RHIZOME Interview with Willy Beamish of ICONbet

Recently, I decided to interview Willy Beamish of ICONbet. As ICONbet is the first ever DAO on the ICON protocol, it has experienced a ton of traction lately. Willy Beamish serves as the Co-Founder of ICONbet and had some really good insight into what it’s like building on top of ICON, the implications Digital Autonomous Organizations (DAO’s) can bring to a Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) based protocol like ICON, and more. 

Willy, can you explain your role with ICONbet and what the underlying motivation was behind the creation of ICONbet?

I am Co-Founder of ICONbet with Patrick Smith. Our motivation to create ICONbet is to experiment with DAO structure while also make something fun to use on blockchain!

ICONbet’s dApp, DAOlette, has been experiencing a ton of traction as of late. As of July 31st, 2019 there has been a recorded 750,000+ ICX betting volume, 25,000+ transactions on the ICON network, and over 50 users on ICONbet. In your opinion, what things have attributed to the attention and traction of ICONbet as of late?

First we are very excited about traction, which has exceeded our expectation. We believe tractions come from few different areas. One area is many community members are excited about DAO aspect of ICONbet. They are excited to be part of decision-making process and respect the mission of ICONbet DAO.

Another area of traction is excitement to use ICX on a DApp. Part of thinking of choosing ICON is that it is young blockchain with many token holders. We believe it is important to give utility to token holders and ICONbet does provide this utility.

Last area of traction we believe is “mining” aspect of TAP tokens. Players come to ICONbet everyday to get fair share of 1M TAP Token distribution. We all believe that in early days it will be much easier to earn TAP Tokens because volume is low. When volume grows and we add more games, find exchanges, and do more marketing it will be much harder to earn TAP Tokens.

Can you provide some insight into the process of building on the ICON network? In particular, was it difficult for your team? Did you have any support? In general, what do you think about the process of launching a dApp on the ICON network?

Building on ICON was overall good experience. Most difficult part was incorporating DAO features. We wanted this to be as full DAO as possible and many of these tools needed to be built from scratch. Going forward it will be much easier experience now that we have done it once. As more documentation becomes available dev experience will get easier and easier.

People often ask, “What can I do with ICX now”? Within the ICON Republic, you can establish any organization without a leadership hierarchy as seen in traditional companies and actually start accepting payments without any approval required from a central authority or government. This is known as a DAO, and they are often coined as one of the top use cases of blockchain technology. As the first DAO on ICON, how do you feel about the future of Digital Autonomous Organizations and their implications on the ICON network moving forward?

We are very strong believers in DAO structure. We agree with your statement about this being top use case of blockchain technology, and this is why we made ICONbet DAO. We strongly believe that many companies will chose the DAO structure in the future. Many companies are trying fully work remotely and we believe DAO fits this trend. Within ICON ecosystem, we hope to be the leader of DAO trend and inspire more DAOs on ICON Network.

ICONbet’s business model is different from many blockchain gambling apps, giving players more control and ownership of the apps being built through TAP tokens. In terms of future plans, with all the success of DAOlette, can you provide some insight into future games and how the release of your SDK will allow anyone to create their own games?

Because ICONbet is DAO structure, we are currently collecting feedbacks about these next steps and next games. Some DAO members have suggested poker, blackjack, and slot machine for next games as ideas. We will do a survey with our community when time comes to make the right decision for the community. Regarding SDK, we think it is best to wait until more TAP tokens are released and ICONbet has more users. When more TAP tokens are available in the market and there are more users on ICONbet, other developers can be incentivized to build on ICONbet platform through SDK to access DAO community members who are committed to TAP.