The Bitcoin journey started in 2008 when the Bitcoin whitepaper was released by a person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto. However, it was in January 2009 that the first ever transaction occurred on the Bitcoin blockchain. Ten years later, the Bitcoin and blockchain ecosystem has spread across several fields and industries. In this post, our attention will be focused on the Casino industry and how Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have changed it. Let’s take a look at the history of crypto casinos.
As Bitcoin only kicked off in 2008, our history of crypto casinos adventures do not stretch too far back. While the traditional casino industry stretches back in time, crypto casinos are only less than a decade old.
Bitcoin Sets the Pace
Like in many cases concerning innovations in the crypto ecosystem, Bitcoin is the deal breaker. That is why it still remains the big brother of cryptocurrencies. The first ever involvement of cryptocurrency in online gambling was in August 2011. It was a poker gambling website where all payments were made in Bitcoin. The company behind this was mobile poker site, Switchpoker.com, also the first company to develop real money poker for Apple mobile devices.
One year later, there was another entry into the industry. This time, it was the brainchild of popular Bitcoin enthusiast and early adopter, Erik Voorhees. He launched Satoshi Dice in April 2012. Shortly after launch, the gambling site was revealed to be responsible for half of the transactions on the Bitcoin network. Voorhees subsequently sold Satoshi Dice to an undisclosed buyer in 2013.
First Crowdfunded Crypto Casino
Crowdfunding has become a common part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It is a popular practice today that has been enhanced in so many ways. To have a crypto casino receive such support from the community was a big deal. This happened in June 2013 and Just Dice was the beneficiary.
One month later, Just Dice, the major competitor of Satoshi Dice, lost 1,300 BTC as a result of human error on the platform. This was a big blow for the platform, and also exposed the poor security measures in place for Bitcoin gambling at the time.
Satoshi Dice Changes Hands
A little over one year after being launched, Satoshi Dice was sold. This was seen as a major event at the time, considering how big the platform had become. By that time it had become a major player in the industry with a lot of recognition.
In July 2013, Satoshi Dice was sold to an undisclosed new owner. The deal was worth over 26,315 BTC which was valued at $11.5 million at the time.
A “Big Big” Win
In sports and gaming, victories and winning are common ways of judging records and setting landmarks. Therefore, when one gambler by the name “Nakowa” won a whopping 11,000 BTC, it was recognized in the industry. This happened in September 2013, and the fiat value of the win at the time was $1.65 million. This massive win earned Nakowa a place in the history of crypto casinos.
Along Came the Regulators
Regulatory presence in the cryptoworld became very pronounced around 2016. This is mainly because of the restrictions that they tried to create around the industry.
Prior to the above mentioned period was a more cordial era, and it finds a place in the history of crypto casinos. The first licensed Bitcoin casino showed up in February 2014. The name of the casino is Bitcasino.io and it was licensed by Curacao Gambling Licensing Authority.
Beyond Bitcoin, Altcoins Join the Party
All along, the crypto casinos that were in existence only implemented Bitcoin. The launch of Crypto-Games in August 2014 was the first time that any other cryptocurrency was implemented in a crypto casino.
Till date, altcoin gambling remains an identity of Crypto-Games. It is one of the top provably fair gambling platforms where you can play games using various cryptocurrencies.
Stepping Up the Game
FortuneJack is arguably one of the most innovative online gaming platforms today. It appeared on the scene in September 2014. It did not take long for its reputation as a highly innovative crypto casino to become popular.
The gaming platform accepts multiple cryptocurrencies and provides plenty of options for gamblers. It has continued to build upon its original reputation, rolling out new ideas from time to time to remain one of the leading crypto casinos.
Signs of Opposition
With the continued growth of crypto, the unregulated nature of the industry became a cause for concern. People used the technology however they deemed fit, exploiting a lot of opportunities, while being exposed to huge risks.
Focusing on the crypto gambling sector, in July 2015, the UK government warned its citizens against Bitcoin gambling. The warning was directed towards operators dealing with Bitcoin gambling. This came at the beginning of the period where we saw many warnings and restrictions around crypto activities.
A Regulatory U-Turn
In what would be considered as a positive development for the crypto casino industry, the UK government stepped down on its initial strict approach. In August 2016, having established stricter money laundering procedures, the UK government extended a conditional hand of friendship to crypto casino operators. At this time, the authorities started accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for casino operators holding its license.
A New Order Begins
Two months after the new regulation, the first UK licensed crypto casino emerged adding its name to the history of crypto casinos. In October 2016, NetBet became the first UK licensed crypto casino operator. The platform, having satisfied the regulatory conditions, was then permitted to legally accepts Bitcoins from its customers.
The New Kids on the Block
As altcoins became more popular, Ethereum and Monero found their way to the front row in the gambling industry. Ethereum, maybe because most of these platforms were built on its network, and Monero, likely because of its privacy orientation. Whatever the reason, these two altcoins showed up big time in the crypto casino industry in January 2017.
The Hammer From China
The role of China in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency development cannot be underestimated. The Asian giant in highly aware when it comes to emerging technology.
When China rolled out a blanket ban on cryptocurrency exchanges in September 2017, its ripple effect spread across the entire ecosystem. Crypto casinos were not spared in the process. Gamblers could not retrieve their funds, and transactions became difficult. Crypto casinos lost a huge part of their market.
The Dust Settles
Shortly after “the hammer from China”, Bitcoin achieved an all time high price, and so did many other cryptocurrencies. Then came the crypto winter that seems to have reset every participant to normal mode.
Not much rigorous activities have been seen in the crypto industry since. It doesn’t mean that practitioners have gone to sleep. No! Rather, there is now a gradual development process that flows like a continuous stream. Crypto casinos are developing at a comfortable pace creating another season in the history of crypto casinos that can be described as the season of calm waters.