When I first became enthralled with bitcoin and decentralization one of my immediate (and likely not 100% original) ideas was the creation of a decentralized Mega-Millions Powerball. OK, OK, gambling isn’t the killer app bitcoins been waiting for, I get it. That being said, what bitcoin has the potential to do in many cases is completely co-opt the obviously immoral elements of society we all accept on a daily basis… enter predatory state promoted gambling rackets… and re-align their benefactors to worthy recipients.
UPDATE: After receiving some feedback on the post I think it is worth noting a more clear description of what a decentralized autonomous lottery would look like. This would be a completely decentralized application that could run autonomous of any specific owner. There would be no individual or company that actually collects funds or has the ability to redistribute them. The program would be open-source, would sell the “tickets” itself, generate randomized winning numbers and distribute the winnings completely on it’s own.
When I was a teenager landscaping in New England we had a fun game that added a little “spice” into the monotony of mowing lawns for 12 hours a day (May through September). We called it “SCRATCH TICKET FEVER!!!!!!” – feel the burn… My landscaping buddies and I salivated for gas-up stops to refill the mowers because it meant we had yet another opportunity to hit it big and win $50 to spend towards next weekends (or evenings) beer money. Practical. Reasonable. Human.
A reality for any privileged New England kid making money to have some fun. The sad reality – in full retrospection – is the very premise of state-backed gambling is immoral and ludicrous. Yes – it’s a free world and we are all responsible for our own decisions. That being said, we’ve likely all been sitting at a gas station waiting for our tank to fill while watching some poor desperate soul sitting in a shitty brokedown Chrysler Lebaron fidgeting at a small paper card with a small coin – a far cry from the “SCRATCH TICKET FEVER” that elevated my summer weekdays in high school.
So how do we justify this predatory practice – the targeting of our societies most needy and desperate citizens for a “one-in-a-million” circus of irresponsibility? Taxes of course. In 2010 state coffers benefited from the lottery to the tune of $17 billion. (source).
Welp – lets do away with that quick and easy. Please – someone…. anyone… design the following:
- Decentralized Autonomous Open-Source Mega-Bit-Millions
- Give 99% of revenues to the winner (or some relatively equivalent %)
- Give 1% (or some relatively equivalent %) to a charity
- The benefiting charity is decided by a decentralized “reddit style” up-voting pool portal where verified charities can enter their hand for a chance at the percentage. (maybe we promote specific charities that promote the poor / less-foruntate / disparaged and actually discourage gambling)
I would be the first to roll the dice every single week if I knew that I was gambling on a platform that actually fought the evil our states justify on a daily basis for the purpose of taxes. Imagine a decentralized autonomous organization that actually functioned for the sole purpose of eventually destroying itself. (a gambling platform awarding proceeds to anti-gambling / impoverished charities)
Big Money! Big Money! Big Money! No Whammies!!!!!