- Cryptocurrency casinos, particularly Bitcoin and Ethereum are on the rise
- Malta Gaming Authority releases industry white paper and proposes study into cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency betting could be set to enjoy record growth thanks to the intervention of the Malta Gaming Authority. One of the reasons why many enthusiasts flocked to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the first place was their decentralised nature and the fact that they’re more secure to use online.
As the world’s most famous gaming regulator, the MGA has an influence that extends far beyond the confines of the small Mediterranean island it inhabits.
Aside from the fact that many of the world’s biggest casino developers and operators are headquartered on the gambling-friendly island of Malta, it hsas been at the forefront of casino and gambling regulation for many years.
White paper shaping the future
That the Malta Gaming Authority has broken its silence on cryptocurrency casinos then speaks volumes of their potential and for the way the MGA potentially sees online casino play going.
It was just over a week ago that the Malta Gaming Authority launched a white paper that proposed far-reaching reforms to the way gaming licenses are issued. Aside from seeking to streamline the process, the paper also dealt with the matter of cryptocurrencies and specifically how to regulate casinos that use these as a deposit, withdrawal and wagering option.
While Bitcoin casinos have been around for years, the number and quality of these has been bolstered substantially in the last 12 months, aided by increased interest in cryptocurrencies as a whole, which now have a $100 billion market cap and are attracting swarms of new investors and new business case uses, many of which are betting-related.
In particular, 2017 has been the year of the ICO thanks to a string of startups using Initial Coin Offerings to raise funds, usually in the form of Bitcoin and Ethereum, to fuel their disruptive ideas.
Numerous gambling-based ICOs have been hosted this year, raising millions of dollars in cryptocurrency backing. Notable startups that have trialled this model include sportsbook Wagerr and Edgeless, which promises a decentralised provably fair casino with 0% house edge.
Technical study into cryptocurrencies
The Malta Gaming Authority is not concerned with how these companies raise capital, but it has a keen interest in crypto casinos that fall under its jurisdiction. The MGA’s executive chairman, Joseph Cuschieri, has stated that a technical study has been commissioned into how best to regulate cryptocurrency gambling.
With blockchain technologies being utilised by everyone from governments to decentralised casinos, there’s little doubt that the underlying technology that powers digital currencies such as Bitcoin is here to stay.
While the MGA is likely to await the results of the technical study into cryptocurrency gambling before commenting further, its white paper, which is currently open for consultation, suggests that it could potentially give its approval to the use of such technology, provided it is properly regulated.
The paper states: “The Authority is cognizant that the rise of crypto-currencies is inevitable. Conscious of the need to remain at the forefront of innovation and to keep up with new developments in technology and the industry…the Authority is committed to allow the use of cryptocurrencies by its licensees in the immediate future.”
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