BSV Blockchain for Enterprise
Case Study – BitBoss on the BSV blockchain
In an industry facing problems of trust, an innovative American business based in Denver, Colorado is utilising the power of the BSV blockchain to connect real-world and online casinos, while facilitating fair and verifiable iGaming.
With more than a decade spent advising, building and running gaming companies, Matt Dickson knows a thing or two about the industry – the good, the bad, the ugly. But with his newest venture, BitBoss – of which he is a co-founder and CEO – Dickson is hoping to remove the bad and the ugly which the industry is all too frequently associated with, by harnessing the power of blockchain technology.
‘We think that the BSV blockchain is ideal for eliminating a lot of these central points of failure,’ he explains.
‘What it is that we’re really trying to do is to tie the physical world – the casino world – to the online world.’
BitBoss has released a portfolio of products for iGaming, which collectively work to transition all money and game actions for both real-world and online casinos onto the public BSV blockchain.
‘We’ve designed a hardware product that gets inserted into slot machines. It’s roughly $100 USD right now, so it’s very inexpensive. It runs Linux, we insert it into a slot machine, and it intercepts the communications going back and forth between the slot machine and the backend server that runs a casino,’ says Dickson.
‘There are 10 million slot machines in the world and they all run on a common protocol. We can easily route cryptocurrencies on and off slots, mainly in the form of tokens, which is just a replacement for a casino chip or credit slip.’
This hardware solution, known as Bridge Link, allows players to seamlessly move their tokens from a slot machine to their smartphone via the BSV blockchain, with funds stored securely as a digital currency. This currency is secured by the underlying security and of the BSV blockchain, which allows players to be secure in the knowledge that they exercise completely sovereignty over their money.
‘Our genuine hope is that someday, a casino gambler sits down, uses our technology and has no idea that blockchain was behind it,’ says Dickson.
Bridge Link is purposely designed to be backend-agnostic, which means any casino can use it. It is also interoperable with other casinos that have the same solution installed, meaning credits can easily be shared across platforms.
Dickson used bars, restaurants and gift shops as examples of how Bridge Link could be deployed in a real-world setting, but transitioning players between physical and digital gaming is where BitBoss’ innovations truly shine.
‘It’s very expensive in this day and age to get clients online, it can cost anywhere from $400-$800 per customer to attract an online client,’ explains Dickson.
‘We think that physical casinos, with all of the millions of visitors they have, are missing the boat if they’re not slowly walking their players onto the blockchain.’
Blurring the lines between real-world casinos and iGaming, BitBoss enables players to use the same tokens they played with at the casino for digital games – either online or through mobile apps built on the BSV blockchain.
‘We have a mobile ecosystem – we develop lottery games, roulette games, poker games, and we have slot machines coming – with all of these integrated very tightly into the crypto wallet’ says Dickson.
‘We think that the crypto wallet is going to start to replace messaging apps and things like that in the future. As people start to see crypto more as a day-to-day payment mechanism, replacing cash or credit cards, you’re going to want to have your casino platform tightly integrated into that crypto wallet.’
BitBoss has made significant inroads in deploying this technology and has made its gaming platform available on the DotWallet app centre through several white label casino partners. DotWallet is a popular cryptocurrency wallet with more than 1 million users and a variety of linked blockchain-based applications.
Provably fair and secure
The concept of verifiably fair gaming is central to the value proposition posited by Dickson and BitBoss for their iGaming products. This ensures that all games are played within the rules specified, with no opportunity for operators to change the parameters or results after a bet has been made – an issue all too frequently encountered by players.
‘There are a lot of online casinos out there that seek to cheat people. They may not do it 100% of the time, but they may clip an extra 1 or 2 percent for themselves,’ says Dickson.
‘Anytime that a player loses, in their mind, they think to themselves “did I get screwed here?” and in a lot of cases, they did!’
These rogue operators have a marked impact on the reputation of the rest of the online gaming industry, who, in the absence of being able to verify the integrity of their games in an open and digestible manner, are tarnished by the same broad strokes. To counter this, BitBoss use the unique capabilities of the BSV blockchain to enable a system that is provably fair, allowing players to be mathematically certain that the results of the game were fair and were not changed in any way.
‘When a player initiates a gaming session, they send a dust transaction to the casino that says that they would like to initiate a provably fair gaming session. At that point, the casino creates an extended public key, which they send in a transaction back to the gambler,’ Dickson explains.
A dust transaction comprises a transaction on the BSV blockchain which contains a trace amount of currency. These are typically used to trigger smart contracts or write links between addresses to the blockchain.
‘The gambler then takes the extended public key and creates their own public key. This is included in the OP_RETURN and sent along with their bet amount and what they’d like to bet on. The casino then takes the public key and creates the private key, which is then used as the seed for the pseudo-random number generator.’
The term ‘OP_RETURN’ refers to a field in BSV blockchain transactions which contains data to be written to the blockchain. It is used for everything from writing data to the blockchain to implementing and interacting with BSV smart contracts.
When the casino sends the results back on the blockchain to the player, the player has the result in the private key. The player then has the ability to use their own private key, as well as the public key, to determine whether the correct private key was used as a seed for the result. The process ensures with mathematical certainty that the game and its result were provably fair.
‘With the blockchain, all of the transactions are visible for the entire world to see. All of the transactions, once they are on the chain, can never be changed,’ says Dickson.
‘As a player, if you have a dispute or question about your transactions, you don’t need to call your casino anymore. You can match up the transaction ID in your crypto wallet with a transaction ID on a block explorer, so you can see if your bet made it in time or not. You can see if you bet was $20 or $30. It’s a great way to start to move clients in the direction of blockchain because it helps give them more visibility into what’s actually happening.’
An added benefit of the blockchain-based provably fair system that BitBoss have developed is that it prevents attempts by players to double spend.
‘Because we take the outputs from the bettor’s transaction when they make their bet, we use those for the input when we pay them back,’ explains Dickson.
‘If they try to double-spend us, our payback to them becomes invalid – so they can choose: do they want to double spend and just end up in a zero-sum game, or do they want to potentially win what they’re trying to win?’
The truly exciting nature of this solution is that much of the security and verifiability functions as an extension of the BSV blockchain’s native capabilities – the digital ledger itself solves the problem of double-spending and provides both casinos and players with peace of mind when it comes to fairness and operational consistency.
Betting on BSV
Underpinning BitBoss and their array of iGaming products is the BSV blockchain, which surpasses all other blockchain solutions in its ability to process large transactions quickly while remaining secure and offering unbounded scaling.
‘What we have with BSV is a very secure blockchain that we can use for real money gambling, where block times don’t matter, double spends don’t matter, we have super-low transaction costs, we have scalability, we have proof-of-work and we have patent protection,’ says Dickson.
‘There’s a lot of blockchains out there that have spent a lot of time getting rid of proof-of-work so that they could get block times down. But as they bring those block times down, they bring security down.’
Security is of paramount importance for those in iGaming, with sites built off-chain using a traditional, centralised server-architecture, a frequent target for hackers. Likewise, says Dickson, real-world casinos are hypervigilant to security threats – both internal and external.
‘Casinos are constantly worried about security, they’re constantly worried about people walking out the door with chips or employees stealing,’ he explains.
‘Security is one of our main focuses. The integrity of the money system in a casino is huge, and now all of a sudden, we’re saying that every single transaction that goes through the casino has security built in by default.’
BitBoss utilises the unique capabilities of the BSV blockchain to make their offering more secure. Threshold signatures – an advanced security technique which allows for several parties to hold split pieces of a single private cryptographic key – are a key element to this. They enable multiple parties to sign together to authorise the sending of digital currency, as opposed to today’s more commonly used multi-signature schemes where different parties secure separate private keys which are collectively required.
What this means is that no single point of failure exists for threshold signature schemes, regardless of how many parties are required to sign to authorise the sending of digital tokens.
‘What secure split key or threshold signatures allows us to do, is in a very secure way have multiple parties come together to create that allocation,’ Dickson explains.
‘Multiple parties, the CEO, the CFO, whoever it may be, can come together and generate a private key that never actually exists anywhere.’
In a threshold situation, the whole private key never exists; each signing party joins to create the necessary ‘split’ components for a single signature. A subset of these parties can also come together to recreate the key in the instance that slices are lost.
‘We needed a method where casinos could backup their customer wallets,’ says Dickson.
‘We use secure split key or threshold signatures as a replacement for multisig. It’s patented on BSV and it’s only going to be available on BSV.’
Another advantage is privacy; transactions created from a threshold signature scheme are indistinguishable from any other transactions on the blockchain, which shows a single public key is used to sign the transaction. By way of example, you cannot see that two of three key slices were used by different ‘signers’ to create a single threshold signature or which individual ‘signers’ contributed those slices. In contrast, with multi-signature transactions, the blockchain will record the 2 (of 3) separate public keys used to sign the transaction.
Additionally, parties for a threshold signature can be easily (and more privately) removed or added via a process to create the threshold scheme, as opposed to multi-signature approach where ownership of each separate key must be transferred, which could be insecure.
In addition to the unique security capabilities of technology available on BSV, Dickson says that the comparatively miniscule and reliable transaction fees associated with the BSV blockchain make it the right choice for entities looking to establish businesses built on the blockchain.
‘It becomes impossible to run a real, commercial business on a blockchain where you can’t easily predict how much fees are going to be. With BSV, you can go directly to the miners and you can negotiate fees,’ explains Dickson.
‘In our case, if we have a casino sign up, we look at how many transactions that we think they’re going to do on a yearly basis by replacing the ticketing system in slot machines. Then we go to the miners, we negotiate a fee for those transactions.’
Put simply, the unique set of features intrinsic to BSV, combined with the scalability and low fees associated with it, make it the only choice for businesses building on blockchain.
‘If I can do all of this for fractions of a penny per transaction, without having to worry about managing and running back-end systems, without having to worry about my customers’ money being stolen out of a database or a dishonest employee, I don’t have to worry about creating my own audit trails,’ Dickson says.
‘That makes the question: why wouldn’t you start to think about using a blockchain-based system?’
When iGaming businesses seeking greater efficiency and public verifiability do migrate to using blockchain-based systems, they should logically think of building on BSV.