In January 2024, the SEC approved 11 Bitcoin ETFs, marking a significant announcement for Bitcoin and the wider crypto-market. This approval demonstrates the growing integration of traditional finance with decentralized finance. The announcement has sparked mixed reactions, with crypto experts questioning what this means for the future of tradable crypto assets. On the back of the announcement, the news that BlackRock will now be the biggest holder of Bitcoin has made the issue more complex.
Evgeniy Babitsyn, CMO of Bets.io, is an expert crypto commentator who has been closely monitoring these latest developments.
“There are pros and cons to the BTC ETF. On the one hand, it gives retail investors another avenue of access to the crypto market, allowing them to invest through a traditional finance instrument. This is important because investors not well-versed in crypto investing can find it difficult to access and invest in crypto assets,” he said. “However, the bigger point here is that BTC’s incorporation into an ETF goes against the founding principles of cryptocurrency. Its evolution is a consequence of advanced technology removing the ‘middleman’ in transactions, empowering individuals to make transactions free of bureaucratic institutions.”
When it comes to the regulation of crypto assets, Evgeniy does admit that there is a role for regulators to play. However, he advises it should not go against the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies. “While there is a role for regulation to play, having an ETF in play goes against what BTC initially set out to achieve as an alternative to traditional financial systems.”
Increased institutional involvement in crypto trading can also distort the market, posing significant questions for the future. “News is now emerging that the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, is on track to becoming the biggest holder of BTC because of the ETF,” Evgeniy said. “Coupled with this, the ongoing developments from state entities to regulate crypto assets, the question now is whether the institutional embrace of BTC marks the beginning of the end for the coin, at least in its original form.”
Bets.io is a renowned brand within the world of crypto iGaming. It was launched in 2021 and has been rapidly expanding ever since. In 2022, the brand was acclaimed as The Rising Star Operator of the Year by SiGMA Europe for its ambition, results, and potential in the online entertainment industry. As such, it has been keenly watching the developments of crypto assets unfold.
Looking to the future, Evgeniy sees big announcements on the horizon. “For now, we know that 2024 will be a monumental year for the future of BTC, cryptocurrencies, and Web3.”
Time to Invest in Crypto? SOFTSWISS 2023 iGaming Market Overview
In 2023, crypto bets expanded by more than 20%, as reported by SOFTSWISS. The leading technology company, with over 15 years of expertise in iGaming and number one in crypto-optimised software, shares its analysis of the dynamic crypto landscape.
According to industry research, the global iGaming market is projected to double by 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7%. Revenues are expected to exceed 140 billion euro, with a significant share attributed to crypto gambling.
SOFTSWISS, as the innovator in crypto iGaming software development, regularly conducts research to track the dynamics of crypto within the iGaming market. Using extrapolation, comparative and correlative analysis, experts analyse the data gathered from over 600 crypto-friendly brands powered by the company.
iGaming Market Overview
Based on SOFTSWISS data, the iGaming market had a stable expansion in 2023. In absolute terms in euro, the Total Bet Sum grew by 38.2% year-on-year. At the same time, the Total Bet Count displayed an even stronger increase, surpassing 51.2%.
The average bet is slightly decreasing for several reasons. One significant factor is the broader reach of online gaming, fueled by advanced technology and increased internet availability. This trend is more evident in emerging markets like LatAm and Africa, where bets are usually smaller. Additionally, the increasing number of players under 30 with budget constraints adds to the decline in the average bet size.
State of Crypto
The in-depth quarterly analysis, initiated at the beginning of 2022, reveals that fiat bets are undergoing more substantial growth compared to crypto bets. In Q4’23, the Crypto Bet Sum saw an 8.2% rise in absolute terms, while the Fiat Bet Sum surged by 16.4% compared to Q3’23. At the end of 2023, the crypto share in the Total Bets Sum (27.5%) decreased by 3.9 p.p.
The comparative analysis of the 2023 Crypto Bet Sum against the previous year shows 21.1% growth. Simultaneously, the Crypto Bet Count increased by 50.5% year-on-year. The growing number of bets indicates rising interest in crypto gaming, but the greater availability of digital currencies may lead to slightly more economical bets.
“The advantages of employing digital currencies, such as swift transactions and anonymity, are key drivers for many players. Given these dynamics, the market demands expanding iGaming projects’ opportunities for crypto players. The in-game currency conversion, for example, allows operators to engage players with cryptocurrency assets in games initially designed for fiat transactions. The projects that embrace such possibilities continue gaining more advantageous market positions,” shares Vitali Matsukevich, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS.
Crypto Bet Stabilisation
The average fiat bet remained steady at around 0.82 euro throughout the previous year. Despite fluctuations in the average crypto bet during 2023, ranging from 1.59 to 1.88 euro, the changes appear modest compared to the twofold drop observed in the average crypto bet during Q4’22, which reached 1.56 euros. This indicates a certain level of stabilisation in the average crypto bet throughout 2023.
Vitali Matsukevich, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS, comments: “The dynamics of the average crypto bet align with crypto market fluctuations. When digital currency values stabilised in H2 2022, the average crypto bet also levelled out. Another thing is that the average crypto bet is almost two times higher than the average fiat bet, which testifies that digital currencies are potentially used by players with higher incomes. Operators should consider this to increase project profitability.”
The Top Five most operated digital coins in iGaming landscape have remained stable during the last two years.
In 2023, the cryptocurrency structure looks as follows:
- Bitcoin – 73.3%
- Ethereum – 9.9%
- Litecoin – 6.6%
- Tether – 4.6%
- Dogecoin – 3.1%
In Q4 2023, Bitcoin experienced a slight decline by a 5.7 p.p. compared to Q3 2023. Conversely, Ethereum and Litecoin showed growth of 4.7 p.p. and 2.2 p.p., respectively, during the same period.
Vitali Matsukevich, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS, summarises: “The digital currencies market is rapidly expanding, with estimates showing over 50% growth in capitalisation in 2023. Despite the risks caused by the high volatility of crypto and its dependence on various factors, using it can bring extra profits for operators. The iGaming industry is promising for investments due to growth in both fiat and crypto markets, but success depends on trustworthy and experienced partners.”
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.
How Bitcoin made its way into mainstream service industries
Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency, has garnered significant attention and adoption in recent years. Its emergence has challenged traditional financial systems and paved the way for alternative forms of currency. Mainstream service industries, encompassing a wide range of sectors such as e-commerce, travel, hospitality, and finance, have witnessed the transformative impact of Bitcoin.
This article explores how Bitcoin made its way into these service industries, revolutionizing the way transactions are conducted. From its humble beginnings to its current status, Bitcoin has navigated challenges, gained acceptance, and provided numerous advantages, leading to its integration into the mainstream service sector.
Early Adoption and Initial Challenges
Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 by an anonymous person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto. During its initial years, Bitcoin attracted a niche community of tech enthusiasts, libertarians, and those seeking an alternative financial system. These early adopters recognized the potential of the cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology to disrupt traditional payment systems.
As Bitcoin gained attention, it faced significant skepticism and resistance from established service industries. Many industry players questioned its legitimacy, associating it with illicit activities due to its decentralized nature. Moreover, the volatility of Bitcoin’s price posed challenges for businesses that desired stability in their financial transactions. Concerns regarding regulatory compliance, security, and scalability further impeded its acceptance.
Over time, the Bitcoin ecosystem has evolved to address these early challenges. Innovations such as payment processors and merchant services emerged to facilitate Bitcoin transactions and provide stability by instantly converting Bitcoin into local currencies. Regulatory frameworks have also begun to take shape, enhancing consumer protection and promoting transparency. Additionally, advancements in blockchain technology have improved security and scalability, addressing some of the initial concerns surrounding Bitcoin’s integration into service industries.
Growing Acceptance in Service Industries
Bitcoin’s journey from a niche digital currency to widespread acceptance in service industries has been marked by notable milestones and increasing recognition of its value proposition.
Service industries across various sectors have started embracing Bitcoin as a viable payment option. E-commerce platforms, for instance, have integrated Bitcoin payment gateways, allowing customers to purchase goods and services using the cryptocurrency. Travel and hospitality businesses have followed suit, enabling travelers to book flights, accommodations, and other services using Bitcoin.
Another notable example of this acceptance is the integration of Bitcoin into online casinos.
Online casinos have increasingly embraced Bitcoin as a payment method, providing players with an alternative to traditional fiat currencies. Bitcoin’s advantages align closely with the needs and preferences of online casino enthusiasts. Firstly, Bitcoin enables faster and more secure transactions, allowing players to deposit and withdraw funds quickly without the delays often associated with traditional banking methods.
Moreover, Bitcoin offers enhanced privacy and anonymity, which are highly valued by online casino players who prefer to keep their gambling activities discreet. With Bitcoin, players could now play BlackJack online without divulging personal banking information, fostering a sense of security.
Food and beverage establishments have also begun accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment, providing customers with more choices and flexibility in transactions. Furthermore, financial services have recognized the potential of Bitcoin, with some institutions offering Bitcoin custody services and even incorporating cryptocurrency investment options.
Future Prospects and Potential Challenges
The future of Bitcoin in service industries holds both exciting prospects and potential challenges that need to be addressed for continued growth and mainstream adoption.
Bitcoin’s trajectory points towards increased mainstream adoption in service industries. As more businesses recognize the benefits of accepting Bitcoin, we can expect a broader range of industries to integrate cryptocurrency payments into their operations. This would contribute to the overall normalization and acceptance of Bitcoin as a legitimate form of currency.
As an example, Bitcoin’s future in online casinos appears promising, with an increasing number of platforms embracing cryptocurrency transactions. As more online casinos recognize the benefits of Bitcoin, it is likely to become a standard payment method across the industry. This increased adoption will allow players to find their best bitcoin betting site much more easily, as well as enjoy greater flexibility and convenience in funding their accounts and withdrawing winnings.
The evolving regulatory landscape poses both opportunities and challenges for Bitcoin. Regulatory frameworks are being developed to provide consumer protection, prevent money laundering, and ensure compliance with existing financial regulations. Striking a balance between innovation and compliance will be crucial to foster a supportive regulatory environment for Bitcoin in service industries.
The rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has the potential to disrupt traditional banking systems. As more individuals and businesses embrace decentralized digital currencies, the need for traditional banking services could diminish. This shift may require financial institutions to adapt their business models and explore partnerships or collaborations with the emerging cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Technological advancements are essential to address scalability concerns related to Bitcoin’s transaction throughput and network congestion. Solutions such as the Lightning Network, layer-two protocols, and improved consensus algorithms are being developed to enhance scalability and transaction efficiency. Overcoming these technological challenges is vital for Bitcoin to meet the growing demand of service industries and maintain its relevance in an increasingly digital world.
Bitcoin’s journey into mainstream service industries has been marked by significant milestones and widespread acceptance. From its early days of skepticism and challenges, Bitcoin has overcome hurdles and gained recognition for its benefits in various sectors. The integration of Bitcoin into e-commerce, travel, hospitality, and financial services showcases its potential to revolutionize traditional payment systems.
Looking ahead, continued development and innovation will be key to sustaining Bitcoin’s growth and addressing regulatory, scalability, and technological challenges. As Bitcoin becomes increasingly ingrained in service industries, its impact on global finance and the future of decentralized currencies is poised to reshape the way we transact and interact with the financial ecosystem.
Edgegap partners with Zebedee to bring Bitcoin transactions to multiplayer games
Edgegap in partnership with ZEBEDEE, the next generation payments-processor, announced that Edgegap’s server orchestration platform tailored for multiplayer games is now accessible to game developers utilizing ZEBEDEE’s payments platform. This latest partnership will join the vision of the two companies toward a unified and global marketplace accessible to all game makers and players.
ZEBEDEE’s fully programmable payments platform allows developers to send, receive and pay with Bitcoin in and outside their game, with transactions as small as $0.0002. The technology enables innovative payment-based mechanics, such as real-time micro-transactions based on actions the player takes in the game, with no fees and instant settlement. The nature of these transactions requires seamless connectivity with minimal latency and lag, making Edgegap’s flexible server orchestration a powerful proposition for developers and gamers alike.
Edgegap’s ever-expanding distributed cloud network with 450+ locations worldwide can handle any traffic volume through automation and rapid-scaling orchestration. Its proximity hosting technology deploys game instances in the optimal location to deliver near-zero latency regardless of players’ platform, location or internet access type. It is supported by the ultimate peace of mind – an industry best 99.9% availability.
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with ZEBEDEE to continue our mission to democratize access to distributed server orchestration. We hope this partnership will empower developers to confidently deploy their games worldwide with near-zero latency for a flawless multiplayer experience,” said Mathieu Duperre, CEO of Edgegap.
“ZEBEDEE is proud to add Edgegap as part of its ecosystem of tools and products to give our developer partners on-demand access to premium multiplayer server infrastructure that can natively incorporate our own payments capabilities,” says Ben Cousens, Chief Strategy Officer at ZEBEDEE.
This marks the beginning of an ambitious partnership for the two companies, who detected a natural fit in their offerings and are committed to building innovative solutions targeting both game makers and gamers. As gaming continues to become more social and interaction-driven, flexible and instant global server infrastructure and flexible and global payments technology should come hand in hand. The new partnership between Edgegap and ZEBEDEE places both companies at the forefront of this innovation.
Application Start for Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding on March 7 – 400,000 Euros for Games from Hamburg and New Diversity Checklist
The 2024 BAFTA Games Nominations Host and Panel have been announced!
Sportradar publishes third annual integrity report
FairPlay Sports Media Goes Live with Market-First Bet Builder Comparison Tool
PG Soft Unearths its Latest Glittering Title, Gemstones Gold
Spinomenal Increases Italian Presence with Eurobet Italy Partnership
Games Global and Stormcraft Studios Reveal the Highly Anticipated Release of Immortal Romance II
Blueprint Gaming and Sky Vegas Launch New Era in Multiplayer Gaming with Reel Rivals
Gaming Americas Weekly Roundup – January 29-February 4
SCIENTIFIC GAMES’ NEWEST OMNICHANNEL GAMING SYSTEM TO POWER RETAIL AND DIGITAL SALES FOR NATIONAL LOTTERY OF DENMARK
IGT Signs 12-Year Contract Extension with UAB Perlas Network in Lithuania to Deploy Upgraded Central System Software
SOFTSWISS Named Crypto Company 2024
GAMOMAT scoops the Great Place to Work Award at the International Gaming Awards
Aurum Signature Studios: Fifth anniversary Q&A
Playtech Wins Extension to Multi-Year Partnership with Totalizator Sportowy
HIPTHER Announces Online Voting Session for GamingTECH Awards 2024, Leading to the Grand Event at the Prague Gaming & TECH Summit
Interviews6 days ago
From Esports to Emerging Markets: Deep Dive into Sports Betting Trends 24’ with Alexander Kamenetskyi
Central Europe7 days ago
Hölle Games Go Live on Bet-at-home.de
EurAsia6 days ago
GR8 Tech Wins Best Online Sportsbook Provider 2024 at SiGMA Eurasia Awards
Australia7 days ago
PointsBet Appoints Daniel Lucas as Group Chief Technology Officer
Central Europe7 days ago
Bundesliga International and Sportradar Announce Long-Term Extension of Exclusive Partnership
Australia6 days ago
Victoria Racing Club, Tabcorp and Nine Enter Landmark Deal for Melbourne Cup Carnival
Balkans5 days ago
Hacksaw Gaming Unites with Bulgarian iGaming Powerhouse Top Bet Ltd
Latest News5 days ago
St8.io and Betby join forces to offer single API sportsbook integration