Cryptocurrency trading, gambling and crypto betting: three different, yet overlapping industries

Crypto betting is beginning to take up a considerable space in the world of online betting, with online sportsbooks and casinos driving the growth of gambling in bitcoin and other digital currencies. The number of betting sites that accept transactions in cryptos – such as deposits, wagers and/or withdrawals – is increasing at a fast rate in most European countries, including Germany, which updated its rather strict-so-far regulatory framework with the ISTG 2021.

Crypto betting in Germany is now on the rise, experiencing high rates of growth owed to the growth of cryptocurrency adoption and the parallel growth of online gambling.

Ever since the launch of bitcoin in 2009, cryptos have transformed from a niche segment to a groundbreaking, multi-billion industry. At the same time, online betting, ever since the early 2000s has also moved from a complementary distribution channel to an alternative mode of transaction and to the dominant channel for placing wagers.

The overlapping of the two industries has very often prompted people to wonder whether cryptocurrencies, and more particularly whether bitcoin is a form of gambling. Following parallel trajectories to growth, has made analysts believe that the two are converging, not only in the minds of users but in their functions and operations as well, giving rise to cryptogambling and the development of crypto casinos!

But is bitcoin a form of gambling?

On the one hand, we can argue that: No, it is not a form of gambling. Bitcoin is a digital asset and thus, anything that has to do with bitcoin trading and transactions is considered as investment transactions.

Cryptocurrency trading has inherent risks, but they are not risks that can qualify as gambling risks. They are more of investment risks, because when buying bitcoin, for example, this is an investment which you expect to yield returns. These returns are anticipated to be generated from the changes in bitcoin value in the long run and the subsequent selling of bitcoin to capture this additional value.

Therefore, both the risks entailed and the time frame are very different between cryptocurrency trading and gambling. Investments carry more calculated risks, whereas gambling carries risks that are normally out of the sphere of one’s influence. Furthermore, when it comes to the issue of time frame, investments tend to be long-term commitment of resources whereas gambling is a short-term commitment that either pays out or not.

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Having said that, however, might raise more confusion! Let’s be totally honest. Bitcoin trading can be seen as gambling, depending on the strategy employed.

In the real world, the purchase of bitcoin is usually made under the assumption that its sale in the future will bring more money because someone will be willing to give more to acquire bitcoin. So, this action is speculative in nature and as such it is more or less a form of gambling.

Is the distinction critical?

For those who generally oppose cryptocurrencies, labeling bitcoin as gambling is critical because it has further implications on how it should be treated by users and how it should be approached – notably, with caution and thorough consideration.

For those who embrace the world of bitcoin, the distinction is critical because labeling cryptocurrencies as pure gambling can impinge on investments and trading. Attributing to cryptos the characteristic of gambling is done to provide a negative connotation. But this is far from reality.

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Cryptocurrencies are digital assets, their trading is more like investments and less like gambling- especially when long-term strategies are employed and above all, they are increasingly being used for gambling (so you can see the difference here!).

Crypto betting and generally crypto gambling are rising, because of the rise of cryptomarkets and not with the rise of cryptomarkets.

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About Author

Kevin V. Young, PhD, is a biologist with a keen interest in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, particularly IOTA.

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