Online Gaming and Blockchain

Blockchain and iGaming seem to be the perfect match where blockchain provides many features that will increase trust, improve customer experience and increase profitability.

With the recent acceptance of blockchain based companies around the world, we are seeing more operators shift to blockchain technology to gain greater traction amongst online players as they experience what could possibly become the new digital gaming environment.

Blockchain technology brings several changes to the online gambling market, the most prominent of which are:

  • Fast and secure deposits and payouts for customers and affiliates
  • Smart Contract Agreements
  • Immutable customer data
  • VIP awards using brand-specific token
  • Decentralised cryptographic secured network
  • Provably fair games on the blockchain

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has recently issued guidance on the use of distributed ledger technology, and has stated its supports for operators that are fully or partially hosted on a Blockchain environment.  The Authority is also working towards a regulated licensing system for gaming developers utilising the same standards set out for cryptocurrency payments and digital currency wallets. To facilitate this transition, the MGA have launched  a Sandbox environment in January 2019 open to operators who already hold a Malta licence.  The second phase is being launched later this year to include applications that utilise cryptocurrency and blockchain technology within licensees’ systems, rather than just offering it as an option for player transactions.   The MGA confirmed that the framework will be extended to December 31, 2021 for licence holders.

nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig S Wright spoke about his vision for how the iGaming sector can leverage the properties of Bitcoin SV (BSV) for more secure, transparent gambling during the at the massive SiGMA 2019 iGaming conference in Malta.

Unfortunately in the last 11 years a lot of things have been said about what bitcoin is. The reality is, practically every one of them is wrong. Security is because of section 3 of the whitepaper—everything is public. There is no such thing as a private blockchain and never can be. The security of a private blockchain is zero. Hashes don’t secure the network – only publication of the hash secures the network.

According to Dr. Wright, blockchain allows for the iGaming sector to be completely transparent, reducing the need for external auditing while providing greater peace of mind to players.

If we’re going to have a legal, regulated industry, you need to pay the bills including to government. Bitcoin enables a situation where the government can monitor records knowing they are accurate and secure, recorded on blockchain.

Blockchain technology brings to the table clarity across the ownership of assets and existence of obligations. Furthermore blockchain opens up the possibility for ‘real-time reporting’ as distributed ledgers enable more timely recordings of corporate cash positions.

UEFA using a blockchain-based ticketing system for Euro 2020

UEFA Euro 2020, one of the biggest European football events has announced it’s ground-breaking new blockchain-based mobile ticketing system aimed to enhance the fan experience.  The new system will make entry into the stadium smooth, safe and secure by preventing the replication and duplication of tickets, with QR codes only being activated by Bluetooth once fans are in close proximity to the stadium. The association has been testing blockchain tickets for more than 18 months. It says 110,000 tickets (more than 80%) were issued using the system for the UEFA Nations League finals in June 2019.
(more…)

Which is the real Bitcoin?

On 3rd January 2009, the bitcoin network came into existence with Satoshi Nakamoto mining the genesis block of bitcoin (block number 0), which had a reward of 50 bitcoins. Embedded in the coinbase of this block was the text: The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks. This year, the cryptocurrency community is celebrating the 11th anniversary of the Bitcoin network. Satoshi brought the network to the world two months after publishing the whitepaper on October 31, 2008.

One of the most pressing issues for the cryptocurrency has always been its scalability, which upon the creation was limited to 1MB.  The limit was originally implemented to lower the possibility of potential  potential spam and DDoS-attacks but this has been causing substantial delays in transaction processing times. While there were not that many transactions happening in the network, the limit wasn’t affecting anything at all but as Bitcoin grew more and more popular, the limit started causing blocks to pile up. The situation got out of hand around May 2017, when some users reported having to wait for confirmation for up to four days and miner fees skyrocketed.

Increasing block size met some heavy resistance, with some refusing to change the original code.The two factions couldn’t find middle ground, after years of debate, so, in the summer of 2017, a split happened and a brand new cryptocurrency was created: Bitcoin Cash.

The disputes amongst the developers however continued and different Bitcoin Cash development teams did not reach an agreement regarding important consensus changes. On the 15th of November 2018, Bitcoin Cash suffered a hard fork, resulting in separate Bitcoin Cash chains that implement no replay protection between each other: one following the rules of the BitcoinABC implementation, and one following the rules of the BitcoinSV implementation.

While BTC kept its block cap restricted to 1MB,  allowing  about 7 transactions per second and BCH at 32MB, BSV has a block cap at 2GB which can handle “1000 transactions per second and theoretically up to 9000 transactions per second.”

There is no denying of the fact that the civil war is still on between the BCH and BSV camps. Roger Ver is still emphasising on the huge potential of Bitcoin Cash while Craig Wright is urging to look beyond BCH and focus on the BSV chain. Roger Ver recently declared that BCH holds all the potential to witness a 100,000 percent rise in the near future. On the other hand, Craig Wright is tirelessly advocating for the authenticity of BSV.

But, despite all the debates and controversies, one thing is clear: both coins show immense potential in the contemporary crypto space. At present, BCH is the 4th largest cryptocurrency, while Bitcoin SV is the 5th one.

OKCoin

OKCoin is one of the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world with volumes reaching just over 16 million Bitcoins transacted per month. The cryptocurrency exchange is based out of Beijing, China and services users from all over the world.  The group operates within regulated markets and has recently opened an office in Malta to service EU customers.

The exchange has built up a viable reputation among its users and the cryptocurrency community and uses the latest security and encryption protocols for the protection of their users. For instance, OKCoin integrates bank-level SSL security encryption, cold storage for 98% of their cryptocurrency, GSLB and distributed servers, and real-time account monitoring of deposits and withdrawals.

Trading Platforms

OKCoin features one of the most advanced and stable trading platforms for the trading of Bitcoin and a select other few cryptocurrencies. The trading platform is web-based and geared towards more professional traders but at the same time is simple enough for beginners to use as well. The platform comes complete with an advanced chart that can be viewed in full screen. Also, all the trading tools and technical indicators are available for in-depth technical analysis. The platform and website are very responsive and easy to navigate. The interface is intuitively designed, allowing for beginner and advanced traders to benefit from this platform and all the trading options available to them.

OKCoin Mobile Trading

OKCoin mobile application can be downloaded for both Apple and Android mobile devices. The trading application utilises all the features of the web-based platform in a mobile-enhanced version of the platform.

Trade Types/Instruments

OKCoin is the perfect exchange for experienced traders as they offer traders a variety of advanced trade types. Traders can participate in margin trading, futures, place Iceberg orders, trailing stop orders, and TWAPs. The OKCoin exchange does not offer as many cryptocurrency assets as many other cryptocurrency exchanges but makes up for it with the advanced trade types. The cryptocurrencies available for trading are Bitcoin, Bitcoin SV,  Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic,  and they can all be traded against USD, EUR and CNY.

Account Types

Creating an account with OKCoin is easy and normally done within a few hours.  Users can open either a personal or institutional account.   Individual users should select the “Open Personal Account” option while corporate users who expect to have multiple individuals access the account should select the “Open Institutional Account” option.

The platform has two types of verification requirements based on the customer’s activities.    Level 1 verification allows users to deposit or withdraw tokens less then 2 BTC.  If more than 2 BTC tokens will be withdrawn, level 2 verification is required.

Premier Clients

In April 2019, OKCoin releaed a new membership tier for clients who deposit a minimum of US$100,000 in trading volume over 30 days.  Premier Clients are guaranteed wire processing within 90 minutes from when the applicable bank is open and available for business.  In addition, Premier client fees will be reduced to the lowest published rates and allocated a designated Account Manager with priority given on customer support and troubleshooting.  Clients will also have direct access to the Product team and the ability to connect to our partner network.

Commissions and Spreads

The fee structure is very low for both the Chinese and international markets, The trading fees are based on a sliding scale that refers to monthly volume on the exchange. Maker fees are non-existent, while taker fees vary but drop as trading volume increases, (taker fees range from 0.20% – 0.10%). When trading futures, traders incur a 0.03% on open positions.

Deposits and Withdrawals Options

Deposits and withdrawals can be completed with cryptocurrencies and fiat money including USD, EUR, GBP, CHF or CNY. For cryptocurrencies, deposits and withdrawals are simply completed by sending the coins to and from your personal cryptocurrency wallet and your cryptocurrency wallet on the exchange. As for fiat deposits and withdrawals, currently only bank and wire transfers are accepted at OKCoin, but will be opened up to credit card transactions in Q4 2019.
Bonus and Promotions

Customer Support

OKCoin excels in the area of customer support, especially for a cryptocurrency exchange. The support options available to traders include email, live chat, telephone support, and a ticketing system. Support representatives are professional and friendly with their responses and typically respond within an hour. Additionally, OKCoin features an FAQ page where traders can find answers to most questions they might have.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very high liquidity
  • Can trade on Margin and in Futures markets
  • Low and competitive fees
  • Advanced trading platform
  • Fiat currency deposits and withdrawals

Cons

  • Verification required for withdrawals
  • A small variety of tradeable cryptocurrency assets

How safe is OKCoin?

OKCoin is a safe cryptocurrency exchange as they use the latest encryption technology to help to secure its website from hackers and enables two-factor authentication for logins and withdrawals.

Conclusion

OKCoin is an excellent exchange for the advanced trading of some of the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market. The exchange is highly liquid and is trusted by many people from all over the world. The OKCoin trading platform is very responsive and beautifully designed. It also offers advanced trading types and features for experienced traders.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV)

Bitcoin SV (BSV) has been created to bring back the original Bitcoin which was designed to fulfil the Satoshi Vision.  BSV today stands as its own chain and token following the contentious November 15, 2018 hard fork of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network.

nChain believes that BSV will fulfil the Satoshi Vision and change the world by retaining the original protocol and enable users to massively scale on-chain.  BSV’s mission is to restore the original Satoshi protocol, keep it stable, and enable it to massively scale on-chain.  Since the November 2019 hard fork, a number of native Bitcoin businesses  added their support for BSV.  In fact, a number of BCH applications have moved to BSV including many gaming operators due to the chain’s ability to record game and transaction data securely on the blockchain, as well as exchanging financial value between casinos and players.

A very interesting development on the chain is BSVs random number generator which allows game results to be generated and recorded on the blockchain, as such achieving greater transparency through provably fair results.  In the Block-hash approach, the hash of blocks or transactions is used as the source of randomness. As the hash is deterministic, everyone will get the same result. A block, once added to the blockchain, is likely to stay there forever, therefore, everyone can verify the correctness of the generated numbers.

The online gambling space is one of the main industries that shows off the features of what the original Satoshi Vision was planned for. Its infinite scalability properties are there to revolutionize iGaming and bring it closer to the near future.