Ever felt like knowing which ICO to invest in is akin to taking your money for a day out at the races, betting on one or other sleek-legged racehorse?

After the runaway success of Cryptokitties, the crypto community has another opportunity to go crazy with another fun concept. And this one is pure horserace-betting… only, without the horses.

Introducing ETHorse

ETHorse is an Ethereum-based dapp that lets you dabble in some ICO gambling right from the comfort of your own device.

You place your bet on a coin you consider to have the greatest growth potential in terms of percentage gained within a given timeframe, e.g, 72 hours, a week, or a month. After the given timeframe, those who bet on the winning coin is paid out of the bets of those who rooted for the losing coins.

ETHorse user journey
Image courtesy of ETHorse

Why Trust ETHorse?

ETHorse is a great example of the power of decentralization and the trustlessness of blockchain.

The ETHorse team chooses to remain anonymous, and at first, this might seem like an off-putting stance in blockchain, an industry that is built on transparency.

Yet, thanks to the open nature of this technology, the proof is in the pudding, as their Github speaks for itself. Moreover, the dapp is powered by smart contracts and requires no signups or deposits. Transactions are simple and straightforward, leaving no room for the company behind the product to meddle with funds. The transparency of blockchain makes this a straightforward, clear-cut method of gambling based entirely on your ICO wagers.

The team, who is active on social media and use their Medium blog to keep their community up to speed, state that apart from anonymity allowing them to sidestep regional regulatory issues, there is also a safety rationale:

Anonymity also helps protect our physical safety. Regardless of what safeguards are in place, gambling addicts will always find platforms to abuse their addictions. Unfortunately, we realize it is likely that there will be some users of our platform that gamble irresponsibly, and some of them will probably be unhappy with the outcome of a bet they make. Addicts are also prone to rash (and sometimes violent) behavior. Remaining anonymous protects us from potential backlash (doxing, death threats, etc.) from disgruntled users who may be down on their luck.

To Gamble or Not to Gamble, That Is the Question

As can be derived from the team’s anonymity statement, ETHorse is gambling, plain and simple. By placing a bet on a particular coin, you take a chance on its performance, and it’s anyone’s guess whether that risk will turn out to be profitable.

But even if you’re not into gambling, it remains a highly interesting use case, a sort of scaled-down and compacted version of the current cryptocurrency landscape. Investing in the future success of a coin is, to a large extent, betting on its future successes.

ETHorse has managed to take this philosophy and apply it, in practical and time-driven terms, to the betting industry. Blockchain is already proving to be an industry disruptor when it comes to the online gambling industry, but with the introduction of products such as ETHorse, there’s an even greater emphasis on bringing transparency and trustlessness (words one would never think to associate with gambling) to an industry that is rife with organizational undercutting.

Getting Involved

Just as you might enjoy a day out at the races without necessarily pledging fiscal allegiance to any particular stable, ETHorse is an interesting use case to watch, if simply for the sheer voyeurism of seeing coins rise and fall, and their betters along with them. You also might learn a thing or two about what makes a new coin successful.

However, if it’s active involvement you’re after, the testnet is currently out, with mainnet scheduled to launch in early February 2018. For a more in-depth look at the rationale behind ETHorse, read their whitepaper.