Sportsbook Technology) as Principal Software Engineer, and Kevin Kreuser (Twilio, Managing Counsel) as Legal Director. "BetDEX continues to attract industry-leading talent to its rapidly growing team and plans to expand its headcount in the coming months," the company added.
Stuart Tonner, CTO and Co-Founder of BetDEX, concluded: "Sports betting is going to be revolutionized by blockchain technology, and we are firmly ahead of the curve. We already have a great team in place that continues to rapidly grow and have a series of exciting product milestones on the horizon before the end of the year."