A brave new world
Is Sweden the global catalyst for mainstream crypto-enabled iGaming, asks Mike Reaves, CEO and co-founder of CashBet.
Living in the world of crypto means we’re not unaccustomed to historic firsts, but August 1, 2018 will certainly go down as a landmark day for us. On its first opening day for licensing applications for 2019 we submitted CashBet’s platform to LotteriInspektionen, Sweden’s gambling authority.
With Sweden set to begin regulated online gambling as of January 2019, we plan to be the world’s first crypto-enabled iGaming platform to be licensed in the country. I predict the long-term effects of Sweden opening its doors to the iGaming world and in particular, crypto-enabled iGaming to be huge.
Global adoption of cryptocurrency into the mainstream over the last few years has come at an exponential pace. Just a few years ago cryptocurrency was seen by the mainstream media as a passing fad at best, or a way to make anonymous, dubious purchases at worst.
Either way, it wasn’t something that was ever expected to have mainstream appeal. Today, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Every business section of the mass media now has bitcoin as an almost permanent news feature, while The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has now even launched a futures market for it.
In this brave new world of crypto and blockchain, Sweden is leading the charge for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. With our goal to marry blockchain technology to our mobile-first iGaming platform, no place is better to bring this dream into reality than one of the world’s leading most crypto-enabled nations.
For the past couple of years, Sweden has enthusiastically embraced cryptocurrency. So much so that Stockholm has been widely touted as Europe’s soon-to-be de facto crypto capital. HSBC’s economists certainly agree, even going as far to speculate that the Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank, may be planning to launch a government sanctioned ‘e-Krona’ within the coming years.
We strongly believe that this overlap will extend to users of cryptocurrency and iGaming account holders, whether in real money, social, or skill-based games and apps. The nation is quite literally abuzz with crypto and blockchain activity. From the south, where Plingpay is bridging the gap between crypto and fiat currencies via the blockchain, to the far north, where countless crypto mining and blockchain companies have established data centres, Sweden is fast-becoming the world’s hotspot for cryptocurrency experimentation and innovation.
This mass adoption has not gone amiss in iGaming
This mass adoption has not gone amiss in iGaming. We are already seeing huge demand from players and operators gearing up for 2019, as the majority of internationally regulated operators apply for Swedish licenses. Online gambling revenue grew 11.4 per cent year over year in 2017. We anticipate that a significant portion of this revenue will be denominated in cryptocurrencies once the option becomes available.
By using the CashBet platform and CashBet Coin, for which we have launched a very successful ICO this year, we will be one of the first on the Swedish market to not only be able to supply such payments, but VIP management services and world-class crypto enabled games to the Swedish market.
While there are hundreds of roll-outs of iGaming platforms, crypto enabled ones are still in their infancy, with some of the most recent figures estimating that there are still only 25 million crypto currency users in the world. To bring platforms such as ours into worldwide mass adoption, it’s essential to focus on the places where cryptocurrency has been adopted more than most, with Sweden being far ahead of the curve.
In my view, one of the remaining hurdles to be overcome ahead of crypto-enabled platforms hitting the mainstream is the Wild-West stigma cultivated by some elements of the media.
With regulatory approval from some of the world’s most respected bodies, along with what we hope to be our approval from LotteriInspektionen, we believe that our launch in our platform in one of the world’s most crypto-friendly nations is a momentous step towards mainstream endorsement as well as our mission to become the world’s de facto iGaming leader in this space.
If our systems have enough integrity to pass a third-party compliance test by the world’s leading regulatory bodies, then it’s both an endorsement for our platform and team as well as the crypto-enabled iGaming world as whole.
We’re excited about the future. The adoption of crypto-enabled iGaming by one of the world’s most tech-savvy entrepreneurial nations is likely to be one of the greatest catalysts for mainstream adoption.