Fast Offshore brings you the top Crypto, Payments and Gaming news in March 2021.
MGA rocked by mafia link allegations
The Maltese Gambling Authority has found itself in hot water over allegations that gambling companies in the country have been laundering mafia money. Anti-mafia prosecutor’s in Italy have alleged the MGA licensed several betting sites that were linked to the Cosa Nostra. Other reports have linked Malta-registered companies and gambling sites with the Sicily-based Santapaulo-Erclano organised crime family. The country has also been criticised for allowing global tax evasion to take place in banks and companies located in the EU Member State. The former head of the MGA was prosecuted for corruption, and the current head is being asked to step up to save Malta’s reputation in the corporate service and online gambling sector.
54% increase in attempted fraud in iGaming
With the number of online gambling transactions on the up over the last 12 months, the risk of fraud has increased as well. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a 54% increase in suspected digital fraud attempts in the online gambling sector. Researchers look at billions of transactions from more than 40,000 websites. This highlights more than ever that operators need to take significant steps to tighten security. This could include the introduction of biometric authentication, the integration of AI, and improvements of existing security measures.
Dutch regulator ready to issue 35 online gambling licenses
The Dutch iGaming regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has announced it expects to grant some 35 online gambling licenses to operators in the country. Its Remote Gambling Act comes into force on 1 April 2021 and from this date, some providers will be allowed to legally operate in the Kindom of the Netherlands. Key requirements for license holders include a focus on additional prevention and increased consumer protection. They are also required to check each player against a self-exclusion database and provide the authorities with data from games. The KSA will also have the power to remote monitor game systems.
Indian fantasy sports app secures $400 million in funding
Dream Sports, an India-based fantasy sports app has managed to secure an impressive $400 million in its latest round of funding. The round was led through collaboration with TCV, D1 Capital Partners, and Falcon Edge. This puts the new startup in a great position with a value of some $5 billion. The app has been cashing in on the popularity of cricket combined with the growth in demand for fantasy sports. It currently has more than 100 million active users. Betting on fantasy sports is also big business in India, with a significant number of fantasy sports fans, also placing bets.
Visa allows settlement of payments with a stablecoin
Card issuing giant Visa has announced it will allow the use of a dollar-backed cryptocurrency to settle payments on its network. The coin is called USD coin and was subject to a pilot project with Visa and payment platform crypto.com. The first transaction was carried out in early March via digital asset bank Anchorage. The USD Coin is a stablecoin and doesn’t suffer from any of the issues other cryptocurrencies do such as volatility. This is an industry first and paves the way for more processors and card issuers to provide similar services in the future.
Leading payments company reports big uptick since the pandemic
Payments company Paytm has reported 750 million monthly transactions, a significant increase on pre-pandemic levels. These statistics make the company the world’s largest business payment processor. They provide online payments for a range of sectors including eCommerce, food delivery, utilities, digital entertainment, and D2C services. Through a variety of other services including an online bank, wallet, and UPI, growth has increased at a 25% month-on-month rate. They stated they have the capacity to manage up to 2500 transactions a second.
Blockchain.com worth more than $5.2 billion
Venture capitalists and private investors are looking to benefit from the boom in crypto and blockchain. And Blockchain.com managed to raise over $300 million in fundraising, sending their value to more than $5.2 billion. Their latest cash injection came by way of Lightspeed Venture Partners, VY Capital, and DST Global. The company claims to be responsible for around 28% of all bitcoin transactions in the last nine years. It’s also famous for its crypto wallets and exchange platform.
Video games giant announces crypto casino on Ethereum
Video game veterans Atari announced they are launching their very own cryptocurrency casino. The company behind Pacman and Pong said they will team up with Decentral Games to create a crypto casino in a decentralized metaverse located on the Ethereum blockchain. The project will go ahead initially for two years. A metaverse is a virtual world where players take the form of an avatar. Decentreland, owned by Decentral Games is the first community-owned crypto casino operating in this way.
Lotto company launches blockchain lottery platform
Blockchain has also infiltrated the lottery sector! Launched last week was the Smart Millions lottery system that operates on the TRON protocol. Providing blockchain-based lottery gambling, Smart Millions aims to bring trust to the sector as well as providing faster transaction speeds, transparency, and security. As it’s a decentralized platform, there are no third-party holding funds. Each transaction can be verified and it’s the first platform of its kind.
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