blockchain

Faster Payouts Coming with Blockchain for Online Casinos

 

The global online gambling industry has been on the rise over the past several years and its upward trend is expected to last a few more years. As much as the industry is on a roll and is growing at a very fast pace, it has still been plagued by a number of challenges. Both the online gamers and the gaming operators have felt the pinch of these shortcomings. One of the most notable ones is the noticeably slow payouts that have left gamblers frustrated and the gaming operators without customers.

Thankfully, several solutions are being considered for these challenges and the blockchain is perhaps one of the most popular ones. This is simply because the technology has bee marketed as the best possible solution for challenges pertaining to quick payouts and greater transparency.

The credibility of many online casinos has been questioned despite the growing number of users and online gambling platforms.  In essence, this means that both the customers and the operators are not able to fully capitalize on the growth. Features such as Trustless gaming are increasingly becoming important buzzwords in the world of online gambling and with time, they might just define how every gaming operator works in the future.

Cost Reduction

Hidden fees are still one of the biggest challenges that customers face when making withdrawals from their online casino accounts. These extortionate charges are often not justifiable and may dig deep into the players’ winnings. No one wants that.

Aside from the fact that blockchain transactions are meant to be superfast, there is also a lot of optimism that it will play a big role in reducing the fees gamblers are charged by a fairly huge margin. Digital currencies are increasingly becoming viable payment options in both the world of gambling as well as in other sectors and this perhaps the first step towards affordable transactions.

Revolutionizing Online Gambling

Online gambling has indeed come a long way since it was conceptualized and the first online gambling platforms launched. Now, it seems like the industry is ready for yet another revolution as the sector goes through massive evolution especially with regards to the operation of the gaming sites. Blockchain and crypto are becoming an integral part of our online gaming experiences and even though they are just beginning to take off, their potential impact can already be felt. Fair, transparent and affordable online gambling is making a comeback like never before.

crypto-gaming

Is It Time to Fully Upgrade to Cryptocurrency Casinos?

What a time to be alive. 2020 is finally here and it is quite amazing that we can ask these kinds of questions. Cryptocurrencies and associated technologies have finally gained enough popularity and are mature enough to be integrated across a number of industries. However, does this necessarily mean that it is time to fully replace traditional online casinos with crypto-based options? Maybe.

A Decade of Massive Developments

The emergence and growth of digital currencies over the past decade was quite bizarre even though crypto enthusiasts have been preaching about the digital currency revolution for years. The gambling industry’s adoption of digital currencies and blockchain was, on the other hand, quite unexpected. Even so, the development was welcomed with open arms especially considering the huge benefits that are associated with them.

Digital currencies have been improved in a number of ways in order to ensure that they deliver on the promises of better security as well as affordability with regards to the transaction fees. They now offer tremendous advantages over tradition fiat currency.

Moreover, the integration of the provably fair gaming systems has been a huge boost for gaming operators. Needless to say, online gamers are always looking for the best ways to maximize their gaming experiences. Provably fair systems not only ensure that they are able to enjoy fair games but also assures them that their winnings will be paid out.

As you may have already discerned, all the developments and improvements have been specifically designed in order to lead the world to mainstream crypto adoption. The technology is already used widely but it certainly has not caught up with traditional financial systems. This is perhaps an issue that is related to lack of trust or simply skepticism from parties that are of the opinion that ten years might be a little too short for the technology to fully mature.

The Verdict

As mentioned earlier, switching to a crypto-only casino is totally justifiable but that is a decision that only the gamers can make at this point. That is, so long as they are familiar with how the digital currencies work. For online gaming operators, things might not be quite as simple. While a number of online casinos have already integrated digital currencies, only small chunks of their customer bases utilize them, at least at the moment.

We cannot deny the fact that digital currencies like bitcoin are cheaper to use for transactions thanks to their decentralized nature. Still, using these currencies as the only form of payment on the sites is a very risky bet for the gaming operators. Even so, it is quite commendable that it is something that can be discussed at length unlike the case a few years back. So, yes. 2020 can be the year you fully upgrade to crypto gambling. It is all up to you.

bitboss

BitBoss Launches Tokenized-Powered Casino Tokens

 

Casino blockchain app BitBoss last month launched the very first casino tokens on the Tokenized Protocol for mobile gambling. The move, though relatively subtle, is set to completely revolutionize the gambling experience on the blockchain.

For this venture, the real money gaming solutions developer has leveraged Bitcoin SV. This has been achieved by embedding the casino blockchain app’s baccarat and lottery games within a dedicated Bitcoin SV (BSV) wallets. These games can be powered by either the native BSV tokens or custom tokens – a great example of custom tokens will be those that are created and branded specifically for use in a single casino.

Thanks to the utilization of the BSV blockchain, the platform enables provably fair gambling with both the bets and results being written to BSV transactions. On the same note, the payments are adjudicated and administered by smart contracts and to complement this, double-spend protection has been built into the platform.

How Does It Work?

Alex Shore, the co-founder, and CTO of BitBoss recently wrote a post that describes exactly how the platform makes use of smart contracts to process both bets and transactions. According to the post, as the players’ bets are sent to the Bitcoin SV blockchain, one of the smart contracts that are designed for BitBoss will process the bet before placing its results as well as the payout transaction back onto the chain.

“They include their double-spend prevention technology when using native BSV, and leverage Tokenized’s double-spend prevention when bets are placed using a custom token,” Alex Shore’s post reads.

Now, the company is focusing on integrating slot machines, a move that will allow slot machine lovers to directly send tokens between the slot machines and their device wallets. For this venture, there is a major emphasis on mobile games which have been growing in popularity all across the globe.

Bitcoin Genesis Upgrade on the Horizon

To further improve the player experience, BitBoss is also now taking steps to ensure that their software will transition smoothly and seamless into 2020. To that effect, the company has recently announced that they will be upgrading their Keyring libraries in order to support the new OP_FALSE OP_RETURN script type. As it turns out, this is a totally mandatory step since Bitcoin SV will be returning to the original Bitcoin protocol with its 2020 Genesis upgrade.

This move was primarily influenced by advice from the technical director of the Bitcoin SV node project, Steve Shadders. In many ways, by updating their own code this early own, BitBoss will be getting months of the shift while keeping its services running for their customers to enjoy.

telegram-ton

Concerns Raised Over Telegram’s Upcoming Crypto Platform

Recent reports have implied that Telegram messenger is set to begin testing TON (Telegram Open Network) its blockchain network in September. The company’s owners raised a whopping $1.7 billion in March in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) that is one of the most successful ones of all time. Part of the proceeds from the ICO have been used to develop the platforms blockchain network which is aimed at building a universal blockchain infrastructure based on its speed as well as the inclusion of smart contracts. It is therefore very easy to see why many people are so excited about this.

The testing phase of the crypto platform is set to kick off in September and the blockchain nodes will be available as open-source alongside other blockchain database management tools like consensus and shards – these will allow a test-run of TON.

TON is slated to process transactions faster and more efficiently than both Bitcoin and Ethereum while at the same time rivaling widely accepted payment options like MasterCard and Visa. To make it even better, the platform will also be compatible with Ethereum (ETH) when it launches and hopefully, other cryptocurrencies will get support along the way. Very promising, right?

The Concerns

While the TON platform may seem like a solution to a ton of problems, not everyone is convinced that it is what it claims to be. According to a report detailing how terrorists have been using digital currencies, there has been speculation that the release of TON and the associated Gram token pose a significant security threat to the United States’ government.

Telegram seems to be aware of such concerns and has even gone as far as singling out people they believe are terrorists through their privacy policy which reads:

“If Telegram receives a court order that confirms you’re a terror suspect, we may disclose your IP address and phone number to the relevant authorities. So far, this has never happened. When it does, we will include it in a semiannual transparency report…”

Telegram’s chief executive officer, Pavel Durov, has been very adamant when it comes to compromising the security of the messaging platform. However, he has cooperated with governments after terrorist attacks were reportedly coordinated using the app. Now, there is even more scrutiny being directed at the company because of its TONPayments – there is a considerable amount of certainty that this will make it very easy for terrorists to raise funds for their operations all without a trace.

binance

Binance to Launch Combined Stablecoin Trading Platform

Binance, the largest crypto trader on the planet is set to release a combined market for stablecoins. This is great news for stablecoin enthusiasts not just because Tether (USDT), the most popular stablecoin is rumored to be part of the mix, but also because the sector is set to receive a lot of great publicity because of Binance’s actions – as it stands, the exchange does close to double the 24-hour volume of its nearest competitor, which makes a very great ambassador for all things crypto.

The so-called stablecoins have been all the buzz lately simply because they are pegged to solid assets such as the USD and they are growing even more popular as a number of reputable platforms have begun taking them more seriously. Tether (USDT), as mentioned earlier, is the most popular but its popularity tends to lean more towards the controversy that surrounds it.

Why Are Stablecoins Becoming Such a Big Deal?

Well, stablecoins operate based on a pretty simple mechanism, that is, a management team stores money on a bank account and this amount forms the basis of the coins that the management team of a stablecoin provider sells to its users. In essence, the system is entirely dependent on trust from its users. By trusting coin platforms, the users also have a great deal to benefit from with one of the most notable ones being the fact that they will never need to go through the lengthy processes of depositing funds from crypto exchanges back to their bank accounts anymore.

Stablecoins also allow their users to store funds in USD-denominated coins when not trading is going on hence their name. Other than Tether, there are a number of other dollar-pegged stablecoins on the market. However, even combined they are still not capable of covering the whole market once they pick up the pace of their growth. Other popular stablecoins include USD Coin and Paxos Standard. Binance believes that more stablecoins will appear from other platforms in the near future with some even being pegged to non-USD fiat currencies such as the Euro or Sterling Pounds.

Binance’s Plans

In its new joint stablecoin market venture, Binance has plans to launch a platform and there are very strong indications that Tether (USDT) will be one of them. The company further plans to change its ticker to USDⓈ with the S symbol in a circle representing specifically stablecoins on the platform.

The cryptocurrency exchange is currently actively preparing for a stable market for the new stablecoins – in fact, it appears that the company already has a solid operational scheme or plan for the period when the assets eventually begin to flood the market. This is very possible due to the very low lows that the crypto market has been dealing with lately.

whirl

WHIRL Debuts Karma Driven Blockchain Crowdfunding Platform

Over the past couple of years, some of the most mind-blowing innovations have been those that are related to crypto and blockchain technology, both of which are still are making waves in a number of different sectors. One of the latest and most polished developments is the launch of WHIRL, a socially driven crowdfunding platform that operates on the blockchain. Created by an all-star team of accomplished crowdfunding veterans, blockchain gurus, and non-profit experts, the platform will give the world a new way of financing dreams and obligations, while simultaneously introducing a truly revolutionary incentive system that is designed to encourage giving. It is also expected to significantly maximize campaign success.

WHIRL, which is currently powered by a team of 20, launches following years of research and after one and half years of development – this involved, among other things, legal vetting of the platform as the global market’s very first credible blockchain-powered consumer crowdfunding platform.

How It Works

According to the WHIRL team, the platform can be used to finance almost anything, albeit within reason. These may range from personal goals to medical bills, business ventures, and even scientific endeavors. In essence, WHIRL gives individuals, groups or organizations the ability to fund any relevant venture by simply being charitable as opposed to having them take out loans or begging for handouts.

As mentioned earlier, WHIRL is backed by the blockchain which means that it is open to everyone on the planet. The platform also guarantees an exceptional 100 percent success rate to all of the projects that are listed under its campaign – this is to be achieved using a fair and transparent queue system which limits the number that each campaign has listed at any given time. Only those that have a history of contribution on the platform are allowed to create fundraising projects.

WHIRL’s blockchain is powered by WRL tokens that are further supported by the concept of Karma, a reward system that supports the giving economy within the platform. Karma points are issued to contributors with every dollar spent on another person’s campaign earning the contributor between 7 and 20 Karma points. Moreover, in order to launch one’s own crowdfunding campaign, a threshold number of Karma points as to be attained with the size and duration of any given campaign being determined by the number of Karma points accumulated.

Reshaping Crowdfunding

Over the last decade or so, crowdfunding has stagnated significantly primarily due to fraud, oversaturation as well as very frustrating declining success rates. Keeping this in mind, WHIRL aims to solve all of these problems by simply having a limited number of campaigns running at any given time and incentivizing backers with its fair and a transparent Karma points system. This is essentially a classic embodiment of the saying “What goes around comes back around.”

liquid-network

Blockstream’s Liquid Network Project Finally Goes Live

Blockstream, a blockchain technology company has recently announced the launch of the Liquid Network, the company’s revolutionary take on the concept of bitcoin sidechains. This project is expected to supersede the limitations of the regular bitcoin blockchain by being able to withstand heavy transaction volumes that are often experienced by brokers, exchanges and other cryptocurrency services experience. At launch, the Liquid Network already had over 20 exchanges including Xapo, BitMEX, and Bitfinex on boards which indicates how eager industry stakeholders are about solutions to the problems associated with volume transfers on the bitcoin blockchain.

What It Does

The primary purpose of the Liquid Network will be improving transaction speeds as well as efficiency on the bitcoin blockchain while at the same time facilitating a more ‘liquid’ movement of bitcoin between exchanges. In addition to the primary objectives, the Liquid Network will also introduce such features and functions as confidential transactions, issued assets, and a new token.

Liquid Network’s new token, L-BTC, is pegged to the price of bitcoin and its holders can readily trade it for BTC. Issued assets, on the other hand, will be Liquid Networks way of tokenizing fiat currencies, securities, and even gold and treating them as Bitcoin equivalents.

According to a blog post written by Blockstream, the Liquid Network went live om September, a few days prior to the announcement. The post further outlines the company’s plans to add more features in the future – these will include integration of the GreenAddress Wallet as well as third-party hardware wallet support from Trezor and Ledger.

How Does It Compare to The Lightning Network?

Both the Lightning Network and the Liquid Network are sidechains of the bitcoin blockchain, i.e., they allow for transactions to be performed off of bitcoin’s main blockchain thus allowing service providers to avoid the inconveniences of the bitcoin network. However, unlike the Liquid Network, the Lightning Network is primarily intended to cater for smaller transactions since it relies on the power of nodes with relatively limited capacities, perhaps one of the reasons why its adoption has been hampered.

“Liquid allows parties to send funds to any destination, without the need to establish channels ahead of time. Funds in Lightning are ‘hot’ (private keys are online), whereas you can store Liquid Bitcoin in both hot or cold wallets. Liquid also has the ability to have Lightning added as a second layer as well, so we view these two technologies as complementary and both important for the ecosystem,” Blockstream’s CSO, Samson Mow explained.

Blockstream’s short-term goal is to build out the features of the Liquid Network so as to ease its introduction, and subsequently, wider adoption in the wider crypto community. In the long term, the company is aiming to have bitcoin as the epicenter of more sidechains that will facilitate the seamless and interconnected exchange of the crypto industry’s many assets.

bitcoin-lightning

Lightning Network’s New Use Cases Could Be Big Boost for BTC

Bitcoin has continued to trade on a rather narrow range, reflecting on the overall mood of the market following the weekend consolidation. Fortunately, things are about to get more interesting following a recent Lightning Network breakthrough that is definitely going to give bitcoin proponents some renewed optimism in regards to mainstream commercial adoption of bitcoin or cryptocurrencies in general.

The growth and widespread adoption of the Lightning Network has been going quite well and with more developments being unraveled, it is expected to be a major catalyst to spearhead the adoption of bitcoin.

Ricardo Reis, a cryptocurrency and tech enthusiast from Brazil has recently been all the buzz in the crypto circles after he created a new use case for the Lightning Network that allows users to buy Coca-Cola bottles (or any other items) from vending machines.

How It Works

In a 42-second video titled “Coke vending machine that accepts Bitcoin payments through Lightning Network,” the computer programmer demonstrates how easy it is to pay for certain items using the new infrastructure layer. Reis used a handful of off-the-shelf materials such as a water pump, a Raspberry Pi, some wood, a touch screen, and some programming skill to build a handmade automated vending machine that accepts bitcoin payments for Coca-Cola bottles. The modified machine uses the Lightning Network to process the bitcoin transactions.

As seen from the video, the bitcoin users would be required to scan a QR code which then requests a bitcoin payment that is then issued by the customer using their BTC wallet. Once the payment is received by the modified vending machine, it dispenses the Coca-Cola bottle while at also paying a negligible amount in transaction fees to the Lightning Network which supports the service.

Could This Be It?

As much as this new modified bitcoin-Lightning Network vending machine is without a doubt a novel demonstration of how both technologies can be easily integrated into thousands of different services, it also acts as a more practical and serious demonstration of the open source nature of the blockchain. Both of these factors are what will drive the cryptocurrency revolution that we are all waiting for.

Unfortunately, the vending machine is just a proof-of-concept and is still at its earliest stages – in fact, of course, it still has no affiliation to the actual Coca-Cola company.  The Lighting Network and the payment solutions it supports are still in their in their early stages of development but such innovation as the one that we have discussed above will be a great move forward for the entire cryptocurrency market.

google-adwords

Google Lifts Its Ban on Cryptocurrency Advertisements

Earlier this year (in March), Google announced a cryptocurrency ad ban that it went on to roll out in June – these were intended to protect its consumers and involved wallets, trading services, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). This is all about to change with the company on September 25 ending the ban on cryptocurrency advertisements.

In a new update to its advertising policies, the company emphasizes that at the ads that would be allowed would only be those of “regulated” trading sites.

“The Google Ads policy on Financial products and services will be updated in October 2018 to allow regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan,” Google explained. “Advertisers will need to be certified with Google for the specific country in which their ads will serve. Advertisers will be able to apply for certification once the policy launches in October. This policy will apply globally to all accounts that advertise these financial products. For more details, see About restricted financial products certification. The Financial products and services page will be updated once the policy goes into effect.”

Google was one of the tech companies that moved to prohibit cryptocurrency advertisements alongside Twitter and Facebook, though the latter later relaxed some of the restrictions it had placed on cryptocurrency-related advertisements. Google’s ban was so wide-ranging that it affected offerings from both legitimate wallet services and trading professionals.

This crackdown on crypto went on to rapidly spread across the internet leading to various bans from other companies, including LinkedIn, MailChimp and Snapchat. Even though this was meant to stop or at least slow down scammers on the internet it also whipped out legitimate blockchain projects which in turn slowed down adoption of digital currencies, stifled promotion and stoked more fears about mainstream acceptance of crypto.

The Reason Is Yet to Be Known

As is it stands, there has not been a clear explanation as to why the tech giant has chosen to lift the ban barely four months after it imposed it. It is speculated that the company believes that the hype that surrounded crypto, as well as the negative side effects associated with the skyrocketing values, have finally died down are at least reduced significantly. Still, it is possible that Google is simply keeping its eye on the prize i.e., the valuable ad money that crypto will bring in.

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution,” Google’s Scott Spencer said in June when the original ban was rolled out.

crypto-regulation

Treasury Committee Report Calls for Crypto Regulation

MPs on the Treasury select committee have recently issued a report that states that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “wild west” assets that expose investors to a litany of risks and therefore, there is an urgent need for their regulation. The report further pointed out concerns that consumers were left unprotected from the unregulated crypto market which also happens to be a conduit for criminal activities such as money laundering and illegal trade.

Apparently, the government and regulators have not been proactive in handling the arising issues that are associated with the crypto market – according to the Treasury Committee.

“Crypto-asset investors are currently afforded very little protection from the litany of risks. Namely, there are no formal mechanisms for consumer redress, nor compensation,” said the committee. “As the government and regulators decide whether the current Wild West situation is allowed to continue, or whether they are going to introduce regulation, consumers remain unprotected.”

Cryptocurrencies are currently covered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the City regulator, and there are still no formal mechanisms for investor compensation or consumer redress, something that Nicky Morgan, a conservative MP and the chair of the committee, says is unsustainable.

“Bitcoin and other crypto-assets exist in the wild west industry of crypto-assets. This unregulated industry leaves investors facing numerous risks,” Nicky Morgan said. “Given the high price volatility, the hacking vulnerability of exchanges and the potential role in money laundering, the Treasury committee strongly believes that regulation should be introduced… It’s unsustainable for the government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting. At a minimum, regulation should address consumer protection and anti-money-laundering.”

The Treasury Committee believes that there should at least be some regulation to add customer protection and fight money laundering. All of these issues stem from concerns regarding the volatility of digital assets – the prices of cryptocurrencies were so volatile that while the potential gains are quite large, so are the potential losses.

“The FCA agrees with the committee’s conclusion that bitcoin and similar crypto-assets are ill-suited to retail investors, and as we have warned in the past, investors in this type of crypto-asset should be prepared to lose all their money.”

The Treasury Committee’s recommendations have been noted and echoed by a number of stakeholders in the cryptocurrency industry including CryptoUK, a self-regulatory trade association for the United Kingdom’s digital currency industry.

“As an industry, we have been calling for the introduction of proportionate regulation to improve standards and encourage growth,” said Iqbal Gandham, the chairman of CryptoUK. “Self-regulation by the industry was always intended to be a starting point – this must now be matched by government action.”