DigiOptions at The Deep Learning Crowd Podcast
Today the first episode of The Deep Learning Crowd Podcast was released with DigiOptions CEO Holger Bartel as first guest. Holger is talking about modern technologies - blockchain and artificial intelligence - and the companies he founded.
This is what host Rhys Luxford says about this episode:
"You get to know Holger and what he does. We dive into entrepreneurship and what Holger has done to get into the position he is in now. Holger was voted Top 25 Insurtech CEOs of 2020, he is a serial entrepreneur, a king of automating and an awesome guy. I learned a lot and I believe anyone listening can take some value from this show too."
The Podcast is available on all platforms. Listen to it here:
Dennis Korthouwer appointed as CFO of DigiOptions
DigiOptions is excited to have Dennis Korthouwer onboard as the CFO of DigiOptions. Dennis is an experienced entrepreneur and startup expert.
After receiving a first-in-class MBA MSc, Dennis led the turnaround of a Dutch Media company; turning a 3 million loss into a 1 million profit that eventually led to the sale to TALPA. He then moved on to found a gaming company, raised millions from Angel Investors in NL, DE, AT, IL, and USA, patented and developed the technology, and sold the product around the world. Since appointing a new CEO for his gaming company, Dennis helps startups and scaleups raise capital and expand globally.
Dennis's expertise is in fundraising and global growth. He has a huge network and will be supporting DigiOptions with investor relations.
Celo Pathway Award for team DigiOptions
We are excited to announce that the DigiOptions team today was announced a winner of the Celo Pathway program.
The intense 6 weeks program culminated in an international pitch event. We are happy to be awarded with the Celo Mission Award. We have been showcasing our DeFi project helping developing countries hedging against the consequences of climate change using decentralized derivatives markets.
Mission Award for project ClimateExchange: "ClimateExchange uses the dApps revolution to allow farmers to hedge against climate risks and to prosper even in challenging environments."
The Mission Award is awarded to the one team who's mission aligns the most with Celo's vision of Open Financial System and Prosperity for all and wins 100 Celo.
This project is based on DigiOptions' free, decentralized and user-driven markets technology.
Business Angel Investment for DigiOptions
Today DigiOptions closed a business angel investment, rasing 50,000 EUR.
The business angel is a serial entrepreneur and CTO from Germany, his former companies already raised millions from strategic investors. DigiOptions will profit from the business angel's huge network and experience. The investment will be used to launch on other blockchains.
DigiOptions on Celo Camp Startup Pathway
The intense 6 weeks program means to onboard startups to use the Celo blockchain to build a great financial ecosystem especially for the under-banked. DigiOptions is enthusiastic about the Celo approach and goals: We aim to provide derivatives markets for everyone.
Today, derivatives markets are not accessible to the under-banked. Therefore, they are missing the opportunity to hedge against external catastrophes like storm, rain, dryness, or political instability. This is especially relevant for African countries. DigiOptions provides such markets for everyone owning a crypto wallet. Plus, our market maker provides liquidity and ensures everyone can always trade.
We use open source technology and blockchain to provide open, free and transparent derivatives markets without the need to have bank account or access to a stock exchange. A major advantage Celo offers and we will make use of are fast and cheap transactions as well as the mobile-first approach.
See project information on https://www.notion.so/Digioptions-65ede554a58d4d01ab994b3e15b14422.
DigiOptions @ Symbioticon 2020
We participated at Symbioticon 2020, a hackathon presented by German 'Sparkasse Finanzgruppe'.
We developed an innovative proof of concept to connect our state of the art blockchain based approach to traditional investment products like investment funds.
Attention: Our video presentation is German only!
DigiOptions supported by OVH Digital Launchpad Programme
The DigiOptions project is supported by the OVH Digital Launchpad Programme. DigiOptions will benefit from access to the OVH collaboration platform, infrastructure credits, architecture analysis and consulting. OVH is a cloud provider offering dedicated servers, hosted private cloud, and openstack-based public cloud to over 1.4 million customers worldwide.
DigiOptions featured on FintechLIVE
DigiOptions today was featured on FintechLive. FintechLive presents innovative startups to a broad audience of fintech investors, financial services execs, and industry insiders. See fintechlabs.com/pitch/digioptions
BLOCKROCKET accelerates DigiOptions
Today Blockrocket European Blockchain Labs chose DigiOptions for their startup program. See www.blockrocket.io and www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6726867321295654913.
DigiOptions perfectly fits into Blockrocket’s startup program, being a blockchain fintech focusing on DeFi (Decentralized Finance) and bringing blockchain based betting and derivatives markets to a broad user base.
Blockrocket is a dedicated accelerator for blockchain startups offering an exclusive ecosystem to help startups, corporates, and investors to leverage the potential of blockchain technology, through shared co-working spaces across multiple cities in the DACH region. Blockrocket was launched in early 2019 by various shareholders from the Fintech space in Germany. Since then they acquired numerous well-known partners and mentors and onboarded the best 40+ blockchain startups to the program.
DigiOptions joins Symbioticon #GAMECHANGER Hackathon
DigiOptions joins Symbioticon #GAMECHANGER, the hackathon organized by German Sparkassen Finanzgruppe.
DigiOptions participates in the Investment track, focusing on deploying decentralized derivatives trading on new underlyings.
Symbioticon is the saving banks finance groups annual hackathon organized by the Sparkassen Innovation Hub (S-Hub). In recent years, the concept has already gone far beyond a pure developer competition. The fusion of hackathon, conference and networking event brought together different interest groups. The teams created trend-setting product ideas for the Sparkasse of tomorrow.
DigiOptions @ FinTech Unicorn Battle Europe
Dr. Holger Bartel, CEO DigiOptions, was invited to the European Unicorn Battle of Fintech startups. Holger explained how DigiOptions uses blockchain technology to create decentralized betting markets. Holger also answered investors' questions on the business model.
Link to pitch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyIDK2tkirA.
DigiOptions at Blockrocket Pitch
DigiOptions today pitched in front of 150+ leading executives, founders, and investors from the blockchain ecosystem in Germany. Regularly Blockrocket handpicks a few promising blockchain startups to pitch their business case. The jury consists of business angels, VCs and partners. Blockrocket is a dedicated accelerator for blockchain startups.
We answered questions about our technology, the functioning of the betting markets and the business model. View DigiOptions pitch on youtube.
DigiOptions successfully participated in EnCode Club
DigiOptions was chosen to be one of the eight startups participating in the very first cohort of EnCode Club. EnCode Club is an intense 10 week programme for blockchain startups aiming to go to the next level. The Club is meant to lead startups from their success in hackathons and competitions (in our case the Future of Blockchain Competition) to the onboarding of new users. DigiOptions got an Encode grant of 4.000 Euros.
We had an intense time with weekly presentations, calls, discussions and contact to successful founders with big exits. During the Club, the workshop topics would vary from AMAs, technical deep-dive, lessons on product-building, testing, iteration, fundraising and user acquisition. See https://medium.com/encode-club/en-code-thundercore-club-summary-6317b30b70a5. And, of course, we had the big final pitch day.
Most important, were are excited that were could convince the Club sponsor ThunderCore! They offered us an additional grant of 10.000 Euro and marketing support in order to go live on their mobile platform ThunderCore Hub. So stay tuned for more..!
DigiOptions is a Finalist of the Future of Blockchain Competition
560 participants, more than 140 teams, more than 70 submissions and twelve finalists: DigiOptions was chosen to be one of the finalists of the Future of Blockchain competition.
Future of Blockchain is a 3-month competition for innovative blockchain projects, attracting researchers and leading developers. This 2nd iteration focused on Oxford, Cambridge, London and new for this cohort: Berlin, where DigiOptions is based. Submissions were also received from Zurich, Rome, Stirling, Waterloo, Cape Town and Paris.
These finalists will compete in front of an international jury on April 27th for the final top prize:
- ARRtistry: An art provenance platform using Arweave.
- Baseblock: A crowdfunding platform using Zilliqa.
- Chain of Insight: Zero-knowledge oracle built on Tezos.
- ChironCoin: A marketplace trading algorithms using Near Protocol.
- dAirbnb: A decentralized property marketplace on Tezos.
- Decentralised Robinson List: An opt-out marketing using Algorand.
- Deepverse: Train AI models collaboratively, using Tezos and Arweave.
- Digioptions: A decentralized online betting platform, based on Ethereum.
- HyperAware: A decentralized platform for connected devices, using Arweave.
- Q-Vote: A voting platform, built on Tezos.
- Reflexer: A ‘reflex-bond’ design to create an unpegged stablecoin.
- Snappy Labs: A retail blockchain payment solution.
Finalists, challenge partners and judges can be found here: Future of Blockchain 2: the finalists.
DigiOptions’ Betting Markets
DigiOptions went live on March 15, 2020 the Future of Blockchain submission date. On our platform you can easily take bets on financial events. We've been starting with monthly betting markets for the most important crypto currencies: Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple. For example you can bet on the Bitcoin closing below 6,000 USD by the end of April 2020. Currently it will cost you just 0.14 Ether - and you will win one full Ether if you're right. It is a highly leveraged investment.
Indeed it is a financial derivative, also known as digital option. It's digital because there are just two possibilities: You win or you lose. In contrast to highly complicated financial derivatives our digital options as ease to interpret: The prices are simply the event probabilities expected by the market. In the example above traders expect a 14 percent chance of Bitcoin dropping below 6,000 USD.
While crypto spot markets are well developed there are rare opportunities to invest in crypto derivatives. DigiOptions is there to fill the gap!
Using DigiOptions is really simple. There is no registration. You just need an Ether wallet.
DigiOptions is Live
Today, on Sunday night, March 15, 2020 DigiOptions is going live! After more than three years of development and the original idea being more than a decade old we are finally live on the Ethereum blockchain.
So, what is DigiOptions? DigiOptions is an online betting platform, driven by users and running on the blockchain.
For the launch you can take bets on cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple. For example, you can bet on Bitcoin closing above 5.750 USD by end of March 2020. You will have to pay a fraction of an Ether (our trading currency). If you’re right you will get 1 Ether. So there is quite a leverage.
In case, you are pessimistic about Bitcoin you can take a bet on Bitcoin closing below 5.000 USD. There are also ranges in between. DigiOptions markets can be used to leverage you investment as well as hedging against risks.
You’ll find all available markets at www.digioptions.com. You don’t need to register. It’s open to everyone. All you need is an Ether wallet. Enjoy!
Our going live is part of Future of Blockchain, an international 3 month blockchain competition for developers and entrepreneurs, www.futureofblockchain.co.uk.
Betting on the Blockchain: For everyone and on everything
An interview with the founders of DigiOptions, originally published in German on BTC ECHO, https://www.btc-echo.de/wetten-auf-der-blockchain-fuer-jeden-und-auf-alles-ein-interview-mit-den-gruendern-von-digioptions/
Blockchain technology can be used for more than just trading Bitcoin. DigiOptions aims at offering decentralized new betting markets comprising much more than crypto currencies. Today, the Ethereum blockchain enables business models that were not possible some years ago due to technical and regulatory hurdles. In this interview the founders of DigiOptions, Holger and Ulf, explain how digital options work, how even weather could be traded and how market liquidity is provided.
How did you come up with the idea of starting DigiOptions?
Holger: We had the idea for DigiOptions over ten years ago. At that time we did market making with our first fintech as a service for a financial betting platform. This worked out very well: Our trading bot filled the order book for our client fully automatically – he was very happy because he had liquidity in his markets and thus the decisive competitive advantage. We founded DigiOptions at that time but stopped the project because of regulatory requirements. Now we live in the blockchain world and have received the go of German supervisory authority, BaFin. Now we can start.
How do the digital options work and how are they different from other financial derivatives?
Holger: A digital option is nothing more than a bet. For example, on DigiOptions.com you can find a bitcoin market. There you can bet if the Bitcoin is worth between $ 7,250 and $ 7,500 tonight. This costs, for example, 0.2 Ether. If you win the bet, you will automatically receive 1 Ether transferred to your wallet. As a trader you only need an Ether wallet. A bank account does not have to be opened. Everyone can bet on DigiOptions – on everything.
Why do you use the Ethereum Blockchain?
Ulf: Our platform is completely decentralized – from the order book to the matching of supply and demand and finally settlement. We can realize this using the ethereum blockchain and their smart contracts. We make use of smart contracts and build on the confidence in ethereum blockchain. It is guaranteed that every user gets paid his profit in the end. Because everyone offering a bet has to deposit the underlying amount on the blockchain in the first place. So we eliminated the default risk. Using the blockchain we want to be safer and even faster: A new market can be set up with just a few clicks. The users have the control: they open up the markets and also settle them.
Now you are not just talking about options on cryptocurrencies. Your digital options should also be able to handle various events, for example from the world of sports and politics?
Ulf: Our vision is a whole universe of decentralized betting markets. We'll start with markets on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether or Ripple. Then markets will follow on politics ("Will Trump win the next presidential election?") and sports, weather and society. Finally, our users can also offer markets for local events ("Who wins the tournament of the local football club?"). We are very curious about which bets are created by our users.
What is the regulatory situation here? Not everyone can open a betting market.
Holger: Persons or companies that open up a betting market must comply with the legal requirements of their country. We also point this out in our disclaimer. We want to work with strategic partners who have the appropriate licenses.
How are you regulated yourself?
Holger: DigiOptions develops the software for the options markets and makes them available as free software. We do not run the stock exchange by ourselves, we do not open up markets and we do not settle them. We just perform online marketing to ensure that interested traders will find the betting markets. For this marketing service we are paid a success-dependent fee. So we are an online affiliate marketer. In October 2019 we received the OK from the German financial supervisory authority for our business model since we do not provide any financial services.
Are platforms like Augur or Gnosis competitors of yours as they also offer bets on various events?
Ulf: Augur and Gnosis are competitors and role models at the same time. They entered the market early and did important preliminary work for decentralized markets. They call it prediction markets as the market prices represent the probability of the event occurring. We hope having learned from our competitors in one respect: Offered market liquidity is really important; we saw this early when providing market making services.
And how do you ensure that there is enough liquidity in your betting markets?
Ulf: We have developed a trading bot that trades on the markets and thus fills the order book. So if someone wants to trade, he simply can accept one of the available offers. The bot performs strict risk management: If the risk in one event is too high it simply buys the opposite event. This allows us to ensure liquidity in many markets with limited resources.
What is your business model?
Holger: We are an affiliate marketing company. When someone opens up a market, he can specify in the smart Contract what proportion of their earned transaction costs they want to spend for online marketing. If this share is attractive to us and the market is reputable then we perform online advertising for his market. DigiOptions aims to become the central point of access for digital options markets on the blockchain.
What is the current status? What are the next steps for DigiOptions to launch?
Holger: Already for more than one year our prototype is running stably on ethereum testnet. Thus, the technical proof of concept has been provided and we were able to implement the wishes of our test users. After three years of preparation, we founded the company in August 2019 and in October 2019 we got approved by the supervisory authority. These were significant milestones. At the beginning of 2020 we will go live with DigiOptions.com on Ethereum main-chain. Our test users are impatiently looking forward to it.