2016 – a big year for Bitcoin?

In the months to come, the cryptocurrency has really great chances to become officially recognized by the Malta Gaming Authority and regulatory bodies.

Indeed, this year may turn out to be the beginning of the groundbreaking era for BTC, as rumor has it the digital currency is on its way to be formally approved of by MGA, the globally acclaimed principal gaming authority of Malta, with recognition by regulators in other countries very likely to follow. Nowadays, however, the situation is somewhat paradoxical, as there are hundreds casino portals in the world holding a gambling license issued in Malta that are still unable to make Bitcoin payments available to their customers because of MGA’s current anti-BTC policy.

As suggested by David Barton, editor of www.Bitcasino.de, the benefits of MGA changing their mind on Bitcoin are obvious, as this would have a greatly positive impact on the digital currency’s popularity with both virtual gambling business operators (including the ones running real-money casino portals) and their customers. This idea is already supported by major gambling websites having certain experience with Bitcoins, like BitStarz, a truly iconic online сasino based in Malta. According to Sasha Jade, the casino’s marketing chief, the main problem lies in real-money gaming websites still dragging heels on Bitcoin payment integration. And with BTC casinos taking up just about 1% of the total market, while fiat gambling portals enjoy the rest of it, this problem is more serious than many can imagine.

At the same time, Bitcoin-oriented casino websites may have already started the process of grabbing a bigger slice of market share pie from their fiat rivals. At least, such opinion is voiced by Stephen Turk, NASCasino’s brand manager. This, as Turk believes, may be happening because “Bitcoin has been very stable and indeed is rising in value”, with big casinos now rushing to include BTC into their sets of payment solutions. As for the momentary strategy chosen by Bitcoin gaming portals, they seem to be concentrated on expanding the range of services and options, so as to be able to both retain their existing clients, and bring in the new ones. Overall, market growth is the dominating trend in the 2016 financial forecast for BTC gambling.

Logically enough, decision-makers granting favor to Bitcoin will, with great probability, cause real-money casino gaming businesses to officially start offering BTC payments to their customers. What is likely to start happening next is BTC gambling unfolding its wings for real, with the cryptocurrency itself becoming increasingly popular among the masses. As explained by mBit Casino’s VIP player manager Linda Murphy, the possible reconsideration of MGA’s stance on Bitcoins “will allow [the virtual currency] to get on the global gaming market”, but also “[to] expand into Asian and Russian markets”. mBit expects the regulators to realize that BTC, with all its numerous advantages over traditional payment systems, is indeed a step-ahead solution for the entire worldwide virtual gambling industry. Speaking further about the benefits of BTC integration for casino operators, Murphy pointed out the possibility for [brands to start offering their] players higher rewards than casinos that only offer FIAT”, with this change likely to “cause a shift in where players prefer to play”.

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