Former Poker Pros Raise $130M for DeFi Market

The gambling and digital currency ecosystems are increasingly becoming intertwined in ways that would not have been imagined. This is partly because of all the interest and buzz that the sectors have been amassing as they continue growing. One of the most recent and most notable developments in this regard is a venture by Ascensive Assets, an investment firm that is led by ex-professional poker players.

The investment fund has been able to raise a whopping $130 million fund. This is aimed at taking on the rapidly growing decentralized finance (DeFi) market. It is not the first time that the firm is taking its chance on the market. In 2019, it managed to raise $24 million, a move that was backed by notable brands like Benqi, JennyDAO, Polkaswap, and Yield Guild Games.

Most of Ascensive Assets’ investors are high-net-worth individuals from Asia who are connected to the world of professional poker and gambling. This is not too surprising but it certainly represents an increasing level of interest in the burgeoning DeFi sector.

The Investment Plans

According to Ascensive Assets partner Oliver Blakey, the firm already has plans for how the fund will be utilized. About 30 percent of the fund will be used to invest in early-stage startups. The remaining amount will then be used to strengthen their investment from the first fund. There are, of course, elements of uncertainty. Still, that is a norm in the world of investments. Gambling is also clearly entrenched in the firm’s DNA.

“We have made some awesome investments; we’ve also made some terrible ones. I think about this industry as a kind of hybrid of venture capital and a hedge fund; it’s somewhere in the middle,” Oliver Blakey commented.

It will be very interesting to see how all this pans out for the firm. The confidence that they have might be an indication of where the sector is headed.

The Future of DeFi

Decentralized finance (DeFi) has had a resurgence recently and it is growing fast. Initially, decentralized finance was adopted mostly by smaller businesses. However, now it seems like the larger players in the transaction banking industry see it as a significant growth area. The technology has proven to be a great way of strengthening existing market trends. These are particularly good for permissionless access as well as interoperability.

Going forward, we can expect a lot more adoption of the technology. Many big names are warming up to it and that should be enough to take it all to the next stage.


SwC Poker: The World’s First True Bitcoin-Only Poker Game

As much as the crypto buzz may have dwindled a little over the last few months, there are still tons of innovative ideas being floated around and implemented in a bid to get both blockchain and digital currencies to be massively adopted. The use-cases have grown immensely but there is still a lot to be done in order to propel further growth which means that the industry needs all the help it can get. Fortunately, one of the industries that have been taking the concept of bitcoin and blockchain very seriously has been the gambling industry.

However, despite all the innovations in the crypto-gambling scene, most operators have been forced to keep one foot out of the fold – even though several online gambling websites have integrated crypto onto their platforms, very few of them have completely tokenized their services. Now, SwC Poker is changing the narrative by becoming the very first gambling service provider to go all in on bitcoin gambling with the tag line “No Banking, Only Bitcoin”.

Bitcoin 3.0

Launched in March 2015 following the shutdown of SealsWithClubs over some ethical issues, SwC Poker builds upon its predecessor’s ethos as well as data which included usernames and krill amounts. This basically means that some of the things that the site focuses on are anonymity, fast cashouts, and, of course, significantly low rakes. The concept of decentralization is also very important to the internet-based organization which has its server geographically distributed across the US hence its popularity among crypto enthusiasts and online poker players.

Moreover, in November last year, the company relaunched the amazing “Bitcoin Poker 3.0” and since then its customers have been treated to one of the most stable online poker experiences. Regardless of whichever device or operating system you may be using, the poker experience will be nothing short of exceptional.

Not only is the site now accessible from virtually anywhere in the world, but is also much easier to register on it and begin playing. As expected, in addition to a robust web-based client, the online poker platform also offers the users the luxury of downloading platform-specific software and apps – the experience is, fortunately, streamlined across all of the devices.

To register, all that is required is an email address but even though the site puts a lot of emphasis on anonymity, it also offers two-factor authentication for some important actions like making withdrawal or logging in.

Some of the other features that players should look forward to including 24/7 freerolls, a number of lucrative tournaments as well as the recently introduced Bad Beat Jackpot – the latter is a no-limit hold’em cash game that builds a jackpot fund using the normal rake amounts.


Is BTC Gambling Still a Lucrative Investment Opportunity?

Bitcoin and digital currencies, in general, have become quite appealing as business prospects which was not the case just a couple of months back. Despite recent declines in the overall value of most digital currencies, the crypto industry is on a rather consistent upward trend. In many ways, the industry has seemingly gotten to the point where it can be said to be ripe for investment and exploration – a number of these are already underway. This is especially true for the gambling industry which is among the very first industries to adopt various crypto-related innovations. If history is anything is to go by, then this is a sign that crypto will be vital in the quest to boost returns for the gaming industry.

What 2019 Has in Store

Well, according to a number of experts, 2019 is going to be the year of next level application of bitcoin, and other digital currencies, in the gambling market. These projections mainly rely on the trends and forecasts for both markets that indicate several extensive changes that will come into effect by the second quarter of the year. This steady growth trend is expected to go on for the next two years with the areas expected to see the most changes being mobile gaming, sports betting and live online gaming.

Online casinos and online poker operators stand to reap the most from the integration of crypto technology and mainstream consumer technology. The trends indicated by these projections and forecasts are going to peak in 2019 which means that we might actually get to see fully-fledged applications taking advantage of the untapped potential of the crypto market. That said, it is safe to conclude that despite the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency space, it was always bound to rise above all that.

Blockchain Poker Tournaments

Last year we got to see the very first blockchain poker tournament that highlighted the three-day World Crypto Conference and was hosted by Las Vegas-based Aria casino. The tournament brought together live poker action that was powered by blockchain technology, making it the first to show off the full potential of blockchain and crypto technology in the gambling space. Poker players should expect more of these in 2019.

Prior to the inaugural blockchain poker tournament, there were already a number of established online poker brands including Virtue Poker that were already using decentralized smart contracts to manage their data. Even though the technology is still far from being perfected, players have grown to love the idea of their data and gaming application being managed by decentralized platforms primarily because the technology helps in reducing the possibility of site fixing and the use of poker bots.


Crypto Mining Businesses in Japan and China Close Up Shop

The world of crypto had its fair share of lows in 2018 and, even though it did not seem like it at the time, the effects of the year-long bear market of the last year affected much more than the prices of the digital currencies. Some of the worst-hit sectors were those that had a direct link to crypto, that is, related businesses such as large-scale mining businesses suffered greatly. This was primarily because the crypto market was beginning to become less appealing to some of the largest firms in the world and they began to slowly pull the plug on what were once some of the most lucrative operations in the industry.

China’s Bitmain to Pull the Plug

Crypto mining giant, Bitmain was once considered a titan in the digital currency mining business, not just in China but in the whole world as well. In fact, the company controlled close to 80 percent of all the hardware that was used in the generation of new digital currencies. Well, not anymore. The company is no longer as highly regarded as it was a short while back and there are even reports that it is planning to lay off between 50 and 80 percent of its staff. This is despite the fact Bitmain controls some of the largest mining pools on the planet and is the leading supplier of the mining equipment, both of which gave it significant control over the bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash networks.

Unfortunately, as the prices of the digital currencies continued to dwindle in 2018 and the level of difficulty in minting new digital coins remained high, there was a significant drop in profitability. As a result, a number of companies including Bitmain have chosen to exit the large-scale cryptocurrency mining business which is no longer viable since the cost of hardware and power is much higher than the value of the digital currencies that are mined.

The Situation in Japan

According to Japanese media, GMO, one of the country’s retail giants, is pulling out of the bitcoin mining hardware industry in Japan citing increased pressure on the profitability of the business due to increased hash rates and mining competition. The move, as it turns out, reportedly cost GMO a whopping 25 billion Yen. Despite exiting the crypto mining hardware business, GMO will still continue to mine and also plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange in the near future.

Japanese e-commerce company DMM is also reportedly leaving the business through the closure of its crypto mining firm in Kanazawa. As expected, the company also cited declining profits as the main reason for the move. The company now intends to focus on its crypto exchange platform that has already achieved full regulatory and license status in Japan.

Asus Empowers Gamers with Crypto Mining Opportunity

The once pushed with unyielding persistence bitcoin hype has come to a halt. Be that as it may, Asus isn’t content to give the shrug of resignation just yet. The Taiwan-headquartered hardware giant has formed an interesting tie-up with Quantumcloud, bespeaking trust in the blockchain technology. The company is looking to buttress the optimization of idle GPU resources for the purpose of mining crypto coins.

At present, the idea of cryptocurrency still eludes many. Being one of the top dogs in the tech field, however, Asus seems to be privy to insider information not being intimidated by the plummeting exchange rates of all cryptocurrency. By all appearances, the company is not ready to close the book on the innovative payment method. Provided that the partnership with Quantumcloud is brought to fruition, the earnings will still be dependent on the everchanging crypto climate.

What’s Quantumcloud?

In a nutshell, Quantumcloud is a user-friendly secure service that will help you make money on the side. It doesn’t put additional stress on your GPU because it’s designed to intelligently utilize and optimize the excess computing power. In other words, Quantum Clouds makes use of your idle GPU resources to mine cryptocurrency.

Once set up, you can leave the app working in the background and it will do its magic. Especially convenient is the fact that it will automatically transfer any earnings to a WeChat or PayPal account of your choosing. As you may have guessed, this essentially means that you don’t have to register an account or share your personal data. All your sensitive data remains strictly confidential whichever option you choose between WeChat or PayPal.

The app has many great features including but not limited to One Click Sharing and Achievement Bonuses. Inarguably, the real winner is the full GDRP compliance, putting the software in a situation of trust with the sensible gamers. Every bit of the application is designed to be pursuant to the GDRP regulations, thus ensuring the security of all current and future users.

Asus’ Partnership with Quantumcloud Makes for a Streamlined GPU Mining

Jog your memory if you would – when was the last time you tried mining cryptocurrency? The idea of passive income never fails to excite our curiosity, but the execution all too often proves to be more difficult than expected. That’s about to change. With Quantumcloud’s comprehensive mining app, you can easily manage everything and monitor your progress. It comes with a bunch of tools like real-time stats, the already mentioned one-click sharing, you know – the works.

Piling up cash while playing computer games, sounds like a cushy job right? Don’t get super stoked about it. I can cite several reasons why you might not strike gold even if you are an ASUS graphic card owner, but I will mention just a few. Bitcoin has been around the block for a while now and the mining difficulty has vastly increased. Moreover, using GPU resources selectively isn’t going to be all that profitable at the end of the day. Even earning a substantial amount of money through ASIC nowadays is a tall order. So, there’s truth to TechRadar’s words saying that it will be best if you don’t quit your day job yet.

First-Ever Cryptocurrency Music Festival Held

Recently, we’ve seen plenty of firsts in the cryptocurrency market. We were thrilled to see the first-ever crypto-powered poker tournament, and now things are expanding even further with the launch of the first cryptocurrency music festival.

OMF – The First-Ever Crypto Music Festival

OMF, which was held in California’s Greek Theatre, was the first festival of its kind to run on blockchain technology. It even introduced its own form of cryptocurrency – the OMF Token. Attendants could purchase their tickets using cryptocurrency, as well as all sorts of goods that were available at the festival – while tokens were provided throughout the event that could be traded in for various items at the stalls.

Throughout the event, performers like Matt & Kim and Zedd, encouraged everyone to get on board with the cryptocurrency trend. The term ‘cryptocool’ was coined at the event.

3LAU was one of the biggest proponents of cryptocurrencym urging everyone to ‘get on the blockchain’. At the end of his set, a cannon shot out thousands of pieces of confetti printed with QR codes. They could be scanned on the OMF app and credited as coins that guests could use to purchase merchandise.

There are some big ideas behind all of this. Ideally, using cryptocurrency and blockchain technology could help to prevent ticket fraud and inflation – which are huge problems with regards to larger festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella.

Another Great Use for Cryptocurrency

It’s wonderful to see so many different industries ‘getting on the blockchain’. It is definitely invaluable technology. The organizers behind the event as well as the performs are passionate about enacting change.

“Those goals may sit on a distant horizon, but we need to start somewhere,”DJ 3LAU said in an interview with Forbes. “In year one, we’re enabling crypto payments for tickets and are giving all attendees their first ethereum paper wallet in the form of token cards.”

It definitely seems as though they did have quite a bit of success. There were over 8000 music fans in attendance, who made 2009 OMF payments while distributing over 60000 OMF tokens to guests.

Still, while the event was focused on promoting blockchain technology, it was more of a music festival than a PR push. Guests were thrilled with the selection of acts and, while they roster was considered a bit ‘random’, there were few complaints about the quality of the talent.

We hope that this is a trend that will continue into the future, as it is quite a novel way to enjoy a music festival. The use of blockchain also helps to solve a number of problems that the festival market is currently facing, so there is certainly plenty of room for music industry professionals to embrace this technology.

Bitcoin is 10 Years Old Today

Bitcoin is 10 Years Old Today

It seems like just yesterday that the innovative cryptocurrency called Bitcoin made its debut – but, it’s actually be a decade. Today, we celebrate the 10th birthday of bitcoin, which has made a significant impact on the world of finance.

The History of Bitcoin

It was in 2008 that that domain name was registered. Then, on October 31, Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. It was sent out to a cryptography mailing list, describing a “system for electronic transactions without relying on trust”.

By the start of 2009, the bitcoin network was finally launched. The value of the first bitcoin transactions were determined by users on a bitcoin forum and one of the first transactions was used to indirectly purchase two pizzas from Papa John’s for 10 000 BTC.

In 2013, Coinbase became the first bitcoin-based payment processor. Within a month, the network sold $1 million worth of bitcoin at a cost of $22 each. Several companies even started accepting bitcoin as a method of payment, with OKCupid and Foodler putting it on the map.

The next year, we started seeing online gaming and casino companies starting to embrace bitcoin. Zynga announced it would begin accepting the cryptocurrency for the purchase of in-game assets while a few casinos in Las Vegas started doing the same. Through to 2017, there was a significant increase in the number of companies accept bitcoin as a form of payment.

Still Not a “Real” Currency

Perhaps the most surprising thing about bitcoin after 10 years is that it still isn’t a real currency. When the cryptocurrency made its debut, it was thought that it would eventually be embraced as an official way of making payments – but that simply isn’t the case.

According to finance experts, bitcoin is more akin to gold than it is to money. It is collected for its value and its rarity makes it previous. Investors trade it in order to profit from its increase in value over time. With a single bitcoin worth over $6000, it has become a very valuable commodity, especially for those who purchased it when it was just $1 10 years ago.

So, we have to wonder if bitcoin will ever become an accepted form of traditional currency. Experts believe that the bitcoin network is too technical for general consumers to understand, which means that banks and governments will have to step up and regulate the market – but that has yet to happen.

We seem to be getting close, though. Recently, Goldman Sachs has started to register clients for its brand-new bitcoin trading desk. With an official bank recognising the cryptocurrency, there is still hope that bitcoin will soon become an accepted and mainstream payment method for consumers around the world.

“Imminent” Drop of Bitcoin on the Horizon

Bitcoin is known to be volatile, but things are about to get really crazy for the popular cryptocurrency. According to experts in the field, the price of bitcoin is about to drop drastically and they warn of an “imminent slump” in its value.

Why Has a Slump Been Predicted?

Yesterday, the price of bitcoin was $6571, which was the highest we’ve seen in quite some time. Over the course of 24 hours, the price dropped by 2% to $6436. According to experts, a drop below a key price point is called “horizontal support” and it may be a sign of bitcoin’s value dropping significantly in the near future.

Cryptocurrency expert Nikola Lazić states that the situation “could get really bad”, and bitcoin could reach a “lower low” below $5767. However, bitcoin still has a healthy floor price, which means that the market is invested in the growth of the cryptocurrency. So, while a slump may be on the horizon, it is likely that bitcoin will be able to bounce back quickly, or that it won’t be a huge decline in the first place.

Still, some investors are confident that bitcoin will see a positive end to 2018. Tom Lee of Fundstrat believes that bitcoin has been holding, which could mean that the decline will start to reverse. It’s all speculation, however, and we won’t know for sure until bitcoin starts to move either upwards or downwards later this year.

A Very Volatility Year

Over the course of the past year, bitcoin has seen some huge ups and downs. Back in December 2017, the price of bitcoin nearly doubled to $19 800 but quickly dropped by 45% back down to $14 300. Yves Mersch of the European Central Bank compared bitcoin to buying flowers and having them wilt immediately.

Since then, bitcoin has seen plenty of movement in terms of price. In September 2018, the price of bitcoin plummeted about 10% from $7300 to $6300 and it has remained around that price for the past month. Now, we could be looking at an even further decline in the value of bitcoin.

Despite the difficult year that bitcoin has had, there is still no telling how the cryptocurrency will perform in coming months. We have plenty of arguments on either side, but bitcoin is known for being quite unpredictable.

So, if you have any bitcoin in your online poker account, it might be a good idea to hold onto it for the next little while. Consider keeping it in your account until a little more information about whether or not bitcoin will continue to decline is confirmed.


UK Treasury Committee Says It’s Time to Regulate Bitcoin

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom feel that it’s about time that bitcoin is regulated. They have highlighted the potential risks of trading and spending cryptocurrencies, and believe that the next step is to develop a framework that would protect users.

Protecting Consumers

A committee of MPs have come forward to urge London’s Financial Conduct Authority to supervise “crypto-assets”. They are concerned about the number of risks involved for investors. For example, the price of cryptocurrencies is incredibly volatility and there are few consumer protection protocols in place. There is also the potential for cryptocurrencies to be hacked and there is also the danger of it being used to launder money.

There are major concerns that individuals who choose to invest in cryptocurrencies are putting themselves in danger. While it is becoming more widely used around the world, there is still plenty of work that needs to be done in order to protect investors and ensure that bitcoin and other crypto-assets are safe to trade.

Nicky Morgan, Chair of the Treasury Committee says:

“It’s unsustainable for the government and regulators to bumble along issuing feeble warnings to potential investors, yet refrain from acting. At a minimum, regulation should address consumer protection and anti-money-laundering.”

The Right Decision

There are varying opinions in the debate of cryptocurrency regulation. Some experts state that regulation could help cryptocurrencies grow while other believe that it would stifle their growth. There are many different sides to the debate, and it is time for regulators to weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Some experts argue that cryptocurrencies won’t be able to grow without regulation. This is because many potential investors are wary of putting their money into bitcoin without knowing that they are protected.

There are others, however, that are concerned regulation could stop further development of cryptocurrencies. If regulators try to apply traditional rules to bitcoin, then there is the chance that it may limit the ways in which cryptocurrencies could branch out and innovate.

It will be interesting to see how the UK government plans to go about regulating bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, if they decide to go that route. There are plenty of opportunities to help protect consumers using regulation but, at the same time, it would have to be done in such a way that cryptocurrencies can continue to grow and develop.

Plenty of work needs to be done before a working regulatory model is introduced. Lawmakers will need the input of developers, investors and bankers in order to create a framework that benefits all parties involved.

Kardashians Host Charity Poker Tournament, Bitcoin Appears

The Kardashians hosted a charity poker tournament recently, and the event has been making headlines. However, while most blogs are interested in Kim’s weight loss and new haircut, we’re more focused on the inclusion of bitcoin.

Playing Poker for a Good Cause

The event was a lavish one, with sponsors paying up to $50 000 for a table. If you wanted to sit at a table next to a Kardashian, you could have to shell out $5000 to $7500 for a seat. All other players would be able to compete by paying $1000.

It was definitely a star-studded event, with plenty of celebrities making an appearance. January Jones, David Arquette and Meghan Trainor are just a few of the stars that showed up to compete on the felt. There were even some poker pros in attendance, including Phil Hellmuth, Ryan Feldman, and Brandon Cantu.

The event was in support of City of Hope, a leading research and treatment centre for life-threatening illnesses like cancer and diabetes. The organisation is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and provides care to individuals in need while researching medical breakthroughs that could eliminate these diseases.

All in all, the event was a huge success. Over half a million dollars were raised for charity. The winners walked away with some impressive prizes as well, as first and second place received front row VIP tickets to see The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Third place received a custom fitted set of golf clubs and fourth place earned a $17 000 diamond bracelet.

An Appearance from Bitcoin

One of the interesting things about this tournament is that bitcoin was in play. In an Instagram story posted by Kim Kardashian, she posted a photo of a bitcoin chip alongside her regular poker chips with a caption that read “We moved onto bitcoin!”.

The physical bitcoin was given to her by Matthew Roszak, the founder of Bloq – a company working on blockchain innovations. The small gift quickly started conversations around the world, as Reddit users suggested that this is a huge move for bitcoin. With Kim Kardashian adopting cryptocurrency, the market could get the mainstream push that it needs.

This isn’t the first time that bitcoin has made an appearance in the poker world. In fact, the Blockchain World Conference recently hosted the world’s first cryptocurrency poker tournament, where players were not only able to wager using digital money but also registered for the event with it.

Poker is emerging as one of the most desirable and viable partners for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Should these two markets continue to develop their relationship, it won’t be long before bitcoin is a major player in the online gaming world. It would be an important entry for cryptocurrency and the first step towards becoming mainstream.