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  1. To say that the retail industry dislikes e-commerce might be an understatement, and this rings especially true in the fashion industry. Although some brands embrace the emergence of online shopping, fashion and its success have a lot to do with a shopper’s physical experience of the products. Luxury fashion takes this fact further by putting on shows regularly to introduce their newest creations with fashion weeks hosted around the globe. Why then is the luxury industry so enthusiastic about Web3? What changed, and what could luxury brands gain from the latest craze of NFTs? We uncover likely reasons and look at the luxury brands that jumped on the NFT wagon. ✓ Digital Luxury? The luxury industry’s hostility toward online shopping stemmed from obvious fears of brand erosion and loss of exclusivity. In the last 2 decades, this loathing either transformed into indifference or adoption, but luxury brands still prefer in-person experiences for their customers. The experience translates to our senses, which used to be key in attracting new customers and building a loyal following. Today’s consumers think and act a little different to their early millennium counterparts. Savvy brands understand how fast the digital world is changing, and with the emergence of Web3 and all the potential the metaverse holds, only fools would miss out on the opportunity. With giants in the luxury sphere like Conde Nast diving into the metaverse, it is only a matter of time before others follow. The NFT movement already inspired a few high-end fashion houses and luxury lifestyle brands to create exclusive digital collections, and according to the chief marketing officer at Balmain, every luxury brand should include it in their marketing strategies. ✓ Historic Brands Embrace NFTs Once the blockchain exclusivity penny dropped and NFT sales started making headlines, luxury brands grabbed the opportunity to exist in virtual and augmented reality. Avatars need outfits, right? The most talked about part of the metaverse already has online casinos and other consumer-driven features, so it only makes sense that high-end fashion complements the residents of Decentraland. Some luxury brands only recently joined the NFT club, but others already have more than one digital exclusive range. ✓ Dolce & Gabbana They may not have been the first to join the NFT race, but the designers at the luxury fashion house set an NFT record for their Collezione Genesi sale. In partnership with UNXD, the curated marketplace for digital luxury, D&G auctioned the 9-piece collection for a whopping $6.1 million in September 2021. The exquisite collection comprised 5 real creations with digital iterations by UNXD, while the other 4 were solely virtual creations. Rather than sticking to purely digital rarity, the fashion house offered buyers the opportunity to own pieces in the metaverse, as well as in real life. Each sale came with promises of exclusive D&G events. The tremendous success of this haute couture NFT collection is still the talk of the digital fashion world. Naturally, there will be more Dolce & Gabbana NFT collections going forward. ✓ Mystery by Franck Muller Exclusive timepieces made their way into the Metaverse, and the newest addition to the luxury watch community is the Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller. The new collection is a continuation of the brand’s journey in Web3 innovations and includes the one-of-a-kind artwork, Aoki Sloane. The auction for Mystery by Franck Muller kicked off on 27 July. Franck Muller enthusiasts can find the NFTs on the Binance NFT marketplace, and the editions range from Normal, Rare, and Super Rare to Super Super Rare. Included in the auction is the 1 of 1 timepiece created for Aoki. This beguiling piece of art comprises a sapphire crystal case to reveal its intricate skeletonised movement. The Mystery collection presents buyers with 15,000 unique mystery boxes, 10 physical timepieces, 3 private events, 1 factory tour in Genèva, 10 unique 3D wearables in Decentraland, and 5 different apple watch faces by Franck Muller. ✓ A Louis Vuitton Adventure One of the most iconic names in luxury fashion launched its own NFT game last year. Louis Vuitton celebrated its bicentennial birthday in 2021, and to celebrate the momentous occasion, the team launched an NFT game titled Louis: The Game. Complete with its avatar and multiple locations, it presents players with an experiential digital game. Players help the avatar, named Vivienne, on her quest while discovering NFTs throughout the game. These NFT postcards double as travel tickets in the game, and players visit exciting locations in iconic cities around the world. The updated version of the game offers players new locations and collectables that include excerpts from the novel Louis Vuitton, L’Audacieux. Thirty of the hidden NFTs are collectable and 10 of these come with the well-known influence of the major digital artist, Beeple. ✓ Burberry at the Blankos Block Party The exclusive fashion house Burberry recently launched their second NFT collection in Mythical Games’ Blankos Block Party. With their first partnership, they featured digital vinyl toys as NFT collectables. Burberry was the first luxury brand to appear in Blankos Block Party with the Sharky B vinyl characters. Players could buy, upgrade, and sell the limited edition and limited-quantity NFTs in the Blankos Block Party marketplace. The launch of the second Burberry Blanko in June this year included the opening of new spaces for the Blanko Block Party community. Players have bespoke social space in the game where they can come together for exclusive virtual experiences. This year’s NFT collection displays Burberry’s new TB Summer monogram and a playful mythical creature, Minny B. Equipped with a spiral horn and white wings, the unicorn can fly and help players explore new spaces. ✓ Jacob & Co The famed watchmaker Jacob & Co. converted its SF27 Tourbillon timepiece into an NFT. Watch collectors and digital art enthusiasts lined up for the chance to own the one-of-a-kind digital asset. It went on auction on the ArtGrails NFT platform and sold for $100,000. Known for exceptional pieces, Jacob & Co presents watches the world has never seen before. The wearable art has high complications that captivate anyone who sees it, and the SF24 Tourbillon displays cryptocurrencies through a flap system. A completely new NFT collection from the company will launch soon. Each piece in the new Astronomia Metaverso collection is inspired by a different planet in our solar system and displays layers of watchmaking mastery and gemstones. ✓ Gucci Town and Aria The luxury fashion house Gucci launched a fashion capital in the digital world of Roblox. Gucci fans who visit Gucci Town can enjoy digital activities like Gucci-inspired competitions and unique art exhibitions. The fashion capital offers players an exclusive shopping experience where they can purchase in-game Gucci pieces and dress their avatars. Gucci is one of the more active brands in digital ownership, and its offers include a variety of collectables. The brand’s debut NFT was a short film titled Aria. Auctioned through Christie’s, Aria sold for $25,000 in June 2021, and Alessandro Michele created the four-minute-long video and co-directed it. Photographer Floria Sigismondi collaborated with Michele, who is the brand’s creative director. ✓ Jimmy Choo Hits the Streets The high-fashion shoe brand ventured into the NFT world alongside the New York-based artist Eric Haze. Inspired by ultimate punk-glam, the designs showcased how luxury embraces the perfect imperfections of street art. The collection included a mystery box series and an exclusive auction. An exclusive prize of hand-painted sneakers went to the highest bidder. One hundred lucky winners walked away with limited edition Jimmy Choo NFTs by collecting an SSR or SR NFT during the snapshot period of the auction. The mystery boxes were 8,888 NFT cards divided into four tiers of rarity, and each displayed different stilettos from the brand’s collection. ✓ Balmain on the Blockchain Another luxury brand that embraced the potential of Web3 and blockchain exclusivity is Balmain. The high-fashion company boasts a couple of NFT collections, and one was in collaboration with the fitness brand, Dogpound. Owners of the NFTs received unique physical experiences, playing into the exclusivity of the brand. Its first NFT was a design that embodied the advantage of digital fashion. The couture design by Rousteing was a high-fashion garment, complete with a dramatic hat and heels, engulfed in flames. One of the brand’s latest collections released in January saw a collaboration between Balmain and Barbie. It comprises a series of three Barbie avatars created in partnership with Forgot Me Not GMBH, and buyers received a physical Barbie as well.
  2. The world of gambling and online casinos has long been at the forefront of adapting to new technology as it develops. Crypto gambling and the blockchain were no different. One of the largest industries that run on the blockchain is NFTs. Creating, selling, and purchasing NFTs has become all the rage, but could they work for casino games? NFTS (non-fungible tokens) are images, music, in-game items and artwork that consist of digital data stored in a blockchain. These digital assets can be sold and traded by the owner for large sums of cash. Due to their massive popularity (and rather steep pricing,) the chance to win NFTs while playing an online slot or casino game is something that piques the interest of many gamblers. But how would it work? The Problem with NFT Casino Games The issue faced by software providers attempting to create NFT slots is that the games are simply not sustainable. NFTs are designed to be unique entities owned by a single person and stored on the blockchain. If a popular slot machine at a mainstream casino starts to draw many big winners, the provider would have to release more and more NFTs as payment. This would eventually dilute the value of the NFTs, and the game would become pointless. Currently, online slot providers are attempting to dip their toes into the blockchain pool. They're doing so by mimicking NFT stylings and using well-known NFTs as symbols (such as Paradise Trippies). One of the latest games to hit the Metaverse is Lucky Degens. This game lets players win real NFTs from the Lucky Crypto collection. Players can get their hands on OG Lucky Degen NFTs and any new collections that are set to be released in the future. There are also Free Spins, bonuses, and $LUCKY token crypto up for grabs. The only real issue with this game is that it is not available at mainstream online casinos. This means you'll need to be a true Metaverse-dwelling crypto user to even get a chance to play. Could ZOGI Labs Have the Answer? ZOGI Labs has designed a new game that is all about multi-player fun with the potential to earn crypto – designed for "non-crypto people". In their in-depth white paper, ZOGI Labs outlined how they've created a game that works for every aspect of gameplay and for every type of player. The aim of Legends of Bezogia is to make crypto, the blockchain and DeFi ecosystems as accessible as possible for everyone. Players can sign up for free, craft weapons, fight their foes, and take on a series of quests – all while earning MBLK. Magical Blocks (MBLK) are an ERC20 utility token on the Ethereum network and also act as the in-game currency found while playing Legends of Bezogia. That means real cryptocurrency can be earned and mined while playing an MMORPG in a fun, fantasy world. But how would this work for online casino games? Legends of Bezogia runs on the following core mechanics. Some of these could be adapted to work for online gambling if done correctly. Minting Summoning Renting Staking Exchange Virtual Real Estate Let's look at what the most relevant mechanics could do for Online Slots and casino games. About NFT Slots – Our Hypothesis Considering the way online slots run and the features they tend to offer, we think there are a few of the mechanics mentioned above that could work for online casino games. For instance, the summoning mechanic works on the ability to collect Bezogi (another form of in-game crypto) and use them to summon creatures at will. An online slot could use this feature and instead allow players to collect small amounts of crypto as they play (perhaps for unlocking achievements), and this crypto can then be exchanged for free spins or multipliers. In Legends of Bezogia, exchanges are done at marketplaces and pawn shops. Again, this could easily be adapted to suit the world of online casinos, where marketplaces could be established in order to purchase bonus games or special NFT rewards. Giving players the ability to post a reward they've won while spinning the reels of a slot in exchange for crypto means that players can interact and be a part of a living ecosystem. It also means that players who enjoy completing rewards collections could do so. One main feature of playing Legends of Bezogia is that they aim to keep players rewarded. This should be a standard for online casino games too, especially those on the blockchain. Whether via a special feature, a mini-game, or a game that plays completely differently from the slot being enjoyed, winning crypto should be a constant. Even small prizes such as tiny amounts of Satoshi could keep players engaged for longer. It appears that the only way to make NFT slots work is to reward players in many ways and leave the NFTs as the ultimate jackpot prize. This way, NFTs can be released only as required while also building a community of players who enjoy the game's entire experience, rather than just the main prize.
  3. Many compare investment trading with gambling, and for good reason. The stock markets can be treacherous, even on a good day, and this is truer with crypto investments. Since the first digital coin launched in 2009, decentralised currencies have exploded, and investors now have over 10,000 options in this market. So many jumped on the hyped-up bandwagon of Bitcoin that tech wizards Bill Markus and Jackson Palmer set out to create a spoof coin to poke fun at the wildly speculative investment. Much to their surprise, Dogecoin experienced massive success in its first three weeks, spawning countless other meme coins. Since Dogecoin's arrival in 2013, many altcoins joined the digital currency race, and many failed. On the other hand, Shiba Inu seems promising, and as a self-declared Doge-killer, we must inspect how the top two meme coins measure up. Meme Coins and Investment Those familiar with Decentralised Finance (DeFi) may know meme coins and understand what it is about, but to some, the concept remains foreign. If you are wondering, the name explains it all. These altcoins have images of popular memes as their logo. The creators of Dogecoin claimed the most meme-worthy dog as its symbol, hence the name. Doge memes include a quirky photo of the Japanese dog breed, Shiba Inu, with a collection of rainbow-coloured sayings like "such wow", "very concern", and more comical dog language. Following the success of Dogecoin, the crypto market now has a horde of dog-themed coins. Like other altcoins, meme coins bring scalable options to the cryptocurrency market, a feature lacking in Bitcoin. Meme coins also rely heavily on community activity and therefore need viral results to thrive. This makes it an extremely volatile investment space, and experts on either side of the fence agree investors should only buy crypto stock with money they can afford to lose. Dogecoin vs Shiba Inu As the most talked-about investment opportunities in the meme coin category are Shiba Inu and Dogecoin, we weigh the two against each other. Below, we explore key similarities and differences between the two dog meme coins and uncover the core traits of each. Then we compare them in the investment space to discover the best bet for those who want to gamble on meme coins. Similarities and Differences The most basic feature these two coins share is the animal on their logo. Both Dogecoin and Shiba Inu flaunt an image of the adorable breed behind the viral memes from the 2010s. The only difference is that the original meme coin has a cartoon version of the dog, and its rival has a modern pop-culture image of a Shiba Inu. With recognising the coins in the stock market, the logos are irrelevant. These coins trade as DOGE and SHIB, respectively. Another feature these coins share is the intention of being a peer-to-peer payment network. This means that, unlike Bitcoin, these coins have no central authority, corporate structure, or executives making crucial decisions that affect the entire network. Instead, these coins are entirely community-led. This may be where some want to take a step back and question the reliability of investments, but like all other reputable coins, the blockchain ledger is available to the public and bears the same immutable qualities. The peer-to-peer network impacts market value and causes major fluctuations, making meme coins a bad choice for novice investors. Dogecoin and Shiba Inu both fork from larger blockchain models. Although the former came into being as a satirical response to Bitcoin investments, DOGE ironically enough, forks from Litecoin which originally forked from Bitcoin. Shiba Inu runs on a different chain, namely Ethereum, which many see as an advantage. This technicality means the coins have reliable infrastructure, and both networks come with their pros and cons. ✓ Dogecoin Originally launched in 2013, Doge enjoyed huge success thanks to virality. As mentioned, the creators of Doge were making fun of the speculative nature of cryptocurrency investments, but thanks to the community in the Doge network, it reached exciting heights in the initial phase. Seems like the tech world has an appetite for humour, as the comedic meme coin reached 300% growth in its first couple of weeks of trading. Experts believe this happened because it was a very appealing way to enter the crypto market without breaking the bank. The consumer-focused approach of the new breed of altcoins attracted new investors, and soon, Doge was a genuine alternative to existing coins, like Bitcoin. Because Doge uses a similar Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism as Litecoin called Scrypt (pronounced es-crypt), the currency is less energy-intensive and quicker than Bitcoin. Dogecoin has several celebrities backing it, and Elon Musk called it 'the peoples crypto' on Twitter, triggering enormous growth for Doge and other meme coins. Thanks to the low price of the coin, in stark contrast to Bitcoin, anyone can invest in Doge. Industry experts warn potential investors should be cautious when doing so. Labelled as the 'fun and friendly internet currency', Doge experiences sporadic rate changes on the stock market. At the time of writing, 1 Doge was worth $0.063. This open-source, peer-to-peer digital currency offers users a couple of advantages, like the speed of transactions. Thanks to the Scrypt algorithm, Doge creates blocks much faster than other value storage cryptocurrencies, and it is a lot more scalable than Bitcoin. The estimated time for the creation of a block is 1 minute, while Bitcoin takes 10 minutes. ✓ Shiba Inu Compared to Doge, Shib is an infant in the trading market. Created to mimic the surprising success of the original meme coin, Shiba Inu arrived on the scene in 2020. There is no reason to speculate on the inspiration behind this meme coin as the coin's creator labelled it as 'the Dogecoin killer'. While both Doge and Shib rely on community engagement and major hype from it, Shib presents its users with interesting options. Shiba Inu operates on the Ethereum blockchain, giving it an edge that Doge lacks. Apart from the community platform known as Shiba Swap, where members can trade their coins for others, Shiba users can choose from three cryptos with different applications. SHIB is the basic currency used as a medium of exchange. LEASH is a limited token; only 107,647 are available, which are used as staking rewards for those validating the currency. Lastly, investors can purchase some of the 250 million BONE coins available, which allow its owners to vote on governance proposals. Shib experienced massive growth in 2021, much like Doge, but we must point out that 1 coin is worth $0.00001017 at the time of writing. Regardless, for an investor, percentages matter and considering the 3500% gain within the first couple of days of trading, Shib is an attractive choice for traders. The low price makes it an easy option for those who want to experiment in the crypto space without losing too much if they're out of luck. Unlike Doge, Shib has no celebrity endorsements as yet. If you believe that all publicity is good publicity, we could argue that the coin burning indaba, where Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin irrevocably destroyed approximately 40% of all issued Shib and shunned the coin, was a PR stunt. It is safe to say that Shib enjoys success thanks to Doge, and only time will tell which becomes the victor. Should You Gamble on Meme Coins? As mentioned, high-risk investment trades are a gamble, and the risk is so much more with cryptocurrency markets. The truth about meme coins is that you need to understand what can topple a good trading day and stay on top of community interactions. Like with gambling, you should only use the money on crypto and meme coin investments if you can afford to lose that money. Once you understand that, there are a few things to consider before deciding on where to lay your stake. How do Doge and Shiba compare on the stock market, and which is the best choice for investors right now? What does the future hold for these dog coins? DOGE vs SHIB? Basic economics comes down to supply and demand. The relationship between these two variables determines the value of an asset, and most altcoins come with a capped supply. Doge is an exception to this rule, as the creators stuck to an authentic peer-to-peer payment system by utilising an inflationary mechanism. This helps prevent investors from holding onto massive chunks of the token and keeps costs low in the long run. Doge has a supply rate of approximately 5 billion coins a year. With a 9-year history on the market, one would think Doge has more solid backing from investors, but despite impressive gains here and there, experts remind us that meme coins have no real precedent for how their value can change. Bursts of huge gains seem to be short-lived with Doge, and it is an extremely volatile space to play in. Shib gradually clawed its way up the market ladder in the two years of its existence. It launched at a value lower than $0.00000001 because the creators needed to leave room for significant growth. Following on the coattails of Doge's remarkable gains in 2021, Shib increased in value to $0.0000036, showing a 3500% gain on investors' books. The Doge-killer reached an all-time high in October 2021 of $0.0000826, but as we pointed out, it has dropped significantly since then. Choices, Choices Considering the hype around these altcoins and how it impacts the coin's values, it is best to approach with caution when investing in meme coins. Both show promise, as Doge has been around for nearly a decade, and Shiba offers innovative options for its community. However, investors need to keep their fingers on the pulse with these communities to beat the curves. Remember that meme coins are high-risk investments, and neither Doge nor Shiba bears a 'safe investment' label. Considering the stability and track record of Doge, it may be a less risky option for investors, but Shiba has a few tricks up its sleeve that makes it a potentially good choice for growth.
  4. Reflection is key to gratitude, and hindsight sometimes generates powerful realisations and inspires innovative change. Let’s take stock of what technology and the brilliant developers in the igaming industry have given us since remote gambling first became available. Modern punters probably take most of these innovations for granted, but the truth is the past two decades have brought about massive changes for online gambling. Gambling anywhere you find yourself is a very recent development and the level of entertainment available has improved unthinkably since the 90s. Basic features like 3D graphics, animated characters, streaming, and many others are the norm in 2022, so let’s look at 8 advancements developers brought to the table since the inception of online gambling. ✓ 1. Innovations for Slot Mechanics Video slots are by far the most popular choice for online gamblers and, thanks to the popularity of these games, software providers invest intensely in their innovations. The first feature is so common today that it is virtually unthinkable that it wasn’t always there. Free Spins, and other bonus features for that matter, were not always part of online slots. Original video slots were like one-arm-bandits where punters simply clicked spin and hoped for a line win. This feature shows how far technology has brought us. From slots that have 1 line for a winning combination to Megaways that offer over 117,000 ways to win. This slot mechanic broke the mould and Big Time Gaming’s innovation ensured that the industry will never be the same again. Countless brands have since signed agreements with BTG to incorporate this popular concept into their video slots. The Megaways structure opened developers’ minds to what might be possible and this gave rise to plenty more payline innovations. Thinking outside the paylines, developers soon introduced a Cluster Pay system, where lines no longer mattered. As long as matching symbols land next to each other in cluster formations, it awards a win. This feature led to other interesting developments, like uniquely shaped slot grids. Mega Clusters are the amped-up version of cluster pays presented by BTG and combine cluster pays with split symbols. InfiniReels mechanics only recently arrived on the scene when NetEnt did what most only dreamed of. The brilliant design team developed a mechanic with infinite payways and the rules are rather straightforward. Every win generates a new reel to the right of the grid and this continues for an unlimited win sequence. ReelPlay has the same mechanic, called Infinity Reels. Yggdrasil is another team of genius developers and they brought us massive icons to spice up the reels. Gigablox can drop in sizes of 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, and humongous 6x6, taking up most of the slot grid. These symbols make winning combinations more lucrative, and other developers have since unveiled their own versions. Yggdrasil also presented Splitz where one symbol splits in two for more winning potential. With providers feeding off each other’s innovative ideas, we can go on with this list for a while, but it’s clear that slots are better than ever and players can spin their hearts out. ✓ 2. Progressive Jackpots Something the internet does for us which we may take for granted is that it brings a level of connectedness that never existed. Linking the great big world like never before brought on the wonderful thing that gamblers love, called Progressive Jackpots. These eye-watering, life-changing prizes comprise the tally of wagers in a selected game throughout the provider’s network. The progressive nature of these pots means that the prize increases with each bet placed on that game. These are not just limited to online slots and some exciting card and table games incorporate it too. The favourites include Mega Moolah, the Microgaming hit slot, Roulette Royale, and Caribbean Stud Poker. ✓ 3. Live Dealer Games Another hint that we are indeed living in the golden age of online gambling is the fact that we no longer need to visit a land-based casino to experience the thrill of human interaction. Thanks to incredible internet speed and innovative providers, we can enjoy live dealer games streamed from casino studios. Evolution Gaming is a forerunner in the Live Dealer sphere of online gambling and their games are tremendously popular. Interact with the croupier as they spin the roulette wheel, deal your hopeful 21, or flip the cards to reveal your Hold’em fate. Presenters dressed in colourful and themed attire spin the wheel of fortune for you, and punters have online social spaces to interact with peers. Live dealer technology literally brings the casino to you and they fill casino libraries with interesting takes on traditional games as developers ensure their content is unique and exciting. ✓ 4. Tournaments and Multiplayer Games If you feel you are ready to take your igaming to the next level, tournaments and multiplayer games should be on your list. Play with and against gamblers from all over the world in the best kind of social experience you will find in remote gambling. As mentioned, with live dealer games, you have the option of interacting with other players by chatting with them, but tournaments bring a more competitive edge to the table. Casino Races is one form of a tournament where players opt-in to take part in free point-based competitions. These usually run for a set time and at the end of the race, the players with the most points win cash prizes. Games included in these tournaments are usually a collection of slots and table games. Most online casinos offer blackjack and poker tournaments to seasoned players and these winner-takes-all competitions can get really exciting. ✓ 5. Mobile Gambling and Omni-Channel Gradually mobile phones became an appendix we never knew we needed but now can’t be without. The onset of HTML5 technology combined with fast internet made it possible for developers to adapt website interfaces to work seamlessly on mobile devices. Software providers then introduced omnichannel technology that allows players to move between devices on a single user profile, which is partially the reason for the mobile gambling industry boom. Mobile gambling is now the most popular way to wager, and it is strange to think that a while ago, we needed individual profiles for each device we played on. Smartphone technology allows punters to enjoy the immersive experience of live casinos, as some devices have better processors than computers, and the development of mobile gambling has made games of chance accessible to everyone. One more advantage of mobile gambling is the security it offers with payment apps that link directly to the casino and cut out the need for you to link banking details. All around, mobile technology is a massive game-changer for gambling. ✓ 6. VR Technology One of the most exciting advances in gaming is Virtual Reality and, with the looks of it, we have seen nothing yet when it comes to virtual entertainment. VR games transport players to worlds beyond our imagination and certain games will allow you to recreate yourself as an avatar. Enjoy the company of other players who take part with their virtual version of themselves and forget all about the world around you for a while. Evolution gaming incorporated this technology into one of their live games, Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. This live game allows players to switch to VR mode, using a headset and controller, and experience the most immersive treasure hunt with the Spanish conquistador everyone loves. ✓ 7. Cryptocurrency The unprecedented growth in the online gambling sector makes it an obvious target for chancers. Electronic transactions fill the money web while players and platforms need to find the most trustworthy manner of operating the process. Although many fiat currency processes exist that are highly secure and most punters use them, the undeniable security offered by blockchain has opened the industry’s mind to cryptocurrency. Online casinos like 7Bit Casino focus solely on Bitcoin and offer remote gambling in cryptocurrency, and many top platforms encourage and reward punters for using crypto as their wagering currency of choice. Advantages include guaranteed anonymity, ease of access, and super-fast processing. Cryptocurrency is not the easiest to come by and, for this reason, many avoid it. It is also a seriously volatile currency, and this is probably why many people still think it is too risky. ✓ 8. Provably Fair Blockchain Gambling Apart from the security blockchain technology provides with payments in cryptocurrency, the node-driven tech presents a list of other advantages for igaming. A concern that some punters have is that the casino may cheat them by rigging the game software. Although it is highly unlikely for random number generator games to be rigged, provably fair blockchain technology is a lot more secure. Some Bitcoin casinos now offer players the opportunity to verify the fairness of each round of the game if they want to. Because of the nature of blockchain technology, it is immutable, in other words unchangeable, and this grants unmatched transparency with the game’s randomness. If a casino has games built on blockchain, players will have the peace of mind that it is designed to be provably fair and they can check the data should they wish to.
  5. In the history of mankind, there are those groundbreaking new innovations that spur us on to bigger and better things. These major inventions include harnessing electricity, the telephone, the motorcar, the internet and now the blockchain. Love it or hate it the development of cryptocurrencies on the blockchain has revolutionised how we view digital assets, our thinking around finance and how the world will transact for the foreseeable future. The Types of Cryptocurrencies While we have all heard of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and other well know crypto coins there is often some confusion when it comes to terms like decentralised cryptos, stable coins and alt coins. Here are some easy introductions to these terms: ✓True/Decentralised Cryptocurrencies When Satoshi Nakamoto first conceptualised Bitcoin his intent was to create a digital currency that would not reside on a single server but was spread across the Blockchain. This would ensure that no single country, corporation, or person could ever own it or control it. Crypto coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and others which follow this decentralised tradition by residing on the Blockchain and do not have a single controlling owner are considered by industry pundits to be “true” cryptos. ✓Alt Coins As the name denotes Alt-Coins are “alternatives to” an existing cryptocurrency. Due to the fact that blockchain and cryptocurrency code is open source, it allows anyone with the appropriate skill level to develop their own coin. Generally, an altcoin improves on one or more aspects of its original code. An example of this is Ethereum which improved on the transactional aspect of Bitcoin, allowing it to process blocks of transactions in two and a half minutes compared to Bitcoin’s much slower ten minutes per block. ✓Stable Coins Stable Coins are the type of crypto token which is the farthest removed from Satoshi’s vision for his invention for three reasons: They reside on a single server or closed series of servers They are owned and operated by single entities Its value is dictated by a fiat currency or precious metal While stable coins exist on the blockchain and offer all of its speed, security and low cost benefits they are simply the digital-only equivalents of our existing country-based currencies. Most governments around the world are in the process of developing stable coin versions of their currencies with the hopes of one day doing away with costly and short-lived paper and metal money. Visit our full guide to stablecoins for more on this interesting spin off of cryptocurrency technology. Why Crypto Gambling Is Popular With the unique way in which the blockchain stores and shares data it is the most hacker-proof system on the planet. Rather than store information in a single central location, which once cracked, gives the would-be thief full access to the data the blockchain splits it into thousands of tiny data packets. These packets of data are then spread across all the connected nodes on the internet and are each individually secured. In addition to this mind-blowing level of security the fact that it is only moving tiny bits of data around means that it can pass large volumes of information at incredibly high speeds. When applied to lightweight products like a casino deposit this means near-instant banking. Finally, the blockchain does not require you to give confirmable information to access and use it other than a personalised username and an email. It is not perfectly anonymous as there is the issue of using your internet connection (which can be addressed by the information we supplied in our guide to using a VPN for cyber security) and that purchasing Bitcoin is done via a crypto exchange like Security, speedy transactions and high levels of anonymity are some of the reasons that more players are making the move to gambling at crypto casinos. The Top 10 Cryptocurrencies To ensure that we do not fall into the trap of thinking about cryptocurrencies in a limited way we looked to CoinMarketCap to see which digital tokens are the most popular outside of our industry. Much to our delight, the online casino industry has adopted cryptos with open arms. The proof of this is that ten of the fifteen highest rated crypto coins are already in wide use by the best crypto casinos. If you are interested in gambling with Bitcoin and other leading cryptos here is a brief overview of the top 10 casino cryptos and an idea of where you can play with them: 1. Bitcoin – First Decentralised Coin As the first truly decentralised cryptocurrency Bitcoin captured the imagination of the world with its mysterious creator and incredible value growth. It not only drew attention to the potential of digital currencies but also the potential of the blockchain which has seen many industries begin to develop new and exciting innovations, tools and products that have changed the world. The first decentralised crypto coin Incredibly valuable digital asset One of the most secure currencies in the world If you would like to try your hand at playing your favourite online slots and tables games with Bitcoin, we recommend visiting Bitcoin Games casino and 22Bet casino. 2. Ethereum – Decentralised/Altcoin Ethereum is only second in terms of industry awareness and usability to Bitcoin. As a Bitcoin altcoin, Ethereum offers users the same safety and security with vastly superior processing times. Ethereum has set itself up as the “everyday driver” of cryptocurrencies processing up to 1 million transactions each day while Bitcoin only processes up to 250,000. Same secure framework as Bitcoin Ability to process up to 1,000,000 transactions per day One of the cheapest cryptos to use Ethereum’s processing power makes it incredibly popular with online casinos that offer digital token gambling. We recommend visiting Green Spin casino and Bitstarz casino to try it out for yourself. 3. Bitcoin Cash – Decentralised/Altcoin Bitcoin Cash is another Bitcoin altcoin, in this case, it was developed in 2017 from a fork of the original crypto. The benefits of Bitcoin Cash lie in its larger block size which means it is faster than BTC while capping its supply which gives it a similar asset value proposition to its progenitor. Follows the same digital asset mentality as Bitcoin Offers superior processing times as the original coin Very low fee structure If you’re looking to gamble with a cryptocurrency that is incredibly like Bitcoin but offers faster transactions, lower costs and a lower price per coin then Bitcoin Cash could be for you. Try it out today at Kosmonaut casino and 1xBit casino. 4. Cardano – Decentralised/Altcoin Cardano is the ledger that supports the independent cryptocurrency ADA. The digital coin is considered one of the leading alt-coins on the market due to its reasonable cost, widespread adoption by online businesses and incredibly cheap processing fees. Still available at a low price Uses a bespoke low-cost fee structure Widespread use by online shops and gambling sites If you are new to cryptos and want to test the waters with a usable and fairly cheap option, then you should consider buying some Cardano. You can play with it online at Fairspin casino and TrueFlip casino. 5. Tether – Stablecoin Tether is a stable coin that has anchored its value to the US dollar while still offering users the stability, processing speed and security of the blockchain. For banks, businesses, and new crypto enthusiasts it offers the benefits of the blockchain without the fear of massive price fluctuations associated with decentralised coins. Steady and predictable pricing Offers the digital security of the blockchain A popular digital currency for e-commerce We recommend trying out the benefits of cryptocurrency gambling by starting with the market stability offered by Tether. It is available at MyStake casino and Rolletto casino. 6. XRP – Decentralised/Altcoin XRP is the cryptocurrency used by products developed by Ripple Labs on the blockchain. The intent of creating XRP was not to launch the next crypto-asset like Bitcoin but to offer the community a network specifically designed to handle high volumes of digital payments Specifically designed to process high transaction volumes XRP is not mined but rather acquired through trading Ranked as one of the top 10 cryptos worldwide Test out the efficiency and processing power of the XRP network for yourself by using it as your deposit and withdrawal mechanism at both Bet Sensation casino and 1xBit casino today. 7. Dogecoin – Decentralised/Altcoin Developed a commentary on the insane prices that crypto-assets were demanding Dogecoin has positioned itself to be the ‘everyman’ cryptocurrency. Built on the Litecoin framework Dogecoin offers fantastic processing and low costs but has openly stated its supply will be unlimited ensuring none of the price spikes associated with limited-supply coins like Bitcoin. A real-life underdog story Unlimited supply manages price volatility Offers all the benefits of Litecoin Take this playful Shiba-token for a walk today by signing up at either 22Bet casino or Green Spin casino today and playing their selection of online slots, table games and arcade games. 8. USD Coin If you are a fan of innovation and new technology but are sceptical of the crazy price fluctuations of some cryptos then USDCoin could be your perfect solution. This stable coin offers all the processing and security benefits of the blockchain while guaranteeing that each USDCoin will always only cost $1.00. Price per coin will always be the equivalent of US$ 1.00 Enjoy all the benefits of the blockchain Built on the trusted and highly trafficked Ethereum framework USDCoin’s stable pricing anchor makes it the perfect cryptocurrency for players looking to move from fiat currency banking to digital banking without risking their bankroll to currency volatility. Play with it at 1XBit casino and Fairspin casino today. 9. Chainlink Chainlink is considered an Ethereum alt-coin. While it offers users all the expected speed, low costs and security of the blockchain it has the added benefit of integrating transactions that are not based on the blockchain. This is allowing people to seamlessly do business using fiat currencies with blockchain companies. Ethereum-based altcoin Seamless off-blockchain transaction processing Offer tamper-proof cross-blockchain smart contracts Test the high speeds, hack-proof security, and low fee structure of this altcoin for yourself by playing at Casino-Z and 1xSlots casino today. 10. Litecoin – Decentralised/Altcoin Litecoin is one of the early Bitcoin altcoins having been launched in 2011. In addition to offering the same anonymity and security options as its source, the developers behind Litecoin have also engineered the Lightning Network for instant global payments for everything from casino deposits to purchasing a coffee. Hack proof peer-to-peer transaction network Lightning network for instant payments Developers of Atomic Swap for cross crypto trading Try your hand at playing video slots, video poker, blackjack and more using Litecoin to deposit and withdraw at Bet Sensation casino and Green Spin casino today. How To Gamble With Cryptocurrencies Now that you are comfortable with what the differences are between the various types of coins, know a little more about the top 10 cryptos for gambling and have some idea of where to play with each of them let's talk about how to deposit and withdraw with cryptos. Despite being a groundbreaking new technology using them in practice is incredibly simple. To begin gambling with digital currencies all you need to do once you’ve joined your preferred crypto casino is follow the simple steps below: ✓How To Deposit with Crypto To make your first deposit at an online casino with cryptocurrency, plus claim the amazing welcome bonuses on offer, follow these simple steps: Step 1: Click on deposit at the top right of the page. Step 2: Select bitcoin, copy the private depositing address, and enter a relevant promo code. Step 3: Send the bitcoin to the private depositing address from your Bitcoin wallet of choice. With the speed and power of the blockchain, your first crypto deposit will be ready and waiting for you in your account within moments. ✓How To Withdraw with Crypto When it comes to cashing out your winnings the process is even more simple than making your first deposit. Follow these easy steps to withdraw your money: Step 1: Click Profile at top right of page, then click withdrawal. Step 2: Find your Bitcoin wallet address. Step 3: Select Bitcoin, enter your wallet address, the amount to be withdrawn, click withdrawal. For players who are used to waiting up to five business days for a withdrawal crypto-cash out will be mindblowing. At most, you will have to wait 15 minutes before you see your withdrawal become available in your wallet.
  6. Key Takeaways Women scored higher than men when quizzed on stock market basics. 83% of respondents incorrectly defined short selling. The average respondent score on our stock market quiz was 49%, a failing grade. Swathes of new investors have entered the stock market since the pandemic, with first-timers now making up 15% of all retail investors. This is due in part to new apps like Robinhood and Acorn enabling investors to begin with as little as one dollar, while the GameStop phenomenon inspired a frenzy of people to join the investing game. But how much do these newbies know? How much do all investors really know? We spoke to more than 1,000 people who have invested at least once to find out. Investors were asked to rate their own knowledge, which was then put to the test. After asking people basic questions related to the stock market, we were able to see how all types of investors performed. Average scores were broken down by everything from gender and generation to whether participants invested in crypto. We also found out the answers that investors most frequently got wrong. Keep reading to discover our results. Top Portfolio Choices Our study first asked respondents to share what they've invested in. We looked at the top stocks and digital currencies and compared answers by generation. We also asked them to rate their own stock market knowledge before taking the quiz. GameStop was the most popular stock for our respondents in the last six months. A third of investors had put their money on this company, which is actually seeing another financial rally at the time of writing. The second most popular choice was another "meme stock," BlackBerry, which is also up this past month. Even generationally, GameStop and BlackBerry were among the three most popular investments for baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials alike. Where cryptocurrencies were concerned, Bitcoin was the most popular by far. Seventy percent of digital investors had invested in Bitcoin, compared to only 39% who invested in Litecoin, the next most popular coin. Only a small 3% invested in coins other than the top 11 options listed. Before taking the exam, most respondents rated their stock market knowledge as average (38.9%) or even above average (31.5%). Only 8.3% were able to admit that their knowledge was below average. As we'll see in the coming research, these responses were falsely optimistic. Investment Knowledge Scores Moving onto the quiz, the next section of our study looks at average scores across all respondents, then breaks those scores down by gender, generation, and crypto ownership. We even compared scores with how each person assessed their knowledge beforehand. Men and women were pretty much neck and neck, although women won the day with an average score of 51.4% in comparison to an average of 50.4% for men. Scores were also not so different among people who said they took the stock market very seriously versus those who were not at all serious about it. In fact, those who took it very seriously actually fared slightly worse than other respondents. What made the real difference was whether or not a person owned cryptocurrencies. Those who did not performed much better with a score of 63.5% than those who did (44.8%). This could be because cryptocurrencies tend to appeal to younger, and therefore less experienced, investors or because crypto investors are opting out of the traditional stock market altogether and have no interest in gaining stock market knowledge. A person's opinion on whether or not the stock market was akin to gambling also seemed to affect how well they performed. Those who saw the process as gambling got only 44% of questions right, compared to 73% for those who saw the stock market as true investing –the highest score of any demographic breakdown. Perhaps it's a healthy love and respect for the stock market that improves knowledge most of all. Common Investment Knowledge Gaps Our study concludes with a look at the specific questions from the investment quiz that most people got wrong. The most common incorrect answers were also analyzed in terms of how much respondents had claimed to know about the stock market prior to taking the quiz. In spite of the short sell behind the GameStop frenzy, 83% of people could not properly identify the definition in a multiple choice question. Short selling refers to borrowing a share of a stock and then selling it. If the price does as anticipated, traders can rebuy the stock at a lower price and hold onto the difference. GameStop was one of the most heavily shorted stocks on Wall Street. And speaking of GameStop, most people couldn't identify the correct term for the abbreviation GME. GME is an example of a "ticker symbol," something that 73% of respondents did not know. More than half of investors couldn't properly explain what the "ask" and the "bid" were, either. For clarification, the "bid" price is the maximum amount that a buyer is willing to pay for a stock. The "ask," on the other hand, is the minimum price that a seller would take for that same stock. Another common knowledge gap was how to correctly define hedge funds, mutual funds, and exchange funds. Investing in Knowledge Ultimately, investment knowledge wasn't reserved for the elites or enthusiasts. Even those who claimed excellent understanding missed basic questions, while the vast majority of all investors failed to pass the test at all. That said, not everybody claimed to take the process seriously and may very well still be enjoying the fruits of their investment decisions. If you are looking to experience the fun of investing (or gambling, as many think of it), try using GamblersPick. Gamblerspick.com has all of the latest information on things like cryptocurrencies and recent jackpots. To get in on the action and expand your knowledge, head to Gamblerspick.com today. Methodology and Limitations This study uses survey data from 1,006 people who have some amount of money in the stock market. Responses were gathered using Amazon Mechanical Turk, where users were presented with a quiz-style survey followed by a variety of other survey questions, including an attention-check question. Of the respondents, 371 identified as women, 634 identified as men, and one individual identified as nonbinary. The survey included 99 baby boomers, 256 Gen Xers, 595 millennials, 34 Gen Zers, and 22 respondents from other generations. All data reported in the above survey rely on self-report, which can be subject to issues such as exaggeration, telescoping, and recency bias. Fair Use Statement If you feel like teaching the world a little something about investing, you're welcome to share the data in this article. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
  7. Exploring How Investors Are Managing Cryptocurrencies in Today's World [Survey] To save or to spend crypto? That is very much the question for many investors today. As they invest more, they are often forgoing other purchases – some of them essential. Many have even started to accumulate debt in order to buy more crypto or avoid selling it. In order to get to the bottom of what the cryptocurrency craze is really costing Americans, we spoke to 1,000 people on the topic. Crypto investors shared the amount they had, how they were financing the holding, and what they had given up in order to maintain the investment. Responses showed interesting differences across genders and generations. To see how different demographics and Americans as a whole are maintaining their crypto portfolios, keep reading. Trade-Offs for Holding On to Cryptocurrency The total cost of cryptocurrency is more than just a dollar amount. It also includes the cost of the things you can't afford to buy if you choose to keep your money invested. The first part of this study looks at how much cryptocurrency respondents are holding, on average, as well as the top things they're choosing to forgo paying for in order to hold on to that investment. Diamond hands are as expensive as they sound. On average, Americans reported currently holding $1,707 of cryptocurrency each but often admitted that they wouldn't touch that money even if a necessary bill or critical payment came up. More than 1 in 10 stopped saving for an emergency to buy crypto, while the same amount said they had skipped out on a purchase that would have genuinely improved their life. Millennials were the most likely to skip saving for their retirement or miss credit card payments to hold onto their existing crypto stashes. That said, the majority of credit card debt is currently held by Generation X, so perhaps millennials have slightly more wiggle room here. Baby boomers, though unlikely to take on debt for cryptocurrency, also had the highest average value already saved up. Affording More Cryptocurrency So how exactly did Americans come to own their roughly $1,700 worth of cryptocurrency? The next part of our study asked respondents how they purchased their crypto, how much they had to borrow, and what they plan on doing in the future to perhaps buy more. Cryptocurrency may well be one of the reasons that many Americans have credit card debt in the first place: 1 in 4 respondents said they purchased cryptocurrency with credit instead of cash. And, in spite of holding only $1,707 worth of crypto, respondents had borrowed nearly $500 more than that to afford it, whether from the bank or from friends and family. Twenty-one percent of respondents planned on accumulating consumer debt in the future to afford more cryptocurrency. The investment gender gap also appears to continue over from traditional investments into cryptocurrency. Men were planning to invest an average of $1,988 into cryptocurrency this upcoming year – $878 more than women. Men were also more likely to borrow in order to add more crypto to their personal rosters. However, while men were more likely to borrow in general, generational breakdowns show that Gen Xer and Baby boomer women had borrowed more on average than men of the same age. Reasons for Holding Respondents had clearly made some drastic financial decisions in order to stay involved with digital currencies. This part of our study asks about their reasons for doing so and the sources they were most commonly influenced by. People taking on debt or avoiding critical purchases may ultimately have the last laugh: Three-quarters of people holding on to cryptocurrency said they believed it has much more value to gain. About a third of respondents said they held on to their cryptocurrency simply to maintain a diverse portfolio. Decisions on how and when to invest were made mostly after consulting Reddit, with over a third of crypto holders getting their information there. While not all information on the site is verified, the world has recently seen the power that Reddit can have over the financial industry. The only source more influential was a single individual – Elon Musk –whose tweets have been known to impact Bitcoin greatly. In one instance, a tweet from Musk plummeted the price of Bitcoin to below $30,000 – a low for this fluctuating currency. Planning Ahead Looking forward, respondents had already laid out some cryptocurrency-related plans. Our study concludes with a look at their anticipated future actions and what they feel willing to sell in order to buy even more digital currency. On average, respondents planned on maintaining their crypto balances for another five years. That said, enormous increases in price would certainly sway a few to start selling. Overall, respondents agreed that a 61% price increase in bitcoin could cause them to sell. Baby boomers, however, had the highest threshold for selling: This generation wanted a 65% increase before they sold. Respondents were highly unwilling to sell all of their crypto, even in exchange for some pretty valuable things. Only a third said they would sell all of their crypto in exchange for a new home. Considering that the average house price in the U.S. is roughly $287,000, and the respondents we spoke to had fewer than $2,000 worth of crypto, this speaks to an incredibly high anticipated rate of return. Gen Z, however, had many respondents agreeing that they would get rid of all of their cryptocurrency if it would cover their student loan debt. Cryptocurrency Costs Respondents proved that there are more costs involved in investing in cryptocurrency than just the dollar amount. They were often investing in lieu of life-improving purchases, paying down credit card bills, or even covering medical expenses. Men and baby boomers were the most likely to borrow in order to continue financing crypto. In the future, most anticipated doubling down on aggressive decisions like these. Few would sell everything even for a new home or being able to quit their jobs. Of course, they felt their decisions were the right ones, as three-fourths said their primary motivation was an anticipation of a solid return on investment. For most, a 61% price increase would cause them to sell what they had. For others, diamond hands were the most valuable asset of all. Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 1,000 crypto investors on their behavior while investing. Among them, 60% were men, 39% were women, and 1% identified as nonbinary. For generational breakdowns, the sample sizes were: Baby boomers: 135 Generation X: 212 Millennials: 442 Generation Z: 206 Other: 5 For short, open-ended questions, outliers were removed. To help ensure that all respondents took our survey seriously, they were required to identify and correctly answer an attention-check question. These data rely on self-reporting by the respondents and are only exploratory. Issues with self-reported responses include, but aren't limited to, the following: exaggeration, selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and bias. All values are based on estimation. Fair Use Statement As the cryptocurrency conversation grows in pace and fervor, data-based information becomes more important than ever. If you or your followers would be interested in this type of information, you are welcome to share it. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
  8. As lifelong fans of gambling and in particular online gambling it is fantastic to see how many countries are adopting a positive stance towards the hobby. Even if a region does not currently allow local licensing and advertising opportunities, they tend to adopt a ‘no harm, no foul’ approach which allows players to gamble at offshore casinos without any legislative requirements. In a 2021 review of the legal online gambling landscape Slotegrator reported that gambling regulation falls into one of four distinct categories: Those where gambling websites must be licensed by the local regulator (32 countries) Those where only local gaming sites need a license, not foreign sites (32 Countries) Those where online gambling is prohibited, but no legal action is taken against play at foreign sites (28 countries) Those where there are no gambling restrictions at all (93 countries) When looking at the European Union in the context of these categories is becomes clear that the majority of the member states have adopted or are investigating a multi-license regime. ✓EU Free Trade Supports Gambling Regulation For those who are unfamiliar with how the European Union works simply put it is an agreement between 27 member countries that make up most of continental Europe that aim to promote economic and political unity. As a response to the devastating impact of World War 2 on Europe, the European Economic Community (EEC) was created in 1958 to foster financial dependencies. The logic being that when countries are reliant on one another for trade the likelihood of aggression declines. According to a report by the EU Commission in 2021 “82% of products traded in the Single Market are subject to harmonised rules and some 18% of intra-EU trade in goods fall under mutual recognition”. Given that the EU free trade agreement is such a pivotal part of the makeup and longevity of the Union, online gambling became a hotly debated topic as the UK, who was still a member of the EU at the time, promoted full regulation and licensing and expected to be able to trade with its partners. Jurisdictional legislators such as Malta became highly respected markets who expected EU member states to recognise the validity of an MGA licensed casino to trade within the Union. Members that stood against regulated online gambling were seen to be contradicting the compact, and this early friction ultimately led to a burgeoning European online gambling industry. ✓EGBA Striving for Standardised Regulation As with any other multi-party endeavour one of the challenges members of the EU have had to face is how their differing definitions, requirements and even fee structures have become stumbling blocks for their peers. To assist in creating a unified logic to regulation and a set of standards the Brussels-based European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) was founded. “EGBA works together with national and EU regulatory authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated and well-channelled online gambling market which provides a high level of consumer protection and takes into account the realities of the internet and online consumer demand.” To achieve a sustainable online gambling regime the EGBA strives to: Achieve a well-regulated and competitive market Define an ambitious set of European industry standards Build an integrity-based betting market Address betting-related match-fixing and corruption In addition to creating forums for discourse and staying on top of the day-to-day minutiae associated with tracking the gambling rulings and legislative decision making of 27 member countries the EGBA is also a founding partner of the EU Athletes program, a member of the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) and registered with the EU Transparency register since 2009. A July 2021 decision by the EU Commission to not reinstate the Expert Group on Online Gambling to assist regulators in coordinating their legal efforts could see the EGBA having an even more authoritative voice as it fills the role that the Commission renounced. ✓The French Gambling Legislation Interestingly enough when looking at online gambling regulation it is important not to interchange online gambling and online casino, especially if you are looking to play online slots in France. While many gambling sites will say that online casino is legal in France, they are in fact incorrect, however, it is correct to say that online gambling is legal in the country. This is because in 2010 France had a massive overhaul of its gambling law which both created the current body known as the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) and legalised all forms of land-based gambling including casino games, card games, and sports betting. However, in an unexpected turn of events when addressing online gambling the regulation only made allowance for the licensing of online poker and online sports betting, while online games of chance remained a restricted category. ✓An Avid Gambling Community Despite the exclusion of online slots and other casino games, online gambling has flourished in France with La Française des Jeux (FDJ) being responsible for betting and lottery games, while Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) is specifically responsible for horse racing. The Q2 2021 report by BusinessWire on the financial results of the FDJ reported that the “digitalised and online stakes” showed an impressive 70% growth over its Q1 results reaching €1.1 billion in revenue from stakes of €9.2 billion. Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ, said: “Our stakes are increasing, both online and in our point-of-sale network. Over the half-year, we accordingly recorded an increase of nearly 9% in revenue compared with the same period in 2019. Barring new restrictions in response to developments in the health situation, the Group expects to maintain good momentum in the second half and is confident in its business and results prospects in accordance with its responsible gaming model.” These reports show that the FDJ’s online performance is tracking perfectly for the body to achieve its target of €2.2 billion for the year. Market analysts expect this to come from just over €19 billion in stakes. However, the growth in both player stakes and overall revenue for France’s online gambling market has raised the question of whether their reasoning for excluding online gambling was genuine. When the regulations were announced in 2010 ARJEL argued that games of chance held too high a risk of gambling addiction. That games like slot machines encouraged high engagement and participation, something they then claimed to be looking to actively discourage. However, with the €9.2 billion in stakes over six months it proves French gamblers are an engaged and active community. Despite numerous calls in recent years for other EU member states to open their borders to regulated online gambling, to protect locals and actively participate in the free trade compact France has silently refused to budge on the issue, deflecting the conversation around casino games to a discussion of regulated online gambling instead. In a decision that further confuses the matter, France declared that its citizens may gamble at international offshore casinos. Yet this puts them at risk of playing with casinos who do not adhere to EU safer gambling standards, reduces channelisation by not offering a casino game option for slots players, and driving revenues offshore which could be funnelled into programs that would uplift the French community such education programs and compulsive disorder treatment centres. ✓The Bitcoin Casino Stumbling Block France is one of the most progressive nations in the world and as such has been at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption. The French are proud HODLERs with nearly 4% of the population owning Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital tokens. Unsurprisingly the lion’s share of this ownership sits with wealthy, tech-savvy men and women in their late mid-twenties to mid-thirties. It should come as no surprise then that in the absence of regulation making online casino gambling illegal a large portion of the French casino market is turning to Bitcoin casinos. Not only do they get to engage in leading online slots and tables games, but they stand the chance to withdraw even more of the valuable cryptocurrency in the process. However, July 13th saw a Parisian court rule that French ISPs had to block local users from accessing two cryptocurrency gambling sites. The ruling came of the back of a decision to hand over cryptocurrency regulations to Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), a securities watchdog with a specific brief to manage digital currency exchanges in the region. In this case while the casino games themselves were not the issue the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in an unregulated marketplace saw the AMF flex its muscle and once again limit French players access to online casino entertainment. Once again, sane minds argue that if France would extend its current online gambling legislation to include online casino games, they could offer local players access to a secure crypto-exchange and secure a valuable revenue resource in the process.
  9. A few short years ago no one in the world understood what digital currency was let alone how it would one day change the world. Yet today discussions around Bitcoin price hikes, Dogecoin as a meme token, the impact of cryptocurrency mining on both graphic card prices and the environment are dinner table chatter around the world. As an industry where speed of processing, data security and the potential for large financial transactions are central to its day to day running the online gambling market has been heavily invested in the development of blockchain technology and the adoption of cryptocurrencies. In this article, we will delve into what separates an online casino from a cryptocurrency casino. Are there tangible benefits? What are the challenges? Can you legally gamble using cryptocurrency and what games can you enjoy? Online Casino vs Crypto Casino – The Provably Fair Difference In recent years, the line between a blockchain casino and a casino that accepts cryptocurrency payments such as Bitcoin has blurred the definition of what a “crypto casino” is. There is an increasing number of online casinos that have begun accepting deposits and will honour withdrawals via your cryptocurrency wallet. Allowing you to gamble at their casino with credits purchased via Bitcoin, Ethereum or whichever token they accept. However, a true crypto casino does far more than just trade Bitcoin for casino credits. These casinos operate on the blockchain themselves. Their websites, their games, your personal information and ultimately your wagers are placed directly on the blockchain meaning it is all protected by the most advanced encryption platform known today. With the unique hash records available when processing transactions on the blockchain, the same technology used to verify Bitcoin transactions, you can track the validity of the outcome of each game you play at a crypto casino. This system of Provably Fair gaming puts the power to review every hand of blackjack, every spin of the reels and every roll of the dice in Craps and verify that the outcome you were shown is true and unaltered by any third party interference. A great example of this Bitcoin.com which now offers casino games on its platform, that is as close the source as one can hope to get when gambling with BTC. Advantages of Crypto Gambling – Count the Cost In any scenario where you are investing your time and money, both precious commodities, we always recommend looking at the facts and making a reasoned decision from there. The advantages of crypto casinos are: Unparalleled security – Given the virtually impenetrable nature of the blockchain it offers gamblers unprecedented levels of privacy and data protection. Less intrusive experience – When transacting via the blockchain the code behind your wallet is what is needed to complete a transaction. In this case gambling at a true crypto casino will require very little personal information from you to sign up and no additional KYC documentation when you cash out. Transactional transparency – The peer to peer nature of the blockchain ensures that you have a full view of who you send money to and receive it from, as well as giving you access to Provably Fair reviews of the individual games you play. Growing selection of licensed casinos – As Bitcoin continues to pave the way for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies so more regulated markets are beginning to accept cryptocurrencies. This ensures you all the benefits of virtual currency gambling with the support of player-centric gambling authorities. Superior banking options – The low costs, advanced security and unmatched processing speeds of cryptocurrencies make them the superior option when transacting online. However, as more casinos accept Bitcoin and other virtual currencies you still have access to web wallets and credit card transactions if you want them. Better payout percentages – With the low cost of operating an online casino on the blockchain and other revenue generation models for operators that include using the power of gambling transactions to mine for tokens blockchain casinos can offer overall payout percentages of up to 99%. This is far better than 93% to 97% offered by traditional online casinos. Casino game selection – Gambling on the blockchain no longer limits you to playing special blockchain games with poor graphics and limited animations. The world’s leading developers like Big Time Gaming now develop for the blockchain offering great casino games for true crypto casinos. Accessing traditional online casinos which transact in Bitcoin means you have access to award-winning slots and live dealer games from providers like Evolution and Netent. When it comes to shifting your online gambling from a known and trusted online casino to a new crypto casino it is worth digging into the pros and cons of the move and making a decision based on a balanced review of the facts and your personal needs. Choosing a Crypto Casino – Hot Button Items When discussing crypto-based casinos with our community and finding out from them what their most important selection criteria were for choosing a new online casino the following points were the most common across the board: Can I trust the casino to pay me? Will they find excuses to delay my payment? How safe is my information? Do they offer good bonuses? When it comes to finding a trustworthy online casino to play at the addition of cryptocurrencies to a casino is in fact an extraordinarily strong trust cue. With the total transparency and Provable Fair nature of the blockchain, these casinos are more exposed to their players than any traditional online casino. When you consider that you can also play at a regulated casino in Bitcoin you have added another layer of security as now have a safe technology platform and a stringent gaming authority both protecting you. The speed with which you can withdraw your winnings has always been a hot topic for online gamblers. Looking at the FAQs of leading cryptocurrency casinos like Bitstarz, BitCasino and Bitcoin Games Casino they all offer instant withdrawals. The protection of your personal and financial information is of paramount importance to all reputable online casinos. In this case, it becomes a matter of degrees; online casinos are as secure as banks when they utilise 128-bit SSL encryption but the blockchain is objectively the superior encryption method and so blockchain-based casinos will always be the safer option. At their core, the types of bonuses you receive at online casinos and cryptocurrency casinos will be the same either deposit match offers, free bonus credits or free spins. However, you may find the wagering requirements less stringent at crypto sites and their overall payout percentages higher which could mean you stand to withdraw more at a crypto casino on paper, but only Lady Luck knows where those chips will fall. Licensing and Regulation – Does it Matter for Crypto? No matter what your preferred gambling platform is, even when playing offline, there is no substitute for the peace of mind that gambling under a globally recognised regulator brings. They are far more than just a marketing watchdog that rakes in licensing fees. These gaming authorities ensure that operators have sufficient funds to pay your withdrawals, manage national safe gambling programs, require license holders to have their business practices reviewed by third-party auditors and work with law enforcement to shut down illegal operations. Adding the technology-based protections inherent to the blockchain to this substantial jurisdictional protection ensures that you have the safest and potentially profitable online gambling experience possible. In Conclusion With the advancements made in the online gambling services available on the blockchain, it is a good time to see if at the very least your current online casino accounts offer the option to transact in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. If you live in a regulated gambling market that has approved Bitcoin gambling it is worth adding the added protection provided by the blockchain to the security you already experience under your current legislation. Cryptocurrencies are growing in mainstream adoption so getting to grips with this technical and financial phenomenon through a medium you already enjoy, online gambling, is an easy way to luddite to crypto-pro!
  10. When Satoshi Nakamoto penned his now revered whitepaper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in 2008 it was taken as nothing more than the ravings of an anti-establishment nut by those who bothered to take note. For the most part, the idea of an electronic financial system, run by the people and for the people, free from government oversight and unshackled from the established banking infrastructure was pure fantasy. However, as with most bleeding-edge technologies that hold any real value one of three sectors will drive its progress: the war machine, the adult industry, or the criminal underground. Even in the world of gambling, this trinity of progress holds true. The history of land-based gambling is rife with stories of mobsters and gangsters; however, the business has matured into a legitimate gambling entertainment industry. The internet was developed and nurtured by governments intent of its data transmission potential, something vital to national security measures and in gaining an advantage in times of war. This new technology received funding and was driven into the mainstream by the adult industry as its need to store and transmit high-resolution images and video files became central to how it operated online. Whether you support or appreciate any of these individual building blocks is irrelevant. The reality is that we all benefit from the advancement and adoption of high-speed internet, data storage technology and high-resolution streaming available to us today – be it watching content on YouTube or playing Live Dealer casino games at your favourite mobile casino. Silk Road’s Rough Edges One of the early adopters of the then fledgling decentralised cryptocurrency Bitcoin was a 26 year old Penn State graduate, Ross Ulbricht. During his studies Ulbricht became enamoured with the economic musings of the libertarian economist Ludwig von Mises. Investopedia describes von Mises as: “… an economist of the Austrian school who argued for free markets and against socialism, interventionism, and government manipulation of money.” Confronted with the potential of Bitcoin, full of passion and head knowledge, swayed by the outlandish teachings of an expert, and confronted with a once in a lifetime opportunity to make difference in the world of finance and market economies Ulbricht leapt without thinking… and in 2011 he landed on the idea of Silk Road. In a recorded call with Bitcoin Magazine Ulbricht said: “I thought with Bitcoin, I could try and do something that actually makes a difference— Back then, I was impatient. I rushed ahead with my first idea, which was Silk Road… That’s a 26-year-old who thinks he has to save the world before someone beats him to it. I had no idea Silk Road would work, but now we all know it caught on.” In concept it a great idea, the perfect digital resistance to world full of government dominance and financial strangulation. A truly free and unfettered marketplace where buyers and sellers can transact using Bitcoin without Big Brother tracking their every move. The sad reality is free from restraint and needing specialised skills to enter this new decentralised world it was the criminal element that attached itself to his new venture, not the everyman that he believed would be best served by it. And it would be this element that would be his downfall. Duality of Decentralisation Conceptually the free market economy of Silk Road was a great idea and a practical way to prove the potential of decentralised currencies. You can sell your property, skills, and goods free of excessive fees and taxes. Restraints of goods and materials that exist only because of the squabbles of politicians can be sidestepped in the name of the greater good. The flip side to this altruistic coin is that profit is the real driving force in any economic environment and there is no denying the amount of money behind organised crime. Where Silk Road had the potential to do good, the charges brought against Ulbricht tell a quite different story. Ulbricht, who operated under the moniker “Dread Pirate Roberts”, was arrested in 2013 for creating and maintaining a darknet marketplace which facilitated: The sale of illegal narcotics The sale of stolen weapons Murder-for-hire contracts While Ulbricht never personally traded in drugs or firearms and was never connected to any provable assassination contracts, he ran the empire that brokered the relationships and financial transactions that made these possible. Not only did he facilitate these illicit transactions, but Silk Road took a percentage of the cost of the transaction meaning he benefited directly from each contract. Silk Road is recorded as having generated $213.9 million in sales during its two-year run which meant $13.2 million in commissions for Ulbricht. While many of his supporters cry foul, lumping Ulbricht in with the likes of infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, Ulbricht’s laptop was shown to hold millions of words in conversations between Ulbricht and his team discussing the types of sales available on the site. Proving he knowingly profited from illegal and even life-threatening activities. What may have begun as an altruistic movement sadly ended up being nothing more than a highly profitable criminal platform. One that has seen Ulbricht sentenced to two-life terms plus forty years without the possibility of parole. The Power of a Maturate Market The world we are in today seems incredibly far removed from the wild times that saw the meteoric rise and fall of Silk Road. Discussions around cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and many others are part of daily life. The need for specialised access to tools like Tor browsers and access to the dark web is virtually non-existent as exchanges have simplified the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, and mainstream financial institutions begin to offer crypto investment options as part of the portfolios. Even the adoption of stablecoin methodologies by world governments in the pursuit of the creation and institutionalisation of digital currencies such as the digital Yuan and digital Dollar is proof that blockchain technology is changing the world. For the online gambling community, this means even faster and more secure banking options, instant withdrawals of winnings and the highest possible levels of data security for your personal information. While Nakamoto’s vision of a global financial system free from restraint and control by external parties may one day come into being, where we are right now is a good place to be. We have a groundbreaking technology that is changing the world by allowing unbanked and poor countries to transact internationally in order to feed families and save lives, it is creating the potential for a new trade paradigm not dominated by the US dollar and it is doing so in the public domain, where the global community is learning and growing together.
  11. Online gambling has been around for close to three decades now and has evolved and grown immensely over that time. Enhancements in technology have been one of the biggest motivating factors for these changes, coupled together with the demands from the player-base for increased innovation in keeping with these modern conveniences. The perfect example of this trend playing out can be found in the call for a mobile gambling market. Did you know? The first mobile gambling venture in the UK (the biggest iGaming market in Europe) was a mobile lottery, which launched in 2003. One of the most significant evolutions happening at the moment is the increased growth and influence of the cryptocurrency market. The popularity of crypto casinos is on the rise, thanks to the increasing technology in the blockchain world – a world dominated by a millennial generation that is comfortable adapting to fresh technology and ideas. In fact, they demand it! Because the future is in the hands of the current generation, tomorrow’s gambling market must evolve to meet their needs and desires, or it will die out. Current data suggests that sub-40-year-olds are not as drawn to mainstream casino games as older generations are and are more prone to enjoy the latest social gaming innovations from the crypto space. What is the Winning Recipe for the Future? To understand the future for crypto and general online casino gaming, we need to understand the subtle changes that are happening in the market right now. These are indicating factors of where the gambling market is going. Currently, all the communicating factors point towards the position that strong ‘’digital community’’ values are at the heart of this current and up-and-coming generation of players. Interaction online is becoming a major trend across various markets. Just look at a few of the obvious examples around us. Social Media Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are bigger than ever before and newcomer, TikTok, is making big waves. Billions of people use these applications daily to reach out to their friends and the greater world. Quick Fact: Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. It boasts a massive 2.8 billion active users in the first quarter of 2021. These platforms provide the perfect setting for a digital communal environment. People can find their voice and link themselves to special interest groups and communicate with friends across the span of the globe in a matter of seconds. The social media craze is a real indicator that the current generation is a fan of digital community qualities. The Latest Video Gaming Crazes While single-player games were a lot of fun for those over 35 years of age when they were growing up, this is no longer the case. Today the most popular games in the world are all multi-player options. Games such as Roblox, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends draw millions of players around the world daily. All the pre-mentioned gaming brands have one thing in common – they are multi-player based. In fact, Fortnite, Warzone, and Apex Legends are all Battle Royale type games, meaning that players can team up with others to compete against other player-based teams. Technology like Discord and other team chat software applications even allow the gamers to talk to each other while playing. Why are these multi-player titles the most popular games right now? Because they all offer a social environment where people can interact with others. It seems like common sense that players exposed to such gaming environments would seek similar or better-quality gaming interactions when they graduate to the gambling sphere. ✓ The E-sports Boom One of the fastest-growing digital industries at the moment is e-gaming. This immerging market not only harnesses the qualities of one-on-one competition but affords fans the option to bet on the outcomes of the games. While e-sport is in its infancy, educated estimates predict that this fresh and fast-paced gaming market should reach a capitalisation of around $13 billion by 2025. Once again, the driving influence for this popular digital sport form is the fact that players compete against each other for a shot at the prize. In many games (like FIFA), each side can comprise of multiple gamers. It is no longer as thrilling to compete against a machine as it is to take on your peers head-to-head. It seems that even in the world of machines and high-end tech that basic human qualities will endure, albeit that the social trends are a little different from the norms of generations gone by. ✓ Live Casino and Poker Trends Closer to home, two of the quickest growing game options at online casinos are online poker rooms and live dealer games. Evolution Gaming has taken the world by storm and is a heavyweight in international gambling circles. They just recently acquired gaming giant, NetEnt, for a massive sum. The recipe behind the company’s success has been its ability to join real people together in a casino environment for a common cause. The social interaction involved makes live table games and gameshow titles very popular. Virtual table game libraries are shrinking on casino sites while live game portfolios are growing. Did you know? Trends amongst younger gamblers show that live casino games such as Live Monopoly, and other such gameshow titles are firm favourites in the live dealer marketplace. Online poker similarly offers a social aspect to the game. While the dealers are not visible via stream, multiple players can take seats at the virtual tables and interact via a live chat tool. Online poker has exploded thanks to fabulous social poker sites like PokerStars. ✓ The Outcome The simple fact is that the current generation loves technology and can spend hours lost in the digital realms. However, they remain human and therefore crave interaction as social beings. A platform that can combine this form of entertainment with the necessary interaction qualities is onto the winning solution for the future. Up until now, the crypto casino world has done a sterling job in identifying this need and working towards placating its punters. Why Does Crypto = Community? There are few good reasons why cryptocurrency and crypto casinos are on the cutting edge of the social gambling trend and why they are community-friendly. These include: Multi-Player Games: There are a number of casino games coming from the decentralised market that focus on multi-player playability. They are extremely popular. As a relatively new tech in casino realms, blockchain-based casinos are usually frequented by younger players. Power to the People: Decentralised blockchain technology removes the need for a trusted middleman. This ideology directly empowers the people and encourages person-to-person interaction and trade. It implements a return to a more basic and personal way of life. Us against the world: The crypto world is very misunderstood and often shunned by mainstream finance, much like the current millennial generation is misunderstood by the ‘boomers’ who have gone before it. Both the platform and the people have an ‘’us versus the world’’ outlook on life. A common cause is usually a great unifier and brings communities closer together. One thing we can learn from crypto is that the next generation is eager for change. A change that sees a move away from isolated gaming experiences and embraces a more social and inclusive environment. What We Hope to See Soon The crypto realms are already on the right path and are quite likely to lead the way ahead. This is what we hope to see happening soon. ✓ More Innovative Multi-Player Games Now that we know what the industry needs to attract the next generation, we hope to see more and more mainstream and blockchain-based game providers introduce such games into the marketplace. Spearhead Gaming’s debut arcade/gambling game, Astroboomers: To the Moon, is a classic example of the type of entertainment we need to attract the up-and-coming player base. We also hope to see advanced mechanisms for players to share their accolades and wins within groups and special social media platforms. This alone provides great incentives for more competitive player types. ✓ Increased Usability at Crypto Casinos The practical issues involving high costs for microtransactions need solving to bring the crypto casino market to its full potential. Quick Fact: Ethereum launched a second blockchain platform called ‘’Ethereum 2.0’’ to try and solve the high transaction fee dilemma facing the usability of Ether for smaller transactions. Right now, decentralised blockchains cater better to big funds transfers than to multiple small ones. Blockchains, like Ethereum, are leading the way towards this sort of usability. ✓ Increased Education on Crypto Tech ‘An informed people are a happy people,’ according to a wise old adage. More education about crypto-realms and the qualities of the blockchain would go a long way towards the evolution and enhancement of the current online industry and influence current player bases to make the change. This should include a change of ideology to follow current social trends and an increased willingness from mainstream operators to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of tender on their sites. Round-Up One thing is for certain, the online casino industry has proven itself resilient over the years. Its ability to change and adapt is demonstrated in its year-on-year revenue growth. Its versatility is sure to continue as leading brands place big money into monitoring current trends and ensuring they stay on the cutting edge of innovation. Journey with us, at GamblersPick, as we keep you up to date with all the latest trends and introduce you to all the newest innovations and technologies as they drop.
  12. While the adage "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" would have you believe that there is no real difference between gambling online or at your local casino, that simply is not true. While land-based casinos do offer certain benefits like the potential to get free drinks, be comped a meal, and the experience of a night out “on the town”, playing at an online casino offers far more benefits for both experienced and beginner gamblers to enjoy. Why Gambling Online is the Best Here are 10 reasons why we believe online casinos trump their land-based peers every day of the week: 1. Perfect Environment for New Players Most online casinos offer free to play versions of the real money games they have on offer. This is the perfect way for new players to get to grips with the mechanics, features and bet sizes of any game they intend to play for real money later. Not only can you play these games for free, but each game comes with handy in-game hints and a detailed help file that explains everything from what each button does to how wins are determined and the games specific return to player percentage. 2. Online Casinos Offer Better Payouts The simple fact of the matter is that the House always has an advantage, whether playing online or at a land-based gambling venue – the trick is optimising that advantage as best possible. This is where online casinos beat out their brick and mortar counterpart’s hands down. Land-based casinos must cover the costs of running sprawling complexes which include restaurants, bars, clubs and all the staff to man these various activities. Online casinos only have support staff and tech-related costs which cost a fraction of what it takes to run an offline casino. This is why online casinos offer payouts of around 96%, this means the average house edge is as low as 4%. 3. Incredibly Range of Online Slots Slot machines are by far the most popular game type whether you choose to play online or offline, this is due to their wide range of themes, interactive features, payline options and jackpot win potential. Plus, individual developers each offer something unique to give their slots even more appeal. Big Time Gaming created their Megaways system offering up to 117,649 ways to win, Microgaming offers incredible progressive jackpot wins on their Mega Moolah slots and so much more. 4. Gamble When It Suits You Unlike online casinos which are open all year round, not all local casinos offer 24/7 access to their games. By playing online you can hop onto your favourite slot machine or play a few hands of blackjack whenever it is best for you. Oftentimes it is also simply not possible to coordinate getting to a casino venue at conventional times given the demands placed on our time by work, travel, family and more. In this instance being able to relax over a cup of coffee and a few spins of the reels when you have downtime available to you is an important feature. When you add this to the fact that you can play on your mobile device online gambling offers the most comprehensive, customer-first, gambling experience you could hope for. 5. Live and Play on Your Mobile The mobile device is far more than just a phone these days, we all run our lives from these tiny handheld computers. Online casinos understand this and offer an engaging gambling experience right there in the palm of your hand. Best of all thanks to high-quality apps and HTML5 these casinos offer the same entertainment on your device as they do when you play on your laptop or desktop computer. Allowing you to gamble whenever and wherever you want to. 6. There is Always a Seat for You A very real downside to gambling at a land-based venue, especially in smaller towns, is limited seating or access to popular games. At an online casino, whether you are playing at peak traffic times or in the middle of the night, your favourite casino table or online slot will be waiting for you to dive right in. This is equally true of buying additional casino chips while playing your favourite game. Online casinos allow you to easily top your chip stack from within the game you are playing rather than expecting you to get out of the action to go get more chips as you would at your local casino. 7. Fantastic Casino Bonus Selection Receiving bonuses at a land-based casino is highly unlikely for a new player. All new players at reputable online casinos will receive some form of welcome bonus. This bonus acts both as a gift basket to make you feel at home and as a safety net with which you can test out casino games without risking your own money. These casino bonuses will include deposit match bonuses, free spins, no deposit bonuses, wager free bonuses or a combination of these. Once you are a regular at the casino you will be able to avail yourself of reload bonuses, cashback and Loyalty bonuses. 8. Choose When to Play with Others A big part of ensuring your mental health though, especially during lockdowns is having the choice to play with others when you need contact and give yourself space when that is more important. One of the fastest-growing niches within the online gaming industry is the live casino sector. This allows players to step away from purely RNG casino games to enjoy the experience of interacting with a live dealer and the players around the table. As the market appetite for live games has grown so developers like Evolution Gaming have stepped up to grow their selection beyond traditional games like blackjack, roulette, and craps, to include custom games like Monopoly Live, Deal or No Deal Live and Mega Ball. 9. Protect Your Privacy with Bitcoin For players who are looking to further enhance the privacy and security offered by online gambling, there is the option to gamble at a Bitcoin casino. These sites are built on the blockchain, offer provably fair gambling, and ensure that your transactions are hidden from prying eyes thanks to Bitcoin’s incredible encryption. This is over and above any other measures, one can take online to protect their search histories and online banking by using virtual private networks (VPN) to connect to the internet. 10. Safety First When making the decision whether to play online or go to a local casino one must consider the potential health risks. Given the current situation we all find ourselves in, it is prudent to avoid crowds of people and rather play from home. With the ease of access to multiple casinos and swathes of cutting edge casino games, not to mention the bonuses and 24/7 personal support, there is very little reason to play at a land-based casino when with the click of a button you can enjoy world-class entertainment from the comfort of your home.
  13. Since its launch in 2009, cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm. In essence, it can be described as digital money. Many people invest in it, hoping the value of whatever crypto they have goes up. For example, at the start of 2013, Bitcoin was trading at around $13.50 per coin and peaked at just under $24,000 per coin in December of 2020. To understand the full scope of the cryptocurrency global landscape, we surveyed over 1,000 people regarding their investment tendencies and feelings toward the digital dollar. What does the future hold for Bitcoin and the many other cryptocurrencies circulating around the net? With their rapid rise in popularity and worth, they may be here for the long haul and might even eventually render the physical money we know and love obsolete. Keep reading to discover who's investing in what and why. Cryptocurrency at a Glance From the surveyed population, 76% had invested in cryptocurrency entering 2021. Millennials were the most keen on it – 80.1% of them fell into this age category. Among respondents, 64% were men, and 36% were women. By a large margin, the most owned cryptocurrency was Bitcoin (51.4%). The next highest was Bitcoin cash at 10.4%, and the rest were all well under that. Investors were five times more likely to own Bitcoin versus other cryptocurrencies – there are a handful of factors that contribute to its popularity. Bitcoin is worth a lot (over $35,000 USD apiece at the time of writing this), has been around longer than other cryptocurrencies and major companies have started to accept it as a legitimate payment option. Crypto influencers offer advice, news, and predictions for the crypto world – almost 60% of cryptocurrency owners took influencer knowledge into account when investing. Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian-Russian programmer, is one of the most famous figures in the crypto world. He co-founded Bitcoin Magazine in 2012 and Ethereum in 2015, which has become the second-largest cryptocurrency worldwide. Another influencer, Erik Voorhees, is an American entrepreneur who has been at the forefront of numerous crypto-related ventures. He launched a bitcoin gambling website in 2012 called SatoshiDICE and founded Coinapult in 2013 which allowed users to send bitcoins via SMS. In 2015, he turned his attention toward his new venture, ShapeShift, a currency exchange and management platform that supported many different cryptocurrencies. Of the last 12 years, 2018 saw the highest level of first-time cryptocurrency investment, with 21.4% of respondents entering the market at the time. Overall, 46% of respondents started to invest in 2018 and beyond. A tremendous increase in Bitcoin price over the last couple years could explain the rise in interest and subsequent investments. The Crypto Experience When further analyzing respondent's feelings toward cryptocurrency investment, more can be learned about their views, opinions, and experiences with it. Firstly, 53% of current cryptocurrency owners worried about criminal activity. According to a Crypto Crime Report conducted by Chainanalysis, the value of Bitcoin that had been sent to and from various markets on the dark web totalled over $600 million. To that end, 65% of respondents agreed that cryptocurrency should be regulated and monitored by the government in an attempt to crack down against the rampant illegal activity in the crypto underworld. Forty-one percent of investors claimed they had fallen for a scam or experienced an attempted scam. There are a lot of tricks scammers can use to con people out of their money. It is usually done by email or telephone – a common strategy used is to offer participation in online referral strategy schemes or investment in a "surefire" business opportunity. Unfortunately, some people send their hard-earned money to the person on the other end of the line. They may promise to double your investment, but the money is almost always never seen again. Seventeen percent of all respondents and a quarter of baby boomers felt cryptocurrency as a whole is just a scam. Seeing as the concept and usage of cryptocurrency is fairly new, the hostility and uncertainty toward its long-term legitimacy isn't entirely surprising. More on Investments Respondent's average initial investment into cryptocurrencies was $2,235. In all, the average investment totaled $9,305. Seventy-seven percent of investors had set up automatic investment payments to continually increase their crypto accounts. Not every investment led to financial success, though. Over 56% of baby boomer respondents claimed to have lost money to the crypto market, followed by 49.2% of Gen Xers and 44.6% of millennials. Overall, 47% said they had suffered losses on their invested money, the average being $2,763. Fifty-eight percent decided to pull their previously invested money, averaging $3,305 in withdrawals. Well over half of respondents attributed their use of cryptocurrencies to investment purposes. Investment can be an attractive option, seeing as Bitcoin, for example, is a scarce asset, many believe its value can continue to rise as fiat currencies (e.g., the U.S. dollar) depreciate. Only 8.3% of respondents used it for direct spending – there is an increasing number of companies that have begun to accept crypto payments, and as more allow it, direct spending will likely increase as well. Just under 15% of respondents claimed to have invested in cryptocurrency in the hopes of churning out large profits. The majority (37%) had invested purely out of curiosity. It is still too early to tell how cryptocurrencies will fare in the future – it seems as if many people are just happy to be along for the ride and see how their investments do. It also provides investors an opportunity to learn more about the crypto world in the event a global movement toward digital monetary assets takes place. The Future Is Crypto Twenty-one percent of cryptocurrency skeptics said they plan on investing in the new year. On average, those that have already invested plan on injecting $7,145 into their crypto accounts. Newcomers planned on investing considerably less, at an average of $965. Unsurprisingly, 31.3% of respondents are looking to invest in Bitcoin over other types of cryptocurrency. Also, most of them (65.6%) felt hopeful about the future of cryptocurrency – a positive mindset could be the first step toward (financial) success. As a whole, 45% of respondents felt a $100,000 mark is within reach for Bitcoin in 2021. Just over 54% of cryptocurrency owners believed as much, as did 16% of those without any crypto to their name. Seventy-seven percent of cryptocurrency owners believed that it will become just as popular as government-issued currencies, whereas 40.2% of nonowners agreed. On average, 68% of respondents believed the two currencies will eventually become equally as popular. With the increase in interest in cryptocurrencies and subsequent investments, as well as Bitcoin being the best performing asset this past decade, a level playing field between crypto and government currencies could be here sooner than we think. Crypto Quick Stats Top 5 Crypto-Friendly States: Colorado Ohio Texas California Wyoming Top 10 Richest Crypto Investors: ‘Nakamoto' Chris Larsen Joseph Lubin Changpeng Zhao Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss Matthew Roszak Brock Pierce Brian Armstrong Anthony Di Iorio Xu Mingxing Top 9 Countries With the Highest Increase in Users Between Ages of 18 and 24: Nigeria Australia Spain Canada Mexico U.K. Colombia India Pakistan Top 9 Countries With the Highest Increase in Female Users: Greece Romania Argentina Portugal Indonesia Ukraine Czechia Colombia Venezuela The Digital Gold Rush The rise of cryptocurrency is a fascinating one, and there is much controversy that surrounds the topic. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey famously tweeted in 2018 that he believed the internet and the world as a whole will operate on one single currency, being Bitcoin. Although there has been consistent elevated interest displayed by the public in their investment efforts, many are skeptical about the safety of a digital currency. An average person may fear scammers and hackers, and governments are worried that it might destabilize their national currencies and hurt their economies. The influence that cryptocurrency will have in the future is uncertain, as there are both positive and negative aspects that come with its total adoption. For now, it seems that people are happy investing casually and learning what it's all about. What we do know, though, is that the landscape may very well drastically change in the next ten years, maybe just as quickly as it has since Bitcoin's inception. Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 1,015 people about their views on cryptocurrency. Respondents were 42.1% men, and 57.6% women. One respondent was nonbinary, and two respondents chose not to disclose their gender. The average age of respondents was 38.3 with a standard deviation of 11.8 years. Our survey included respondents currently invested in cryptocurrencies and those who are not. 244 respondents were currently invested in cryptocurrencies and 771 respondents were not. Questions on which cryptocurrency respondents own, their reasons for investing, what they use it for, which crypto influencers they actively follow, and what they associate cryptocurrency with were asked as check-all-that-apply questions. Therefore, percentages won't add to 100. The data we are presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data. These issues include, but are not limited to, the following: selective memory, telescoping, attribution, and exaggeration. Fair Use Statement Think your friends and family might want to brush up on their cryptocurrency knowledge? Feel free to share these findings – we only ask that you do so for noncommercial use and that you provide a link back to this original page so the study's contributors can earn credit for their work.
  14. Key Takeaways: Gen Z’s investment habits are more likely to be influenced by Reddit, Twitter, and other social media, while older generations are more likely to have their investments influenced by magazines, newspapers, and TV. Gen Z is less likely to invest in a majority of typical/traditional/common assets but more likely to invest in cryptocurrencies, meme investments, currencies, and NFTs. Gen Z is less likely to invest in collectibles but more likely to invest in clothing and sneakers. Reasons Gen Z and many millennials are investing include the desire to “participate in a movement” and “fight back against institutions.” Investing for All Ages The ‘crypto craze’ has taken the world by storm – a week into 2021, the market value of cryptocurrencies surpassed a whopping $1 trillion. To put its surge into perspective, the value of all digital currencies added up to only around $260 billion last June, and it is now the fifth-most circulated currency worldwide, even surpassing huge economies like India and the UK. With the investment world booming, we wanted to take a closer look at investment strategies among the generations, with a particular focus on Gen Z. Let’s see how often they invest and when they feel is the right time to do so. Also, what kind of assets are they interested in, and what mediums do they use to (attempt to) grow their money? Lastly, we’ll assess respondents’ investment motivations as well as their sensitivity to risk. Read on to see who and what is pulling in the big bucks. Trigger-Happy Overall, a quarter of respondents admitted to investing frequently. It was a relatively popular activity among them, as only 12% said they rarely did it. On a generational level, Gen Zers couldn’t get enough of the practice – 28% said they were constantly investing. That being said, they were also the most likely to say they rarely do. As people got older, they were generally less active in the investment world; millennials were most likely to frequently invest, Gen Xers would do it often, and baby boomers and older generations would only sometimes try their hand at it. Respondents were most eager to invest when they felt like they had extra money to spend. Over half of them pulled the trigger when market conditions were right and would invest on a regular basis. Jumping into the stock market and other investment mediums can be exhilarating, so people should keep a few tips in mind to maximize success: Focus on the future by keeping a long-term perspective, don’t sweat the small stuff, and be open-minded. Weighing the Options With many different asset options to invest in and methods to do so, what do people tend to use the most? By a margin of just over 20 percentage points, the most popular asset to invest in was stocks – almost three-quarters of millennials and Gen Xers preferred to put their money in them over the other options. Putting your money into the stock market can be very financially beneficial – the simplest reason to invest is to grow your wealth, and people tend to amass anywhere between 7% and 10% of their original investment in returns per year. Historically, stocks generally rise and earn more money for investors than other options – therefore, investing in stocks is a relatively safe strategy, making it an attractive choice for many. The most common medium used to invest were retail investment platforms – Gen Zers especially preferred them, but baby boomers (or older) tended to use financial service companies to help them invest their money. There are a ton of investment apps at our disposal, and they are known to excel in different areas – for example, ‘Invstr’ was deemed the best for learning all about investing; ‘Wealthfront’ is known for its sophisticated portfolio management; and ‘Betterment’ is great for people who are interested in socially responsible investing strategies. Assessing Motivations Some are skeptical about the legitimacy of the investment world. Either way, they continue to attempt to grow their money. A conspiracy is afoot, as 77% of respondents believed the markets are manipulated by high-power investors and institutions, and many also agree that the stock market is biased toward them. Generally, baby boomers (and older) were a little more skeptical of these theories, but the younger generations were pretty sure there’s some truth behind them. A lot of research has been done to figure out what’s going on, and technically speaking, it would be difficult to prove that the stock market is rigged for the average investor due to laws and governing bodies, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to keep things in check. That being said, there are clear advantages that higher-ups, such as the money managers on Wall Street, have access to – among them are access to private and sensitive information, a ton of capital, political influence, and generally high experience when it comes to trading. Regarding investment motivations, Gen Zers, and in many cases millennials, did not have the same incentives as older generations. While Gen Xers and older respondents were interested in long-term gains, saving for the future, and making solid returns, their younger counterparts were particularly drawn to doing it for social causes, like fighting back against institutions and participating in movements. Risk and Influences Are people high-rollers, or do they prefer the small victories? Also, what are they influenced by when it comes to investment decisions? From the data collected, we can see that Gen Zers had a much higher risk tolerance than older generations, and baby boomers (and older respondents) tended to prefer to be a little safer with their investments. The most important aspect considered, by far, when investing was the market condition at the time. Instead of the stock fundamentals, Gen Zers were more interested in the tips and opinions from their family and friends, as well as the advice they found on Reddit. Millennials were the most likely to look for advice on social media and were also most likely to attribute moral or ethical reasoning to their investment decisions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gen Zers were more influenced by the online landscape, including YouTube, Reddit, and other social media applications, whereas the older generations tended to make their decisions based on what they were seeing in magazines, newspapers, and on television. The reality is, older people just aren't online nearly as much as young people. For example, 2021 Facebook demographic data shows that out of the 2.7 billion active monthly users, 86% of them are aged 18 to 29, whereas only 34% are 65 or older. The difference is even greater for Instagram’s 1 billion active monthly users – the split is 67% to 8%, respectively. The Learning Curve Clearly, the idea of investing has piqued the interest of many Gen Zers. Their preferred assets, method choices, motivations, and considered factors when investing are different than older generations. This is to be expected, especially with how much they use the internet and their dedication to social causes. A common stereotype is that young people are reckless, especially with their financials, but it was Gen Zers who were the most likely to invest to gain more insight about the investment landscape. Aside from the stock market, another way to grow your money is by rolling the dice at the casino. One thing that these two potential money-growing platforms have in common is that if you’re well informed on what you’re doing, you’re more likely to succeed. Gambler’s Pick is your go-to resource for learning about the ins and outs of online gambling – take a look at their casino reviews, helpful guides, and suggestions before diving into the many casino games you can try your hand at on their website. Head over there now to become a gambling guru! Methodology and Limitations We surveyed 872 people about their investment strategies to explore how different generations are investing. Twenty-four percent of respondents were Gen Zers, 27% were millennials, 25% were Gen Xers, and 24% were baby boomers or older. An attention-check question was used to help ensure respondents read questions and answers in their entirety. The data we’re presenting rely on self-report. There are many issues with self-reported data which include, but are not limited to, the following: attribution, exaggeration, telescoping, and selective memory. Fair Use Statement If you know someone who’s interested in dipping their toes into the world of investing or just wants to learn more about investment strategies, feel free to send this article their way. We just ask that you do so for noncommercial use only and to provide a link back to the original page so contributors can earn credit for their work.
  15. Key Takeaways: 45% of respondents had heard of Dogecoin, and 27.6% had invested in it. 30% of respondents believed that Dogecoin was the new Bitcoin. 48.8% of respondents regretted investing in Reddit-hyped stocks, while 40% regretted investing in Dogecoin. More than half of respondents were familiar with NFTs, while 40.5% had invested in NFTs. From Dogecoin to NFTs Bitcoin has been discounted before and still has its critics but always seems to come out on top. Even after years of disappointment, the digital currency came back stronger than ever. And with investing becoming more accessible to masses of people instead of the wealthy elite, we all want to know: What's the future of digital currency? As we saw with the GameStop story, large influxes of micro-investors have scale-tipping abilities comparable to those of established hedge funds. To better understand these scale-tippers, which we now know can hugely sway trading prices, we got to asking. More than 1,000 people across the country recently participated in our crypto trend research. They shared with us their opinions on everything from Reddit’s influence to Dogecoin and NFTs. If you're interested in what the average American was planning to do with these investment opportunities, keep reading. Determining the Future of Dogecoin Dogecoin was actually started as a joke in 2013 based on a popular Shiba Inu meme. But as we know today, jokes have power in the markets. Our study kicks off with a look at Dogecoin, how many Americans have heard of it, and how they feel about Elon Musk involving himself. While most people had heard of Dogecoin through social media (33.7%) or conversations with friends and family (21.7%), Elon Musk was single-handedly popularizing the coin as well. Eighteen percent of respondents had first heard of Dogecoin because of news covering Elon Musk's-related tweets. Most respondents either approved of or didn't care when it came to Musk's Doge-related information. Musk's tweets show enormous support for Dogecoin. When asked if he wanted the coin available for purchase on Coinbase, he tweeted with a resounding "Yes!" moving Dogecoin almost 10% north. Even if he meant it as a joke, we can say Dogecoin is at least considered a safer bet than the lottery –most respondents agreed that they would purchase Dogecoin over a lottery ticket, all costs being equal. Looking Forward to Dogecoin With Dogecoin getting so much attention on social media and from Elon Musk, we wanted to know what respondents felt the future of the currency was. They told us where they thought the price would go, what they would invest, and how it would compare to Bitcoin. People are placing a premium on Dogecoin's meaning in their life. Instead of investing "just for fun" or even to have a safe, reliable investment, the majority of Dogecoin purchasers see this as their chance to truly "get rich." They evidently have massive faith in the price of Dogecoin to soar, as they intended to get this rich with an average investment of $227. If Dogecoin goes up to $1 by the end of the year, however, which 23% of people thought it will, that $227 investment could be worth quite a lot, as the coin is hovering around a worth of just 5 cents at the time of writing of this article. Even with these high hopes, most people didn't see the coin as taking over Bitcoin's place. Instead, most felt Bitcoin would maintain its dominant stance in the cryptomarket. Buying With Bitcoin and Digital Currencies Digital currencies like Bitcoin are supposed to be exactly that: currency, or money with which to buy things. We next asked our respondents which retailers they wish accepted Dogecoin as payment. Most people thought it would be a perk for Amazon to accept Dogecoin as payment. While other stores were considered, 41.1% of respondents said they didn't really want any stores to accept Dogecoin. Evidently, the value often lay elsewhere. When asked, however, to consider what they would do were Amazon to release their own digital currency, the resounding answer was to invest. Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed that they would invest in Amazon's cryptocurrency. Fortunately for this group, Amazon's digital currency appears to be in the works. Trusting in Reddit The conversation around investing today often now leads to discourse about Reddit and memes. The next part of our study asks people what their response was to Reddit hypes and what investments they had chosen because of the platform's information. Similarly to an Elon Musk tweet, a group of Redditors also has the power to run up the price of alt coins (like Doge) when they put their mind (and money) to it. Even though it's highly associated with meme-style investing, the Reddit community's power has certainly been proven this year. It is not at all uncommon for digital investors today to use Reddit to inform their investments as well. Reddit's influence became unignorable with the GameStop phenomenon. The little guys from the internet were finally taking on the big hedge funds on Wall Street – and they were winning. GameStop was still the number one investment people made who took Reddit recommendations. Next was BlackBerry, which 31% of people also invested in because of Reddit. While BlackBerry was one of the biggest winners from the initial GameStop frenzy, this stock didn't have as large of a short interest as GameStop, making it harder to maintain the squeeze. The stock has fallen from $30 to around $9. Even though people were much more likely to invest in Reddit stocks than they were Dogecoin, they were also much more likely to regret the investment. While 48.8% of respondents said they regretted their Reddit-informed stock purchases, only 40% said the same thing about Dogecoin. While most planned to shed their Reddit investments within the next six months, perhaps they had higher hopes for Dogecoin still. Non-Fungible Tokens Chances are the acronym NFT has come across your radar more than once recently. NFT stands for non-fungible token. "Non-fungible" means that it's unique and can't be replaced –unlike Bitcoin, which can be replaced for another Bitcoin. NFTs, like truly one-of-a-kind trading cards, are part of the Ethereum blockchain at their highest level, though some others have implemented their own forms of NFTs. The last part of our study asks respondents to weigh in on this ongoing NFT boom. Just under half of respondents had even heard of Ethereum, though slightly more had heard of NFTs (which derive from Ethereum typically). While nearly a third couldn't provide the definition for NFTs, a whopping 61.7% of respondents planned to invest in them shortly. Women expressed particular interest in the opportunity, with 66.1% planning to invest in 2021. While millennials were most familiar with NFTs, almost a third of baby boomers knew the concept as well. NFTs made mainstream news when Beeple's NFT sold for over $60 million at auction – the most expensive NFT sold … so far. Trading and Trusting Even expert traders will tell you there's no way to predict the stock market. That said, there are certainly signposts and indications along the way. In today's Reddit-influenced and digital-informed markets, some of those signposts may be the communities that have arisen. With micro-investors banning together on such massive scales for the first time, the evidence compiled here from everyday Americans may actually indicate where digital currency trends may go. There's still optimism around Dogecoin and cryptocurrency and less hype around Reddit stocks and meme choices. That said, respondents weren't willing to sell everything just yet. If you're interested in having an investing-style community of your own, GamblersPick is the place for you. People from all over the world who share your interests and excitement are available to weigh in on whatever investments you may be considering. You'll also find news, guides, casino information, and whatever you may need related to money and fun! Head to GamblersPick today to check it out. Methodology This study uses data from a survey of 1,001 respondents familiar with cryptocurrencies located in the U.S. Survey respondents were gathered through the Amazon Mechanical Turk survey platform where they were presented with a series of questions, including attention-check and disqualification questions. 59.3% of respondents identified as men, while 40.7% identified as women. Participants incorrectly answering any attention-check question had their answers disqualified. This study has a 3% margin of error on a 95% confidence interval. 5.9% of respondents were Gen Zers, 60.8% millennials, 22.6% Gen Xers, and 10.7% baby boomers. Please note that survey responses are self-reported and are subject to issues, such as exaggeration, recency bias, and telescoping. Fair Use Statement Feeling the frenzy building in yourself as well? Community and sharing information is all part of it. Feel free to share this article, just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.
  16. In February this year, electric car manufacturer Tesla made headlines when it announced that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and would shortly begin accepting Bitcoin as payment on a limited basis. At the time, industry experts lined up to question the wisdom - or madness - of the decision, with one commentator openly declaring it a "publicity stunt". Another publication did not see the humour in Elon Musk’s future-forward approach to his business calling it a "dangerous bet" that endangered the company and those who would follow in his lead. Contrary to the predictions of doom and gloom, the move is proving to be a masterstroke for Musk and his company with recent reports postulating that Tesla has netted more than $1.2 billion from its BTC investment. This would mean that the company has earned nearly twice as much from its gamble on Bitcoin as it did for the entire year of 2020 where it reported profits of $721 million. Showboating or Necessary Action? Musk has been a vocal supporter of cryptocurrencies, taking to social media and even waxing lyrical in interviews about his belief in the burgeoning technology and what it means for the future of finance. Detractors of Musk have called the investment in Bitcoin a risky bit of showmanship, however, the company had declared its intent to diversify its cash holdings and investment as part of their US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. The filing they submitted for review spoke of their desire to maximise the value of their holdings saying: “We may invest a portion of such cash in certain alternative reserve assets including digital assets, gold bullion, gold exchange-traded funds and other assets as specified in the future." It is also important to view the investment as a percentage of their value, rather than simply looking at the dollar value. At $1.5 billion, their investment in Bitcoin only represented a 7.7% divestiture of their $19 billion asset pool. A position they made clear in their SEC filing stating that they were updating their investment policy to allow for flexibility on “cash that is not required to maintain adequate operating liquidity”. In layman’s terms, Tesla checked under the couch cushions and invested the change they found there. Big Business Boards the Gravy Train While Tesla is one of the more recognisable names to get involved with Bitcoin, and certainly one of the most aggressive in terms of investment size, they are by no means the first. Over the past few years several well-regarded companies have shifted a portion of their investment portfolio into crypto. ✓Morgan Stanley Wealth management company Morgan Stanley has shrugged of its stuffy demeanour in favour of embracing Bitcoin. A recent internal memo indicated that the company is planning to provide access to funds that will allow investors to purchase BTC. The bank took this decision after high profile clients petitioned for access to the token. However, this option is not for everyone; only clients who have at least $2 million in assets with the bank will be eligible to access the new Bitcoin fund. Morgan Stanley has also laid out certain minimum investment conditions which include having an account that is at least six months old, as well as limiting bitcoin investments to a maximum of 2.5% of a client’s total net worth. ✓Square Inc. E-commerce firm Square Inc. is firmly on the Bitcoin bandwagon. In October last year, the Jack Dorsey-owned enterprise committed $50 million to Bitcoin, a financial outlay that represents about 1% of Square’s total assets. At the tokens current value, the investment is currently worth around $200 million – a fantastic 6 month return on investment by anyone standards. Amrita Ahuja, the group’s Chief Financial Officer, said: “We believe that bitcoin has the potential to be a more ubiquitous currency in the future … As it grows in adoption, we intend to learn and participate in a disciplined way. For a company that is building products based on a more inclusive future, this investment is a step on that journey.” This is not the company’s first foray into the crypto space. In 2018, Square launched Bitcoin trading via its mobile payments service, Cash App. Two years later, Square announced that Cash App’s crypto revenue had surged by an astronomical 600%. Following this success, the company formed Square Crypto, an independent company that focused on Bitcoin open-sourced w