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In 2012, Paruyr Shahbazyan founded Bookmaker Ratings at $ 50 and has since helped the company return more than $ 12 million to players in its brokerage activities.
Image source: Paruyr Shahbazyan, CEO of Azuro. – Valuewalk
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With Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol, Co-Founder and CEO Paruyr Shahbazyan aims to offer bettors a trustworthy alternative to betting today in an industry steeped in cryptocurrency payments and increasingly reliant on blockchain.
We spoke to him about crypto, blockchain and Azuros Testnet, which was launched at the end of August. With this project, the betting company intends to familiarize bettors with tokens and not real money with the protocol.
How has crypto changed the online betting industry?
First, there are many high volume players, also known as “VIPs”, who have switched to crypto as a payment method, be it to bet on websites that are not available in their country or for any other reason.
This has already happened and is a growing trend. In this case, crypto is simply used as a payment method, which is a very simple use case.
However, if you look beyond crypto as a payment method, blockchain – and smart contracts in particular – can deliver trustworthy bets, eliminate middlemen and give betting full transparency. That is not yet prominent, but it is quite possible and very exciting.
Azuro has started its test network. What is the purpose of the platform and what are the main changes?
Azuro is a global decentralized betting protocol that uses smart contracts to bring full transparency to the betting process while offering a classic betting experience with numerous markets and liquidity.
The core objective is to provide bettors with a trustworthy alternative to betting that matches the experience they can get with traditional bookmakers. In doing so, we eliminate the problems that prevail today with trust and transparency between players and operators.
Blockchain technology enables the decentralization and democratization of the betting business. Azuro divides the role of a bookmaker into several smaller roles that are open to everyone: liquidity provision, front-end management, data provision and decentralized governance.
This means that more value is shared with more participants in the ecosystem. In addition, we are committed to social responsibility right from the start, which is unique to our project.
We launched our testnet on August 27th, where users can interact with the protocol, use test tokens and place bets. They also compete for rewards but without risking real money. So it’s pretty cool.
From buying a $ 50 website template in 2012 to getting the latest “bookmaker ratings” for your business … What were the keys to 1.2 million monthly visits to your websites?
The business focused on one simple thing: the lack of trust between gamblers and bookmakers.
So we were objective in our bookmaker reviews and did everything we could to help the players, mainly by acting as an intermediary and resolving disputes between the two sides.
As a result, we have managed to return more than $ 12 million to players over the years, which ensured that we won people’s trust. All of this was possible because we were driven by a deep understanding of the problems faced by gamblers – I was a professional bettor myself for many years.
By comparison, in 2012 my competitors knew how to build strong websites but didn’t know much about players’ needs and problems. Of course, I also had a professional team with me, which is definitely a success factor.
Tell us about your future projects and how do you envision the online betting business amid NFT speculation and Bitcoin volatility.
Cryptocurrency volatility does not affect the betting industry as betting may be the only niche in cryptocurrency that absolutely doesn’t care about Bitcoin price.
I don’t see much of a correlation with NFTs either, apart from the fact that these waves of hype get a lot of people to try the technology.
And trustworthy betting – let’s say with stablecoins – will enable more and more people to take advantage of the great opportunities that blockchain technology offers them, such as freedom, security and transparency. More people will interact with decentralized protocols.
And given that those who operate cryptocurrencies today are mostly risky users, the proportion of people willing to bet with cryptocurrencies and on the blockchain will grow exponentially.