Cloudbet Adds USDT as It Ventures into Stablecoin Betting

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Renowned crypto-powered sports betting and casino site, Cloudbet has recently announced that it has added a USD Tether to its portfolio of digital currencies. This marks the company’s very first venture into the world of stablecoin betting. Needless to say, this a welcome development that is certainly set to turn heads in the betting and crypto communities.

The announcement of the new venture comes after a month of testing where Cloudbet sought the help of a select number of customers. This testing phase has since come to an end after the company was satisfied with the way everything was working. Now Cloudbet customers have the ability to deposit, withdraw, and place bets using the USDT coin, a popular digital currency whose value is tied to the US Dollar. USDT can be bought on the site using a number of popular payment methods including Apple Pay and several credit cards.

With the site now getting even more attention, Cloudbet has gone a step further by giving more players an incentive to join the fun. This comes in the form of a massive 1,000 USDT welcome bonus for new customers.

The fun does not stop there. Naturally, the company will have to work hard in order to keep improving the platform and. They even have more offerings in the pipeline.

“We’ve accelerated our feature rollouts tremendously, thanks to the systems and processes we put in place to build the new website. The market can look forward to many more new features and new coins in the coming months.”

A Cloudbet Spokesperson.

The spokesperson went on to point out the fact that the launch was part of the company’s wider strategy to empower their customers with the best technology.

Capitalizing on Esports

Earlier in May, Cloudbet launched an esports vertical that was designed to completely enhance the player experience in more ways than any other platform did. This move has since paid off quite decently owing to the fact that it delivered on the promise of a truly exceptional esports experience.

Thanks to the new esports betting vertical, bettors and esports enthusiasts have been able to fully immerse themselves in the action by placing bets on live-stream of esports using crypto. There are tons of betting options including odds for FIFA20, League of Legends, Call of Duty, Dota 2, Overwatch, NBA 2K, Rainbow Six Siege, and CS:GO among others.

The addition of USDT implies that an even larger number of people will now be able to use the platform. USDT may be a great option for those who are skeptical about crypto especially considering the volatility of some of the digital tokens.

High Hopes as Third Bitcoin Halving Approaches

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There is currently a lot of chatter in the Bitcoin community and the crypto industry at large as Bitcoin’s third-ever block halving nears. Set to take place this month (May 2020), there has been a lot of speculation regarding what will happen to the digital currency’s price.

What the Halving Means

In essence, the bitcoin halving means that the reward for mining a block of bitcoin will be divided by two. When the network finally hits block number 630,000 the amount will drop from 12.5 BTC to just 6.25 BTC. This will be the third time that a halving will be happening since the Bitcoin network went live over a decade ago.

Halving is one of the things that set bitcoin apart from all other digital currencies including other popular digital currency networks such as Ethereum’s. In many ways, it is one of the things that drive the price and value of Bitcoin.

As for the impacts, some of them are already coming into play.

Mining Machines Become More Valuable

Needless to say, the halving will have a huge impact on the companies that depend on bitcoin mining. While the systems themselves will not be affected much, their value is a totally different thing altogether.

Now even mining rigs that were previously said to be obsolete have become profitable again. For instance, mining rigs such as the AntMiner s9 and the Avalon A851 are now able to generate between 10 percent to 20 percent gross margin at an average electricity cost of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). These margins could increase to as much as 30 percent to 40 percent to miners who adopt more efficient methods.

Even so, considering the dynamic nature of bitcoin mining, this might not be sustainable in the long term. As bitcoin’s halving approaches it is likely that many of the people relying on the older equipment will eventually be squeezed out by people using newer and more efficient mining rigs.

The Current State of Bitcoin

Over the past week, Bitcoin’s price has surged towards the $10,000 mark – this impressive rise has seen the cryptocurrency’s market return to its pre-coronavirus bull run. In fact, the crash losses that experienced because of the impacts of the pandemic have almost been completely erased.

“The interest in cryptocurrencies is now building as investors  look to the month-end and forward to May and June.”

-Marcus Swanepoel, chief executive of London-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Luno.

In general, members of the bitcoin community are pretty optimistic about the future of bitcoin’s price even after the supply squeeze that will take place this month. However, the actual impacts remain to be seen.

Number of Daily Bitcoin Transactions Drops Significantly

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The month of March has been tough for several industries across the globe and one of the areas that have been affected is the cryptocurrency market. A price drop that occurred earlier within the month was quite significant. Fortunately, the market has been slowly recovering from that drop and it should be back on track sometime this month.

Despite the impressive recovery of the crypto market, there have been some rather unusual reports regarding the decline in Bitcoin network activity. Daily Bitcoin transactions have been on a steady decline leading experts in the field to look into the matter.

As it turns out, there are several changes that have been noted concerning how Bitcoin, which is arguably the most popular and most widely used digital currency, is being used. While it may seem like a temporary anomaly that will blow over after a while, the plunge in network activity may be a reflection of a greater long-term trend. So, what is going on?

How It Started

Well, since the year rolled around, daily transaction activity grew at a pretty impressive pace and this was partly attributed to the increase in the price of Bitcoin. Both trading and mining picked up pace adding to the number of daily transactions.

However, an abrupt turn in the global economy earlier last month as the coronavirus pandemic spread across more countries affected the crypto market. Crypto prices fell and transactions began to dwindle. Daily transactions fell from over 350k to less than 275k and the number Is expected to fall even further going forward.

Bitcoin Holders Are Hodling

People who own or hold Bitcoin have since pulled thousands of their currency from exchanges and are now trading way less than they used to. Many of them are now only interested in keeping their crypto safe in personal wallets.

The decline in trading and network activity is not the only proof of this fact. There has been a recent uptick in the number of Bitcoin wallets and address diversity. As it stands, there are over a hundred thousand additional addresses compared to what was the case at the beginning of March.

A Win for Bitcoin?

While the decline in network activity is definitely something that people need to be concerned about, it might actually be a win for the crypto industry especially Bitcoin, in this case. The fact that people are keeping or holding their currencies is proof that the digital currency has matured enough to be considered as a health and safe store of value.

The global pandemic is wreaking havoc on the world’s economy and this makes Bitcoin a safe haven for lots of people. Its value is also now bound to go up as there will be very little supply.

Better Collective Buys HLTV.org Esports Site

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Renowned global esports betting media group Better Collective has recently acquired HLTV.org A/S for a whopping €34.5 million on a cash-free and debt-free basis. The Stockholm-based Better Collective has had plans to further diversify its publishing network and the recent acquisition is now one of the most notable moves in that regard. The multi-billion deal also happened to include the purchase of the CS:GO community platform that is known as Dust2.dk.

The Terms of the Acquisition

According to the press release that announced the acquisition, the core business model for both companies will be the promotion and advertising of esports betting operations. Jesper Søgaard, the chief executive of Better Collective, says that the decision to acquire the sports betting company was a well-thought-out one. The company had its sights set on the esports industry for a very long time before they arrived at the decision.

The essence of the time Better Collective took to analyze and monitor the esports industry was to ensure that they had all their card rights before diving. Esports is quite dynamic and differs in many ways from traditional sports which means that it was very important that they found the right partner. HLTV.org along with dust2.dk are these ideal partners – they already have a great reputation for operating the best-positioned esports brands across the globe.

“We expect strong synergistic effects as many of the betting operators we collaborate with today also offer bets on esports, so I look forward to a prosperous esports future for Better Collective together with our new colleagues,” the Better Collective CEO said.

HLTV.org executives also expressed their support for the move especially because the acquisition will support their bid to remain the leading CS:GO brand in the world. Better Collective has nearly 2 decades of experience in the sports betting industry and this makes it a great partner for HLTV.org whose growth has also been quite meteoric.

Esports Across the Planet

Needless to say, the esports industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors on the planet. It is estimated that by 2020, the sector will have a viewer base of over 300 million people. Moreover, the global esports market revenue should reach $1.79 billion by then. With more accessible features coming to players and the number of esports betting markets also growing rapidly, it is expected to create one of the most lucrative business ecosystems over the next decade.

That said, a number of partnerships are being inked in order to take advantage of the growing market. All these will go a long way in not only legitimizing the activity further but also fostering its entry and growth in newer markets.

Venezuela Pushes Petro With Launch of Crypto-Only Casino

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Venezuela, the very first country on the planet to launch its own national digital currency, has been trying to get Petro, its state-sanctioned digital currency off the ground for quite some time now. The digital currency was primarily conceptualized as a way for the country to escape United Sanctions and it was hoped to be the ultimate solution to the country’s woes in that regard.

However, everything did not go as smoothly as initially expected with the most recent effort to push adoption of Petro being the launch of a crypto-only casino.

Capitalizing on The Gambling Industry

Recently, Nikolas Maduro, the president of Venezuela, announced plans for an upcoming casino at the Hotel Humboldt in the Ávila National Park. This would be a special project for the country and the world of crypto as it would be the first retail casino in the world to operate exclusively using crypto. At the casino, everyone will be required to use Petros (PTS).

The casino’s customers will, therefore, need to exchange their fiat currencies or digital currencies into PTR. According to the president, the funds from the casino will be used to fund education and healthcare in the country.

As expected, this was a rather unexpected move especially considering the fact that it is a total turn around for the country where gambling was completely banned back in 2011. Legal and regulated gambling in Venezuela essentially went extinct after the ban.

Previous Efforts

Venezuela officially launched in February 2018 as an oil-backed digital currency. Unfortunately, the digital currency has not been able to attract much interest since its launch because of the purpose of its creation – that is, circumventing US sanctions. To make the situation even worse, a number of risk rating sites have labeled it as a scam.

In an effort to improve the standings of the digital currency, the president has on a previous occasion announced that millions of barrels of oil would be sold for PTR.

Will It Work?

President Maduro and his government are quite aggressive about getting PTR off the ground. While it can be hard to tell what these efforts will amount to in the long term, it is safe to say that they may just have a chance. The gambling industry is a great way to boost crypto adoption and this can be seen across the industry.

Still, lots of people still prefer Bolivars and dollars for other transactions beyond gambling. That said, it might take a little longer for things to turn out the way that President Maduro is hoping they will. Still, it remains a significant development in the worlds of crypto and gambling.

Trends That Will Define the Crypto Space in 2020

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Now, 2019 was indeed a great year for digital currencies thanks mostly to the huge developments that were made. Most of these were meant to remedy existing problems within the space but all the same, they played a huge role in helping to achieve the industry’s current state. Moreover, it also marked the tenth anniversary of the bitcoin mining craze – not much of this still happens especially on a small scale but it is certainly something worth noting.

Even though 2019 saw a number of great developments in the blockchain and crypto sectors, it also had some lows. There were several price drops and a number of businesses that relied on the technologies felt the pinch. However, the dynamics of the crypto world are very interesting which implies that despite the undeniable problems that existed in the past, new trends are already beginning to take shape. In 2020, there are a few of these that will certainly not go unnoticed.

More Experimentation and Implementation

This trend began earlier on but it is still going to be huge in 2020. It is perhaps the best way that crypto enthusiasts and futurists can push the crypto agenda. The gambling sector has been one of the industries that have been at the forefront of experimentation. It has seen to the unveiling of a number of casino-specific cryptocurrencies as well as the integration of existing ones.

Decentralization of Finance

It is not just gambling though. In 2019, financial institutions including several central banks started experimenting with digital currencies. This year might be the year when we finally got to see the full rollout of state-backed digital currencies.

There is a truly unique opportunity for them to leverage new technologies in order to revolutionize both lending and margin trading services.

Tougher Regulation

Needless to say, there are still certain parties who view crypto as a threat to the existing financial system as well as a potential risk due to the association of the sector with crimes. As mentioned earlier, governments in places like China hope to reduce the risks by having their central banks produce their own digital currencies. In places where there have been no such considerations, the most viable solution seems to be tougher regulations. This will apply to both security and risk factors as well as to the issue of taxation. The taxation of crypto is set to be one of the highlights of 2020.

All in all, cryptocurrencies and blockchain have already proven that they are here to stay. 2020 is set to offer more proof of that. Happy new year!

Germany To Become a Crypto Haven Thanks to New Law

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On November 29, the German parliament passed a bill that will allow banks in the country to sell and store digital currencies and crypto-assets. This will be effective from January 1, 2020, and only custody providers and cryptocurrency exchanges with licenses will be allowed to operate.

As such, these companies have the whole of December to apply for the necessary licenses in order to be able to legally operate in the country’s new crypto regime. To be eligible for the licenses, the companies will have to be registered as legal German entities with no less than two directors operating in the country by the end of the year.

Now, all that remains is for the bill which implements the “fourth EU Money Laundering Directive” amendment to be signed off by the 16 German states. It is expected that most, if not all, of the states will sign in favor of the bill.

The bill is a pretty huge step forward for crypto especially with regards to the quest for mainstream adoption of crypto. Before the German parliament passed the bill, banks in the country were prohibited from offering any sort of direct access to cryptocurrencies and related assets. Instead, the banks could only rely on external custodians or dedicated subsidiaries.

The Feedback

According to a number of experts in the financial sector, the move is definitely going to have a huge impact on the European crypto market. In fact, many of them have pointed out that it effectively paves the way for Germany’s ascension to crypto haven in the continent and possibly the rest of the world.

Since financial institutions already enjoy a tremendous amount of trust, they are probably the best options for the safekeeping of digital currencies and assets. Moreover, they will play a huge role in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing which are by far some of the biggest concerns when it comes to digital currencies.

Is A Crypto Migration Possible?

Well, considering how unconducive certain jurisdictions have become for crypto investors, a shift to friendlier places such as Germany is possible. For instance, China has been cracking down on a number of crypto-related currencies. This is perhaps in preparation for the state-sanctioned cryptocurrency that the country has been pursuing. Still, domestic users are definitely going to find workarounds.

Similarly, Russia also seems to be leaning towards a possible crypto ban – the country’s central bank has recently backed a potential ban on crypto payments. The reason this is a consideration is the large number of concerns that are associated with the sector. For now, nothing has been decided yet but given the recent history of crypto regulation, anything could happen.

Tether Gains Popularity as Payment Method

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There have been lots of debates regarding the legitimacy of Tether (USDT) as a stable means of payments as well as its speculated involvement in the manipulation of the prices of digital currencies. Despite this, the digital currency has been growing with a decent number of merchants now accepting it as a preferred means of stability. This is largely because of its unmatched stability.

As it stands, Tether occupies the fourth spot in the United States’ crypto market. This means that it is already highly regarded as a stablecoin and therefore its rise to the top should not be as much of a surprise. Over the past year, merchants who are using the digital currency have recorded a significant increase in Tether volumes over the past year.

According to CoinPayments.net, one of the world’s largest digital currency payment processors, Tether currently accounts for up to 30 percent of the volume of transactions it processes. In comparison, a year ago the volume of Tether transactions was 30 times less than what has been recently reported. The consistency in Tether’s meteoric rise has been quite consistent across a number of other cryptocurrency payment processors as well.

Why Now?

Well, unlike other digital currencies, Tether burst into the scene with the promise of living up to the stablecoin objective. The digital currency avoided fluctuations and instead opted for at least a one-to-one ratio with the US dollar by managing a reserve.

This feature made it quite popular and many merchants would often accept payments in other digital currencies such as Bitcoin and convert it to Tether in order to “hedge against the volatility” of other cryptocurrencies. The over 265 companies that accept payments in Tether has since switched and are now taking Tether payments directly.

What It Means for Other Digital Currencies

While Tether’s use in commerce is definitely a positive development for the crypto community, its growth has had a rather negative impact on other digital currencies especially the ones considered to be market leaders such as Ether and Bitcoin. Owing to several factors, Bitcoin and Ether have lost their appeal among many investors and due to the rapidly shifting dynamics of the crypto industry, a lot of focus is being given to alternative crypto solutions.

Moreover, there is a need for more accessible digital currency solutions in such areas as gambling and other adult product like cannabis and sex dolls. Tether has caught up and its stability is making many other digital currencies seem like raw deals for many customers. Perhaps this is the beginning of its ascension to the top of the crypto market.

Ripple Acquires Crypto Trading Firm in Iceland

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Renowned San-Francisco-based blockchain company Ripple has recently announced an expansion bid that involves a sizeable increase in its engineering team as well as a move to Iceland. The company which is behind the very popular XRP token is hoping to grow its brand in Iceland by acquiring Algrim, a digital currency trading firm that is based in Iceland.

Through the acquisition, Ripple is aiming at providing better services to customers of its RippleNet product suite. The company has been working very hard to expand the reach of its cross-border payments solution and the recent expansion will go a long way in helping it achieve that goal.

With RippleNet, businesses are able to make cross-border payments between several countries. This is especially good news for the unbanked particularly in areas that do not have widespread banking options. Ripple facilitates the cross-border payments by swapping the original currency with XRP before sending across borders after which it is swapped back to fiat currency at the destination of the payment.

Why Algrim?

Well, to accommodate the sudden and mostly temporary busts of XRP purchases in the process of these payments, the business requires a large supply of the token to dig into. This is what makes the acquisition of Algrim such a monumental leap forward for Ripple. The Iceland-based crypto trading firm will be of huge importance when it comes to building out Ripple’s “On-Demand Liquidity” – this is what the company calls its supply of XRP used for making payments with the digital token.

“With built-in expertise in trading and exchanges, the addition of Algrim’s engineering talent to our team will be instrumental in continuing the momentum we’re already experiencing with On-Demand Liquidity,” Christopher Kanaan, the SVP of Engineering at Ripple commented.

Both companies are quite happy with the new arrangement especially because they share a vision to enable mainstream and wider adoption of digital assets and blockchain technology.

What Next?

Going forward, the new Iceland office will serve as a regional hub for Ripple as it moves ahead with its massive global expansion bid. RippleNet currently boasts of more than 200 customers including Xendpay. There are also several other businesses that use XRP to send payment across borders and they include companies like MoneyGram, Cuallix as well as Mercury FX. In addition to all that, Ripple has also been inking more partnerships across the globe.

All its expansion plans aside, Ripple has been going through a bit of trouble with regards to the price of its XRP token. The price of the token fell significantly this year and it has been showing very little signs of a speedy recovery. Hopefully, these partnerships might be able to help prop-up the price.

BLUEBET Emerges as World’s Top Crypto Betting Site

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According to blockchain user analysis website DappRadar, BLUEBET is the world’s leading cryptocurrency betting platform. Further analysis of the gaming website suggested that it is set to consolidate the positions for even longer thanks to its longer-term strategic focus on the so-called cross-chain crypto gambling – this will definitely be a revolutionary step forward for the recently launched gambling website.

On the DappRadar website, BLUEBET which has been in operation for just a little over seven months is described as a “multi-person online entertainment platform that is based on blockchain.” The online gaming platform supports a number of popular gaming titles including Texas, multiplayer Blackjack, Baccarat, PowerBall Lottery, Caribbean Poker, Sports, and multiplayer Three Card among many others. Its goal is to create a professional, safe and transparent gaming environment for their customers who are from all around the world. Furthermore, the company leverages the power of blockchain technology to build “a user autonomous community, and create a platform that belongs to poker enthusiasts and sports enthusiasts.”

The EOS-based project also currently ranks as the most popular blockchain projects with more than three thousand customers using it on a daily basis. However, there have been speculations that the traffic may not be quite as impressive as portrayed.

“There is a very high level of bot traffic on gambling dApps. We’re currently doing some research on this subject at DappRadar, but my personal gut feeling is +50% of traffic for some gambling dApps comes from bots,” Jon Jordan, a spokesperson for DappRadar website.

The presence of bot traffic might be a result of deliberate manipulation in order to fake user adoption numbers. Another possibility is that the bot interaction may be the result of algorithmic interactions which are completely legitimate in the context of online gambling.

Still, this might just be mere speculation as stated above especially considering the fact that BLUEBET was primarily designed and built with the Chinese gaming market in mind. Chinese gamblers have been switching to blockchain-based casinos particularly because of the anonymity they offer – this is a very important factor since gambling is still illegal in the country.

Cross-Chain Functionality

BLUEBET plans to eventually accommodate many other digital currencies including Ethereum and bitcoin. This is directly in line with the platform’s plans to build cross-chain functionality. This will allow for peer-to-peer betting by users using different cryptocurrencies. Needless to say, the functionality is almost unheard of in the crypto gambling sector and therefore it will set BLUEBET apart from all other gaming platform and give it an upper hand in the very competitive market.