UK to Clamp Down on Cryptocurrency Regulations

Governor explains plans for cryptocurrency regulations

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has insisted that each cryptocurrency should be brought onto the same “level regulatory playing field” as the rest of the financial services industry.

Regarding the international debate, Carney commented: “The long, charitable answer is that cryptocurrencies act as money, at best, only for some people and to a limited extent, and even then only in parallel with the traditional currencies of the users. The short answer is they are failing.”

Talking to students at Edinburgh University, Carney disregarded discussion concerning a potential ban on cryptocurrencies in the UK, stating that it “risks foregoing potentially major opportunities from the development of the underlying payments technologies”.

Over the last six months, there have been numerous highs and lows in the price of cryptocurrency. The most significant price fluctuation would be for Bitcoin, where prices ranged between a whopping $20,000 in December 2017, and then dropping to $8,000 at the end of February.

Carney continued:  “A better path would be to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system.

Authorities worldwide are trying to secure the position of digital currencies in the wider financial firmament, with some making the choice to ban their usage and others being completely regulated.

“The time has come to hold the crypto-asset ecosystem to the same standards as the rest of the financial system. Being part of the financial system brings enormous privileges, but with them great responsibilities.”

American and European authorities both plan to apply anti-money laundering standards and anti-terrorism financing standards to such currencies. This will be achieved in the same way that other financial services products are tackled. It now appears that the UK will be following in their footsteps.

Carney concluded: “In my view, holding crypto-asset exchanges to the same rigorous standards as those that trade securities would address a major underlap in the regulatory approach.”



Cavin Ayre develops $100m Bitcoin-funded resort

Canadian mogul to build resort in Antigua

Calvin Ayre, once fleeing authorities, is now developing a $100m five star resort on Antigua, funded purely by cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) profits. Appointed Antigua and Barbuda’s economic representative, Calvin Ayre has added that he has already started to work on this luxurious resort, located on Antigua’s valley beach.

Ayre, who has obtained the reputation of “his excellency” from Antigua and Barbuda, said: “This resort will attract a totally new market segment of tourism on the island — successful wellness-seekers who also want to have fun. The property will not be an all-inclusive destination. Instead, its amenities will be available to residents of Antigua and Barbuda and visitors alike.”

The gambling tycoon only last year pleaded guilty to a single federal misdemeanour, after ten years on the run from US authorities. Coming a long way since then, he has said that the project will be funded solely by profits obtained from the rising value of Bitcoin. Ayre was an early investor in the digital currency. As a result, Ayre has said that Bitcoin will be accepted as a form of payment for the resort.

The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, added: “We expect the resort’s novel and exciting concept to broaden Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product and bring a new category of tourists to our islands. We look forward to working with Mr Ayre on this resort and the many other investments he has made in Antigua.”

Ayre, whose father was also convicted for trafficking marijuana, was barred from acting as the director of a public company in British Colombia. This came after the news of a share-trading scandal that emerged in the 1990s. After that setback he created Bodog – which grew to be one of the leading gambling brands worldwide, catapulting him into the spotlight.

Bodog’s successful launch caught the eye of US investigators following Forbes magazine’s feature of Calvin Ayre, titled: “Catch Me If You Can: Calvin Ayre has gotten very rich by taking illegal bets over the internet.”

Ayre insisted that he had not done anything illegal due to a complex web of financial transactions occurring in three separate continents. For this reason, felony charges against Ayre and his brand, Bodog, were dropped last year.



Malta Digital Innovation Authority unveiled: Legal Certainty on the horizon

Malta Digital Innovation Authority to launch Policy

The government has announced the launch of a policy document. This will be regarding the Malta Digital Innovation Authority, in an attempt to offer legal certainty in Blockchain technology and by extension cryptocurrencies.

So far, Blockchain technology (a concept forming part of the wider Distributed Ledger Technology – DLT) has not been regulated in any way by any institution or body worldwide. This technology involves a consistent increase in records, called blocks, that are connected and secured through the use of ‘cryptography’. Every record is linked to the record that comes before it, and contains transaction data and also a timestamp.

When the block is given a timestamp, the record is no longer alterable. This technology could provide the opportunity for more efficient procedures in day to day life, despite its notorious complexity.

An example of this would be in the music industry. Bands could utilise DLT platforms such as Blockchain in order to eliminate the intermediate required for receiving royalties when people download their music. Instead, transactions would be made across a peer-to-peer system, where they are computed, verified and recorded through an automated consensus method.

The responsibilities held by Malta Digital Innovation Authority include a wide variety. Furthermore, one of these roles would be to certify DLT platforms in order to provide legal certainty for those that make use of them.

Presently, if a company were to utilise a DLT platform for the sake of bypassing central authorities to account for a cheaper and more efficient process, this would entail using an uncertified platform.

By creating this authority, the government will certify a platform (e.g. Blockchain), and certified surveyors in the authority will in turn verify that the information being logged onto the platform is
authentic material. Through this, companies that use DLT will therefore have peace of mind that the platform is genuine, offering legal certainty, whilst simultaneously making operations more efficient.

The parliamentary Secretary for the Digital economy, Silvio Schembri, further explained to stakeholders what it takes to launch the policy document. He stated that this “historic moment” will be completed in three phases.

The first step involves the actual setting up of the authority. Step two relates to the launching of a Bill that sets out the system of registration of Technology Service Providers and the process of certifying Technology Arrangements. Step three will then launch a Bill that provides the framework for initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and the regulatory system on to the supply of certain services relating to virtual currencies.

ICOs are methods for new digital currencies in order to create financing. This is accomplished by offering investors the new currency in exchange for alternate, more established ones, for example: Bitcoin and Ehterium.

Those subject to the virtual currency Bill include brokers, wallet providers, exchanges, investment advisors, asset managers and market makers working with virtual currencies (issued by the MFSA).

Schembri manifested how the setting up of the new authority and promoting government policies of which are in favour of Malta being the new hub for advanced and innovative technologies, are some of the objectives to be pursued.

Additionally, the objective is to inspire innovation in the design, as well as in the actualisation and use of new technologies. It is significant to also facilitate innovation by creating a system based on the use of newly advanced technology in useful business cases.

The implementation of anti-money laundering directives is also a priority maintained by the new Authority, also acting as a consultation board.

There are three kinds of DLT platforms, including: those for the purpose of private consumption (e.g. an internal payroll system for a large company), private DLT platforms that are created for the use of regulated organisations, (e.g. a financial institution using a platform to be used by its clients), and lastly: a public platform that shares the functions of consensus (such as Bitcoin and Ethereum).

Schembri then offered examples of how DLT platforms may be utilised in practice. This involved using Blockchain technology for the purpose of recording and managing the circulation of good and related invoices, therefore substantially alleviating the risk of errors and the opportunity to change invoice values and recipients.

He insisted that this will support the supply-chain by providing the opportunity to trace products back to their sources.

Schembri elucidated the process of consultation including all relevant stakeholders,national authorities (including the Financial Intellifence Analysis Unit – FIAU) and the police, coupled with local industry players as well as international. All whilst also consulting with international authorities prior to the launch of the policy document.

Throughout the upcoming three weeks, the public is able to freely offer feedback on the objectives and ideas that have been set out. After, the three Bills and a full explanation of the policy’s system will be presented in Parliament.


Bitcoin Predictions for 2018

What to expect of the world’s most famous cryptocurrency in 2018? Will its price continue to rise or should we expect a bubble burst?

On January 1st 2017, Bitcoin value was $997. Over the following months, its value steadily increased, reaching $5,000 somewhere mid-October. After that, the price went through the roof: on November 29th the value of a single Bitcoin broke $10K; on December 7th it reached well over $16,000; only ten days later, on December 16th, Bitcoin value peaked at $19,343. However, in just a fortnight, this currency lost almost third of its worth: on the new year’s eve, you could purchase a single Bitcoin for just over $13,500.

And in 2018, the declining trend thus far remains. Apart from price-spike on January 6th and 7th, at which point Bitcoin’s price was $17,000, value has been going down steadily, reaching $11,000 late January.

Taking all of this into consideration, what can we expect in 2018?

It is tough to say. Last year taught us is that Bitcoin tends to “not follow anticipated trends”, thus making any attempt at using technical analysis to predict prices for 2018 simply irrelevant. However, there is rate of adoption, technological advances, as well as regulations to consider when discussing possible trends of 2018.

The price will fluctuate, but ultimately rise

The roller-coaster of price fluctuations will continue. According to Ari Paul, chief investment officer of cryptocurrency investment firm BlockTower Capital, it is highly likely that bitcoin will trade at both $4,000 and $30,000 at some point in 2018. Similarly, Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors believes that Bitcoin will realistically reach $20.000 price margin.

Why such confidence? Well, there are several reasons why analysts think Bitcoin will continue to rise:

  • Investors will bet on the payout from cryptocurrency splits. Every time the Bitcoin developer decides to make own upgrades to the Bitcoin network, investors will receive an equal amount of the split-off coins. All they have to do then is opt for the coin they want to continue with, and sell the rest.

  • The number of daily Bitcoin transactions steadily increases, and it has outpaced the currency price hike by a factor of 100. In other words, if Bitcoin’s value increased 50 times during 2017, the number of trades increased 5000 times.

  • The number of industries and businesses that accept Bitcoin is increasing day in and day out. You can buy food, furnish the house, travel the world, or even play an online game using Bitcoin. If it’s utilised time and again, the currency will not diminish in value.

Bitcoin may become a means of storing value

Having in mind Bitcoin’s security features, and the fact investors started using it as a vehicle for their investment, it’s not entirely impossible to witness the Bitcoin’s transformation from a transactional currency to a tool used to store value.

Speaking for CNBC’s Future Now, co-founder and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors Tom Lee, said that this cryptocurrency could take a market share from gold in the near future, increasing its value in the process:

“On a long-term basis, the easiest way to look at Bitcoin is as a replacement or a store of value. So as millennials discover and generate income, they’re going to use it as a replacement for gold. If it gets 5 percent of the gold market, that’s roughly $50,000, and we think that in 2018 we would be part way there and that is why we anticipate [Bitcoin price to be] $20,000.”

Just to be clear: it is highly unlikely that Bitcoin will replace gold as a mean of storing value in 2018.

Additional regulations may be in order

Even though cryptocurrencies are decentralised and “immune” to direct manipulation, governments of the world have the power to regulate their usage indirectly. For instance, in September 2017, China banned all coin exchanges within its borders causing Bitcoin price to plummet. Even though the “crypto-king” bounced back within days, a valuable lesson was learned: if your government decides to intervene, the price will be affected – one way or the other.

For example, if governments of the world decide to ban companies from accepting cryptocurrencies as a mean of payment, or from importing blockchain technology, Bitcoin (and similar currencies) will become inaccessible, thus losing utility as well as the value in the process.

Bitcoin is considered to be the global currency. Still, few governments can have a meaningful impact on its value. It boils down to countries with strong economies like America, Russia, China, Japan and EU which, independently, may have some influence. However, if they ever decide to take cryptocurrencies down once and for all, a joint effort will be required.

Will the “crypto-king” prove to be a bubble?

Depends on who you ask: If you turn to banks or suits of Wall Street, then definitely yes. As a matter of fact, many authors have pointed out that Bitcoin price fluctuation remarkably resembles Stages of Bubble graph, which only emphasizes the possibility of “market crash” in the near future. So, if you decide to go all in, have a contingency plan.

However, there is one thing we mustn’t forget: Bitcoin wasn’t created to enable quick and easy money; it was invented as a way to level the banking playing field. Even when it loses its astronomical value, “crypto-king” will still serve its purpose.

Tyler Stavola is an SEO Practitioner, Digital Strategist, and experienced Digital Director at OWDT with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry.


BetterBetting’s ICO Public Sale is Coming Up

There are only two weeks left before the BetterBetting ICO Public Sale for the betting currency of the future begins

BetterBetting, a decentralised peer-to-peer sports betting system, blockchain based, has now reached its soft cap of $2 milllion. The system is estimated to reach its $30m peak by the end of January.

The token sales will end as soon as the target $30m in ICO sales is reached. This doesn’t concern maintenance tokens (to compensate for tokens burnt as part of transaction fees) and reserve funds. The total token pool is hard capped at 650,000,000 BETR.

180m tokens of the total token amount will be locked in reserve making the liquid distribution only about 470m, the amount is going to depend on token sales. The betting currency will be the industry standard for a provably fair and trustless sports betting system, for all online sports gaming. BetterBetting’s advanced distributed peer-to-peer and peer-to-sports book wagering platform facilitated through frictionless use the currency. BETR will be accepted and integrated with the leading sports betting sites all over the world.

Adriaan Brink, the CEO and Founder of Better Betting Foundation, said, “With our innovative Better Betting platform and BETR tokens, we bring for the first time in history, a robust, decentralised peer-to peer paradigm to the world of sports betting. No more credit cards, wire transfers and other outdated payment mechanisms.

“We are proud to introduce a new betting currency respecting the underlying structure of a sports bet, yet optimised by use of blockchain technology.”

With the growing public interest, BETR token sale has quickly reach its soft cap, a fast progression of token sales is expected through the rest of the bonus levels.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts can get their share of BETR until January 31st, 2018 or until the hard cap of $30 million is reached.


Malta as the Upcoming Blockchain Capital of Europe

Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Other Usage in the Gaming Industry

Blockchain is without any doubt one of the technologies most talked about in the world today.
The Maltese Government has recently announced a drive to promote innovation and to make Malta the blockchain capital of Europe. Being at the forefront of innovation in the gaming sector, but also enhancing Malta’s reputation and economic activity in other areas of the economy is crucial.

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Ripple or Etherium, just to mention a few, make use of blockchain technology. Essentially, they are digital money in which computational algorithms rather than central banks or financial authorities, are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds.

The authority’s approach to the acceptance of cryptocurrency as a form of payment using a controlled framework (as a test and learn environment) is a sensible step forward that balances risk with opportunity through a well thought out and coordinated initiative.

Blockchain, however, is not just limited to cryptocurrencies in its adoption and usage. The technology provides an innovative model, which along with the world wide web, delivers an infrastructure for the recording and verification of data on a distributed platform. We are now seeing the latest wave of blockchain, generally referred to as blockchain 3.0, which embraces wider adoption in areas of government, healthcare, transportation and energy.

The Malta Gaming Authority is in fact looking into other possible applications of blockchain technology to further enhance the regulatory landscape in Malta and truly make it future proof and innovative.
One such area being considered is a Unified Self Exclusion platform residing on such technology. It is still early days in this ambit but work has already commenced in exploring this project.

SIGMA-igaming-Joseph Cuschieri

Joseph Cuschieri – Chairman & CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)

Definition of a blockchain and its advantages

What is a blockchain? The blockchain, is essentially a software database which creates a revolutionary way of storing, retrieving, allocating and interacting with digital assets, such as cryptocurrencies or smart contracts, in a secure and transparent manner.
The blockchain is a global online distributed database which anyone, from anywhere, with access to an internet connection can safely and transparently make use of.

Unlike traditional databases which are generally owned by central figures such as banks or governments, a blockchain does not have one central figure owning and regulating it, and with an entire network looking after it using the distributed concept, cheating the system by faking documents, transactions or other information becomes extremely difficult if not near impossible.

Blockchain stores information permanently across a network of computers. This not only decentralises the information but distributes it to all nodes (computers) on the network, too. Since, blockchain applications may have millions of users it is almost impossible for one person to hack the system or take down the entire network.

The many people who run such systems use their own computers to hold packages of records submitted by others. These records are known as blocks. Each block has a timestamp and a link to a previous block, forming a chronological chain of records. One can view the information stored in a blockchain, add records to it, but more importantly one cannot alter information that is already stored on the blockchain. This is achieved using the cryptography techniques mentioned earlier.

Since their inception in 2009, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained in popularity and consumption. According to a study published by the University of Cambridge in 2017, the current number of unique active users of cryptocurrencies is estimated to be in the region of 2.9 to 5.8 million users with up to 11.5 million wallets currently estimated to be active.

Risks of Blockchain technology and preventative activities

The Malta Gaming Authority has been closely following the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Conscious of the need to remain at the forefront of innovation and to keep up with new developments in technology and the industry, as well as being fully aware that the system at the back of such transactions provides the industry with fast and cost- effective alternatives to traditional payment mechanisms, the Authority is committed to allow the use of cryptocurrencies by its licensees in the immediate future.

Having said that, the Authority is mindful that there are also risks which have to be addressed in order to ensure that such developments do not prejudice the protection of players, the importance of the prevention of crime in line with the 4th Anti Money Laundering directive and the reputation of the Maltese jurisdiction. To this effect, the Malta Gaming Authority commissioned a study
to assist in the development of an all-encompassing framework, to be inclusive of all necessary safeguards.

While the risk discovery process highlighted challenges in the adoption of cryptocurrency it also served to confirm that through a robust framework, a contained approach and proper guidance, the risks associated to cryptocurrencies may be well mitigated.

The Authority has embarked on a journey in identifying a potential way forward to develop the right balance of measures which will safeguard the gaming industry against such risks but without stiffing innovation and suffocating the legitimate use of cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrencies in a sandboxed approach

To this effect the Authority will be looking into adopting a sandboxed approach to the acceptance of cryptocurrency in the Gaming industry. The idea is that cryptocurrency as a form of payment would be introduced in a controlled framework and for a period of time, to test the proposed controls and legislation with a view to further refining the regulatory approach. This approach is ideal since it gives exibility to be able to manage the various variable risks and allows for a track record of cryptocurrency usage in the industry to be built in a controlled manner.

The Malta Gaming Authority will be adopting a supervisory role in all aspects of the cryptocurrency introduction in the gaming industry.

The Authority will soon be publishing a framework within which cryptocurrency payments shall be permissible in the online gaming industry. The framework will include controlling parameters for operator restrictions, game restrictions, restrictions on Payment Service Providers, transaction limits and nature of transactions. The framework will also include monitoring, supervision and reporting requirements and a validity period for the authorisation granted.

Ukrainian Government Invades Cryptocurrency Founder Kaplan’s Office

Ukrainian Security Service Raids Popular Cryptomedia’s Office

At eight in the morning on December 15, agents of Ukrainian security service (SSU) along with two civilian witnesses entered Anatoly Kaplan ’s rented apartment and conducted a search.

Mr. Kaplan is well-known in the crypto community as the founder of the most popular Russophone media resource on blockchain and cryptocurrencies ForkLog.

The alleged reason for the search was a criminal case involving a group of Ukrainian and US nationals who engaged in fraudulent activities with bank cards.

According to Ukrainian security service suspects “exchanged Bitcoin to hryvna (Ukrainian national currency) using online service ‘Forklog’”. Representatives of cryptomedia expressed bewilderment over this statement.

They noted that neither the main site, nor sites associated with Forklog have ever provided such services. They do not even have the required software. Furthermore, none of the suspects were proven to have any connection with Forklog or its founder.

During the search SSU agents confiscated Mr. Kaplan’s notebook, several cold storage devices and other personal belongings. According to Mr. Kaplan one of the agents tried to immediately transfer his Bitcoins to a different address right in the middle of the search. Mr. Kaplan’s lawyer was able to stop the agent, when called the police, alleging robbery.

Still, the next day a large sum of ETH was transferred from Mr. Kaplan’s wallet to a newly created one.

“Protecting the interests of the community rather than personal interests “

Mr. Kaplan also reported a failed attempt by an unknown party to withdraw 3,000 hryvna ($110) from his personal bank card, “I believe that this strange situation perfectly illustrates one of the possible scenarios for the state-cryptocommunity relationship. That is why we decided to make it public. It’s not as much about protecting my personal interests as it is about protecting the interests of the entire community. This sends a warning to everyone who is in any way connected to blockchain technologies. It does not matter if you are a public figure.”

“Right now we are trying to return what we believe was unlawfully seized from us. We find the attempts to transfer cryptocurrencies to wallets controlled by SSU agents to be an extremely strange practice. Other than ETH, large sums in several other cryptocurrencies were moved to freshly created wallets. As to Bitcoin wallets, the situation is not quite clear yet. During the search my lawyer has detected a score of other procedural violations, including turning off the camera”, says Anatoly Kaplan.

At the same time the police also searched the Forklog’s Odessa office. As a result the SSU took all available cash, expensive equipment (10 iMacs) and a bottle of Kraken rum.

Undeniable rise of  importance of Cryptocurrencies

Artem Afian, Juscutum lawyer firm’s managing partner, promptly expressed intent to provide Anatoly Kaplan with legal help. Mr. Afian insists that this incident is extremely significant for the cryptocommunity at large, “Financial regulators might still be on the fence regarding cryptocurrency, not being ready to even legally define it yet.”
But at the same time Ukrainian law enforcement shows that cryptocurrency is a valuable enough asset to conduct an occasional raid in search for it. Traditionally searches and raids conducted on New Year’s eve are linked to jewelry shop heists. But this year cryptocurrency is trending.

“We have no reason to doubt that this search was completely useless in regards to the criminal case in question. By the same logic you could accuse a news channel of gun trafficking on the premise of it running a story about gun trafficking”, comments Artem Afian

Mr. Afian also highlighted the fact that the search was sanctioned following the investigator’s claim that cryptocurrency was exchanged using Forklog media resource, “On investigator’s part this is either blatant incompetence or deliberate obfuscation of facts.”

Such searches were a well-known M.O. of Ukrainian law enforcement before the reform (pre-Euromaidan). Many IT companies have already lived through this nightmare a few years ago even though today Ukraine’s accomplishments in IT sphere are celebrated even on state level.

“We expect a prompt and proper reaction from the authorities and swift return of seized iMacs. As to the return of seized cryptocurrency and SSU agents’ legal liability, I can only say that this will be a highly emblematic and evincive case”, concluded Anatoly Kaplan’s lawyer

Big losses for IT companies

The searches season in IT companies offices and personal apartments of the industry’s figureheads started as early as 2015.
Back then more than 2,500 highly qualified professionals were forced to leave the country.

One of the most illustrative cases was the search. Agents conducted it in the apartment belonging to Kuna Bitcoin Agency’s founder Michael Chobanian. The alleged reason for that search was a criminal investigation related to Bitcoin trade information located on Michael’s site.

According to various sources, IT sector lost approximately $40 mln due to law enforcement pressure. Damage pertaining to destruction and seizure of expensive equipment amounted to $9 mln.

Due to exponential growth of the crypto industry in 2017, SSU also started targeting mining farms.  Even though, mining is not illegal in Ukraine.

Despite all odds Forklog will continue providing its loyal readers with quality content. In addition to that, they will publish the latest news from the world of blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies. Stay tuned.


Casinos & Cryptocurrencies: A New Winning Revolution Spinning Our Way

A New Age of Winning Online

Money has always evolved and has been changed to suit the age we live in and as we head fast into the digital age money and casinos are merging like never before. This is the dawn of exciting times if you dabble the markets of cryptocurrency.

Slowly and surely you can spot the trend that the average casino online UK, America and Europe, are all adapting to the want for Bitcoins to be used as a form of gambling payment. With the casinos have adhered to the calls and you may come across the odd promotional claim that if you specifically deposit with Bitcoins, you’ll get a markup on a casino bonus to boost your playing bankroll. Now if casinos feel assured with this approach then any hysteria towards the negative of Bitcoins is a false accusation and with the surge of the coins strength surpassing everyone’s expectation in the past 2 months, it will surely surpass $20,000 mark and make its current 500% mark-up seem very minor. What this all means is that should this trend and rise continue, it (the Bitcoin) will become the most valuable currency worldwide. This all equals a very exciting prospect for casinos and cryptocurrency makers.

If you had invested $1000 on Bitcoins in 2010, then you would have in 7 years made a profit of $16,000.

Where this Money will all lead too

Let us look at one area of casinos – Poker. Poker accounts for over 50 million online players, right now whilst you read this article 300,000 are currently playing in their casino of choice, where the gambling industry is fuelled by a 1 Billion cash haul to cover their losses to online winners around the globe. With the forthcoming venture into Virtual Reality gaming, the two powerhouses could combine for a perfectly matched outlet for gambling, there is no better testing ground to play virtual games with virtual coins, a plan long well in development? Perhaps but more will be known once it becomes mainstream.

The future is promising, it’s not only Bitcoin there are others out there: Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, IOTA and well over 1300 more other formations of this cryptocurrency. If the logic of this monetary structure remains firm, then the future could lead to casinos formulating their own currency to then trade with other various currencies, thusly meaning no rules bind by government or state, freeing up gambling online to millions.

Make no bones about it, once the casinos have success with this measure of future payments businesses will follow, soon you’ll be ordering pizzas online without having to use the counties currency in exchange. Retailers such as Amazon will trade their own coin at some point down the line, but for now and soon you’ll make your orders using money that has no visual look to them. It’s a future of trading and winning binary that you’ll never get to physically hold.



Banks Around the World Start Implementing Cryptocurrency

Banking on the Crypto Factor

“The surge in cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology is becoming too big for central banks, long the custodian of official money to ignore”, states Patrick J O Brien.

Earlier this year Norway’s largest online-only bank, Skandiabanken announced it plans to offer clients the ability to link bank accounts to cryptocurrency holdings. While some saw this move as one of traditional banks embracing bitcoin, really what it did, was herald a new shift in the evolution of cryptocurrency into the greater fintech space. The banks intention was to let users connect a bank account with a Coinbase account, allowing users to view their cryptocurrency balances within the banking app.

Around the world, mobile banking is taking a lead over branch-centred activity. In Malta, for example, over 80% of the population access online banking sites and that number is growing. The proliferation of fintech services that ‘unbundle’ traditional banking functions, combined with the maturing of the internet-first generation, are accelerating this trend. What’s more, the European Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) activates in 2018. This directive will mandate that banks have to share customer data with third parties through APIs, which could include access to cryptocurrency services.

The Dutch central bank has already created its own cryptocurrency for internal circulation, to better understand how it works. Cryptocurrency tied to central-bank-backed money could give governments a way to issue digital tokens that are a lot like cash. Users of such a “FedCoin” would enjoy the level of anonymity that Bitcoin provides, while being protected against the volatility that has so called plagued cryptocurrencies. Many countries’ central banks are investigating this idea, but again it seems that’s it’s the Nordic countries to be the furthest along.

Speaking in Brussel earlier this year, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat argued that governments in the European Union should “double down” on the tech, which he pointed out is slowly catching on amongst the bloc’s financial institutions. The PM’s remarks were in the context of reinvigorating the EU, which has faced rising socio-economic pressures in recent years. He also proposed that leaders in the bloc create financial mechanisms to invest in areas that may be inclined to leave the EU, as was with the case of the UK’s so-called “Brexit” vote last year. Though prefacing his statements by saying that he is opting to advocate for “outright insane” sounding ideas, Muscat argued that “the rise of cryptocurrencies can be slowed but cannot be stopped”.

As cash becomes more and more rare, central banks may begin to think about how they can minimize systemic risks from their own unintentional and unseen miscalculations or misjudgements which can have considerable effects on the economy to the point of bringing it to even bankruptcy. With blockchain based cryptocurrencies being a potential solution to return some balance between the private free market and the centralized planners so as to avoid a single point of system wide failure. As of now, however, it’s not clear which country might show such foresight but Malta’s sandbox test appears interesting, not least because they recently announced the education ministry was to issue academic certificates through the blockchain technology, a world first at state levels. Read more about Bitcoins in Malta.

SiGMA-igaming-Banking On The Crypto Factor

Photo: Exante’s Co Founder, Anatoliy Knyazev and CEO Alexey Kirienko leading experts in cryptocurrency at a recent meeting with PM Joseph Muscat

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?

MGA Plans A Cryptocurrency Legalisation At Online Casinos

Malta’s government has advanced its plans for a cryptocurrency legalisation  and allow the usage of so called cryptocurrencies, as for example Bitcoins at online casinos.

To effectively regulate the digital currency in gaming, a detailed technical study was already commissioned by the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority), which is in charge of supervising the offline as well as the online casinos operations in Malta.

Joseph Cushier the Executive Chairman of MGA, is convinced that cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies are rising innovations. Therefore, they want to determine carefully which opportunities but also which potential risks they hold if they are adapted to the gaming industry.

Cuschieri indicates: “The shape and form of the framework governing cryptocurrencies will be announced in due course and once the risk assessment is carried out. Once the results of the study are evaluated, the MGA will make its position official on how cryptocurrencies will be adopted.”

The Maltese government is convinced by the potential and the opportunities Blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies hold. Therefore, they intend to boost their development in the country aggressively. Aim is to position Malta as one of the leading users of digital currencies and Blockchain worldwide.

During the launch of the government’s Blockchain strategy, in April 2017, Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated, that the country should be one of the first to adopt Blockchain.

During the launch Muscat said: “We must be on the frontline in embracing this crucial innovation, and we cannot just wait for others to take action and copy them. We must be the ones that others copy.”

Silvio Schembri, the Digital Economy Parliamentary Secretary, has announced that, in order to attract Blockchain companies to the current project, the Maltese government is already committed to introduce the ledger technology to the public.

Relive the highlights from our last show and stay tuned for this year’s SiGMA. Watch out for what we’re branding as the ‘iGaming Village’ this year.

Are you an operator looking for top affiliates? Are you a top affiliate looking for a nice treat with like-minded affiliates playing at the same level?