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Are Bitcoin Casinos Legal?

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Are Bitcoin Casinos Legal?
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Cryptocurrency, especially bitcoins, became trendy a few years ago. The variety of digital currencies grows every day.  If it was difficult to imagine where people can spend their tokens ten years ago, today, there are a lot of options on how to invest them or what to buy for them. Online gambling flourished last year too. Online casino bitcoin is fresh but very popular. There is only one unanswered question – is crypto gambling legal? But, first of all, it is necessary to generally describe blockchain tech and bitcoins.

What Is Bitcoin and How Does Blockchain Technology Work?

For the first time, blockchain tech was described in the 80-es of the 20th century, but only in 2008, it was realized and popularized by someone known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Blockchain is a digital technology to hold records about transactions (blocks) on different public databases (chains) connected by the peer-to-peer network. To say simple, it is a decentralized structure to protect transfers among users. Blockchains are in use not only for cryptocurrency operations today because they allow protecting every action from any tampering. It means that information in the digital ledger is under high safeguard. Also, this technology provides data transfers very quickly without a third approval party.

Bitcoin is the first and most popular cryptocurrency in the world. It is decentralized and may be submitted only as a digital currency that can be transferred or exchanged by blockchain technology. BTC is created by mining. Totally, 21 million coins can be mined. However, the pace of mined bitcoins decreases every 4 years. It means that the last coin will be mined near the 2140 year.

There are a lot of talks about the future of bitcoins and their impact on the global economy. Hence, the most interesting question is about the legal status of crypto and its use.

The Legality of Cryptocurrency over the Globe

Law always hampers with the regulation of new object reality. It is never clear which events will be longstanding and which not. In the first few years, authorities looked closely at cryptocurrency. Even now, there are many experts who say that the wave of coins will decrease soon, and they will lose most users. However, developed countries and many of their satellites (the USA, EU members, the UK, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and so on) have started regulating bitcoins’ flow the same as finance’s flow. Somewhere, the situation is contentious. For example, in Canada, bitcoins are not prohibited now, and dealers in crypto are regulated as money service businesses. At the same time, companies dealing with virtual currencies must register with the FTRAC (special regulator) and meet all requirements (one of them is to report suspicious transactions). This infringes one of the basic principles of cryptocurrency – the absence of a third party. Also, there are still countries where BTC and other tokens are prohibited, and their use is under restriction. In total, there are more than 70 countries and territories in the world where bitcoin is legal and near 15 countries with the contentious situation.

Online Casinos Accept Crypto: How Does It Work?

In September 2020, it was counted that casinos on the Internet using cryptocurrency gain an additional profit of over USD 150 million! This sum will grow in the next years. So, how does it work?

Online casino bitcoin is a gambling platform that deals mainly with bitcoin cryptocurrency. Such casinos operate with special software to minimize human intervention. It means that software has the role of a dealer in games where real players are needed. In other cases, it is an algorithm of accidental winnings like in other casinos. The main difference between an online gaming house working only with fiat money and a casino receiving crypto is that the latter provides operation based on the peer-to-peer network (blockchain principle).

Advantages of Gambling with BTC

Digital casinos dealing with BTC have many advantages over classic online casinos because of using blockchain tech.

  • Anonymity. The nature of cryptocurrency implies only secure activities between two users. All information about who sends and to who is ciphered by the algorithm. For many players, it is very important to stay anonymous.
  • Speed of transfers. The absence of the third party in transactions allows making transactions very quick. It may be important in conditions of cryptocurrency fluctuations. Also, the high speed of deposit acceptance allows starting playing faster as well as receiving withdrawals quickly.
  • Decentralized structure. In classic casinos, all money is in the hand of the casino’s owner. Bitcoin gambling platforms do not have a single center of money transfer. It helps to protect users and their stakes.
  • No additional fees. Most of the online casinos dealing with crypto do not demand transaction fees or other supplementary payments.
  • Accessibility. The digital nature of this business allows playing games for many people at one time and guarantees the approachability of games over the world.

 

Are Online Bitcoin Casinos Legal?

Not all countries where cryptocurrency is legal demonstrate similar loyalty to online gambling with bitcoins. There are three kinds of countries:

1. Where any online gambling is prohibited.

2. Where cryptocurrencies are prohibited.

3. Where crypto gambling is permitted.

 

In Estonia, Germany, Finland, and Denmark, Internet gambling with crypto is allowed with a special license given by the local regulator to both local providers and foreign ones. Hong-Kong, Gibraltar, and the United Kingdom (including the Isle of Man) have the same position.

In Switzerland, Norway, and Sweden, local gambling platforms need to receive a license, and foreign ones can act without it.

In the USA, casinos accepting bitcoins are totally illegal. Many known gambling providers are incorporated outside this country. The same situation is in Malta, even though Malta Gaming Authority gives licenses to most online casinos.

Playing casinos in the countries where it is prohibited is the liability of a player. All amenable gambling platforms always note the list of restricted countries in their Terms and Conditions.

To sum up, it is necessary to say that the situation with bitcoins and online bitcoin casinos’ legitimacy is changeable. Players may play from any place, but possible consequences are their responsibility.

 

Bitcoin

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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Bitcoin

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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