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.

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.

 

Crypto Gaming Platform Helping Physical Casinos Move Online

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Pbet, a brand new crypto-powered gambling platform has recently launched an initiative that is set to help land-based or physical casinos to move online. The initiative not only promises to see the casino operators incur much lower costs but also intends to afford them with the assurance of more savings. In addition to that, the platform is also meant to ensure better credibility for casino players thanks to its blockchain crypto-based Unified Gaming Platform.

Pbet is already considered to be a next-gen gaming platform and its crypto token that is referred to as “PBET” is also beginning to take off. In fact, the platform has already had its Initial Exchange Offering (IOE) in a number of popular cryptocurrency exchanges including the renowned P2PB2B. Furthermore, Pbet has gone ahead to further its participation through IEO sessions in a good number of other leading exchanges like ExMarkets. Now, after the Initial Exchange Offering (IEO), the platform’s token will now be officially listed on host exchanges where its holders will be able to trade it.

Revolutionary Casino Management System

Pbet has been around for over two years now and in that time, it has been able to penetrate the gaming market thanks to “Genuina”, its casino management system. Genuina is the brainchild of some hospitality and gaming industry veteran. Now, as mentioned earlier, Pbet has plans to create a smooth convergence of physical casinos and online casinos while at the same time integrating crypto-based payments.

The platform’s blockchain technology is set to help in ensuring that there is a trust factor for players through the delivery of transparency information among other things. This mission is based on the company’s vision to combine all the three pillars of physical casinos, that is, the players, the physical casinos themselves as well as Pbet.

One of the most notable but rather overlooked features is the fact that, with the adoption of blockchain technology, Pbet will now be able to offer the players crypto payment solutions that are not only more affordable but also assure the customers of much faster withdrawal speeds.

“We will enable physical casinos to beat the high cost of penetrating into online space with our blockchain crypto-based turn-key, zero fix fees, revenue sharing system. Pbet also assures almost ‘0’ transaction fees and super-fast withdrawals for players,” stated a Pbet spokesperson.

The convergence between crypto or blockchain and the gambling industry has been a long time coming but it is certainly refreshing to see companies such as Pbet take the leap forward by actualizing it. As such, it will not be long before even more companies begin to adopt the new model

Facebook’s Libra and How Its Redefines Enterprise Blockchain

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In mid-June 2018, globally renowned tech company Facebook finally revealed Facebook Libra following several long months of preparation and development. As expected, the launch represents a plethora of possibilities for the crypto and blockchain space which is definitely not going to be the same again.

What It Does

Facebook Libra will deliver on one of the most notable features of other digital currencies, that is, it will allow its users to make purchases and send money to other people with close to zero fees. Users will also be able to pseudonymously cash out the digital currency online or at local exchanges points such as grocery stores. They will then be able to spend the Libra using interoperable third-party wallets apps or the company’s Calibra wallet which will not only have a standalone app but will also be built into Messenger and even WhatsApp.

During the announcement, Facebook released its whitepaper explaining the digital currency and its testnet in order to get everyone up to speed with everything before its public launch early next year. From what we have been able to gather so far, so many things about the digital currency already look very promising.

How It Will Work

Facebook will not have full control over Libra and instead, it will only have a single vote on the governance of the cryptocurrency and so will other founding members of the Libra Association who include Uber, Visa as well as Andreessen Horowitz. Each of these companies has reportedly invested no less than $10 million on various aspects of the Libra project.

Going forward, the Libra Association will be promoting the open-source Libra Blockchain and developer platform with its Move programming language. In addition to that, it will also be signing up various businesses to the platform.

Furthermore, Facebook is also set to launch a subsidiary company that will be responsible for handling crypto dealings and protecting the privacy of the users – this will be achieved by ensuring that Facebook user data never mingles with the Libra payments. In essence, your real identity will not be tied to your Libra payments with the goal being to ensure that the information is used for targeted advertising.

Why Is It Such A Big Deal?

Well, why wouldn’t it be? Facebook is one of the leading tech companies on the planet and the fact that it is embracing crypto and blockchain technology was definitely bound to generate some buzz. That aside, the company did not just announce another blockchain protocol – these have become commonplace these days. The company has instead chosen to focus on banking its unbanked users (close to 1.7 billion people). This is certainly not an easy task but if there is anyone that can do it, it’s Facebook thanks largely to the resources it has. Besides, it is going to be a very rewarding venture for the company down the line.

Japan Ramps Up Crypto Gambling Regulation

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Even though Japan is known to be one of the most welcoming environments for new technologies, the country is seemingly very cautious when it comes to gambling. In fact, it has been very strict about the spread of crypto gambling activities and this has been a major obstacle for the most, if not all, of the crypto gambling companies.

Most recently, in March 2019, the company behind renowned cryptocurrency Tron announced that it would no longer allow gambling DApps (Decentralized Applications) based on its platform to be used in Japan – this move was in compliance with the country’s regulations. Moreover, Tron has discouraged crypto enthusiasts in Japan from creating similar DApps while also imploring non-Japanese developers to block the country’s IP addresses from using their gambling platforms. To top it all off, the company has promised to work alongside Japanese authorities in order to identify breaches of the laws and regulations.

The State of Online Gambling and Crypto in Japan

Japan has been one of the most resistive territories in the world when it comes to gambling. However, the country has softened its stance in recent years with the legalization of casinos and resorts casinos – there was significant resistance to these plans particularly due to concerns that the move would result in more case of gambling addiction. As it turns out, there are already a number of illegal casinos operating across the country’s cities and therefore regulation might have been the best way to go about the issue.

Digital currencies and blockchain have also taken off in recent years and people and business have been working hard to find uses for them across several different platforms. Crypto gambling, for instance, has been one of the most widespread and interesting applications of the technology. In the simplest form, these digital currencies can be used in place of fiat currency in online gambling sites and this means that online gambling will be less costly, transactions will be faster and the gamblers can place bets anonymously.

Anonymity, while considered to be a desirable feature by very many gamblers, is not a very appealing idea for regulators. As such, the Japanese authorities have come to the realization that crypto gambling poses a threat to its ability to regulate the activity. This is precisely the reason why the agreement with Tron to purge all gambling DApps from the territory is a major win for the country as it fights to keep gambling activities under its control.

Australian Tax Office Hunts for Crypto Tax Evaders

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If you are a holder of crypto and a citizen of Australia or are currently residing in the country you had better be on the good books of the national tax agency. The Australian Tax Office through an April 30 press release announced that it has started collecting bulk record from Australian-designated service providers such as digital currency exchanges and other firms that are dealing in crypto.

As it stands the tax office is working with a wide estimate of 500,000 to one million Australians who have been trading in crypto-related activities and ignoring their tax obligations. The number of crypto users on Australia has been growing at a rather rapid rate and this has caught the attention of the authorities who are hopeful that the industry might help in filling some of the existing tax gaps.

Unsurprisingly, the authority’s aim is to carry on a data matching program that will help them to determine whether the taxpayer’s declarations are correct or if the crypto holders are deliberately dodging their fiscal responsibilities.

“The ATO uses third-party data to improve the integrity of the tax system by identifying taxpayers who fail to disclose their income details correctly. We also use third-party data to assist taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations through pre-filling of tax returns. This data will be collected under notice from the DSPs on an ongoing basis,” Will Day, deputy commissioner of the ATO said about the strategy.

Some of the information that the tax authority will be obtaining from the crypto-related business in the country will include purchase and sale records. Fortunately for them, Australian required businesses to keep certain critical records that include digital wallet records and keys, receipts of transfer or purchase of crypto assets as well as exchange records.

All of the taxpayers who will be found to have violated the law will first be contacted by the tax agency once the exercise is complete after which the necessary compliance action will be taken.

Crypto Tax Laws in Australia

Under Australian law, all capital gains that may be obtained from crypto trading are supposed to be taxed. The only exception is where the capital gains or the losses made are in a situation where the digital currency is a “personal use asset”. As such, in cases where digital currencies are disposed as a normal business operation, the profits that are yielded from it are considered to be ordinary income instead of capital gains. Moreover, in such a case the cost of purchasing the cryptocurrencies is considered to be trading stock and is therefore deductible – this kind of businesses are mostly trading firms and exchanges.

EOSBet Unveils Bitcoin Betting and Account System

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After making history at the end of last year by becoming the very first blockchain-based casino to receive an official gambling license EOSBet decentralized application recently announced the next step in its journey toward mass adoption of crypto and blockchain. The platform has made its first big step in 2019 by launching a decentralized account system alongside a native bitcoin deposit and betting option.

After receiving its official gambling license, EOSBet became one of top-rated EOS dApps and it will be taking its proactive approach towards innovation into the future with its new and impressive betting option and its neat account system.

The EOS Account System

One of the biggest challenges experienced by users of blockchain technology is the numerous entry barriers that often come in the form of lengthy wallet setup processes among other things. The EOSBet system seeks to solve this problem by developing a system that allows users to deposit funds directly from any source thus eliminating the need for the use of any wallet or third-party software. Furthermore, the system will also cover all the blockchain costs for the players thus allowing them to enjoy the same gaming experience they would find at a tradition centralized casino on the decentralized one.

EOSBet’s account system, just like every other aspect of the platform, is decentralized and completely on-chain which means that all the actions are fully viewable on any block explorer. All the actions also eventually become part of the EOS blockchain and since the system is non-custodial, the players will always be in total control of their funds.

To make the experience even better, the EOSBet team chose to use a simple two-click sign up process that is not only very intuitive but also optimized to work seamlessly across a wide range of devices. With the new system, even people who do not have accounts with ESO can bet securely and get to participate in its very generous player rewards program.

Bitcoin Betting Is Officially Here!

While there have been a number of previous attempts at bitcoin betting with varying degrees of success, EOSBet has beat every other company to becoming the very first on-chain casino to natively accept bitcoin. As if that is not enough, the company plans to implement several other digital currencies in the near future. The betting platform works very well – all a player needs to do is to deposit bitcoin to their accounts, play instantly and then withdraw whenever they may wish to do so.

Both the betting option and the accounts system are slated to take the online gambling industry by storm and this is certainly going to play a huge role in the long-awaited mainstream adoption of digital currencies and blockchain. 2019 might be the year it finally happens.

Major U.S. Science Museum Now Accepting Payments in Bitcoin

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Bitcoin has made yet another step in the right direction towards mass adoption thanks to a museum located in Cleveland, Ohio that will be taking payments in crypto as from November 13. Great Lakes Science Center, the museum in question plans to use BitPay to process the BTC payments that it will be receiving from the visitors who will want to pay in BTC.

According to the Kirsten Ellenbogen, the museums chief executive, by accepting payments in BTC this early on, the institution hopes to facilitate the growth of the blockchain ecosystem. Moreover, there is much more optimism with regards to blockchain technology thanks to a number of promising developments. For instance, a Swiss luxury watchmaker known as Hublot successfully integrated the bitcoin and the blockchain to sell 210 pieces of its limited edition BTC-themed sports watch – the company made a whopping $5.25 million in revenue from the sales that were conducted solely through BTC with each piece fetching no less than $25,000.

The adoption of the digital currency as a means of payment comes ahead of the museum and education center’s inaugural Blockland Solutions Conference which is a four-day event scheduled for December 2018. One of the core agenda of the conference will be to explore and educate the attendees about the future of blockchain technology.

“There is a lot of excitement around the conference. Accepting bitcoin is just a small part of the momentum to grow a blockchain ecosystem in Cleveland,” Ellenbogen said.

Tried and Tested

Fortunately, the Great Lakes Science Center will not be venturing into unknown grounds since two other casinos in the United States – Museum of the Coastal Bend in Texas and St. Petersburg Museum of History in Florida – have succeeded in integrating bitcoin as a payment system. When it kicked off the initiative in 2013, the Museum of the Coastal Bend’s officials were quite skeptical about anyone visiting and using BTC but they went ahead with it because there really wasn’t as much risk.

Five years down the line and bitcoin has become quite a big deal and is worth upwards of $110 billion. The digital currency is also considered to be a proper asset by mainstream institutions such as Nasdaq, Fidelity, ICE and even the New York Stock Exchange. The Great Lakes Science Center hopes to also tap into the ecosystem with its own set of unique offerings that will include the ability to purchase admission tickets to visit NASA’s Glenn Visitor Center.

All this will be possible through an app that the museum launched a year ago. The app utilizes augmented reality and virtual reality to allow visitors to experiment with various elements of space phenomena such as flames and space-craft designs when they visit the Glenn Visitor Center.

Such developments are clear proof that the integration of trusted or major digital currencies like bitcoin is the new trend in the global market.