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Cryptocurrency wagering explored in Malta

Mon, Jan 7, 1:22pm by Staff Writer

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is continuing to embrace innovation by giving gambling operations the chance to explore new payment and security solutions.

The Sandbox Framework is designed to serve that exact purpose and use cryptocurrencies as payment in gambling activities.

Control of cryptocurrencies is often elusive, but the MGA believes it has a payment solution that can expedite and secure financial transactions by boosting transparency.

This will give peace of mind to both operators and consumers when using the payment method.

The second phase of the framework launched on January 1, 2019 and is use Distributed Ledger Technology, a block chain based technology.

This technology processes all transactions and if it proves to be successful and reliable, the MGA will move towards the next step of the project and allow for further testing.

Such tests will include testing blockchain assets in a controlled environment to allow the MGA to look into potential complications that could pose risk to customers or businesses.

An investigation will be undertaken into dangers not only to operators and customers, but the gambling industry and the economy of the country, which relies heavily on gambling revenue.

The MGA portal allows businesses interested in becoming part of the test initiative to register with the update Licensee Relationship Management System.

Each operator will have significant responsibility in providing accurate information about financial transactions undertaken in cryptocurrencies and logging them on the system.

The current second phase is pivotal in assessing the effectiveness of the transactions.

Gambling with bitcoin is here to stay

Gambling with cryptocurrencies is already popular in Australia, with punters using bitcoin to wager on the most recent Melbourne Cup race.

Website 1xBit uses bitcoin as its primary currency and although gambling with bitcoins is prohibited in Australia, its sports are attracting attention on the international cryptocurrency betting market.

Bitcoin betting sites with domain hosts in Estonia, Curacao, Cyprus and Montenegro are offering markets on AFL, NRL, Super Netball, NBA and greyhound races.

Unregulated offshore bookies make it difficult for Australian authorities to monitor corruption or suspicious activity according to the ABC.

“As the use of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies in sports betting become more prevalent, then the risk of match-fixing is heightened,” sports lawyer and academic Catherine Ordway said.

Former chief steward of Racing NSW Ray Murrihy said: “with bitcoin, there’s no access to the identities of the parties involved.”

Mr Murrihy is now a board member of Responsible Wagering Australia and went on to say that “it’s very unlikely that the casual or weekend punter is going to be involved in this [bitcoin gambling]”.


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