iDice is the world’s first mobile gambling platform that offers support for IOS and Android systems. The iDice crowdsale is currently live. The iDice beta has generated 720ETH ($231,000) in user profits without any promotion.
Ever since the sale of SatoshiDICE in 2013 for a record smashing 126,315 BTC ($315,787,500 USD in today’s prices), Dice betting has played a major role in blockchain history. To investors, iDice represents a revolution in the blockchain gambling sphere. iDice’s revolutionary mobile app brings the long-awaited dice game to mobile devices.
The timing of iDice is perfect, as Ethereum’s market quickly catches up with bitcoin. iDices is a prime opportunity for crowdfund investors to get in on the growth of Ethereum as it continues to make all time highs.
iDice’s business strategy is simple. Instead of competing directly with pre-existing betting Dapps on desktop websites, it targets mobile users with its upcoming app. There is currently no mobile blockchain betting platform that exists. Players looking to play from mobile devices have to deal with cumbersome mobile version sites, something iDice is looking to eliminate. Jordan Wong, Founder and CEO of iDice, emphasizes the importance of mobile development not just for gambling but for blockchain technology:
A working interbank transfer prototype on a private Ethereum network…(and) successfully conducted end-ot-end integration between the private Ethereum network and MEPS+.
I've read the other answers people from outside of the industry. Allow me to give you an answer from within the industry.
There is currently no machine learning going on and, I don't conceive of an application for it. While we have automated many things, and machines now do much of the above ground manual labor humans previously did, these are simple, well-defined, non-evolving tasks. There is no need for the machines to learn anything.
Downhole tools already use sensory data and function autonomously. The sensors and data are so simple that the "decisions" made by downhole tools are approximately as simple as the "decisions" made by your car's old fashioned speed control, so simple the programming hasn't changed in years, and doesn't need to. They're much like ballistic missiles. We tell them where to go and, unless they break, they go where told. Their only decisions are made using iterative loops. Downhole machines don't need to learn because their jobs are incredibly simple.
I witnessed BHP Billiton's attempt to use "big data" to optimize drilling operations. It failed dismally because the data analysts knew nothing about the meaning of the statistics they were accumulating. Because of this they drew lots of wrong conclusions. Big data is of interest when analyzing a large number of data points, as in consumer or voter behavior. When dealing with smaller, more granular data sets, big data's conclusions can be very misleading. An oil company may employ anywhere from a few to a few hundred drilling rigs spread across the globe, many operating in unique circumstances. Drawing conclusions from that kind of granular data isn't best done by algorithms. It's always best done by experienced, knowledgeable humans. I don't see an upstream application for big data. Even our "little data" is usually misused.
There has been a rush of recent stories about how America and Britain might cut Saudi Arabia some unwarranted slack to get its vast national oil company to float in either New York or London. Both venues are vying to win a slice of a public offering that is sometimes (if hopefully) said to value Saudi Aramco at $2tn.
In New York, it seems to be a matter of overturning a law that permits relatives of those killed in the World Trade Center attacks to pursue Saudi Arabia with private lawsuits. In London, by contrast, the machinations are less about high politics than the mundane business of investor protection. They involve loosening the governance rules to shoehorn the Saudis on to the main market board.
The story has ignited fears of another regulatory race to the bottom in which investors’ interests are sacrificed in the interests of making money for intermediaries. But while that’s certainly a genuine worry, it isn’t the biggest one when it comes to Aramco’s offering. Indeed, the listing rules may be the least of investors’ concerns.
Before fretting about transparency or investor protection mechanisms in a venture where outsiders will own just 5 per cent of the equity, it is worth studying the structure of the company itself.
For all the interest in the scale of Aramco’s reserves, the business doesn’t actually own the oil in the ground like past privatisations, such as BP and Statoil. Its legal rights rest on a concession agreement originally struck in 1933 between the Saudi kingdom and Standard Oil Company of California (SoCal), which created Aramco.
This gives the company exclusive rights to exploit the nation’s oil reserves (not just those presently discovered but also any found in future) in return for royalties and taxes. As the original concessionaires discovered, when oil is the host’s main source of revenue, these rights must perforce be uncertain.
In 1950, in pursuit of more cash for his still impoverished kingdom, King Abdulaziz threatened to tear up the deal if Aramco didn’t accede to his demand for more of the upside. Faced with this prospect, the company promptly capitulated, agreeing to split its profits 50/50 with the state.
Investors in a future privatised Aramco are in an analogous (if weaker) position. Like the old concessionaires, they are dependent for returns on their relationship with Riyadh. But unlike SoCal, they have no leverage in the form of industrial know-how. Consequently their ability to exploit the company’s hydrocarbon honeypot is even more closely linked to Saudi Arabia’s prosperity than old Aramco’s was.
New Aramco’s value is umbilically tied to the dividends it generates. To bolster these and inflate the sale value, Riyadh has cut the corporate tax rate it levies from 85 per cent to just 50 per cent. This is a substantial reduction, given its continuing dependence on hydrocarbon sales for state revenue, and will put great stress on public finances already squeezed by lower oil prices.
Of course, the Saudi government can replace the lost taxes by maximising Aramco’s dividend — a position that arguably aligns its incentives with outside investors. But in a fiscal crisis, it might seek to plug the leakage of funds to shareholders by hiking taxes (all of which go to its coffers). That temptation is likely to increase, the greater the proportion of the equity it sells.
The privatisation is designed to avert such a crisis by accelerating growth through economic diversification. But getting there means navigating a path that is strewn with political uncertainty. First it will require Saudi Arabia to move to a system where oil is priced rationally in domestic markets, rather than sluiced cheaply at domestic and favoured industrial users. That will create losers whose losses will need to be mitigated.
Second it will depend on Saudi Arabia making wise investment choices. The company has established a sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, that will invest the proceeds of the IPO in non-oil assets. But as with other neighbouring wealth funds in Qatar and Kuwait, the PIF has an apparent fondness for foreign investments, pumping money into international technology businesses such as Uber and SoftBank. It is hard to see this generating many jobs or new industries at home.
More than on any transparent audit or star-studded board of non executive directors, Aramco’s success as an investment will hinge on Saudi Arabia’s ability to set sound policies and execute them smoothly. Those who buy shares will be implicitly putting their trust in princes. It is a bet worth pondering before buying shares, on whatever market they trade.