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Actor, Musician, and Entrepreneur Jared Leto Warns Against Gambling-Like Bitcoin Investing

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Jared Leto Warns Against Gambling-Like Bitcoin Investing
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An on-and-off Academy Award winning actor, frontman of 30 Seconds to Mars, the band holding the Guinness record for the longest concert tour with 309 concerts, and a tech investor, Jared Leto also seems to have familiarized himself with the bitcoin craze as he has recently joined the growing debate over the nature of cryptocurrency investing.

In an interview with Australian radio station Nova, Leto presented his opinion on the matter, slamming bitcoin investing as gambling. The multi-faceted artist warned future investors against putting their money into bitcoin. He called cryptocurrency investing gambling and speculation, and went on to say that the activity is not something a person who could not afford to lose their money should delve into.

Leto’s comments come at a time when bitcoin and those investing in it are having a bit of a hard time. The virtual currency’s price reached an all-time high of $19,343.04 in mid-December, but growing regulatory pressure from different parts of the world and other factors resulted in its price dropping significantly overnight, spurring fears that any investor’s worst nightmare of a bubble burst could come true. At the time of writing, bitcoin’s price stands at $10,083.85, up slightly from earlier today when it tumbled to $9,748.53.

While we cannot say whether Leto’s knowledge is extensive enough, it should be noted that his opinion about the gambling-like nature of cryptocurrency investing is shared by many financial experts and analysts.

Regulators’ Stance on Cryptocurrency Investing

Due to the volatility of bitcoin and altcoins’ prices, investing in these has often been referred to as gambling. The Bank of Canada has recently become the latest financial institution to join the debate over the proper definition of cryptocurrency investing.

In an interview with business news outlet CNBC, Canada’s central bank governor said that bitcoin investing is gambling and not actual investing. The official further pointed out that the Bank of Canada will be working with regulators from different parts of the world for crafting regulations aimed to put limitations on certain aspectsof cryptocurrency investing and trading.

While digital currencies and investing in those are considered a form of gambling by many, actual gambling regulators have pointed out that they have no authority over the regulation of the activity. The Netherlands Gaming Authority was one such regulatory body to comment on the matter. The regulator said in a statement that under the country’s current gambling regulations, cryptocurrency investing cannot be defined as any form of gambling and it thus does not fall under its purview.

The Actual Link between Cryptocurrencies and Gambling

The potential of digital currencies has been spotted by the global gambling industry. A number of online gambling operators have added cryptocurrency transactions to their lists of available payment options, and many more are expected to follow suit. Generally speaking, cryptocurrencies allow a relative anonymity, cutting out banks and other third-party financial institutions.

The UK Gambling Commission has been among the regulators to acknowledge the use of bitcoin and altcoins for gambling-related transactions, as long as these are conducted between UK gambling customers and UK-licensed operators. However, the regulator has warned of the risks of transactions of this type.

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Navigating Bitcoin’s Impact: SOFTSWISS’ iGaming Industry Overview

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In March 2024, Bitcoin soared to a historical high, nearing 70,000 euro per coin. How does this impact the iGaming market? Being a tech company with over 15 years of experience and an innovator in crypto iGaming software development, SOFTSWISS shares anticipations in its quarterly crypto analysis.

Over 220 brands powered by the company engaged in crypto transactions during the first quarter of 2024, which is 12% higher than the previous quarter. SOFTSWISS experts analyse the data gathered from crypto-friendly brands by employing extrapolation, comparative, and correlative analysis.

 

iGaming Market Overview: Unveiling Anticipated Growth

The size of the global online gambling and sports betting industry is expected to rise significantly and exceed 170 billion euro by 2032, according to Statista. Based on SOFTSWISS data, the iGaming market has demonstrated a stable pattern of growth year after year.

In absolute terms in euro, the Total Bet Sum grew by 5.8% in the first quarter of the year compared to the last quarter of 2023. Analysing the year-on-year increase, comparing Q1’24 with Q1’23, the growth is more impressive, showcasing a 47.2% boost.

Simultaneously, the Total Bet Count, both fiat and crypto, displayed a slightly larger gain in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the previous quarter, surpassing 6.1%. The indicator’s year-on-year boost is much more notable, revealing a 57.2% increase.

The popularity of iGaming in recent years has been fuelled by its global reach and accessibility due to constant technological advancements. On one hand, the quality of internet connectivity continues to rise, while on the other, new payment methods are emerging, simplifying payment procedures.

The in-depth quarterly analysis, ongoing since the beginning of 2022, reveals that fiat bets are undergoing more substantial growth compared to crypto bets. In Q1’24, the Fiat Bet Sum increased by 6.9% compared to Q4’23, while the rise of Crypto Bet Sum was at 2.4%.

 

The more active growth of fiat bets led to a slight decrease in the share of crypto. In the first quarter of 2024, the crypto share in the Total Bets Sum settled at 24.4%, decreasing by 0.8 percentage points (p.p) compared to the last quarter of 2023.

 

What is the State of Crypto in iGaming?

Analysing crypto bets, it is crucial to highlight that almost 93% of them are facilitated through the in-game currency conversion tool, which is gaining traction. This mechanism allows operators to engage players with cryptocurrency assets in games initially tailored for fiat only. Operators that adopt such options are gaining more competitive advantages in the market.

While the Q1’2024 Crypto Bet Sum shows a moderate 2.4% growth compared to the previous quarter, the year-on-year analysis demonstrates a 20.8% increase. The Crypto Bet Count remained unchanged in Q1’24 compared to the previous quarter’s indicator. Simultaneously, the metric increased by 21.3% year-on-year. The figures speak volumes, showcasing a consistent interest among players in crypto gaming.

“The lack of a substantial increase in the number of crypto bets during Q1’24 can be partly attributed to the significant rise of the Bitcoin exchange rate during this period, leading players to be more cautious with their crypto bets.  This trend mirrors the situation in the first quarter of the previous year when the Bitcoin exchange rate surged following a decline at the end of 2022,” comments Vitali Matsukevich, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS.

 

What Distinguishes the Average Crypto Bet?

The average crypto bet increased to 1.71 euro in the first quarter of the year from 1.66 euro in the last quarter of 2023. This growth correlates with a significant strengthening of the Bitcoin rate during the first quarter of 2024.

The average fiat bet remained steady at around 0.81 euro in Q1’24 and Q4’23. The average total bet stayed constant since the second half of the previous year and is equal to 0.93 euro.

 

Notably, the average crypto bet is double that of fiat. This indicates that digital currencies are preferred by higher-income players.


Why Did Bitcoin’s Share Drop?

The Top Five most operated digital coins in iGaming have remained stable during the last two years with minor changes in ranking order. The top still includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and Tether.

 

In Q1 2024, Bitcoin experienced a significant decline of 9.4 p.p. compared to Q4 2023. This could be attributed to the bolstering Bitcoin exchange rate and players exercising a more cautious approach towards it.

In contrast, the shares of other digital coins have increased. Ethereum and Litecoin showed growth of 4.0 p.p. and 3.8 p.p., respectively, during the same period. Simultaneously, Dogecoin rose to fourth place in the ranking, leaving Tether behind.

Vitali Matsukevich, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS, summarises: “The benefits of employing digital currencies, such as fast transactions and anonymity, still attract many players. Embracing cryptocurrencies in iGaming can boost operator profits despite their volatile nature.

As the Bitcoin rate is expected to strengthen after the Bitcoin Halving, the average crypto bet and projected gains may see a notable impact. During such promising times, it is crucial to have reliable and experienced partners to navigate the path to success.”

 

About SOFTSWISS

SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland, and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform, and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.

 

 

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Should iGaming Be Worried About 2024 Bitcoin Halving?

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Should iGaming Be Worried About 2024 Bitcoin Halving?
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In its LinkedIn newsletter, ‘The SOFTSWISS Special’, SOFTSWISS, a global tech expert with over 15 years of experience in iGaming, delves into the impact of Bitcoin Halving on the iGaming realm. 

The recent historical moment of Bitcoin Halving took place on 19th April 2024. SOFTSWISS, a pioneer in crypto-friendly iGaming software, shares its insights and forecasts for how this event may shape the future of iGaming, shedding light on potential opportunities and challenges for industry stakeholders.

 

What is Bitcoin Halving?

The Bitcoin halving is a scheduled event that occurs approximately every four years or every 210,000 blocks. During this event, the reward for mining and verifying new blocks is reduced by 50%, resulting in miners earning only half the number of BTC per mined block. 

Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin’s mining reward has halved four times, occurring in 2012, 2016, 2020, and 2024. The recent April halving reduced the reward to 3.125 BTC per block. Such events are crucial for Bitcoin’s scarcity and inflation control, ensuring that the total supply never exceeds 21 million coins and aligning with its deflationary principles.

Historically, each halving event has resulted in a rise in Bitcoin’s price. This is attributed to the reduced supply and increased scarcity, although other market factors have also influenced these outcomes.

 

Exploring the Impact of Bitcoin Halving on the iGaming Industry

To provide an in-depth analysis of the Bitcoin Halving impact on iGaming, SOFTSWISS invited Bradley Peak, blockchain expert and tokenomics adviser, to share its anticipations.

  • Bets rise: The halving is expected to lead to an increase in Bitcoin’s value. If the trend of impressive price surges persists, Bitcoin-friendly iGaming brands could see a positive impact.
  • Crypto adoption increase: Implementing crypto-friendly models has the potential to boost player trust and transparency in iGaming. Additionally, it could rejuvenate unique gaming experiences like provably fair games and decentralised casinos.
  • Regulatory frameworks improvement: The recent Bitcoin halving could prompt regulatory bodies to reassess their stance on cryptocurrency gambling. This could lead to new regulations ensuring fairness, responsible gambling, and anti-money laundering measures in the crypto-driven iGaming sector. 

Bradley Peak, blockchain expert, comments on the recent changes: “Any transformation will not be without its challenges. It is important to adapt – invest in employee learning and development, onboard crypto processing, and make sure your platform remains secure in the process.”

Explore the influence of the 2024 Bitcoin Halving on the iGaming industry in the fourth edition of The SOFTSWISS Special newsletter on LinkedIn.

 

About SOFTSWISS 

SOFTSWISS is an international tech company supplying software solutions for managing iGaming projects. The expert team, which counts over 2,000 employees, is based in Malta, Poland, and Georgia. SOFTSWISS holds a number of gaming licences and provides one-stop-shop iGaming software solutions. The company has a vast product portfolio, including the Online Casino Platform, the Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, the Affilka affiliate platform, the Sportsbook Platform and the Jackpot Aggregator. In 2013, SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to introduce a Bitcoin-optimised online casino solution.

 

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Bitcoin Miner celebrates two years of hugely successful collaboration with ZBD

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Bitcoin Miner, the world’s number one Bitcoin game, is celebrating two years of its collaboration with ZBD, a leading fintech company powering digital economies for gamers and developers. Since the partnership began, Bitcoin Miner has gone from a forgotten title with no players to becoming one of the largest play-and-earn games ever, with over 2 million lifetime users.

ZBD’s Lightning-powered payments technology enables developers to inject instant rewards into their games to boost retention and community engagement. Fumb Games, the studio behind Bitcoin Miner, partnered with ZBD in March 2022 to help revive its flagship title, enabling it to reward players with fragments of Bitcoin for playing the game as normal. From the outset, the integration of ZBD’s tech had a marked impact, leading to a 12x boost in 30-day retention. Two years on, Bitcoin Miner is achieving 40,000 daily active users, making it the biggest Bitcoin game by user count.

Besides the retention benefit of rewards, which leads to player retention that exceeds 6 months, the success of Bitcoin Miner has also been fueled by community-based features such as regular live events. The majority of Bitcoin Miner players are US-based millennial males who enjoy engaging with gaming communities, with weekly events leading to a 20% increase in revenue. As well as its own community of engaged players, Bitcoin Miner benefits from the ZBD app user base of more than a million gamers.

Paul West, Founder of Fumb Games, said “Bitcoin Miner has proven that US players love games that are fun, snackable and rewarding. The  game is not only sustainable, but has soared to new heights since the partnership with ZBD. It’s no surprise that I’m very excited for the future of bitcoin and player-friendly rewarded games.”

Ben Cousens, Chief Strategy Officer at ZBD, said “The two-year collaboration with Paul and Fumb Games on Bitcoin Miner has been a quintessential success story for what we’re building at ZBD. It proves the value in offering rewards for gamers and the success of ZBD’s rewards and payments tech at making it possible at speed and scale. We will no doubt see further impressive numbers for Bitcoin Miner that cement its status as world’s number one Bitcoin game, and we also look forward to extending the potential benefits of Bitcoin rewards to more developers.”

In November 2023, Fumb Games also integrated ZBD’s technology in its idle tycoon RPG SpaceY. ZBD works with more than 100 game developers worldwide, including major brands such as Square Enix, and is also used by innovative adtech companies like Slice and AdInMo.

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