Australian Government’s Crackdown on Offshore Gambling Sparks Interest in Bitcoin

BITCOIN faces a unique opportunity in the wake of the Australian government’s decision to crack down on offshore gambling.

The IGA Amendment Bill 2016 is expected to be finalised in the coming months, clamping down on ‘offshore’ gambling sites which offer their services to Australians.

Some of the measures being debated include harsh penalties for businesses and individuals who market gambling products to Australians, plus politicians have vowed to investigate the possibility of payment blocking to unregulated sites.

This opens up doors for bitcoin to be more widely used as a deposit method at gambling sites as Australians continue to look offshore for better odds and the ability to wager larger amounts.

So why is bitcoin going to get a shot in the arm? Well it comes down to:

Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2016

The bill to amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 was introduced last year after former New South Wales Premier, Barry O’Farrell, released a report called the “Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering”.

The report addressed the ambiguity surrounding the gambling laws in Australia and while online gambling is not legal, it is not illegal either.

The review garnered a lot of publicity and politicians scrambled to alleviate the loopholes.

This resulted in the Minister for Human Services, Alan Tudge proposing the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2016 which makes it illegal to gamble at offshore sites.

Problem gambling was cited as the reason behind the bill, despite online gaming sites offering as many, or more protective measures than land-based venues.

Online casinos and bookmakers allow punters to set deposit and wagering limits as well as time restrictions. Operators also can easily keep track of spending habits and are alerted instantly to any unusual behaviour.

Land-based gambling laws in Australia relies on busy staff to notice problem gambling behaviour.

The bill has passed through the House of Representatives and was then debated by the Senate where secondary amendments were added.

Instead of looking to regulated markets, such as the UK Gambling Commission for inspiration, Australian politicians, egged on by anti-gambling bodies, vowed to crack down on offshore sites.

In reality they are clamping down on legitimate businesses with legitimate licensing from countries like the United Kingdom, which has one body regulating online casinos, poker, sports betting sites and any other type of wagering.

It soon became clear this was about the government’s inability to tax offshore gambling sites, not about protecting the well-being of Australians.

One Senator called it how it is.

“Screw the government and get a VPN,” David Leyonhjlem said, after introducing an amendment bill which would have excluded poker and blackjack from the amendments.

Senator Leyonhjelm’s amendment was thrown out by politicians who have a guillotine hanging over their heads, brandished by staunch anti-gambling advocate and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon.

This has forced many businesses out of the Australian market because they can not run the risk of falling foul of their own government regulation, if Australian authorities put pressure, for instance, on a UK or Malta regulated casino.

Gambling giants 888 and 32Red are just a few of the big name companies who have left the Australian market, while others with huge business bases in Australia like Pokerstars and Fortune Affiliates, who manage casinos like Royal Vegas and 7Sultans expected to follow suit.

This opens up the Australian market for the less government-scared bitcoin businesses.

Why bitcoin casinos and sportsbooks are licking their lips

Bitcoin gambling is already a blossoming industry with 100s of online sportsbooks and casinos operating online from various parts of the world, with huge business coming from Asian countries like China, where the people are traditionally tech savvy and face strict gambling laws.

In the 2014-15 financial year Australians spent almost $23 billion on gambling making them the biggest spenders per head on wagering in the world. This figure increased seven per cent on the previously monitored period and showed the extent of gambling in this country.

With Australian-licensed bookies facing more restrictions on advertising, offering lines of credit and the banning of “in-play” live betting, all services bitcoin bookies can offer, more and more people will turn to the digital currency.

The peer-to-peer nature of bitcoin means players are largely playing at these sites anonymously – they simply sign up – transfer the desired amount to the gambling site and begin playing. When they are finished they withdraw back to their e-wallet and carry on.

The Australian situation is potentially worth millions of dollars with many online poker enthusiasts, casino players and sports bettors vowing to continue to bet with whomever they like, spurred on by Senator Leyonhjelm’s verdict.

Australian government plans to remove bitcoin double taxation

The funny thing is, the government is going to make the use of bitcoin a lot cheaper for Australian players.

The 2017 budget revealed from July 1, bitcoin and similar digital currencies will no longer be subjected to ‘double taxation’.

At the time of writing, users of the digital currency bear GST twice and while the government did not intend to change this for gamblers, it will make it cheaper for us to deal in cryptocurrency.

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Quantum, an Ethereum-based liquidity pool, announced on its website the close of its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on May 15th 2017, with $4.12 million raised. A total of 486 investors from all across the world participated in the ICO.

The fund, which is generated by the selling of Quantum’s native tokens QAU, powers the project’s liquidity pool. This pool, according to Quantum’s whitepaper, proposes to provide liquidity for different exchanges or any other crypto markets created in the future. As a standalone token, QAU will be available to trade against leading crypto- and fiat-assets, in an open market.

“The aim of the Quantum project is to bring institutional grade liquidity to cryptocurrency and digital asset markets,” reads Quantum whitepaper. “This will be achieved by creating a liquidity pool of funds and allowing crypto community to participate in increasing the depth of various order books. The liquidity pool will be funded by issuing Quantum tokens that will be sold and traded on various crypto markets.”

Quantum was announced this year as a project that proposes to bring institutional grade liquidity to digital assets markets. The purpose, as quoted in the project’s whitepaper, was to bridge the gap between large market players and crypto markets, which otherwise has seen very little traction due to poor liquidity in crypto exchanges.

The QAU token presale kicked off April 15th, 2017 and the presale price was set at $0.05. Comparing the per unit price with the total amount raised, it is evident that Quantum sold as much as 8.24 million token units. The participants will receive these tokens after 30 days of the presale, i.e. on June 14th, 2017.

Quantum is now in the process of adding QAU tokens to as many marketplaces as possible. The project also proposes to use the income generated by the liquidity pool to buyback these tokens, thereby ensuring definite profits for the early investors.

“This operation will be executed on a monthly basis and publicly announced on the official website of the project,” adds Quantum.

‘In the end, all the bought back tokens will be sent to a black hole address, where they will be destroyed forever. This process will decrease the amount of tokens in existence and increase the value of all other tokens still held by token holders,’ it confirms.

In the later part of 2016, the United States Internal Revenue Service decided to go fishing for tax evaders among the cryptocurrency community by issuing a John Doe summons to Coinbase, a leading cryptocurrency wallet, and exchange service. The summons, due to its overreaching demands was countered by one of the customers Jeffrey K Berns, who also happens to be an attorney and the managing partner at a law firm Berns Weiss LLP. While his attempt to prevent the summons from being executed was unsuccessful, now his firm is back in the game, representing two Coinbase customer with the same intentions.

According to a report on one of the popular business magazines, the law firm Berns Weiss LLP has recently filed a motion on behalf of two anonymous Coinbase customers. The two customers, requesting anonymity have urged the Court to discard the summons as the intent of such a request by IRS presents itself as an attempt by the department to identify Bitcoin users and gather their account information without indication or proof of any wrongdoings on their part.

The John Doe summons issued by the IRS, approved by the Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley directs Coinbase to furnish details of all its customers from 2013 to 2015, including their account information and transaction history. The summons not only raises concerns about IRS’ overreaching action but also the security of private information, which may be misused by hackers and people with malicious intent.

Lee Weiss, partner at Berns Weiss was quoted by the publication saying,

“We look forward to the opportunity to finally litigate the merits of the IRS summons and for the Court to consider the grave privacy and financial risks to which Coinbase’s customers will be exposed if the summons is enforced in its current form.”

The information being demanded by the IRS includes not just the basic account and balance information, but also a history of all the changes made to the profile during the period, users’ security settings, information on devices used to access the accounts, payment methods, and even third party information. The information if obtained by IRS, will not only increase the chances of the data being compromised due to poor handling but it will also increase the risk of the agency profiling Bitcoin users.

The outcome of the motion will decide whether the John Doe summons will be enforced or not.

Ref: Forbes | Image: NewsBTC

Bitcoins is the innovative digital currency that offers players safe and easy way to manage their money when placing bets from their casino accounts. Since this digital currency offers great benefits, it is becoming more and more popular every day. Consequently, the number of online casinos that offer Bitcoin payment method is growing massively.

How to Get Bitcoins?

Before you try to get Bitcoins, it is very essential to choose a trustworthy place where you can buy them. Perhaps the best choice would be a reputable exchange service like BTC-e, Bitstamp or Kraken. Some people decide to get Bitcoins via bank transfer, while others seek for some other alternatives like regional payment vouchers, e-wallets, or even credit cards.

As soon as you decide upon the payment method, you can purchase your Bitcoins. Their price can vary all around the world, so make sure to do your research before using Bitcoin for any serious transactions. Trades usually happen instantly, at current market rates. Likewise, the exchange happens at a very small commission that can’t even compare to most e-wallet fees.

The Benefits of Using Bitcoins

Gambling with Bitcoins offers a lot of advantages. One of the greatest benefits of using Bitcoin in online gambling is that it is very secure to use them. Not to mention their usage has made people’s lives so much easier, faster, and even more profitable to a certain extent. All it takes for a user is a little bit of adaptation. Most importantly, Bitcoin allows you to be in control of your money.

Furthermore, the speed at which the payments are being processed is much better. Another asset is that Bitcoin isn’t tied to any government or bank, therefore your funds can not be held in the same way that they could, if they were seized in a bank while using traditional currency.

Bitcoin Gambling

Gambling at Bitcoin casinos sometimes requires a formal processing fee, which is very little, when you compare it to the charges that most of the credit card companies demand when you pay using their cards.

As soon as you set up an account, you will be provided with your Bitcoin address, which you must use when making transactions with an online casino of your choice. Depositing money on your account happens instantly and is virtually free. All you have to do is wait for the transaction to be confirmed, which usually takes a few minutes. Once the funds are on your account, you will be all set and ready to play.

Bitcoin Casinos

Unlike traditional casinos, which are restricted to residents of certain countries due to strict laws, the majority of Bitcoin casinos can be played virtually anywhere in the world, as long as you can access their website.

Bitcoin Casinos offer the same selection of casino games as traditional online casinos do and, in most cases, there is a great variety to choose from. When it comes to security, most Bitcoin casinos offer provably fair protocols that are, in fact, cryptographic algorithms, which check if players’ outcomes have been protected by the casino, or a third party.

The Future of Bitcoin Casinos

Although bitcoin gambling is popular among plentiful gamblers all over the world, across a wide range of online casinos, Bitcoin currency is something quite a few people are still not aware of. On the other hand, the gambling industry brings optimism to Bitcoin users that, in the future, this currency will become widely accepted, just as much as other regulated currencies within the industry have become.

Creditbit is seeing a manifold growth in its community across various social media platforms and even on crypto discussion platform, Bitcoin Talk. The growth of the community and the increased traction the Creditbit project is getting from within the industry corroborates their vision and also strengthens the community’s trust in it.

CRB (ETH) token has stabilized at approx..1$ after surviving first few weeks of its inclusion on some of the bigger online exchanges. The growing community will help further stabilize the CRB price in the future as the increasing size of the community would make it difficult to manipulate CRB trading value, except for some ups and downs which are normal.

Creditbit has already been listed on some of the major exchanges like Crypto DAO, Livecoin, DABTC. The Creditbit dev team is also actively communicating with other exchanges and hopes to be listed soon on them.

According to Coinmarketcap, 200,000$ – 500,000$ in value is traded (24h) each day: https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/creditbit/#markets.

Creditbit’s increased traction is also partly because of the VIP support it managed to attract and also the increased coverage it is getting on various bitcoin news platforms. The increased social media presence and also the recently launched signature campaign is helping their cause.

A Signature/Social campaign was recently launched on Bitcoin Talk to introduce Creditbit to those who may not have heard of the project. The campaign is to impart a deeper understanding of the project and all that it entails to all those who are interested in learning more about it.

Further, the Creditbit community is speculating a price hike in the coming days as Creditbit and bitcoin (crb/btc) candlestick is trying for pin bar on http://www.livecoin.net. Community members think this is the best time to buy more CRB tokens and believe that the pin bar forming on the exchange is the indication that the current awareness and signature campaign is having an impact on the cryptocurrency.

Finally, another good news for the project this week was its mention on BitcoinRush. The community and the dev team both are happy about the positive development for the project.

Consumers who use global payment solutions will know the Payza brand. The company has made a name for itself by providing convenient eWallet services to users worldwide. In a surprising turn of events, the company announced it will enable Bitcoin support shortly. In fact, Payza aims to treat Bitcoin like any other currency supported by the platform. This is a major boon for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Payza Fully Embraces Bitcoin At Last

It has been coming for some time now, but global payment processors are finally paying attention to Bitcoin. With the increasing price and growing global demand, Bitcoin is on a lot of people’s radar. Payza, a company known for its innovative approach to digital payments, now acknowledges bitcoin’s potential. The company will integrate Bitcoin into their eWallet service in the near future.

Additionally, all Payza members will be able to send and receive BTC payments from other members. Do keep in mind there is a 1.2% transaction fee for such transfers. However, it is a lot lower compared to the standard US$2.9 fee + 0.3%. It will be interesting to see how this decision affects Bitcoin as a whole. Payza is a globally recognized brand, and their support can be invaluable.

Any merchant using Payza can accept Bitcoin payments as well. It is possible to keep this transaction in Bitcoin, rather than convert to fiat currency. This latter option is still available for those who want it, though. Being able to keep BTC in the Payza eWallet is a significant step up for the company and cryptocurrency alike. Moreover, merchants can set product prices in Bitcoin directly, if they prefer to take that route.

Big News For Bitcoin And Cryptocurrency

Payza Global Executive Vice President Firoz Patel stated:

“We’re very excited about these new features because it positions Payza as one of the best options for Bitcoin neophytes who are ready to experiment with cryptocurrencies. We wanted to provide a worry-free way for our members to exchange and hold Bitcoin. We feel that the services announced today are perfect for people who are interested in Bitcoin, but are intimidated by the security risks and technical knowledge seemingly required to use them.”

It is evident the company sees a bright future for cryptocurrency. Payza initially started accepting Bitcoin payments in 2014. However, it took them about three years to see the full potential of cryptocurrency. It is good to see them stick with Bitcoin during this time, though. It is not easy to be an early adopter of cryptocurrency and not give up when initial success remains a bit lackluster. Thankfully, companies such as this one stay the course regardless of all hardship along the way.

Bitcoin is the first mover in the cryptocurrency industry. The concept introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in a whitepaper in 2008 led to the creation of the first-ever cryptocurrency the very next year. Since then, Bitcoin has continuously gained adoption, driving its value to the highest in the recent days. Many alternatives to Bitcoin have entered the market since 2009, but Bitcoin always led the pack, thanks to the active community and high demands. All these years, the cryptocurrency has commanded a significant share of market capitalization, compared to that of all the altcoins put together.

However, a lot of things have changed in the past year or so. Bitcoin is not the “all dominant” cryptocurrency anymore, except for its value maybe. The emergence of various blockchain platforms and their respective altcoins/cryptotokens have effectively reduced the market share of Bitcoin. As more people decide to diversify their crypto-investment, the market capitalization has fallen below 50 percent.

The increasing interest in altcoins is not completely due to the technology prowess their respective blockchain platforms possess. It has something to do with the current state of the Bitcoin Network as well. The Bitcoin community, especially the developers haven’t been able to amicably solve a long-standing problem yet. Yes, the block size issue, which has become a subject of debate for over a year now. With fewer improvements in the Bitcoin network, people are increasingly finding it difficult to use it as a mode of value exchange.

Thanks to increasing transaction backlogs, the miner fee associated with transactions continue to grow, forcing few platforms to charge additional network fee from its users. A Bitcoin transaction in the recent days can take anywhere between a couple of hours to two whole days, making it as good or worse a fiat services like the Western Union. These challenges have got the cryptocurrency community members exploring new modes of crypto-transactions like Ethereum, Dash, and others.

There is no single reason for the shift in trend, and not all the reasons are bad either. The network issues are one part of the equation, while the rest indicate an increased proliferation of cryptocurrency based solutions, creating a competitive atmosphere in the blockchain space.

Ref: Forbes | Image: NewsBTC

Cryptocurrency ICOs have always attracted a lot of speculators and investors. Tim Draper shocked the world by announcing he will partake in such an ICO soon. It now appears Boost VC will be following his example from this moment forward. The company announced they will directly invest in ICOs in the future. This change will help the company to keep tabs on innovative cryptocurrency projects.

A Big Change For Boost VC

It is somewhat surprising to learn Boost VC is taking this route. The company is known for investing in cryptocurrency startups through traditional funding. Going after initial Coin Offerings appears to be a rather risky decision. A lot of these projects may not be successful in the long run, putting investors’ money at stake. Then again, even entities such as Boost VC have to take risks now and then.

It is true ICOs are being used frequently to fund startup development these days. Although many people assumed these offerings would be a threat to institutional investors, that has not been the case. In fact, it appears these investors have been quite happy about the way things are going. There are only so many startups to invest in through traditional means. Initial Coin Offerings often raise millions of dollars in quick succession. More importantly, they do so in a decentralized manner.

Boost VC wants to keep tabs on talent developers to build the next protocols of the Internet. A lot of those developers may be linked to cryptocurrency ICOs right now. Any company building low-level protocols to create a decentralized internet are of great interest to Boost VC right now. Moreover, Boost VC is a fan of projects looking to build less volatile cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, volatility is still a big part of cryptocurrency right now.

Cryptocurrency ICOs Remain Very Popular

As one would expect, the company will make a small financial contribution to ICOs. Projects can receive between US$25,000 and US$100,000, depending on what they are building exactly. Moreover, this funds will be used as a way to create an eventual token sale in the future. This does mean project developers will have to produce working code once they attract the company’s attention. This is quite an intriguing development, to say the least.

It is not surprising to see Boost VC takes this course of action. Notorious Bitcoin investor Tim Draper recently unveiled he will partake in an upcoming ICO. It is evident institutionalized investors are trying to be part of the next big thing. That also means they will need to take slightly bigger risks. Investing in an ICO is a great way to diversify, but it also increases the chances of yielding a negative return on investment.

Hello and welcome to News BTC’s Market Outlook May 16.

DASH/USD

DASH initially fell on Monday but found support again at the $82.50 level. We turned around to form a nice-looking hammer, but that was preceded by a shooting star on the daily chart. Typically, this means that we are about to see consolidation, so I think range bound trading between the $82.50 level on the bottom and the $95 level on the top will be the case going forward. Longer-term, I still believe in the upside, but it looks as if range bound back and forth trading is probably where we need to be thinking.

LTC/USD

LiteCoin fell during the day on Monday, but continues to see interest near the $27.50 level. There is significant support underneath, so I think it’s only a matter of time before the buyers get involved, and this pullback will be more than likely looked upon as a nice buying opportunity in a stronger uptrend overall. I have no interest in selling, and believe that short-term bounces will give us an opportunity to go long.

Thanks for watching and see you again tomorrow.

Hello and welcome to News BTC’s Market Outlook May 16.

ETH/USD

Ethereum rallied significantly against the US dollar, gaining 5% initially on Monday. As we are reaching towards the $95 level, it seems likely that we will continue to go much higher. I believe the pullbacks continue to be opportunities for longer-term positions to be built, as the $90 level underneath looks very supportive. I believe that support extends all the way down to at least $85 as well. I remain extraordinarily bullish.

ETH/BTC

Ethereum rally during the day on Monday, breaking higher from the 0.05 level. It now looks as if are going to go looking for the 0.06 handle, and perhaps breakout above there and continue to go even higher than that. I still believe the pullbacks are opportunities to go long of a market that is building much larger positions for a “buy-and-hold” run down the road. Selling isn’t even a thought.

Thanks for watching and see you again tomorrow.