Ethereum game Fomo3D has $3m jackpot winner

August 24, 2018
Chris Wheal

Fomo3D, a highly controversial but also very popular gambling game on Ethereum ended its first round on Wednesday by paying out a jackpot worth nearly $3m in ether to a player.

Fomo3D: controversial, but popular

Already attracting censure as “a psychological social experience in greed” and “an Ethereum Ponzi scheme”, the payout attracted further controversy on claims that the lottery’s winner may have clogged the blockchain itself in order to win.

Fomo3D works through players continually purchasing “keys” as a timer counts down, with each key purchase adding time to the clock. When the clock runs out, the jackpot goes the last person to buy a key.

Key purchases contribute to the pot and a portion gets paid out to players proportional to the number of keys they hold. A player can buy keys to get a passive income from people subsequently buying keys after you, or play to win the pot.

Unfair play?

On Wednesday, a player collected winnings worth over 10,460 ether (ETH), or nearly $3m, which represented just under half of the total pot of 21,811 ETH. The remainder was distributed among other players and put back into the pot.

According to a developer announcement on the game’s Discord channel, the winner essentially gamed the Ethereum blockchain to scoop the prize – or as they described it “absolutely out f*****ng skilled” other players, including automated key-buying bots.

They accomplished this by jamming up the Ethereum blockchain just long enough to block out other competitors and ensuring that they bought the last Fomo3D key. The claim that the game was effectively rigged is now being subjected to detailed analysis on several blogs in an effort to crack the secret of the winner’s success.

It is also widely agreed that despite being “an extremely dubious game from an ethical pwerspective”, gamblers have been “throwing their ether into Fomo3D with wild  abandon” over the past month, with 150,000 Ethereum transactions a day when the gambling frenzy was at its peak.

Round two of Fomo3D is now underway, with players incentivised into new rounds at the earliest available opportunity to maximise the dividends they can earn,and the second round jackpot has already surpassed $1.8m.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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