decentraland

The Rise of Crypto Online Casinos During the Lockdown

The online gambling sector is already a pretty big deal with its value expected to rise to a whopping $125 billion by 2025. Needless to say, these are some pretty huge figures but considering all of the developments that have been going on in the sector, it is hard to dismiss these claims. If there is a time where online gambling showed its might it is during the lockdowns and shutdowns that followed the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.

The gambling sector is pretty huge but nearly all sectors saw tremendous plunges in revenues and operation. Online gambling, on the other hand, actually rose quite significantly. An uptick in iGaming traffic was expected but no one would have imagined that would to the extents that we have witnessed.

As always, crypto and blockchain are playing a huge role in this transition. Innovation is an important aspect of the sector’s growth and one of the areas where we have seen some of the most developments is in the utilization of digital currencies and related technologies.

One of the things that have been key to the developments in the sector is the concept of the casino of the future. The pandemic and all of its impacts have fast-tracked a number of things. Now, rather than just thinking about the casino of the future, we are pondering over what gambling and entertainment will look like post-COVID-19.

Decentraland and Post-COVID Gambling

There are tons of ways that crypto has been used in casinos but perhaps the most exciting development as of this writing is the emergence of Decentraland which is essentially a crypto-centric version of Second Life. It is the very first Ethereum-powered space that is a fully user-owned virtual habitat where the currency used is referred to as non-fungible token (NFT).

This very ambitious project stands particularly because it exists in perpetuity. This means that it cannot be shut down and since it is virtual, it cannot be impacted directly by such things as pandemics. In fact, the virtual habitat already has space for all things casinos and entertainment. Crypto Valley, its large virtual business district has a casino and even virtual conference facilities that are working exceptionally well despite the project is just beginning to catch our attention.

Everything is divided into quarters in Decentraland and each serves a purpose. Speaking on the development, the masterminds behind this innovative venture pointed out how “each quarter presents a different context for gaming, from the out and out glitz of the Casino Quarter, to sophisticated gaming rooms with Las Vegas-style stage shows in the Entertainment Quarter.”

Clearly, the casino of the future is going to be a very fun place to go to, and maybe it might arrive sooner than we expected.

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Binance Partners with Swipe for Crypto Card

The crypto community has welcomed great thanks to a new move by Binance that will make crypto payments much easier and more familiar than ever before. Thanks to the partnership between the huge crypto exchange and Swipe, users of digital currencies may soon be able to use a crypto credit card for their payments.

Rumors of a potential partnership between Binance and Swipe have been floating around for quite some time. It was initially anticipated that Binance was planning to buy a majority stake in the crypto startup. While the page that details the partnership has since been taken down, there is enough evidence suggesting that Binance is well on its ways in disrupting the payment card ecosystem.

The first time that Binance unveiled its crypto debit card was back in March. According to the company, the move was meant to give crypto users a fiat gateway through which they pay for goods and services. The hype seemed to have cooled off but that is perhaps because the company was working on getting a partner to push that particular project to even greater heights.

Thankfully, the goal of the crypto card is not just to cater to existing crypto users – it is also quite easy to see that it is geared towards appealing to non-crypto users as well. The card has been advertised as being very similar to other bank-issued cards which means that it will certainly be just as easier to use. Moreover, preregistration for the card cost as a little as $15 which may have been quite the incentive for more adoption of crypto.

The Rise of Crypto Cards

Crypto card usage is not even close to peaking, at least not yet. This is very understandable considering the massive interest that both individuals and companies have shown towards crypto. Even PayPal has reportedly been considering direct sales of crypto and Visa may also be pursuing similar ambitions. These alone are enough to prove that perhaps its time to take crypto to the next level. That said, crypto cards are going to be a huge part of the next phase of the payments revolution.

We can, however, not overlook the issues that have already cropped up in the space. For instance, crypto debit cards that were issued by Wirecard stopped working after the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) suspended Wirecard Card Solutions (WCS. This is a very big deal especially because of the picture it paints of the gaming industry. Still, it is a great opportunity for the industry to learn and find ways to ensure more reliability. Maybe that is why Binance is so cautious about its next move.

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CryptoSlots Joins the Fight Against Coronavirus

The efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic are still in place and thankfully, many of the businesses that we know and love have also stepped in to aid in the fight. The gambling industry has not been left behind as several gaming businesses have been using proceeds from gambling for a good cause. One of the most notable ones is CryptoSlots.

The crypto-based online slots platform has recently released Micro Monsters, a new slot game that has gained a lot of popularity for the amazing features that it offers. These included bonus extras that make it one of the most exciting crypto-based games in existence. That is not the only thing that makes the game exciting though.

CryptoSlots has pledged to donate all of the proceeds from the new game to Direct Relief which is a charity that is currently supporting both the COVID-19 patients as well as the health workers that are catering to them. The charity’s main focus has been the provision of personal protective gear for those who are at high risk and therefore any kind of help they can get will be vital to their operations.

“Hopefully this contribution will make a difference to those on the front line as well as providing entertainment to those doing their part by staying at home,” said CryptoSlots manager Michael Hilary.

Players can even take part by taking advantage of the amazing bonuses designed just for this. Using the FIGHTCOVID100 bonus code, Micro Monsters will be able to claim a 100 percent match bonus on their deposits.

More Efforts

In addition to offering assistance to organizations that are directly trying to help in the fight against COVID-19, many others have been trying to offer other kinds of support services to other people. The world needs all the help it can get and these efforts are certainly appreciated.

One notable case of this is the efforts by SmartSessions, an Ehtereum-based cryptocurrency paywall that is helping firms and individuals take payments for their services via Zoom. As such, service providers such as teachers, yoga, and gym instructors among other professionals whose businesses have been affected by the pandemic can keep making a living.

App aside, there has been a notable increase in hires from several crypto exchanges despite overall job losses across the world. This can be attributed to speculations regarding a potential Bitcoin bull run which might result from the halving that is set to happen sometime this month. There is a lot of optimism regarding the rise in interest in digital assets hence the hiring spree. It goes without saying that hearing news about people get jobs is quite good. The outcome of all this, however, remains to be seen.

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The Atari Group Extends Its Footprint in the World of Crypto

It is becoming increasingly important for many companies to innovate and reinvent themselves especially because of the dynamic nature of the gaming industry. One of the most lucrative ventures for most sectors is the blockchain and digital currencies. These two are increasingly shaping themselves up to become the future of many industries and that makes them quite important for many companies.

Atari® has been looking to capitalize on cryptocurrencies for quite a while and it has followed through with these plans by not only inking lucrative partnerships but also launching its own crypto products. The company is clearly very determined to maintain its position as one of the leading gaming providers in the world.

Atari’s Games Coming to The Sandbox

One of Atari’s most recent partnerships is with Animoca Brands and its subsidiary TSB Gaming Limited who are the creators of the revolutionary blockchain-based gaming metaverse known as The Sandbox. As per the terms of the newly-inked partnership, voxelized versions of Atari’s popular games including classics such as Steroids®, Centipede®, Pong®, and RollerCoaster Tycoon® will become available in The Sandbox.

This a great leap forward for both companies especially because they will be making history by creating the very first virtual Atari theme park on the blockchain. Their customers will, therefore, have a lot of fun in the virtual worlds that have been inspired by Atari.

“This exciting collaboration with The Sandbox also expands and deepens Atari’s strategic involvement in blockchain-powered and cryptocurrency-fueled entertainment,” Frédéric Chesnais, Atari CEO commented.

The Sandbox is going to be a great partner for Atari especially because it boasts of being among the largest independent user-generated content and gaming platforms in the world. Its over one million monthly active users is proof of this. This number is certainly set to rise once the voxel-based blockchain version of The Sandbox launched later this year.

Atari’s Tokens and Crypto Casino

Mid-last month, Atari announced that it will be making an initial coin offering (ICO) to launch a cryptocurrency casino. The blockchain project will also see the launch of a cryptocurrency token known as the Atari Token which will be used in their crypto casino. This Atari Token will also be available on The Sandbox.

In addition to the Atari Token, the company also plans to launch another token project. The other token project is known as the Pong Token and is primarily geared towards the Kenyan market where Atari happens to hold an operator’s license.

Crypto Facilitates Illegal Gambling in Asia, Report Claims

A recent report compiled after a study of the Asian marker revealed that there has been an upsurge on illegal and unregulated crypto-based gambling. This has been attributed to the meteoric rise of digital currencies and the advancement of blockchain technology over the past few years. The report further showed details and highlights of how big the crypto-gambling industry has grown with the gamblers now being able to place bets that are substantially higher than what they could before.

Illegal gambling activities are still a huge problem across the globe. In Asia alone, the market was estimated to be worth a whopping $400 billion back in 2018 – it has definitely grown bigger now.

Why Crypto?

Digital currencies have lived up to their potential in so many ways. The core promise was to deliver fast, reliable and cheap payments to consumers and operators. They have managed to achieve this and more. Moreover, considering the legal standing of gambling activities across the globe, it is easy to see why the gaming operators would opt for digital currencies – in Asia, crypto offers the best alternative to the available restrictive banking options.

“Card issuers have made it so difficult for people to gamble (deposit and withdraw) even when the transactions are legal. As such, it is not surprising that people are looking for alternative currencies and payment methods. Cryptocurrency is an excellent facilitator for online gambling, which is a huge industry even without it,” a crypto lottery company executive explains.

Is Crypto Solely Responsible for Illegal Gambling?

Well, even though the crypto and blockchain technology has grown immensely over the past couple of years or so, fiat currency still rules. On that note, a lot of illegal gambling activities are still carried out using traditional currencies from Asian currencies.

It would seem like the reason why crypto is being cited as a major contributor is the fact that it remains unregulated and out of the control of traditional financial institutions. It is therefore much easier to point fingers at crypto than to highlight the shortcomings of the other players in the financial sector.

In fact, crypto is slowly beginning to shed off some of the baggage that was associated with it. It will definitely take some time before we can safely assume that everything has been cleared up but the progress that is being made is certainly very significant. Perhaps soon it will be much easier to identify, prevent and reports illegal gambling activities that are utilizing digital currencies. It may also be important for Asian countries to review their gambling laws in order to give their citizens good options when it comes to gambling platforms. This will keep them from turning to illegal and unregulated platforms.

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Bitcoin Three Months from Having Its Supply Halved

In a little less than 100 days, Bitcoin’s long-awaited halving will finally happen, making the digital twice as scarce as it is now. The halving which is considered to be one of the most anticipated events in the world of crypto is expected to happen on May 12. In addition to being a lot scarcer, the digital currency is set to be even more valuable. Mining it will be much more expensive once that happens simply because the rewards have now been cut in half.

What This Means for The Future

The topic of the upcoming halving has been subject to a lot of debate over the past several months. One of the most debated issues is whether the expected price increase will occur before or after the halving. None of the speculations made in this regard are verifiable and this majorly because despite the complexity of the data presented, they are dependent on simplistic comparisons from previous events in the bitcoin space.

Even so, we do not intend to invalidate the significance of the occurrences related to past halvings and how they may give us some insight into the possibilities. It will be an interesting year for bitcoin enthusiasts. That is for sure.

Another thing that is also assured is some serious volatility. The halving is quite important but we have to agree that what comes after is probably what needs more focus. We will just have to wait and see if the digital currency can pick up a fresh round of momentum in the course of the year.

Ambitious Long-Term Projections

According to renowned Wealth Manager Andy Edstrom, the Bitcoin economy is going to reach $8 Trillion in market value within the next decade. Speaking during a recent interview on the Citizen Bitcoin podcast, the wealth manager references a multi-faceted approach that took a number of factors into accounts. These factors included the devaluation of traditional or fiat currencies, speculations, and geopolitics, all of which have affected the global financial systems in one way or the other.

“…I think the total valuation on 10 years that I use is about $8 trillion and that comes from various buckets, whether it’s taking share from gold, or taking share from fiat, or taking share from offshore assets, or slightly demonetizing other stores of value like real estate or new uses that we haven’t thought of or are still under construction,” he said.

As it stands, Bitcoin’s market value sits at about $170 billion – this is rather small especially when compared to other stores of value such as gold and real estate. However, the uptrend of the cryptocurrency has given a number of pro-crypto analysts some optimism about the future of the sector. Bitcoin’s value is expected to skyrocket after the halving and this is perhaps the first step towards its $8 trillion valuation.

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Crypto Gambling in 2020: What Should We Expect?

Happy new year everyone! 2020 is finally here and all you crypto, gambling and technology enthusiasts are definitely on the lookout for some huge developments. Twelve months is, of course, a very long time and a lot could happen in that period especially considering how dynamic everything about those sectors can be. Still, it will be a very interesting journey.

The Rise of Crypto Gambling

Digital currency-based gambling did not kick off in 2019 but the year did see to a number of neat developments in that space. This was fueled by the increasing numbers of mobile and internet users. Moreover, the world seems to be finally warming up to digital currencies. Awareness about the technology is the highest it has ever been. That is the recipe for the growing number of crypto-based gambling platform providers.

While the gambling industry is known for toying with new and innovative technologies from time to time, they may have just hit the jackpot with crypto. Lots of people have begun to understand that crypto payments are secure and extremely fast which makes them great options for gamers. There are hundreds of digital currencies currently available and each of them offers something unique and different. That is just the start though.

Is It Mature Enough?

Gamblers already have access to a number of new crypto-based casinos and they are quite popular among players from all over the world. Now, this has been an eye-opener of sorts to other online gambling operators and they have begun to integrate digital currencies. In 2020, this trend should be even more prominent. Soon your favorite online casino will have a digital currency option for deposits and withdrawals.  A few have already gotten on board with this trend.

Payments and banking aside, crypto-based technologies including the blockchain and smart contracts have also evolved tremendously. Most of the efforts in this regard were rather experimental or still in the nascent stages of their implementation. That said, a number of industry experts have confirmed that the technologies are mature enough to be rolled out on wider scales. In the past, the laxity was a little justified since gaming companies were not willing to overhaul their systems and replace it with experimental technology. Not anymore. The ones that hold out too long may even lose out in the long run.

The growth rate of crypto-based gambling solutions is very impressive, to say the least. Improvements will, of course, be necessary but that is a universal law of service delivery. We have already come far enough and there is still a long way to go.

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Crypto to Have More Impact on the Future of Online Gambling

Over the past decade, cryptocurrencies have, without a doubt, been one of the most influential technologies on the planet. Even though most people may only be aware of a couple of cryptocurrencies and a few rather mainstream applications, there is much more that underlies the industry. These are mostly in niche sectors but they have been significantly impacted nonetheless.

One of the growing numbers of areas where digital currencies and the blockchain are making a wave is in the gambling sector. This is especially true for the online gambling sector. For this piece, we are interested in breaking down some recent developments involving two digital currencies.

BlockchainTRON (TRX) Revolutionary Technology

On online gambling websites, bitcoin still reigns supreme but it has been receiving massive competition from BlockchainTRON (TRX) which is viewed by many to be a viable alternative. That said, as hard it may seem, there is a chance that the digital currency could potentially match up to or even dethrone bitcoin in the online gambling space.

Right off the bat, the TRX project is mainly aimed at ensuring the provision of a decentralized global digital gambling and entertainment system. In its quest to achieve that, it has managed to outshine bitcoin and some other digital currencies in a number of ways including its ability to provide simple and cost-effective sharing of digital content.

Perhaps the biggest advantage that TRX has is the fact that the platform already boasts of having a number of decentralized apps (dApps) on its network. Most of these ones are online casinos with a plethora of casino games that players can dive into.

As such, the future of online gambling will certainly be tied to crypto and blockchain technologies in one way or the other. TRX will definitely be a part of that thanks to its decentralized TRON blockchain platform.

The Rise of Tether

A year ago, Tether was not a very recognizable name, especially among mainstream users. However, things have changed dramatically with some digital currency payment processors revealing that they were recording up to 30 times the number Tether transactions they were processing last year.

Despite the controversies surrounding its use – there are speculations that it is being used to manipulate the prices of other digital assets – Tether actually has so much to offer. Its main selling point is its stability, that is, it was built on the principle of stability with its price being kept at a 1 to 1 ratio with the US Dollar. This is achieved through the use of reserves. It is this feature that has made it so popular among hundreds of merchants including a number of popular online gambling platforms.

In fact, it is being used in place of many other cryptocurrencies which is definitely proof that it might just be here to stay.

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China’s Digital Currency to Launch Soon

The central bank of China is reportedly ready to launch its state-backed digital currency and once launched, it will be initially issued to seven institutions over the next months. According Paul Schulte, an independent researcher and formers employee of one of the institutions, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China; two of China’s largest financial technology companies, Alibaba and Tencent; and Union Pay, an association of Chinese banks, will receive the cryptocurrency. There are also reports that there is an eighth institution that will receive the central bank’s currency when it finally launches.

While the institutions have not officially released any information pertaining to the plans for the digital currency, the country’s government has previously confirmed that the technology that will be powering the currency has been ready since 2018 and it could launch as soon as November 11.

Once it is launched, the institutions that will be issued with the digital currency will be responsible for dispersing it to China’s 1.3 billion citizens as well as to people doing business using China’s fiat currency. Furthermore, the Chinese central bank has hopes that the currency will eventually be availed to users in other parts of the world through relationships with corresponding banks in those jurisdictions – the United State is one of the prime candidates for these plans.

Why Is China Launching Its Own Digital Currency?

China has one of the biggest informal or black economies on the planet and this makes the collection of taxes very difficult.

“The major business for most underground banks is now contra payments, leading to huge capital outflows and great damage to society. It’s the major target of our crackdown,” reveals a recent notice issued by China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) believes that the introduction of a state-backed digital currency will help it take back control of certain aspects of the economy and crack-down on the black economy. The currency is intended to offer “controllable privacy” which will allow users to transact without having to give away personal information. To achieve this, the currency will be “loosely coupled’ with an account. However, for the sake of mitigating against tax evasion and other illegal activities, the People’s Bank of China will be able to view the transactions.

“…there will be variable transaction fees, as well as daily and annual transaction limits to give the central bank more tools to control the velocity of money and its supply when interest rates cease to be a viable channel for intervention,” the Vice Governor of the bank said.

Lowering the cost of transactions is another aspect that the bank hopes to achieve in its bid to make financial services more widely available. Needless to say, this will be a huge development for the country since a significant portion of the population is unbanked.

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Facebook’s Libra and the Future of Digital Currencies

A few weeks ago, Facebook Inc. announced it plans to launch Libra, a blockchain-based payment system that the company has described as a new “global currency”. This term may seem very familiar and this is because it has been thrown around especially when describing other digital currencies. However, unlike most, if not all other cryptocurrencies, Libra is actually backed by real assets and is pegged to stable government securities.

As a matter of fact, the project has already partnered with several corporate partners who include global financial companies such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and Coinbase among others – each of these companies has contributed at least $10 million for the initiative and Facebook plans to partner with as many as 100 companies and accumulate $1 billion in assets by the time Libra goes live in the first half of 2020.

The Goal

Needless to say, Facebook’s announcement was not like any other digital currency unveiling. This was not just another blockchain and there is a very good reason why. So, unlike other digital currency offerings, Facebook’s new venture aims to bank the unbanked population (1.7 billion people) and this is what makes it such a big deal.

Obviously, providing financial services to such as a scale using relatively new financial technology is definitely no easy task but this is where Facebook’s resources and the members of the Libra Association come in. Putting those into consideration, it is pretty clear that the project was well thought out which is expected of any company that hopes to break the ground on new and innovative ideas.

How It Works

Libra is expected to allow people to purchase goods and services as well as send me to others with almost no fees. Users will also be able to use pseudonyms to buy or cash out their Libra on a number of online platforms or at exchange points such as grocery stores. They will also be able to spend the currency using third-party wallets or Facebook’s Calibra wallet that will be offered using a standalone app and will also be built into WhatsApp and Messenger.

Fortunately, the digital currency and platform offer some form of decentralization since Facebook will not have full control of Libra – just like the other members of the Libra Association such as Uber and Visa, the behemoth tech company will only get a single vote in the governance of the new currency. The Libra association as a whole will be tasked with promoting the open-source Libra Blockchain as well as the currency’s developer platform with its own Move programming language.

Moreover, Calibra, a subsidiary company, is also being launched by Facebook and it will be tasked with handling crypto dealings and protecting the users especially from targeted advertising. To achieve this, the company will ensure that the users’ real identities are not tied to their publicly visible  Libra transactions.