BEPRO Network Q&A: Justin Wu on Recent Rebrand & More
For this Q&A interview, Gambling.com sat down with Justin Wu, Co-Founder & COO of BEPRO Network to discuss the company’s recent rebrand, the BEPRO token economy and why he thinks crypto and blockchain will play an important part in iGaming’s future.
Gambling.com Q&A With Justin Wu, Co-Founder & COO of BEPRO Network
Gambling.com (GDC): Hi Justin, thanks for joining us! First of all, tell us a little bit about BEPRO Network and the work that you do in the iGaming space.
Justin Wu (JW): BEPRO Network started as BetProtocol back in late 2017. We recently rebranded to BEPRO Network to move away from being a software house/SaaS for betting companies, and towards being a Codebase for gaming and blockchain based applications.
GDC: What made the company decide to rebrand from BetProtocol to BEPRO Network?
JW: We felt that the software house and SaaS model wasn’t scalable enough for us. Although our turnkey solution was making money and we had success getting live clients with it, we began to see our costs ballooning with the amount of customers we had. That’s not how software should work. It’s far more scalable and efficient to offer a codebase that clients then rent access and support for. We started with a lean startup mindset, and that’s something that is in our DNA.
Instead of taking on more and more costs and administrative and compliance burdens, we wanted to put out more and more useful code. At the same time, major opportunities are untapped in the blockchain industry as it concerns iGaming, and we wanted to address that. There is no better place to start for iGaming professionals wanting to enter the blockchain market than BEPRO Network.
GDC: How big is your current operation?
JW: BEPRO Network is a full remote company, and we will stay like that for the foreseeable future. We really adopted the full-remote mindset from the beginning, and it has paid dividends, especially with the current pandemic. Having said that, we are a relatively small team compared to most B2B SaaS/CaaS companies. Our strength lies in leveraging geographical distribution to cover most time zones, and having highly autonomous people working for us towards accomplishing the same vision. We are always hiring good people in technology and product development so get in touch.
GDC: Do you have plans for expansion?
JW: Definitely. The market BEPRO Network operates in is primarily the blockchain space, which by its nature is global. Crypto as a payment rail transcends national barriers and offers a big upgrade to users in terms of speed of settlement and privacy.
This means we are able to offer our code as a service to almost anywhere in the world. Our expansion is not only geographic, but also across industries. We want to build bridges to traditional iGaming by offering them a fast and relatively affordable way to get into the blockchain space.
GDC: What are the main benefits for a brand setting up an online betting/casino site with BEPRO Network?
JW: I would say speed and flexibility. Our Codebase was built in a way where you as a developer can mix and match different features according to your needs. Most platforms can be up and running in less than a month. Additionally, we have DeFi features for our crypto platforms that allow for incentive mechanisms to be built in directly onto the platform.
Imagine being able to actually tokenize loyalty points and make them tradable, or to offer your players badges for achievements that are provably unique through cryptography. The real fun starts when you realise how all these features together can create a snowball effect that really sets a platform apart from others.
GDC: Right now you offer eSports and Casino platforms for your clients. Are new products in the works, and if yes, when should they be expected?
JW: Yes, we have just recently launched for example our On-Chain staking product. What that does is it allows companies with their own cryptocurrencies to offer APR rewards to their token holders. This is an example of a DeFi product that can be built into an iGaming platform with its own token.
Other gaming genres are coming out soon, but I can’t reveal any more info on that front just yet!
GDC: What is the BEPRO token and how exactly do your clients utilize it?
JW: The BEPRO Token is used to gain access to the BEPRO Network and Codebase. Our customers acquire and stake BEPRO (staking is when you lock tokens inside a smart contract, and earn APR returns on your tokens). Once they stake they can come to us for an API key and they will have access to our network, as well as technical support. On a monthly basis we will charge subscription fees also in BEPRO.
BEPRO is quite easy to acquire since it is trading on public exchanges and on Uniswap.
GDC: Tell us some more about the BEPRO token economy.
JW: For our clients it is quite cheap to access our codebase and network, in fact it’s almost “free” in a sense because the tokens that they stake to gain access to the network stay in their custody. Only a portion of the monthly BEPRO fee gets sent to us as payment, the rest gets added to their stake.
Therefore it’s like an impermanent loss: our customers have to spend money to acquire our token to use our tech, but these tokens are still theirs. If for whatever reason they want to leave the network they can always unstake their tokens and sell them back for cash.
We wanted to build in big network effects for our token, so that as more and more customers come to use our codebase the more BEPRO is staked and spent.
GDC: What role do you see blockchain playing in the future of online gaming?
JW: I’m going to be a bit bold here, and say that blockchain is the future of online gaming. The demographics all point to it. Today’s Millennials are more and more interested in crypto, distrustful of banks, and really dig the independence of cryptos. As a funding method, it clearly beats many payment processors in the industry that charge massive fees.
Esports betting is on the rise, and the Esports demographic is exactly the same as the crypto and blockchain demographic.
Millennials are interested in a new form of online gaming that includes value adds like gamification, tokenization of assets that can then be wagered, and earning yield by actually providing liquidity for others to use. Current online gaming platforms can’t provide all these things, but if you build one on blockchain you can have all these features and more. BEPRO Network has the codebase that allows you to do just that.
GDC: Tell us about the potential application of the BEPRO Network codebase for decentralised apps outside of online betting.
JW: We’ve created a lot of tech around the Decentralised Finance (DeFi) movement in blockchain. If you haven’t heard of DeFi yet, it’s a brand new form of finance that’s disrupting traditional finance. How DeFi can be applied to online gaming is in a few ways: making loyalty programs more robust and liquid, incentivising others to provide liquidity to your online gaming business, and creating strong network effects around your brand by having a bespoke cryptocurrency that is tradable on public exchanges.
Current loyalty programs are basically just numbers on an internal spreadsheet. But with blockchain you can make loyalty points tradable and liquid by making them into bespoke cryptos. You can also make certain unique tokens that function as a limited edition VIP badge of sorts, that can also have market value.
One of the key breakthroughs in DeFi was enabling others to lend money with strong guarantees of security, low counterparty risk, and high yield. By offering a return via platform fees for providing liquidity, operators can source liquidity from the crowd and reduce their own overhead.
Basically BEPRO Network can provide a bunch of blockchain innovations that can augment an existing gaming application, or create a new one entirely just by using our codebase.
GDC: You’ll be releasing your first showcase product on BEPRO Network in Q1 of this year. Can we get a hint as to what that may be?
JW: I can’t give specific details just yet, since the launch of the project is imminent. I can however say that it’ll be powered by the whole host of DeFi innovations we have built into online gaming platforms. I’ll really be a showcase for how much DeFi can turbo-charge online gaming.
GDC: What are BEPRO Network’s main objectives for 2021?
JW: Long term, we want to become the most useful codebase for online gaming and DeFi. In 2021 we will release showcases of our technology so that the market can test them, and build their own projects.
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