What is First Blood?
First Blood is a platform that lets eSports players challenge each other to competitive games and win rewards–that is, players puts up a stake of in-platform tokens, similar to a wager. The system is made possible by smart contracts and decentralized Oracles on the Ethereum blockchain.
First Blood is not quite a betting platform: people don’t bet on the results of other people’s matches. Presumably, this runs afoul of sports betting laws, which vary by country but at in the United States restrict sports (and esports) gambling to four states. This makes First Blood different from Unikrn and Pinnacle Sports, in which people bet on the outcomes of other people’s games.
Instead, players put up a stake on their own performance–essentially challenging other players for money. Initially, they will stake in ETH or 1SŦ tokens through smart contracts that serve as escrow, but in the future, First Blood plans to include other cryptocurrencies. They can also play without staking (although some tokens will be needed to play in the first place). First Blood’s market research suggests that a third of esports fans don’t want to just watch–they want to compete.
First Blood uses two functions to combat prevalent problems in sports betting: match fixing and fraud. First, some players can serve as Witness nodes, who verify the results of a match, although they don’t need to actually watch the game, just run witness software that automatically gathers results. Witnesses for a particular match are chosen at random from a pool of possible witnesses, with the chances of selection based on how much 1SŦ s/he has allocated to a special pool (Jury Verification Pool). The system is reminiscent of delegated proof-of-stake consensus. A jury system will adjudicate if there are any disputes in results and ultimately would require human intervention.
The rewards for serving as witness nodes or on a jury will vary based on demand, similar to surge pricing in ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
[Read some of Smith+Crown’s observations here in our ICOs section]
What is the token being sold?
The token is a FirstBlood App Token (“1SŦ”), which has four major functions (rights):
- Playing matches–paying rewards and fees, although users will also be able to ETH and later other cryptocurrencies
- Being eligible to serve as a witness node and jury member (and earn commensurate rewards)
- Hosting tournaments [to create your own reward systems]
- Claiming rewards from referrals [when people you invite to the system play their first game, you get 1SŦ tokens]
To participate in the Alpha version of the platform, you need 1SŦ, but First Blood will eventually accept ETH and other cryptocurrencies.
Serving as a witness node and a jury member will pay rewards, and the chances of being selected for a particular match or dispute will depend on the total amount of 1ST you have. The fees will be in whatever currency players use to wager.
1SŦ tokens do not provide any in-game benefits or on-platform priorities. The blockchain does not create new 1SŦ tokens: on-platform activities will redistribute them. At time of writing, the team has not announced whether 1SŦ tokens will be tradeable on exchanges.
What are the terms?
The token pricing is denominated in ETH, although people with other cryptocurrencies can use a third-party conversion service available on the page.
As with many ICOs, there are bonuses based on how early you participate. The first hour of the sale will involve 170 tokens per ETH, while the last seven days will involve 100 tokens per ETH.
The total amount of tokens created will depend on how much ETH is raised. Founders will get an additional 10% of the tokens issued, and the eSports ecosystem will get 5%. They have set a cap of $5.5 million for the ICO, giving a theoretical maximum of approximately 93.5 million tokens.
Who is the team behind the project?
Bios for the team can be found at the end of the whitepaper and cover a wide array of expertises.
Joe Zhou, the Project Lead, has a background in finance and fintech, and previously co-founded Alt-Options. Marco Cuesta, Head of Business Development (and co-founder of Alt-Options) is a certified anti-money laundering specialist. Two developers (Zack Coburn and Anik Danh) have experience in smart contracts and fintech. They also have a legal counsel, Daniel Temkim. Needless to say, all are gamers.
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