Ryan Gittleson’s redesigned Virtue Poker is a triumph for his years-long mission to merge bitcoin with poker. Founded in 2016 and incubated by Ethereum powerhouse ConsenSys, Virtue Poker embarked on a mission to decentralize online poker.
A Long Road
Despite raising $12.5 million in a token sale in 2018 and $5 million in financing in 2021, there were still several challenges to implementing their plan for seamless on-chain poker. One of the problems was that there was not a widely available layer-2 Ethereum scaling network that could support instant and cheap in-game purchases. As an added complication, the United States and certain other major portions of Europe continue to prohibit the running of an unregulated internet gambling ecosystem.
But things changed for a bit.
After securing a gaming license from Malta, Virtue Poker launched a legal play-to-earn poker game in the United States. But getting users and keeping them around was difficult. Virtue was on the verge of bankruptcy by the following summer, and their website went offline.
The Comeback and Turning Point
Gittleson’s beta launch of the revamped Virtue Poker represented a watershed moment in the company’s history, as it remains true to its initial objective of using crypto technologies and ethos to reimagine poker for the current day.
While the new Virtue Poker does not support real-world currency or cryptocurrency wagering inside the game itself, it does provide a user-friendly platform for clubs and organizations throughout the globe to conduct their own online poker games and tournaments. It has been revamped to serve NFT communities by allowing them to restrict access to games using tokens.
If you are looking for a way to be involved with the NFT community outside Discord discussions, Virtue Poker is a simple and effective option. Clubs using Virtue may tailor their digital area to suit their members’ needs, with the potential to host more than a thousand players at once across a wide range of poker games. Although the site is now free, Gittleson plans to start charging a subscription fee to club organizers depending on the number of members and the amount of time they spend on the site.
Gittleson believes that NFT communities may encourage involvement by awarding fungible tokens and NFTs to winners. They might also manually process rewards and collect money from participants. Since Virtue Poker is not a recognized gambling site, the legality of such agreements is unclear under federal law, which bans knowingly taking money to settle illicit online gambling liabilities.