I want to keep this brief but I should give a quick explanation of decentralized poker to the reader that has never heard of the concept. First I should explain Bitcoin at much the same level. Bitcoin is a solution in the form of a kind of electronic gold that is causing the population of the world to switch their given government currencies in exchange for supporting a giant peer to peer network and a chance to make some value from investing early in it. As this system stabilizes from popularity and use, we will have a new technological platform from which we can begin to decentralize all systems of our government and economy. Here is a site in which we can watch the exchange globally (by region) in real time http://fiatleak.com/
It’s an extreme mental shift because we are on our way to having a technology that finally and freely allows for the simultaneous release of each new technology to the global population of the world. In the near future costs saved from technological advance will happen instantaneously and globally and so the efficiency gained will be experienced by everyone.
Much of this change and technological advance as far as decentralization has already been developed and written about, well before the bitcoin ‘trick’ had begun.
Poker now faces this change, as players that are well versed on this technology understand that is it just a matter of time before poker’s current centralized model is replaced by a decentralized one. They also understand that rake will be significantly reduced, and that much costs will be saved in the process. Because of decentralization governments are not able to wrap the extent of their laws around the ‘model’. We can’t even call it a business model at that point, since there is not even an owner or a license.
The state of poker today seems relatively fine. But compared to the coming changes to the game, poker is actually in a terrible state, and it might be just as interesting to point out that poker in the past was also seemingly in a better state than today. In the near future though, the state of the game will be something so great that most of us could not fathom or believe such a favourable poker economy could exist. We are talking about a game with an ever decreasing rake in which every person and country in the world can participate freely.
However there are still some unsolved problems. These problem are not necessarily technical such as a deck protocol, or network protocols, or escrows, or software, as these thing have been well solved for many years. I won’t outline the specifics but the essential issue that both developers and players face is the issue of collusion. This is one aspect where developers seem to be heading in the wrong direction.
Recently many decentralized projects, not necessarily even poker, seem to be having issues getting off the ground. It may be that we are still waiting for technology to catch up to these ideas (and laws/regulations), but I don’t think this is the issue. I think the real problem is that developers are continuously trying to own and profit from their decentralized projects and thus shooting their efforts in the foot. The trick in today’s technological race is to figure out how to get a project off the ground in a decentralized fashion with no creator/owner that continues to own it and profit from it indefinitely beyond its launch.
So who would launch decentralized poker if there could be no owner to profit from it? It’s simple: the players.
And now we have paved the way for the final piece of the puzzle, posed as the problem “how do we move the players towards decentralization?”
And the key is through community forum.
But there is something crucial to be understood and we can do this by thinking about the true spirit and intention behind Run It Once. I don’t know the owners or creators, nor have I read much about the birth of RIO, but it doesn’t take an esoteric student to “see” that the reason behind RIO’s creation was to leave behind some of the inherent flaws that are quite numerous and noticeable on 2 + 2. But my key argument here is that PG may have possibly misunderstood something extremely significant.
There is only ever ONE global players community, it is there, and to change it and to fix it’s flaws you cannot create a new and better community forum, but you have to address the actual issues of the EXISTING community forum.
Decentralized poker needs this specific change in order to bring about the consciousness change in the players community so the masses can start working cooperatively to produce and implement the many changes needed to support the new poker model. We need our CURRENT global forum to start educating itself on decentralized poker. We need to start getting used to the idea of cooperative gain, and ultimately something developers haven’t realized or attempted to implement, we NEED our global forum in order to combat the future collusion (which includes things such as aggregate integrity ratings, setting up games, and catching cheaters).
MOST of the concerns the average reader has on the decentralized model have to do with issues that changes in the global community forum would resolve. We just haven’t been thinking of using forums in this fashion and context.
The global forum MUST move in tandem with the decentralized poker movement, and when it begins to even move an inch in this direction…the players will see an accelerated advance towards the decentralization of poker at a speed they could not think possible.