News Summary for November 2021: Gaming, Crypto & Payments

Fast Offshore brings you the top Gaming, Payments and Crypto news in November 2021.

Crypto bets increase by 28% in 2021

The value of bets placed in cryptocurrency during 2021 increased by 2.8 times compared with the same periods in 2020. The 28% increase is due to increased digital consumption worldwide and the investment by iGaming companies in marketing crypto options. This has led to an increase in gambling from groups that are more likely to use cryptocurrency.

Not only has the number of crypto bets increased between 2020 and 2021, but it is also increasing every quarter. The number of crypto bets placed between Q2 and Q3 2021 increased by 10.3%, from 33% to 43.3%. This data overwhelmingly applies to online casinos, whereas sportsbook bettors prefer fiat. In Q3 of this year, almost 99% were made in fiat denominations. This demonstrates the need for online gambling operators to provide multiple different payment options, including fiat and crypto, for customers.

Evolution Gaming stocks fall by $11 billion

Swedish online gambling giant Evolution Gaming saw its stocks plunge last week over illegal gaming allegations. The company lost some $11 billion in value in just one day after a US law firm accused it of operating in sanctioned countries, such as Iran. CEO Martin Carlesund told investors that the company had proactively contacted regulators to initiate an internal review. They also published a statement, but critics said it provided little in the way of answers.

US attorney Ralph Marra contacted New Jersey’s regulation board on 12 November to say the company allows its products to be used in countries where online gambling is illegal or under US sanctions. The company said it is the operators’ responsibility they sell their products to, not them, to comply with licensing requirements. 

Dutch parliament to request phasing out of iGaming advertising

The Dutch parliament has requested less advertising for the online gambling sector to protect children and lower instances of gambling addiction. Online gambling was legalised in the Netherlands in October, but parties are expected to present a proposal before the end of the month.

Their requests include no adverts before 9 pm and the eventual ban of adverts for online gambling sites. The country’s advertising commission said it has already received complaints against advertising for the sector, adding it’s due to make a ruling in due course.

China set to crack down on cross-border gambling payments

The Chinese Central Bank issued new rules to improve risk control and prevent cross-border gambling using illegal payment bar codes. The rules are expected to have a  big impact on the whole payment industry, including WeChat and Alipay, two of the biggest names in the Chinese payments sector.

The two companies together hold more than 90% of the mobile payment market, excluding actual banks. One particular rule is the introduction of individual or merchant bar codes. These codes are used to transfer money between peers, but some businesses use the same codes to collect money.  Under the new rules, platforms will have to distinguish between personal and business users and stick to the correct designation.

Stripe could offer crypto payments in the future

Three years after ending bitcoin support, payment giant Stripe says it’s open to accepting cryptocurrency payments once again. The company ended its relationship with bitcoin back in 2018 due to concerns of volatility and inefficiency in making general transactions. But co-founder John Collison has said he won’t rule out accepting it in the future.

While noting there is some aspect of cryptocurrency that is not relevant to what Stripe does or is about, “there have been a lot of developments of late with an eye to making cryptocurrencies better, and in particular scalable and acceptable cost as a payment method.” He added, “it is not implausible that we would” when asked if Stripe would return to cryptocurrency. 

Crypto payment company scoops billion-dollar cash injection

Cryptocurrency payment company MoonPay has been valued at some $3.4 billion following a cash injection from Coatue and Tiger. The company’s CEO Ivan Soto-Wright said MoonPay is looking for eMoney licenses around the world and is also aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030. In its first attempt at seeking external funding, MoonPay got a $555 million cash injection from two leading hedge funds.

Other investors included Paradigm, a crypto fund launched by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam. MoonPay facilitates the buying and selling of digital assets using all mainstream payment methods. Since it launched in 2019, it has processed over $2 billion in transactions. It also hopes to surpass a billion users by the end of the decade.

Leading blockchain games platform invests $1 billion in the Korean market

Gala Games, one of the world’s leading blockchain gaming platforms, has sunk $1 billion into the Korean blockchain market through an investment in blockchain platform Klaytn. Operation of DeFi service Ozys, owned by Klaytn said they had signed an agreement with Gala Games to expand the blockchain platform.

The two entities will collaborate in various areas, including the metaverse, DeFi, and non-fungible tokens, in the eSports sector. Gala Games has around 1.8 million users every month and provides play to earn services and NFTs. It was created by Eric Schiermeyer, who co-founded world-famous game developer Zynga.

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