Crypto finds its killer app: Hamster racing for degens

What do you mean, you’ve never bet money on a cuddly rodent via Binance Smart Chain?

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Midjourney modified by Blockworks

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Hamster racing: A phenomenon that very much exists.

Crypto Twitter fell in love with yet another 24-hour fadcoin, as adorable rodents were urged to race while degen crypto addicts checked the formbook to place their wagers on winners.

The elementary school pets speed down the course to the jeers and cheers of a rabid trollbox audience. Theoretically. Although, to the consternation of some gamblers, they sometimes simply fall asleep. 

The HamstersGG betting platform combines wholesome, cute activity with the age-old desire of crypto degens to bet away huge sums of money on complete and utter nonsense. In fact, 10 years ago more than half of all blockchain transactions were related to gambling

HamstersGG went live on July 11, 2023 and livestreamed a series of races through Twitch on Thursday. People interested in placing a wager could do so using BUSD. While deposits were accepted from either Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain, payouts appeared to rely on BSC entirely. 

While stablecoin bets are placed for the individual races, the project also features a purportedly revenue-sharing token, HAMS. According to the project’s white paper, the platform takes a 5% rake of all bets, 4% of which is distributed to token holders. The token’s price has proved to be volatile on Uniswap so far.

The token’s lone source of liquidity, a Uniswap v2 pool with just under $100,000 with WETH liquidity, has traded $900,000 in volume on the day. At $.11 per token, HAMS currently boasts a $1.1 million market capitalization, and the token rose as high as $.38 cents this afternoon before retreating as low as $.08 – only to climb back to $.38 under an hour later, and fall back to $.14 at press time. 

During today’s races, there were at times over 1,000 people watching and eagerly rooting for their pre-furred steed.

At around 2:30 pm ET, people in the live chat room began complaining about not being able to withdraw their money after an earlier race concluded and subsequent races didn’t begin on schedule. Other users argued back, telling them to stop FUDing (Fear Uncertainty Doubt).

The unusual nature of the project got some people on Twitter theorizing that hamster racing may not be quite so reputable. 

One user on Twitter claimed all the races were staged and the videos were looped. The HamsterGG account denied this in the replies, claiming the server went down due to unexpectedly high interest in rodentia, and that they were in the process of looking into it.

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As the time neared 4 pm ET with no races commencing, the viewership on the Twitch live stream dipped below 600.

With no racing activity over the last couple of hours, and reports of problems with withdrawals, some bettors are now smelling a rat, and asking whether the hamsters — Rocky, Charlie, Popcorn and Teddy, among other furry athletes — might actually be scamsters?

(The answer, at least for now, may be no. With literally seconds remaining before Blockworks sent this article live, a new race saw Sparky absolutely crush the competition and wibble his (or her) way to the finish line in around 10 seconds — to the delight of at least some of the assembled, and deeply profane, observers. At least some watchers reported, however, that the race was a replay: Robert Redford could not be reached for comment.)


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