- Virtue Poker is pivoting to Web3 with a token-gated gaming infrastructure.
- The company said the new platform will not facilitate in-game gambling of fiat money or crypto.
- Clubs and organisations will be able to put on their own online poker games and tournaments.
Virtue Poker is relaunching as a platform working to connect NFT communities through poker. The Consensys-backed project launched in 2016 before raising $12.5 million via a token sale two years later. In 2021, Virtue Poker completed a $5 million strategic investment from Pantera Capital, Consensys, DFG Group, and Jez San from FunFair as it looked to ramp up the development of its layer-2 Ethereum-based decentralised poker platform.
The company is now relaunching after nearly collapsing following its failed attempt to build a loyal community on the blockchain.
According to Ryan Gittleson, the co-founder of Virtue Poker, his dream was to create a seamless on-chain poker experience, enabling strangers to buy into and cash out of verifiably fair poker games via automated smart contracts.
However, that plan failed due to various challenges including a complicated legal framework and lack of scalability on the Ethereum network (at the time). After receiving a gaming license from Malta, Virtue Poker faced another challenge of building a loyal community.
Expressing his frustration to Decrypt, Gittleson now believes the current vision will work “and that it can leave an impact on the poker industry, which really hasn’t seen any innovation in the last decade or so.”
The revamped platform will look to facilitate on-chain gaming experiences for clubs and organisations, but will not support in-game gambling of fiat and crypto. The company will provide an infrastructure that allows users to put on their own poker games and tournaments.
The platform is specifically targeting the already vibrant NFT communities looking to expand their on-chain experiences by playing poker. Communities will be able to token-game games, enabling holders of a particular NFT exclusive access.
“I noticed that all these NFT communities were playing poker weekly as a way to create engagement outside of Discord chats,” Gittleson said. “A lot of them said they’d want to do it more regularly if it wasn’t so difficult to organize.”
Clubs and organisations can build customisable lobbies and playing spaces that will be capable of handling over 1,000 guests playing games. Some of the featured games include No Limit Hold’Em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Short Deck.
Virtue Poker is currently available for free, but there are plans to introduce a monthly subscription fee.
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