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Cryptocurrencies in the Gambling Industry: the Positives and Negatives

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Bitcoin has seems unstoppable over the past year-and-a-half. The one-time experiment has outperformed real-world currencies, given financial institutions something to think about. Recently, it has become a regularly traded commodity with millions of investors, miners and sellers interacting with the ecosystem. Granted, it’s had its hiccups lately, and there are plenty of pretenders to the throne who are jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon, but the first true cryptocurrency is really showing the world it’s potential applications and how problems like scaling are being solved.

One industry that could change massively from increased use of bitcoin is the online gambling industry. Built completely on millions of online transactions, gaming companies could see that way that their services are paid for transform if more people were to adopt bitcoin as a preferred currency. There are plenty of implications for both players and the owners of these companies, many of which could end up saving both sides plenty of money. But are cryptocurrencies the best currencies to gamble with?

No More Middleman

The big advantage of bitcoin is the lack of an agent to transfer funds. Bitcoin negates the need for a bank or credit card, with the trade taking place directly between the customer and the business. This could result in a huge cost saving for online gaming sites, which would eventually be passed on to the customer. The other side of the coin is the time taken to transfer funds, although playing online games like poker is extremely convenient, players are often left frustrated with the amount of time it takes for them to get their hands on their hard-earned winnings, if online poker sites were to adopt bitcoin the waiting time would be none existent. Unfortunately, for certain banks and credit card services, there can be a wait for several working days before funds become available in the player’s bank account after a win.

One of the biggest outgoings for online gaming sites are currency fees. This can be anything from a credit card charge to the costs associated with exchange rates. Dealing with banks, credit companies and even companies like PayPal instantly means surrendering a percentage, usually around 1-2% of the initial payment from the player before any profit is made. This can often be in the millions per month when large numbers of players carry out multiple transactions and payments in a short space of time.

Security

The trouble with credit card details are that they can be easily stolen, and with the amount of big-profile hacks seen in 2017, customer details are big business for cybercriminals. We already know about the benefits of blockchain technology for casinos and how much more secure it can be, and this is definitely another advantage for players who wish to deposit their funds using a cryptocurrency. Thanks to the anonymity afforded by bitcoin, there’s also no personal details to file, or any personal information held by the online casino that could be stolen.

Anonymity could be a problem for online gambling companies, however. Crimes like money laundering are already a problem for physical casinos, and allowing anyone to deposit sums in a gaming account without any indication as to who they are could be fraught with issues. The best workaround for this is for all users to register with their personal details before they can deposit anything with their bitcoin account, but there’s still the risk of information being falsified. In addition, it’s a lot easier to buy bitcoin than it is to register a bank account.

Volatility

Accepting or making payments in dollars or pounds is a pretty safe option for gamblers and online gaming companies. It’s unlikely that the currencies will devalue or rapidly increase in value over a short period of time, and it can be favorable to generate interest from money being held in multiple accounts. Although bitcoin has the same growth elements, it is nowhere near as safe as a traditional currency in terms of predictability and stability.

It’s key to remember that bitcoin is unknown territory. We had never seen a cryptocurrency before bitcoin arrived, and for a long time the growth of bitcoin was both exponential and rapid. Last year, a price of $20,000 was topped, before a rapid decrease to a current price of around $8,000 per coin today. This huge change could be very problematic if, for example, a casino accepted payment in bitcoin, but then offered the option to withdraw in a different currency. The easiest solution is to only pay out in bitcoin if payment was made in bitcoin, but then online casinos don’t have the benefits associated with holding cash.

There’s also the more extreme possibility of cryptocurrencies collapsing altogether. Bitcoin may be fairly solid with plenty of public interest and a solid investor base, but there are plenty of others looking to take market share who may not last as long. Accepting payment in a less established cryptocurrency could spell problems if it doesn’t take off, or even disappears altogether with customers expecting a payout.

Scalability

With bitcoin prices at just over $8,000, and with previous prices over $20,000, it’s unlikely that people will be betting that amount in one go (unless they’re Floyd Mayweather). The average stake in the U.K. is just under £9, so expecting anyone to have that sort of cash on hand is unrealistic. Bitcoin can be fractional, but this creates more hassle in terms of transfers and mathematics.

Bitcoin miners have realized this issue, and so have their competitors. Bitcoin cash is the latest challenger, a cryptocurrency aimed at being closer to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original concept by being less about boosting value through investment and more about daily use. As the people behind bitcoin cash are all ex-bitcoin ‘enthusiasts’ (bitcoin is anarchic, with no management or staff, managed totally by an online community), then this could be the hard fork that splits bitcoin truly down the middle.

The big advantage with cryptocurrencies at the moment is public interest, and increasing trust. The blockchain model is extremely secure and practical, and is even being applied by organisations to provide more transactions, and the immediate, fee-free transfer of funds is very attractive for both users and businesses. But a big detractor is that cryptocurrencies are still fairly unregulated, and possibly even prone to the bubble effect. Speculation is managed in real-world commodity and stock trading by governments and financial regulators, but bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are parallel to traditional financial institutions. If bitcoin collapsed tomorrow, there’s little in the way of insurance or financial protection.

Although cryptocurrencies have a long way to go, they’re still a great way of placing a bet. As well as being quicker and more secure to use, you’ve also got the possibility of your preferred currency actually growing as you gamble with it, something you wouldn’t get from using a traditional currency. The risk of losing everything is slightly higher, but then again you’re about to gamble with it anyway, so we’re sure you’re happy to take a risk! We’d recommend choosing a provider that accepts and pays out in both bitcoin and other currencies though, so you can take advantage of any market growth if your coins are currently being held by your gaming provider.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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2.3 stars on average, based on 1 rated postsAshley graduated from university in 2016, where he studied Business Management and Finance at London South Bank University.




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  1. Constantin

    March 14, 2018 at 6:44 am

    What about the coins that are meant for online betting and games, like Funfair?
    A follow up that includes these would be interesting.

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ICE Has Raised $182.5 Million for Upcoming Bakkt Trading Platform

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The downturn in crypto has not deterred high-profile investors from betting big on the future of the market. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the world’s largest stock exchange operator, has raised $182.5 million in support of its Bakkt cryptocurrency venture.

Bakkt: Institutional Support Grows

The Bakkt startup has raised $182.5 million from more than a dozen high-profile investors and venture capital firms, CEO Kelly Loeffler announced Monday. First-round investors include: Boston Consulting Group, CMT Digital, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Goldfinch Partners, Alan Howard, Horizons Ventures, Microsoft’s venture capital arm, M12, Pantera Capital, PayU, Naspers’ fintech arm and Protocol Ventures.

“Our work today is centered on driving institutional access for digital assets, along with merchant and consumer uses, and we’re already expanding on this vision, collaborating with great companies like Starbucks in these efforts,” Loeffler said.

Further details on Bakkt’s 2019 objectives will be announced sometime next month, though Loeffler indicated that the focus is on developing new infrastructure for the nascent market. This includes the “industry’s first institutional grade regulated exchange, clearing and warehousing services for physical delivery and storage.”

What is Bakkt? Preparing for the Physical Bitcoin Futures Market

Bakkt is scheduled to launch its bitcoin futures market Jan. 24 but delays in regulatory approvals could see that date get pushed back by a week or more. Further details can be found in the following article from Dec. 22.

Disrupting Traditional Finance

Bakkt has been described as the world’s first physically-backed bitcoin futures market, but its mandate stretches far beyond that. When ICE first unveiled the crypto startup in August, the goal was to broaden institutional access and consumer adoption of digital assets. Through high-profile partnerships with Starbucks and Microsoft and with the support of early investors like Susquehanna International and Fortress Investment, Bakkt is aiming to bring “regulated, connected infrastructure together with institutional and consumer applications for digital assets,” according to Jeffrey Sprecher, the founder and chairman of ICE.

NYSE Owner Is Betting Big on Cryptocurrency with Bakkt

The launch of a physically-settled bitcoin futures market as early as next month means institutional investors can access digital assets through a trusted custodian. On the consumer side, Starbucks will be the flagship retailer of Bakkt with the goal of developing practical applications for commercial use. According to Starbucks senior executive Maria Smith, consumers will one day be able to convert cryptocurrencies into dollars at various Starbucks locations.

Starbucks will play an important role in helping Bakkt disrupt the traditional payments market. One of Bakkt’s stated goals is to move consumers away from credit cards toward crypto applications.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.7 stars on average, based on 740 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he leads content development for one of the world's foremost cryptocurrency resources. Over the past eight years Sam has authored more than 10,000 articles and over 40 whitepapers in the fields of labor market economics, emerging technologies, cryptocurrency and traditional finance. Sam's work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Contact: sam@hacked.com Twitter: @hsbourgi




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Projects Built on Stellar and Possible Investment Ideas

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In this article, I will speak about five projects that have chosen Stellar blockchain as opposed to the Ethereum network. A distinctive feature of Stellar (https://www.stellar.org/) is that it is sharpened for micropayments and has a throughput of up to 3,000 transactions per second and confirmation within 3-5 seconds. So it is not surprising, that many projects like a Stellar as a solution for their projects.

SmartLands

SmartLands (SLT) is a platform for issuing security tokens and tokenization of real estate. Since the ICO in November 2017 it has raised slightly more than $1.7 million at $0.50/SLT. The product, designed for business use, is ready and works.

I do not see any entry points here although the coin has provided 7x returns in USD over 6 months.

Mobius (MOBI) – “connect the world with the blockchain” – is their slogan. It provides integration of tokens and smart contracts into any existing applications, as well as m2m (machine-to-machine) payments. During the ICO it raised $35 million at $0.16/MOBI. The token itself is used for payment in dApp store and stacking.

The asset does not seem interesting for me for investing.

SureRemit

SureRemit (RMT) is a specific niche product sharpened for quick and cheap remittances targeting migrant workers, as well as micro-payments for utilities. During the ICO it raised $10 million at $ 0.02/RMT. The application is ready, about 700 reception points are open in 5 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

  • SureRemit Price: $0.00458187
  • Market Cap: $2,290,759
  • Trading Volume: $587.40
  • Website: https://sureremit.co/

No entry point since there is virtually no volume.

Ternio

Ternio (TERN) is the “fastest blockchain in the world,” according to the website, with a bandwidth of up to 1 million transactions per second. During the ICO it raised $3 million at $0.02/TERN. The project is designed for online advertising, but according to the developers, can apply to any area where high transaction speed is required.

Maybe a good point to open some minor positions to play against ETH for short term with an aim of 20%.

SIX Network

SIX Network (SIX) is the brainchild of the Thai giant OOKBEE, offering “blockchain integration into everyday life.” During the ICO it raised $42 million ($ 0.1/SIX). The team released a universal wallet and founded a blockchain fund. Beta version is scheduled for the third quarter of 2019.

  • SIX Network Price: $0.01072694
  • Market Cap: $2,924,708
  • Trading Volume: $157,785
  • Website: https://six.network/

Here could be a good option to play against BTC. Currently, the price is around 250 Satoshi, and the target could be in a range of 400-450. Volumes are increasing, but no major exchanges are present.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.9 stars on average, based on 42 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017.




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What is Bakkt? Preparing for the Physical Bitcoin Futures Market

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As interest in the global cryptocurrency market grows, the need for a safe and efficient way to use digital assets grows with it. This article will focus on the Bakkt platform, which will allow institutional customers to perform various operations with digital assets as part of a seamless global network.

Investors and Team

The brains behind Bakkt is none other than Jeff Sprecher, head of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the world’s premier stock exchange operator. The project’s CEO will be Sprecher’s spouse, Kelly Loeffler, head of ICE’s digital assets department.

Behind the development of the project is Intercontinental Exchange itself – the operator of global stock exchanges and data services. Bakkt will cooperate with such giants in the field of emerging consumer fintech, like BCG, Starbucks, Microsoft. The main goal is to form an accessible ecosystem capable of supporting the growing needs of the digital assets market. Investors of Bakkt include Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, Galaxy Digital, Horizons Ventures, Pantera Capital, Protocol Ventures, Susquehanna International Group, LLP, as well as British billionaire and hedge fund manager Alan Howard.

Main Objectives 

Bakkt is supposed to integrate institutional level markets with a custodian services system through trade and consumer applications. The first phase of the project will focus on trading and exchange transactions with Bitcoin and fiat currencies. The choice in favor of Bitcoin is explained by the fact that it still has the highest liquidity in the cryptocurrency market.

By combining consumer and institutional applications with a regulated infrastructure, project founders seek to ensure transparency and trust in digital asset markets. This will provide the project with a key role in increasing institutional, trade and consumer participation in the field of digital assets.

As part of the initial offer of Bakkt, ICE plans to release non-digital Bitcoin futures with custodian services in the first quarter of 2019, subject to review and approval of by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Future regulated trading platforms will establish new protocols to manage specific security requirements and transactions with digital assets. In addition, the clearinghouse will form a special guarantee fund, financing of which will be provided by Bakkt.

As Hacked previously reported, Bakkt was originally scheduled for launch by mid-December. The date has since been pushed back to Jan. 24, but this too may face a slight delay. Read more: Bitcoin Pulls Back from Three-Week Highs After Rapid Ascent; Bakkt Postponed Again?

Benefits

This project is considered capable of engineering a global revolution in the field of digital assets and cryptocurrency technologies. This is provided by strong support from technological and financial giants mentioned above.

The main strengths of the project are identified below:

  • Availability of sale, purchase and storage of digital assets to end users.
  • Increase confidence, efficiency in the use of digital assets in commerce.
  • Development of new open ideas for connecting the traditional market liquidity and trade infrastructure to blockchain technology.
  • The company has been operating in the financial market since 2000 and is on the Fortune 500 and Fortune Future 50 list.
  • Its wide range of services includes customer service in investment and trading in global financial markets through exchanges, clearing houses and information services.
  • ICE Data Services is a leader in market data, providing the necessary information and connectivity to virtually any type of asset.
  • ICE is the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, which has helped many companies increase their capital more than any other exchange in the world, stimulating economic growth and transforming markets.
  • Owns the world’s largest market for ETF Arca and the leading platform for mid-tier companies NYSE American.
  • It is a leader in almost all categories of futures for “soft” agricultural products (sugar, coffee and cotton).
  • ICE Futures Europe tops the list of global markets for the sale of Brent crude oil.
    At the end of 2017, it received revenue of $ 4.6 billion.
  • ICE’s powerful trading infrastructure can become a platform for the development of Bakkt, providing it with everything necessary for successful development.
  • The project has enormous potential for ensuring wide recognition and use of digital assets, which in turn will have a positive effect on the overall capitalization of the digital assets market.
  • The project is planned to be launched in early quater 2019 with the participation of the 12 largest world exchanges and a wide range of exchange instruments that will ensure the introduction of Bitcoin into the fiat market as a global digital currency.

The Bakkt project can provide a significant boost in the development of the digital asset market and the expansion of its use. In this regard, the year 2019 can be considered as the year of the merger of two segments of the financial world on a global scale – the fiat market and the sphere of digital assets.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.9 stars on average, based on 42 rated postsVladislav Semjonov has a legal and financial background. He has been involved in crypto space since early 2017 in both ICO advising positions in several ICO consultancy firms, and as an ICO analyst for VC. He began contributing for Hacked.com in April 2017.




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Hacked.com and its team members have pledged to reject any form of advertisement or sponsorships from 3rd parties. We will always be neutral and we strive towards a fully unbiased view on all topics. Whenever an author has a conflicting interest, that should be clearly stated in the post itself with a disclaimer. If you suspect that one of our team members are biased, please notify me immediately at jonas.borchgrevink(at)hacked.com.

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