Paul Polterauer is the CEO and founder of HEROcoin and herosphere.gg. Before he founded herosphere, which currently contains a user base of more than 200k, Paul worked at PwC Advisory for Corporate Finance, M&A and Deals. While at PwC, he worked on one of the largest deals in Austria, as well as projects, including the asset quality review for the European Central Bank’s stress tests. Today, he gives Filthy Lucre insight into his world of crypto.
You come from a finance background. What interests you in blockchain, and when did you get involved?
I wrote my master thesis about the system and structure behind the financial crisis 2008. So far we only fought the symptoms but did not change the system. Bitcoin and blockchain could be the alternative and game changer that we need in order to advance our current financial system.
HeroCoin is a platform for gaming. Can you explain what unique features it brings to online gaming?
It’s real peer to peer betting. You don’t need a middle man. You can directly bet against other people. In addition, the platform itself is not handled by a single company that you have to trust. Its decentralized and you are always in the control of your funds and the smart contracts provide complete transparency.
How is Hero unique from FunFair?
There any many projects who claim to solve gaming related problems with blockchain. The main difference is that we had already a working product with more than 250k users. Not just an idea – as many competitors. In the long run a really good team, dedication and hard work will make the difference. Also our currency and ecosystem can be integrated by any existing betting providers, not just our own use case.
Do you see real world casinos having an interest in blockchain technology? Is that something in Hero’s vision?
As anyone in the betting industry can use our blockchain solution and have access to a new target group, we are open to any game. But first traditional providers will have to educate themselves. Trust and transparency a needed in many gambling areas – also casinos.
You know the story of Nokia and iphone 😉
HeroCoin is an ERC20 token. What made you decide to take that route?
Ethereum is the best platform for smart contracts, the most distributed platform (also important when eg. thinking of hiring developers) and biggest community. We have decided on an ERC20 specifically because this way we can ensure that our smart contract can only be used by complying with the minimum set of rules we have defined.
What’s your take on the debate that the Ethereum network can run without ETH?
Technically/Theoretically possible but the miners have to be paid in order for the system to run. So the miners would need to agree on which tokens to accept, probably they would only go for established ones, but a token needs to run first on the network to have a chance to be accepeted. It is a bit of a chicken & egg problem in my opinion.
Are you concerned about Ethereum scaling to meet your needs, or do you believe in the upgrade roadmap for things like sharding?
I believe in the Ethereum team and its capabilities. In my opinion they still have the strongest development team and due to the extremely fast developments, plus more & more devs becoming interested in the Blockchain, we will see great improvements in a short time. Scalability is one of the major topics, so everyone is focused on finding ways & solutions. But every project is also responsible in doing whatever they can to contribute too. We constantly look for newer or better solutions to eg. make transactions faster & cheaper (like bundling of transactions etc.).
Aside from gaming, what are some of the other areas you’re excited to see blockchain disrupt?
There are many. but here are some very important uses cases in my opinion:
ID – now you have to do KYC on every platform. Why not do it once on the blockchain and then just share the access. public administration – lower costs and provide transparency. Health – e.g. Analyse and save DNA on blockchain. Personal data – get income when sharing your data and interest.
Does social media play into HeroCoin’s vision?
Of course everything is about the crowd and community. Social platforma have been the most efficient tool during our ICO. We were a “crowd” ICO, as we truly raised all money from normal investors, not through big private pre-sales like most project now do. The spread of PLAY is amazing. As we believe in the blockchain, we also believe in transparency of communications and therefore social media has a high priority.
As someone with a strong finance background, and running a popular blockchain technology, you’re in a unique position to make some predictions on the market size of the crypto space. What do you make of this bearish year so far, and when do you think we’ll see it turn around?
Well I see a perfect opportunity and entry point at the moment. 😉 The blockchain economy and industry is growing day by day. More and more companies and countries are digging into it. Long Term one has to be very bullish and so am I. Blockchain is here to stay. 😉
How do things like the possibility of ETF’s and institutional investments affect your plans for HeroCoin?
Not directly, but we are affected by the market. A string market makes it also easier for us to create our product and realize our vision.