ICO Analysis: MYDFS

MyDFS is a blockchain-based daily fantasy sports solution that connects sports fans around the world with a transparent, easy-to-use, investor-friendly platform. A fantasy sport is a type of online game where participants assemble imaginary or virtual teams of real players of a professional sport. These teams compete based on the statistical performance of those players’ players in actual games.

Select platforms like Fanduel and Draftkings monopolize the North American market. MyDFS has identified some significant challenges that the industry faces and aims to bring improvements using blockchain smart contracts and cryptocurrencies.

Some of the issues faced by the industry and the solutions proposed by MyDFS is as follows:

  • Legal ambiguity: Fantasy sports platforms operate under a legal loophole, where they get classified as a game of skill rather than betting. This allows fantasy sports platforms to operate in certain jurisdictions while getting banned in some. MyDFS is based on a token-based model and completely excludes fiat money, thus working around the regulations.
  • Application interface: Most of the fantasy sports apps have a complex UI which acts as a barrier for new users. MyDFS’s team has made special efforts to bring in ease of use in the user experience.
  • Verification: Players on the most popular gaming platforms have to go through complicated verification procedures almost every time they want to deposit money to play. MyDFS allows ease of verification while enabling users from all geographies to participate.
  • Payments: The use of cryptocurrencies make payments seamless and instant.
  • Transparency: The use of blockchain smart contracts bring in complete transparency while removing concerns around manipulations and insider trading.

An alpha version of the application with basic game functionality is available for testing. The MyDFS application would be fully functional as early as June 2018.

Team

In 2016, CEO Viktor Mangazeev founded uTrener.com (utrener.com), a daily mobile fantasy sports platform that launched in Russia. They also have a white label application which has been gaining traction. Having a white label app that is used to create fantasy sports applications shows the team’s expertise in this segment. There are 12 members of the team, all of them work full time on MyDFS.

They have six advisers, which includes tech and crypto entrepreneurs and also one football player.

Token

The Ethereum based MyDFS tokens will power the platform. The tokens will be used for game entry fees, reward distribution, advanced functions like p2p duels/access to leaderboards, in-game purchases, and sponsor integrations.

The tokens have a good utility across the platform and, as the adoption grows, the demand for tokens will increase. Users interact with fantasy sports applications on a daily basis which will keep the demand consistent.

The token distribution is as follows:

  • ICO Distribution: 40%
  • Growth and user adoption reserves: 37%
  • Team: 10%
  • Advisers and early contributors: 10%
  • Bounty: 3%

Verdict

Fantasy sports was built out of a loophole in the law that normally bans such betting. It’s a growing industry, estimated to be worth more than $7 billion a year in the U.S. and Canada. MyDFS’s team has industry relevant experience which will help its cause in platform building and subsequent promotion.

Blockchain technology finds a perfect use case in fantasy sports. Transparency and ease of payments is the most significant advantage in my opinion. Users located in different corners of the world can participate and earn from NBA matches, which is not possible without using the blockchain.

A major area of concern is whether MyDFS will be able to gain market share in the key market of North America. Incumbents Fanduel and Draftkings are the undisputed leaders in the sector with a combined market share of 90% and have made it impossible for newer platforms to gain any share. It would be interesting to see whether the dual advantages of transparency and ease of payments are solid enough to enable a shift.

Growth Potential

  • One of the most tempting factors about MyDFS is that the platform will be fully functional by June 2018, before the FIFA World Cup. Very few projects have functional products immediately after the launch. Majority of the funds raised in the ICO will be used for marketing and promotional activities; the team doesn’t need as many funds for product development. +5
  • The team looks solid and already has a functional product serving the same use case without blockchain. +4
  • MyDFS opens a completely new market opportunity as it removes jurisdictional constraints using tokens and blockchain. Users located all over the world can participate and earn in any fantasy sports using MyDFS. +3

Risks

  • Competition is the biggest risk that MyDFS faces. Fanduel and Draftkings have raised a combined sum of more than $1 billion and have established a duopoly in the market. Other blockchain based projects like DraftDaily, Protoblock are vying to gain a share. -2
  • MyDFS is raising $40 million for 40% of the token supply, which makes the valuation based on total supply a bit steep for a company with no users. We are not sure whether MyDFS will achieve its targets. -2
  • Fantasy sports is a relatively new industry with just $7 Billion of total valuation. -1
  • Fantasy sports industry has primarily matured in North America and the U.K. However, US citizens are not allowed to participate in the ICO, thus losing an opportunity to distribute tokens amongst the primary audience. -1

Disposition

We arrive at a score of +6 out of 10 for MyDFS. Although there are short-term concerns about the ability to reach its hard cap, MyDFS is a good project from a long-term investment perspective.

ICO Details

  • Token Type: Utility
  • Platform: Ethereum
  • Symbol: MyDFS
  • Pre-Sale: April 16, 2018 – May 6, 2018
  • Public Sale: May 21, 2018 – Jun 12, 2018
  • Pre Sale Bonus: 25%
  • Hard Cap: $40 Million
  • Jurisdictions Barred from Participating: USA, Singapore, China
  • Website: here
  • Whitepaperhere

Disclaimer: The writer has no position in MyDFS at the time of writing.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Author:
Aakash Kawale is a financial analyst based out of Mumbai, India. He is the lead analyst at a Singapore based organization and has extensive experience of analyzing US and Indian equities. Aakash is a strong advocate of the Blockchain technology and has been analyzing cryptocurrencies since 2015.