The Game of Silks, taking thoroughbred horse racing into the metaverse
Photo from Past the Wire
Game of Silks intends to take Horse Racing into the future.
The metaverse could very well be the future of Horse Racing.
Back around August of 1991, the internet launched and changed much about how we live, interact, shop, and more. It has continued to evolve and our lifestyles with it. The internet is becoming the metaverse.
What is the metaverse anyway? It is defined as a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users. It sounds like it is right out of the old TV cartoon series, The Jetsons. If you have been around long enough to remember The Jetsons, you probably remember Ubet, the first of the ADW’s in the states that allowed horse racing fans and players to make legal bets online. We as a sport have come a long way since then. Unfortunately, technology is not something the Sport of Kings has utilized. Even today, we can’t accurately time races and much of our sport and its records and statistics are based on what? The time of the races.
There really isn’t a more exciting time of year in Horse Racing than the spring. The Kentucky Derby is rapidly approaching and the top rated three-year-olds are going through their final preparations with all of racing media watching. It is a brief relief from the bad news that often surrounds the Sport of Kings. Overseas the flat season has begun and soon the prestigious Royal Ascot meet will run, and Horse Racing globally will be in full swing. We don’t really have an off season and things will continue right through the Breeders’ Cup in November. This year may just be more exciting than a lot of people realize.
The good news for Thoroughbred Racing comes not only from the Run for the Roses, the most exciting two minutes in sports, but also from Game of Silks (or “Silks” for short). Silks may not only change racing for the better and also the “bettor,” it could also advance and modernize the sport with its state-of-the-art technology. If the sport fails to embrace this pending change, it runs the risk of being further left behind.
One of the problems with Horse Racing has been its failure to attract new fans while retaining existing ones. There are several reasons for that including not investing into the technology readily available to make things like a well-oiled machine. Silks may force the sport to get with the times whether they like it or not. Silks may also do something racing as an industry has failed at, bringing untold amounts of new people into the sport. That will benefit all in the game. It is no coincidence those who may take racing to the next level and into the future are not racetrack owners or managers.
Silks was born out of an idea by Troy Levy, who in addition to owning and operating Circle 8 Ranch in Lexington Kentucky, is the founder of Tropical Racing. Tropical Racing is a thoroughbred partnership and total ownership experience based on transparency, integrity, and service. Troy partnered with another hugely successful entrepreneur, Dan Nissanoff. Dan, in addition to being the founder of Game of Silks, is a bestselling author and a web innovator who has had success at the highest levels of internet businesses.
Basically, Silks combines the sport and real-time performance data of Horse Racing with an immersive virtual reality experience. What separates it from just being virtual reality is the ability of players to earn real money through strategic knowledge and gameplay just as actual racehorse owners do, farms do, breeders do and more. Imagine having a virtual avatar that can speculate on virtual land and then develop it into horse farms where it could house and maintain a bevy of virtual horses all of which have real values and earn real money. This is where the metaverse can take us and this is where Game of Silks intends to take the Sport of Kings, Thoroughbred Horse Racing.
The virtual world of Silks aims to mirror the real world of Horse Racing through its derivative structure. That may take some time, and Silks projects it to be a few years, but make no mistake they are not stumbling out of the gate by any means.
When you take a look into Silks platform you immediately see why Dan grabbed a hold of Troy’s idea and ran with it. It is also obvious in the introduction how Dan has achieved all he has on the internet. The Game of Silks platform is captivating.
The world of Silks and its economy revolves around its NFTs as its Horses, Avatars, Land, and Stables are all structured as NFTs. An NFT (non-fungible token) is a virtual asset with its own unique properties, the value of which may go up or down based on supply and demand.
Central to the Silks ecosystem are its Silks Horses, each of which is a derivative NFT that is linked to and tracks an actual thoroughbred racehorse throughout its lifecycle. Silks will hold annual yearling sales where participants will have the ability to purchase Silks Horses that correspond with the nearly 20,000 thoroughbreds born and registered each year to race. Once you own a Silks Horse NFT it is yours to do what you want with. You can hold, trade, or fractionalize it through syndication, and the value of your virtual horse can fluctuate based on the racing and breeding success of its linked real-world thoroughbred. The virtual horses will mirror their physical counterparts, but the Silks marketplace will determine their values.
The likely favorite for the Kentucky Derby is as of today, Epicenter. He was bred by Westwinds Farm and is owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds. He sold at the Keeneland September auction for 260K. As the Kentucky Derby favorite he is worth considerably more than that right now. That is the real-world colt. In Game of Silks, you or anyone with an Avatar could hypothetically end up with the Silks Horse NFT of Epicenter. The earnings of that Silks Horse would be based directly on Epicenter’s real racing results. Purses are paid in tokens that can be converted to cryptocurrency and ultimately cash.
Your Silks Avatar can go to Churchill Downs and drink a mint julep and you can experience this from your couch taking a break to watch the real race, or if you like, you can watch it virtually. Perhaps you will watch both. Should your horse win, you will watch the owners celebrating in the winners’ circle, but you will be celebrating at the place of your choice and winning real money right along with them. In the Game of Silks, you can have any virtual racetrack experience you like as if you were at the races. You can have a beer or a hot dog or visit the paddock and check out the horses. Virtual reality, the metaverse, and Web3 is real and it is here to stay. In the summer you can spend the morning at Saratoga and the afternoon at Del Mar with no concern about jet lag.
Imagine owning the NFT of a champion, or a share in it. Imagine having a virtual clone of a real racehorse that you own in the metaverse.
People from all over the world will be able to join and play and experience the thrill of thoroughbred ownership. Silks believes that going beyond fandom to provide the masses with an ownership experience that isn’t cost prohibitive can go a long way towards growing the sport. There will be levels and partnerships available for any budget. They project opening horse values to be maybe 1/10th of actual values. In 6 or 7 years they hope to be dollar for dollar with actual values. 100% of the revenue minus transaction fees goes back into the game.
Thoroughbred Horse Racing has no uniformed governing body in the US. We have no commissioner. We have no designated marketers. We have no technology team. We have every man for himself. We have issues with every level of the sport from breeding to racing through retirement. We have small fields and decreasing foal crops. The racing industry needs to embrace the Game of Silks and grow with it and here is why. I love horse racing as much as anyone. I have been in and around it my entire life. I am not blind to its many issues and problems nor am I an ostrich with my head in the sand. I am conflicted about my love for the Sport of Kings and nobody but the Sport of Kings is to blame for that. If the animal rights activists have their way, horse racing will cease to exist. We not only opened the door for them, but we invited them in. They’re not going anywhere. Are we, is a legitimate question? If we do not embrace innovative ventures like Game of Silks and use their technology to grow our sport while we reform and change the perception, then we cannot be surprised if one day in the near future the Sport of Kings is nothing but a relic of the past. Horses don’t feel pain when they break down in the metaverse like they do on the racetrack. That makes Silks a winner right there in my book and in many others as well.
Silks will be a true decentralized community where all the participants have the best interest of the game at heart. They are all stakeholders. Game of Silks can not only bring the sport of horse racing into the metaverse and Web3, but it can also be the one thing that returns the sport to its former glory. It was only 30 or so years ago racing was the number one spectator sport in the country. Silks can make that happen again and not just in the country but the world. Look at the poker boom, and fantasy sports. They pale in comparison to the Sport of Kings. It is right here. See for yourself:
Say Hello to The Game of Silks: