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Crypto Espresso - The Top Crypto News Weekly at Punt Casino!

Crypto Espresso – The Top Crypto News Weekly at Punt Casino!

March 20, 2023

Crypto Espresso – The Top Crypto News Weekly at Punt Casino!

March 20, 2023

Blog » Posts tagged "crypto news"

Top Crypto News Stories Last Week – Get the Full Scoop Now!

Last week’s top crypto news stories saw the U.S. judge in the Voyager Digital bankruptcy case publicly side with the crypto space over the lack of effective regulations. 

Also, the Bitcoin mixing service, ChipMixer (which was rumored to be a CIA honeypot), was shuttered and $46.5 million in bitcoin seized, while the closure of Signature Bank led to a claim of anti-crypto bias from a well-known board member.

Continue reading for the full scoop on the biggest news for crypto last week.

Crypto News Headline: Voyager Bankruptcy Judge Calls for Proper Crypto Regulation

Voyager Bankruptcy Judge Calls for Proper Crypto Regulation

Despite all the talk surrounding the need for regulation in the crypto news space, the entities responsible in the U.S. don’t seem too inclined to actually create any, preferring to prosecute transgressors after the fact rather than informing crypto companies upfront whether their products fall foul of securities laws. 

But now, support for crypto companies has come from an unlikely source – the judge in the Voyager Digital bankruptcy case, citing the lack of regulatory efforts made by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) through his comments in a filing regarding a reorganization and distribution plan for Voyager.


Judge makes his case

Wiles prefaced his comments by saying that the antipathy towards yet lack of action regarding cryptocurrencies offered an “unusual backdrop to this bankruptcy case”, with his opening remarks on the matter bringing the point home succinctly in the latest crypto news:

“There are firms that operate as cryptocurrency brokers or exchanges, and have done so for several years, without being subject to clear and well-defined regulatory requirements. Regulators themselves cannot seem to agree as to whether cryptocurrencies are commodities that may be subject to regulation by the CFTC, or whether they are securities that are subject to securities laws, or neither, or even on what criteria should be applied in making the decision.”

How to start using cryptocurrencies.

This sentiment echoes that of cryptocurrency organizations, many of which have expressed that they want to work within the law but simply don’t know how to do so. Judge Wiles noted that this uncertainty has persisted “despite the fact that cryptocurrency exchanges have been around for a number of years”, and then laid out the source of the frustration for many:

“There have been differing proposals in Congress to adopt different types of regulatory regimes for cryptocurrency trading. Meanwhile, the SEC has filed some actions against particular firms with regard to particular cryptocurrencies, and those actions suggest that a wider regulatory assault may be forthcoming.”

“The CFTC seems to have taken some positions that are at odds with the SEC’s views. Just how this will all sort itself out, how the pending actions relating to cryptocurrencies will be decided, and just what issues might be raised in future regulatory actions, and how they will affect individual firms or the industry as a whole, is unknown.”


What does it mean?

While these comments from the judge in this top crypto news article aren’t likely to spur the SEC or the CFTC into action, they highlight the fact that even someone who has come to the crypto space with little to no knowledge of it has swiftly realized that regulators simply aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.

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Headline 2: ChipMixer Service Shut Down After CIA “Honeypot” Rumors

ChipMixer Service Shut Down After CIA “Honeypot” Rumors

The Bitcoin mixing service, ChipMixer, has been shuttered, and $46.5 million in assets seized by an international law enforcement coalition. This comes months after a crypto news theory emerged that it had been taken over by the CIA and was being used as a ‘honeypot’. 

American and German authorities, aided by Europol and agencies from other countries, shut down the service last week, taking almost 2,000 bitcoins and 7 TB of data after an investigation into potential money laundering through the site – four months after rumors emerged that a ChipMixer was established by the CIA to attract and catch criminals.


About ChipMixer

ChipMixer was established in 2017 and offered a unique take on the transaction masking process: funds were transformed into “chips,” which were mixed together to anonymize the origin of the initial funds. 

This made ChipMixer a very attractive option for cyber criminals. Many used the service to launder illegal proceeds obtained from criminal activities such as drug and weapons trafficking, ransomware attacks, and payment card fraud. And a lot of these stories made top crypto news headlines across the world.


ChipMixer CIA “honeypot”?

When Twitter user “FatMan” (@fatmanterra) took a look into ChipMixer, he smelt a rat. In November 2022, he released a tweet thread laying out his reasons for ChipMixer being a CIA honeypot from the start. FatMan pointed to the fact that ChipMixer was established right at a time when the agency had “a number of different projects focused on cryptocurrency” going. 

This became fairly big crypto news after FatMan also pointed out that high-profile hackers such as the Twitter hacker who laundered money through the site were swiftly arrested. He also revealed that ChipMixer had, until then, survived a Bitcoin mixing clampdown, possibly in an attempt to drive users to the service.

Whether or not the CIA was in on ChipMixer from the start, it will certainly be taking an interest now, with various U.S. authorities eagerly wading through the 7 TB of data recovered. The investigation into ChipMixer suggests that the platform may have facilitated the laundering of over 150,000 bitcoins in total.

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Crypto News Headline 3: Signature Bank Closure Leads to “Anti-Crypto Bias” Claim

Signature Bank Closure Leads to “Anti-Crypto Bias” Claim

One of the latest crypto news talking points coming out of the closure of Signature Bank has been the role that crypto has played. Former U.S. representative and Signature Bank board member, Barney Frank, co-author of the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulations, claimed that the closure of the bank was an attempt by the U.S. government to send a “very strong anti-crypto message”. 

While Signature Bank didn’t involve itself with crypto directly, it did safeguard U.S. dollar deposits of crypto companies and their customers. Frank believes that a potential bank run was the perfect excuse for the U.S. government to shut it down and paint crypto as the bad guy.

The New York Department of Financial Services, which conducted the closure, argued last week that the decision to shut down Signature Bank was “nothing to do with crypto”. It also said that the issue had been getting data from the bank and the evasiveness of directors regarding obtaining it. Frank, however, wasn’t buying this, telling the Intelligencer:

Now, the question is, why did they react so harshly to what they said was our inability to give them the sufficient data? I believe it was probably to send the message that even though we were doing crypto stuff responsibly, they don’t want banks doing crypto. They denied that in their statement, but I don’t fully believe that.

Other crypto news outlets and financial news platforms such as the Wall Street Journal have since come out and said that there is certainly evidence to back Frank’s theory. This will have other crypto-connected banks looking over their shoulders for sure.

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Trending Crypto News Stories:

  • The FBI is said to be investigating the collapse of the Terra USD/LUNA ecosystem last year, putting more pressure on its founder, Do Kwon.
  • A security company has identified a series of vulnerabilities that it says threaten over 280 blockchains, with some already having been patched.
  • A $1 billion class action lawsuit against multiple social media influencers who promoted FTX has been filed in Florida.

Enjoyed the biggest crypto news of last week? Don’t miss out on your weekly dose of the top stories in the crypto space at Punt. Sign up now and you’ll receive the Crypto Espresso weekly newsletter straight to your mail – including an EXCLUSIVE BONUS offer in the emails only!


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The Future of Bitcoin Casinos and Online Gambling

The Future of Bitcoin Casinos and Online Gambling

February 18, 2023

The Future of Bitcoin Casinos and Online Gambling

February 18, 2023

Blog » Posts tagged "crypto news"

Is Bitcoin the Future of Online Gambling?

The relation between bitcoin and online gambling, and what the future of bitcoin casinos may look like, is a trending topic due to the fast-growing adoption of cryptocurrencies in the online gambling sector.

Since as early as 2013, online casinos have been making the move toward accepting cryptocurrencies as payment, not only for player deposits but also player withdrawals. This brought about an entirely new breed of online casinos, and with them, a revolution that has changed online gambling forever.

Bitcoin slot reel.

But will this fast-growing trend last? Does bitcoin have a future in online gambling – or is bitcoin the future of online gambling? And if not, will other cryptos or forms of digital currency emerge as the go-to choices for crypto gambling?

Well, we have a few theories – backed by crypto market research and valuable information that may give you some insight into what the bitcoin casino future might look like. But first, let’s look at what bitcoin gambling is doing in today’s world.


The Current State of Bitcoin Gambling

Straight off the bat – recent events in the crypto space have only proven that crypto gambling is here to stay and that the future of bitcoins casinos is a healthy one. Markets have been on the brink of crashing, massive crypto exchanges have been shut down due to unlawful practices, and the crypto community finds itself in uncertain times as a result. 

Don’t get us wrong, crypto is not failing – not by a long shot. But of course, growing pains do apply, as with any emerging market. 

BUT! Even though cryptocurrencies have been facing these challenges of late, crypto gambling, specifically, has been on the rise. But why? Well, according to research, the industry shows a considerable growth rate of just under 11.5% a year.

This is said to continue throughout 2023 all the way to 2030, with predictions pointing at even larger growth beyond.

Global blockchain gaming market.

The latest bitcoin gambling statistics released by in early 2023 state that since the inception of crypto gambling, around 4% of all gambling activity is crypto-related, and players have wagered over $4.5 billion in bitcoin since – that’s only bitcoin, and the majority of this is only in the last few years.

So what does this positive growth for crypto gambling, in specific, mean when comparing it to the not-so-positive growth that crypto markets have experienced lately? Yes, investing in crypto is a volatile game and not for the faint-hearted, but it seems crypto gamblers, in general, are not too phased by current or past events. Let’s find out why.


Why Players Are Choosing Bitcoin Casinos Over Regular Online Casinos

Bitcoin gambling and crypto gambling in general offer various benefits for the player. Yes, the crypto casino also enjoys a few perks, which is another reason why crypto adoption among online casinos is growing at this rate.

But to understand why crypto casino players still prefer using bitcoin and other cryptos for online gambling in such unpredictable times in the crypto market, we should look at the benefits these players enjoy.


Benefits of Bitcoin Gambling

  • Instant deposits and much faster withdrawals than fiat currencies
  • Cheaper transaction costs than fiat currencies (sometimes only a fraction)
  • Improved security when transacting online
  • Convenience of payment methods and integrated payment technologies
  • Higher levels of anonymity

What this essentially comes down to, is that crypto players know that they can take advantage of these gambling benefits without needing to ‘invest’ in crypto. They are simply using it as a rejection-free, low-cost, safer, and instant payment method, rather than getting stuck in the red tape around centralized currencies issued by central banks and governments.

A player can simply deposit and withdraw using crypto with very few KYC requirements (if any) or restrictions from third-party payment providers. And the best part of all of this is that the gaming experience at crypto casinos is just as good as in traditional online casinos, if not better.

Which bitcoin casino games do players enjoy most? Here’s a look at the most popular bitcoin casino games in the US:

Popular bitcoin casino games in the US.

So now that we know why players prefer bitcoin gambling, which games they’re playing, and that crypto gambling is indeed on the rise, let’s take a look at what the future of bitcoin casinos might look like.


The Future of Bitcoin Gambling

Due to the nature of the business, online casinos have always been ahead of the game when it comes to technological advances and online security, finding innovative ways not only to entertain players but also to create a safe and user-friendly environment to do so.

But as the internet and online entertainment world evolved, online casinos needed to keep improving and find new ways to entertain players and ensure that their experience is as unique and seamless as possible, which is a never-ending cycle.

Now, you can imagine this is a very competitive market with new online casinos sprouting up left, right, and center, almost every single day. So if they want to last, they’ve got to get with the program.

And the new program is without a doubt, crypto. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are almost certainly the future of online gambling – if not playing a very big part in it. The world is going digital, especially when it comes to finance, and in a digital world, digital currencies reign supreme – hell, even governments are looking into creating their own forms of digital currency.

Central banks around the world looking into the creation of their own digital currencies.

With the benefits that the technology offers, including security, transparency, cost-effectiveness, and decentralization, it’s easy to see why both players and online casinos are steering in the direction of crypto.

In the US, for example, reported that research conducted by Newzoo shows “around 73.9 million US residents are active users of online and bitcoin casinos. Among them, 52% gamble for real money, and 2.6% are high rollers.”

Now this includes both fiat and crypto casinos, but the ratio will most likely fall in crypto’s favor in coming years, and here’s why we believe why.


Crypto Gambling Trends Shaping the Future of Online Gambling

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are not only becoming prevalent among online casinos but the entire e-commerce sector as well. Putting the current volatile markets aside – the benefits of blockchain tech are starting to creep into every corner of the internet, from gaming to buying goods and services online, and even building decentralized apps and entire Metaverses.

An image depicting the metaverse.

This is good news for crypto gambling and further proves that the bitcoin casino future looks promising. As blockchain technology improves, so do the use cases, which have resulted in numerous trends that will shape the future of online gambling.

Online casino trends in 2023 are one thing, but crypto gambling in particular has its own, unique trends thanks to the nature of the technology behind them. Let’s take a look at a few of the really interesting ones that will most definitely play a big part in the future of bitcoin casinos.


Metaverse Casinos

You may have heard of Decentraland and The Sandbox, which are probably the 2 most popular Ethereum-based metaverse and gaming ecosystems that allow users to share, create, and monetize digital assets and gaming experiences.

In short, they are basically digital worlds that players can access online and interact with each other, buy and create NFTs, purchase digital real estate for advertising, and play games. What if we told you that these digital metaverses also offer casinos? Well, they do.

Inside a metaverse casino. Metaverse casinos are the future of bitcoin casinos.

This is still fairly new in the online gambling world, but you can imagine what a big part metaverse casinos will play in the future of bitcoin casinos. They offer an immersive and interactive casino gaming experience that simulates a real-world casino environment (apart from the frog dealing a poker game, of course).

The key factor to consider here is that all goods, services, and activities in these metaverses are paid for using the in-world digital currency, such as the digital assets token for Dentraland called MANA, or SAND in The Sandbox.


Decentralized Gambling

With the creation of decentralized applications, casinos can offer games on a downloadable platform that can be played using cryptos and can even calculate the outcomes of the games using blockchain technology, which we’ll get to soon.

Decentralized gambling can also be defined as crypto gambling, as you’re using decentralized currencies to wager in casino games. As mentioned, crypto gambling offers many advantages, including safety, anonymity, and cost-effectiveness, and we can certainly see how this would appeal to players, and play a big part in the future of online gambling.


Seamless Payment Methods

Crypto technology has also improved the ways in which players deposit and withdraw from a casino. By using a mobile crypto wallet, players can seamlessly deposit their funds straight to their casino account, without delay, and without extra costs incurred by third-party payment providers.

Crypto wallets also offer a few unique features that can be integrated into payment methods using the blockchain. In Deccentraland, for example, you can connect your crypto wallet to your player profile by scanning a QR code via your crypto wallet, allowing you to easily pay for goods and services without lengthy deposit and withdrawal processes.

Punt Casino also offers a similar approach – no more credit card details and deposit forms here, buddy. You can simply scan a QR code via your crypto wallet to make a deposit, and insert your wallet receiving address when making withdrawals with very little identification and none of your personal banking details required.

The QR code crypto payment method at Punt Casino.

Of course, user-friendliness is very important to players, and technology such as this is really changing the game and continues to improve. With seamless payments and improved security (not to mention it’s cheaper), crypto payment methods are going to play a big part in the future of online gambling, which means the future of bitcoin casinos looks promising.


Provably Fair Games

What if we told you that players can now prove the fairness of the outcome in casino games using blockchain technology? The days of hoping that you are playing with a fair online casino are over because now, you can prove it.

“Provably fair” refers to an algorithm based on technology that offers a higher level of fairness and transparency in online casino games. The algorithm uses blockchain tech to produce random outcomes when the game is played, for example, shuffling the decks of cards in a blackjack game or generating random reel-stops in a slot to produce an outcome.

The provably fair algorithm generates an encrypted key, which looks similar to a crypto deposit or receiving address with the results of the outcome. The player can access this key along with a secondary key that allows them to verify the fairness of the outcome at the end of each round.

Games on our menu from the provider Spribe, for example, are all provably fair games and will allow you to verify the outcomes of each round when playing.

Spribe casino games are provably fair at Punt Casino.

Provably fair casino games will most probably have a big impact on the future of bitcoin casinos and that of the online gambling industry as a whole, especially with this technology improving and with casinos finding new ways to use it.


Bitcoin Casinos: The Future of Online Gambling

With all the technological advancements in the crypto space, the bitcoin casino future looks more than promising. Bitcoin and other cryptos will most likely shape the future of online gambling with massive breakthroughs in user-friendliness, payment methods, security, and even the games themselves and how we play them.

What the future of bitcoin casinos holds exactly, we can not say. But if you want to start experiencing the many benefits of crypto gambling, the Punt Casino is the place to do it. 

With over 1,00 crypto-friendly casino games, massive crypto bonuses and promotions, and a state-of-the-art crypto casino platform, you can take a peek at the future of bitcoin casinos, right here.


Bitcoin Casino FAQs


What are Bitcoin casinos?

Bitcoin casinos are online gambling platforms that use the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, for transactions. They offer the same types of games as traditional online casinos but with the added benefit of using a decentralized currency.


Are Bitcoin casinos legal?

The legality of Bitcoin casinos varies by jurisdiction. Some countries have fully embraced the concept while others have placed restrictions or banned it entirely. It is important to research the laws in your specific country before engaging in any form of online gambling.


Are Bitcoin casinos safe and secure?

Bitcoin casinos can be safe and secure if they follow proper security protocols and have a good reputation in the industry. However, it is important to do your own research and only play at reputable and trustworthy casinos.


Can you win real money at a Bitcoin casino?

Yes, you can win real money at a Bitcoin casino. The games offered are similar to those at traditional online casinos and are designed to be fair and provide a random outcome.


How do you deposit and withdraw money at a Bitcoin casino?

To deposit money at a Bitcoin casino, you will need to have a Bitcoin wallet and sufficient funds in it. You can then send the funds to the casino’s Bitcoin address. To withdraw, you will follow a similar process in reverse, sending the funds from the casino to your personal Bitcoin wallet.


What types of games are offered at a Bitcoin casino?

Bitcoin casinos offer a wide variety of games, including slots, table games, and live dealer games. The specific selection of games offered can vary between casinos, so it is important to check before signing up.


What are the advantages of playing at a Bitcoin casino?

The advantages of playing at a Bitcoin casino include the use of a decentralized currency, faster and cheaper transactions, increased privacy, and access to a wider range of games.

Casino games catalog at Punt Casino.

Casino Trends 2023: What to Look Out For? Find out on the Punt Casino blog.

Casino Trends 2023: What to Look Out For

February 16, 2023

Casino Trends 2023: What to Look Out For

February 16, 2023

Blog » Posts tagged "crypto news"

Top Online Casino Trends of 2023

Online gambling has experienced a big boost in the last few years, especially when considering the market was worth only a few billion a decade ago – now sitting at over $81 bn in 2023, and expected to reach $150 bn by 2028.

This rapid growth is due to the ever-evolving nature of online casinos, with massive breakthroughs in technology, casino games, innovation, and online casino trends taking the gambling world by storm. 

Of course, the decline in popularity of land-based casinos has also played a big part in the growth of online gambling – not to mention the pandemic which saw many land-based players joining online casinos to get back on the reels and tables.

So, what are the top casino trends 2023 has to offer, what should you look out for, and what can you expect from the online gambling industry in the coming years? Well, we’ve done some research, and let’s just say that 2023 and the years to come have some things planned for online gambling.


Up-and-coming casino trends in 2023

Many of the gambling trends in 2023 will see online casinos improve in many ways, from advancements in technology and user-friendliness to legalization and even new forms of online gambling breaking into the scene.

2020 and 2021 brought about some great advancements in iGaming technology with the influx of players reaching out to online casinos during the pandemic. New payment methods were introduced, some streamlining the deposit and withdrawal process in a way that made it almost seamless.

QR payments have revolutionized the online gambling industry with seamless payments and is one of the top casino trends in 2023.

This is especially true when it comes to the mass adoption of crypto payment methods in the online gambling industry of late (we’ll talk more about this soon). 

2022 saw even more new casino trends and advancements flourish, with many of these upgrades further improved and employed by more online casinos. It seems 2023 has even more in store, so let’s check out the top casino trends 2023 is bringing our way.


Mobile gambling becomes increasingly popular

Now, mobile gambling is nothing new, but more and more players are opting for a mobile gaming experience thanks to the many advancements in this field. Mobile casino games are one of the biggest gambling trends, and 2023 will see even more players punting on the go.

Punt Casino is one of the leading mobile casinos in 2023.

It’s not only the improvements that online casino game developers are making, but smartphones are becoming smarter and smarter by the day, and are now capable of delivering a captivating gaming experience with outstanding visuals and flawless gameplay.

But what about the mobile casino trends 2023 might bring about? Well, do you own a smartwatch? Because it looks like online gambling might be moving from the desktop or smartphone devices you’re used to, straight to the comfort of your very own wrist.

Smartwatch casino games.

This is not exactly one of the mobile new casino trends, as the concept was first revealed as far back as 2014 at the Mobile World Congress. But now, with how popular smartwatches have become, casino game developers are scurrying to get a grip on this growing idea with new smartwatch gambling apps and games hitting the market in 2023.


Gambling streamers and social influencers

Online casino trends in 2021 and 2022 saw online streamers and social media influencers gearing up to get a piece of the online gambling action, teaming up with major online casinos and promoting their products and offerings through streaming platforms such as Twitch.

Gambling streamer on Twitch.

Of course, Twitch had recently imposed a gambling ban on some streamers and various forms of online gambling, but those who remain are still going strong. 

One of the biggest and most-watched gambling streams on Twitch in 2022 came from a partnership between the hip-hop artist Drake and However, this also came to an abrupt end with the casino now banned from the platform.

We’re almost 100% sure that the streaming of online gambling will be one of the hottest casino trends in 2023, with more streamers pushing for deals with online casinos, and other streaming platforms stepping into the spotlight.


Crypto adoption among the biggest online casino trends in 2023

Whether you’re a believer in the power of crypto or not, online casinos are definitely making big moves toward the adoption of crypto payment methods and crypto-friendly casino games. 

Of course, Punt Casino is one of the original trendsetters in this field, but other, and dare we say, lesser casinos are now also experiencing the many benefits crypto can offer – not only for the casino but the players as well. It’s one of the most prominent gambling trends in the last few years.

The adoption of crypto is one of the biggest casino trends in 2023, and you can learn how to use crypto at Punt Casino.

Using cryptocurrencies for online gambling offers faster, safer, and cheaper deposits and withdrawals, as well as higher levels of anonymity. 

And even though the prices for major cryptos such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are not what they were a year or so ago (they’ll come back), many players are still opting for crypto because of these benefits.

You can find various articles on our blog about cryptocurrencies and how to take advantage of the benefits when gambling online. If you ask us, the adoption of crypto among online casinos will be one of the fastest-growing casino trends 2023 will continue to see.


Tournaments, bonuses, and big giveaways

Let’s face it, the online gambling industry is a competitive one. New online casinos are popping up almost every day, and attracting new players has become more and more difficult.

The result? Bigger bonuses and promotions, baby! Increasing the casino’s offerings will certainly be one of the popular gambling trends in 2023. You see, casinos need to stay ahead of the game by offering players something out of the ordinary – which is what Punt Casino is all about. 

In the last year, for example, we’ve upped our welcome package and promotional bonuses to include some of the hottest deals in the biz, securing our position as one of the top crypto casinos preferred by players.

The Punt Casino Welcome Package offers a 150% deposit bonus and 15 free spins on the hot slot Gods vs Titans.

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But not only that – casino tournaments and epic free giveaways keep players coming back for more with big money and exciting prizes on the line. Want to win a brand new Apple prize package? Punt is the place to do it, and giveaways such as this are quickly becoming online casino trends in 2023.


Improved casino games and in-game features

Just like casinos find themselves in a competitive environment, so do casino game providers. Did you think we create our own casino games? We’re not smart enough for that. But we are smart enough to identify a great game provider, which is why our casino game menu boasts so many of them.

Some of Punt Casino's game providers.

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For a casino game provider to get their games onto a premier gambling platform such as Punt, they need to be exceptional. Players are getting tired of the same-old gambling games, and are looking for something new.

2023 will see more Gen Z and Millennial players making their online gambling debut. These are potential players who grew up on computer games and gaming consoles, which means they have higher expectations from casino games, and game providers are getting the picture.

It seems players are looking for more skill-based games and not the regular push-a-button-and-hope-for-the-best casino games. This means that in-game features, enhanced 3D visuals, and skill-based feature games are becoming popular gambling trends.

Providers such as Betsoft that specialize in 3D slot games with added bonus features are seeing much success, with titles such as At the Copa and Mr. Vegas delivering an immersive 3D gambling experience with interactive gameplay for quite some time now.

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But it doesn’t end there, that’s for sure. New forms of gambling are coming about and even the types of casino games are changing. Even crash games such as Aviator from Spribe or Magnify Man from Fugaso were some of the biggest online casino trends in 2022, and will certainly continue throughout 2023.

But wait till you see what comes next…


Will Metaverse and VR casino gaming rise above?

Now, this is some futuristic stuff, peeps. Let’s start with virtual reality casino gaming. Remember a few years ago when VR goggles came out and became the saving grace for kid-related Xmas gifts during the festive season? Well, one of these days, that kid pleading for a VR headset might be YOU – if you’re a gambler, that is.

VR creates an immersive virtual environment where the user can view or interact with virtual elements and experience a specific place or take part in an activity wearing a set of VR goggles. As you can imagine, this would definitely be one of the biggest online casino trends EVER!

How cool would it be to pop on a set of VR goggles and instantly take a seat at a live blackjack table to experience the thrill up-close and personal, as if you were sitting in the Bellagio with a martini in hand (shaken, not stirred) and living it up?

Virtual reality casino gaming is said to be one of the biggest casino trends in 2023 and beyond.

Well, this is about to become one of the most influential casino trends 2023 will see, with many providers and platforms looking into it. And yes, it already exists, but VR gambling is still in its infancy and it will take some time to catch on. 

Another one of the top online casino trends is Metaverse gambling. We know, this sounds far out, and it is. There are already a number of online casinos in the Metaverse, with popular gambling destinations in Decentraland sprouting up almost as soon as this Metaverse was launched.

Metaverse gambling is a big casino trend in 2023.

These are just a few examples of what already exists, and 2023 will most probably see a whole bunch of fresh Metaverse casinos popping up as these new gambling trends continue to flourish.


Legalization of the gambling industry

The legalization of online gambling in the US started happening as late as 2013 when the state of Nevada launched online poker and New Jersey and Delaware started issuing gambling licenses to online casinos. 

Over the years, many other states have followed suit, but online gambling still remains illegal in some parts of the US. 2023 should see more states in the US, as well as countries across the world, legalize online gambling – which will be one of the most prominent casino trends 2023 and beyond will experience.

Find out if Bitcoin gambling is legal on the Punt Casino blog.

Of course, if more and more countries legalize online gambling, the scope for new innovations resulting in more online casino trends will grow astronomically. 


Punt Casino is trending – try it for yourself!

Now that you’ve had a look at the top casino trends 2023 has to offer, you might want to start setting a few trends yourself – like winning big every day of the week! Well, we can help with that. 

With over 1,000 top-tier casino games, daily deposit-boosting bonuses and promotions, and one of the most innovative casino platforms you’ve ever seen, Punt is the place to do it. We’re trending, so hit us up today.

Casino games catalog at Punt Casino.

Sam Bankman-Fried facing criminal charges in court.

Will Sam Bankman-Fried Go To Jail?

February 8, 2023

Will Sam Bankman-Fried Go To Jail?

February 8, 2023

Blog » Posts tagged "crypto news"

Sam Bankman-Fried Jail Saga: Will SBF Go to Jail?

The collapse of the FTX empire in November 2022 was shocking both in its speed and scale, and now, a Sam Bankman-Fried jail sentence may be looming. On the surface, it appeared to be a well-run cryptocurrency exchange that offered a range of attractive services and barely any downtime. 

However, as we now know, under the surface it was at best a disorganized mess and at worst, a criminal enterprise. 

Former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is now famous across the world as the face of the collapse and has had multiple criminal charges leveled at him from various U.S. regulators and law enforcement agencies. The question is, however, is a SBF jail sentence inevitable, or, as with another famous face who presided over a crypto exchange collapse, could he escape?


The Ghost of MtGox

When MtGox collapsed in February 2014, many instinctively thought that CEO Mark Karpeles was behind the loss of 745,000 bitcoins from the exchange. 

When evidence emerged that someone had been using a trading bot to buy up hundreds of thousands of bitcoins in MtGox’s last days and that the accounts using those bots could only have been accessed by Karpeles, the writing was on the wall.

When MtGox collapsed in February 2014, many instinctively thought that CEO Mark Karpeles was behind the loss of 745,000 bitcoins from the exchange.

Karpeles was arrested in July 2015 and went on trial two years later for the use of trading bots. He was found guilty, but the judge believed Karpeles’ story that he was doing it to try and repair a hole in the company books and that he never stole the bitcoins. 

Karpeles’ claims were backed up by convincing evidence not available at the time of his arrest, and he escaped with a four-year suspended sentence, much to everyone’s surprise, beating Japan’s 99% conviction rate.

A similar situation appears to be happening with the Sam Bankman-Fried jail sentence, albeit on a much more serious level. 


Sam Bankman-Fried jail sentence and criminal charges

On December 12, 2022, Bankman-Fried was hit with eight charges by U.S. federal authorities:

  • Securities fraud (multiple cases).
  • Wire fraud (multiple cases).
  • Money laundering.
  • Conspiracy to avoid campaign finance regulations.
  • Conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
  • Conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Sam Bankman-Fried jail time might be a possibility as he was recently arrested for multiple criminal charges.

He was also hit with multiple other charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, but these would only result in financial penalties rather than putting Sam Bankman-Fried in jail.


Bankman-Fried’s Alleged Criminal Behavior

Bankman-Fried’s charge sheet is 13 pages long, so we won’t go into much detail on the alleged offenses. But what we can say, is that it all makes for a heady cocktail of financial skulduggery that would make even a mafia godfather wince. 

In short, Bankman-Fried is said to have masterminded an operation designed entirely to enrich himself and his closest associates, chiefly by swapping funds at will between his various entities and giving his companies an unfair advantage over its customers, whose money he was taking as he exacted this advantage.

Even without the benefit of seeing the evidence, the odds seem stacked against Bankman-Fried from the outset. Each one of the eight charges against him might see SBF jail-birding with a prison sentence of multiple years. 

If he were to be found guilty on all accounts, he could, theoretically, be looking at hundreds of years in prison.

Sma Bankman-Fried jail image.

We don’t yet know what argument his counsel is going to put forward in his defense, but it is going to have to be spectacular to get him off all the charges.


A Plea Deal Won’t Save Him

What is more likely is that the litany of charges has been put against him in the hopes that he cooperates as part of a plea deal. This would see the lesser charges get dropped if he agrees to help in the ongoing cases against Caroline Ellison (Alameda Research CEO) and Gary Wang (FTX co-founder). 

The problem for Bankman-Fried is that he has already pleaded not guilty to all charges, whereas Ellison and Wang have taken the deals offered to them. This means that they are already opening up on everything they had to do with Bankman-Fried and FTX.

High-ranking individuals at FTX facing criminal charges.

Of course, we don’t know the full scale of the evidence that federal prosecutors will use to put Sam Bankman-Fried in jail – the collection of which is going on right now. However, we have some great insight from John Ray III, who commented on what he found at FTX in the days after he took over:

“Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here. 

From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.”

Ray also revealed that high-ranking individuals at FTX had taken steps to “conceal the misuse of customer funds” and also referenced the “secret exemption of Alameda from certain aspects of’s auto-liquidation protocol”, which meant that Alameda could not get liquidated if its trades went south when regular customers did. 

Small nuggets like this give us an insight into where the activity at FTX crossed the line from mismanagement to illicit activity.


Writing on the Wall for Bankman-Fried

Excerpts like those from Ray allow us to see this case in a different light to MtGox. Karpeles may have (and did) make some bad decisions during his tenure, and he was terrible at communication, but from what we know since its collapse, there was much more nefarious activity going on at FTX.

Of course, everyone should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but the sheer weight and severity of the crimes leveled at Bankman-Fried mean that, even if he changes his plea to guilty, a Sam Bankman-Fried jail sentence may still be imminent and he will almost certainly face decades in prison. 

For example, just one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, and he is facing much more serious crimes than that.

The only way that SBF can avoid jail is by winning on every single charge or hoping the government’s case falls apart completely in the interim. While not impossible, the odds of either of these are remote, and it is much more likely that Sam Bankman-Fried’s jail sentence may see him spending the bulk of his adult life behind bars.

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Is Bitcoin Set for a 2023 Bull Run?

Is Bitcoin Set for a 2023 Bull Run?

February 3, 2023

Is Bitcoin Set for a 2023 Bull Run?

February 3, 2023

Blog » Posts tagged "crypto news"

Is Bitcoin Charging for a Bull Run In 2023?

Bitcoin’s price has been enjoying a huge recovery in 2023, with its price up over 50%, leading many to predict that a new bull run is underway. Is this mindless optimism, pure hope, or is there a possibility to their argument? 

Let’s look at the current situation with Bitcoin compared to previous cycles, and see what other factors might be behind the suggestion that the Bitcoin bull is ready to romp again.

A Matter of Factors

When we talk about Bitcoin’s bull and bear market potential, we need to take into account two types of factors – internal and external. Internal factors relate to what’s going on with Bitcoin itself, while external factors relate to the wider financial and geopolitical situation. 

Being a global asset now rather than an alternative upstart, Bitcoin is buffeted by the same winds that buffet the larger stock indices. These include the strength of certain currencies and the decisions of central banks and governments.

Let’s start with the internal factors that might dictate whether Bitcoin is set for a bull run in 2023 or not.

Bull Run or Bear Market Rally? 

Bitcoin may be showing some healthy green candles for the first time in a long time, but it’s important to differentiate between a bear market rally and a full-on bull run. A bear market rally is a sharp, temporary rally that happens within a broader bear market, while a bull market is a cycle-long price uptrend. 

Bear market rallies are dangerous because they can suck in inexperienced investors and traders, who hold off until it looks like a bull run is on the cards, before the rug is pulled and the price returns to something like its originating point.

A clear example of this took place with Bitcoin in 2019:

A graph displaying a Bitcoin Bear Market Rally opposed to a Bitcoin Bull Run.

Following its crash to $3,500 in late 2018, Bitcoin enjoyed a six-month bear market rally that took it all the way back up to $14,000 again. 

However, just as the uninitiated were getting excited about another potential bull run, it rejected here and spent the rest of the year giving back its gains, almost touching the lows of the December 18 crash. Only when it finally bypassed this $14,00 level again in October 2020 could we really be positive that a new bull market had started.

But what of the current situation? The parallels with 2023 and 2019 are, in fact, uncanny. On both occasions, the Bitcoin price collapsed at the end of the prior year, followed by a slow and steady recovery, and then a multi-thousand-dollar blast. Today, this has left us in a familiar situation:


Bitcoin’s 2019 bounce saw it jump 300% before giving back almost all of those gains over the following year. The situation Bitcoin faces now is very similar – a rise to the equivalent level, $46,500, would only be a 200% jump from its lows. This, understandably, would get many people very excited… perhaps too excited.

If Bitcoin were to reach this level it is likely that we would see a repeat of 2019, where those who believe that a full on bull market is underway are tempted back in, only for Bitcoin to reject there and spend the next few months giving back its gains. For a bull market to be confirmed, Bitcoin would need to stay above this $46,500 level for a prolonged period.

The Halving

There are other factors that suggest that a bull market will not take place in 2023. As we have seen with prior bear markets, Bitcoin typically needs at least two years to be ‘cleansed’ of all the hype before it can start another cycle. 

Given that Bitcoin topped out at $69,000 in November 2021, we are only fifteen months into the bear market. Historically speaking, this is still some way short of the typical passage of time Bitcoin takes. 

Allied to this, Bitcoin’s market cycles are driven by its ‘halving’, which takes place every four years. Every Bitcoin halving to date has effectively marked the beginning of a bull market following a period of post-bear market stagnation, and the timings look to be lining up with this philosophy once again. 

The next Bitcoin halving is in 2024, so it would, again, be breaking with history to experience a proper bull market before then.

Image displaying the next and previous Bitcoin Halving events.

The Global Economic Situation

Aside from what’s going on with Bitcoin, we need to consider the situation within the wider economy. Bitcoin has only ever really operated in a booming economy, with the 12-year bull market that was ended by the Coronavirus in 2020 lending itself to a huge appetite for risk. 

How times change.

The 2022 Bitcoin selloff coincided with a rapid increase in inflation and the cost of living for many countries around the world. The populations of entire nations are under financial pressures the likes of which they haven’t faced since the 2008 crash that birthed Bitcoin. 

This situation means that the flood of new capital that is needed to fund any bull market simply isn’t there, and won’t be until the cost of living crisis is, at least partially, resolved. These things eventually balance themselves out of course, but there are few analysts predicting that 2023 will be the year that the world gets back on its feet – quite the opposite in fact.

2023 Bull Run is Unlikely

Analyzing these factors then, it’s very unlikely that the rally Bitcoin is enjoying will turn into a fully-fledged bull run. There are too many factors against it, from its own historical patterns to the inability of bull run participants to afford to join in, were one to flare.

This isn’t of course to say that Bitcoin won’t enjoy huge gains this year, that’s entirely possible, but once that crucial level of $46,500 heaves into view (if it gets that far), it would be wise to be taking money off the table rather than putting more in.

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What Does HODL Mean? Looking Back at Bitcoin’s Most Famous Term

December 18, 2022

What Does HODL Mean? Looking Back at Bitcoin’s Most Famous Term

December 18, 2022

Blog » Posts tagged "crypto news"

What Is HODL? The History of HODL and Meaning Explained

What is HODL? Before we dig into that, there is 1 thing you should know. Memes and slang words play a big part in communication between members of the crypto community. It’s almost as if knowing the lingo makes you part of the club, and to some extent, it’s true (as juvenile and totally ridiculous as it may sound). 

But hey, if you want to join the club, there’s enough room for all. And getting to know the lingo around Bitcoin and other cryptos can be one of the most entertaining, and in the case of today’s article, interesting stages of your indoctrination into the world of crypto. And with that, welcome to the club.

So, what is “HODL”, or “Hodling” all about?

The meme “HODL” is something that you’ll without a doubt come across while dabbling in the world of cryptos. It has become rather synonymous with the crypto space and is an entreaty to hold your bitcoin through bear markets with the expectation that prices will eventually recover.

Just HODL it meme.

In modern times, the phrase ‘diamond hands’ has come to replace it in some areas, mostly with the amateur stock market trading crowd. However, “HODL” is the original call to stand firm. But what is HODL? And where did it come from? Let’s find out about the history of HODL.


Surprise, surprise! HODL is NOT an acronym

Many believe that the term HODL stands for ‘Hold On for Dear Life’. This belief refers to the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency markets. It was perpetuated by TV show host John Oliver, who referenced this explanation in his evisceration of the cryptocurrency space in March 2018. However, the real history of the term is much different, and funnier.

John Oliver on cryptocurrencies.

The history of HODL starts on December 18, 2013 – two weeks after Bitcoin had broken its all-time high of $1,124 that was achieved only four days earlier. Since hitting this figure on December 4, Bitcoin had experienced a 54% decline. This caused many to believe that Bitcoin had topped out and that the bull run was over. It was a prophecy that turned out to be true. 

By December 13, Bitcoin was hovering around $520, with sentiment turning decidedly sour since it was last climbing that level in November. So, what is HODL? Well, at 10:03 AM, BitcoinTalk user, GameKyuubi, who had been a member of the forum since June 2011, wrote and published a now infamous post. This post contained a key misspelling in the title – ‘I AM HODLING’.

The history of HODL stems from this post.

That last line is an absolute classic! The post, a helping of word soup that contained mixed capitalization, typos, invective, accusations, regrets, and the not-so-subtle use of language, was written after GameKyuubi had consumed “some whiskey”, which he also acknowledged was misspelled. This, is how the history of HODL began.

“not part of that group”

GameKyuubi informed readers that he was planning to hold bitcoin rather than try and sell at the right time to maximize profit. The reason? “I’m a bad trader and I KNOW I’M A BAD TRADER.” He went on to explain how some traders knew exactly when to buy and when to sell. He also that they were trading on the emotional reactions of other, less experienced souls.

When referring to these expert traders, GameKyuubi asserted that he was “not part of that group”. This is a realization that comes to many newcomers in the crypto space when the Bitcoin price comes down the other side of the mountain having thought they were geniuses on the way up. He crystallized this point at the end of his rant.

“You only sell in a bear market if you are a good day trader or an illusioned noob. The people in between hold. In a zero-sum game such as this, traders can only take your money if you sell.”


A meme is born

If it wasn’t already clear that this would be a post for the ages. One respondent’s simple reply of “HODL!” guaranteed its immortality, with responses such as “WE OL SHAL HODL!” and “Spartans Hodl” coming thick and fast.

Spartans hodling.

One visionary suggested that, “I could see a meme coming from this post with (a) bit of creativity.” He wasn’t wrong. No one needed to ask ‘what is HODL?’ anymore. The notion was immediately clear to all those with any exposure to Bitcoin.

The thread quickly gained popularity. Hundreds of people jumped on board the HODL bandwagon. Although, the message behind it was sorely tested as Bitcoin endured a near 2-year bear market which saw prices plummet as low as $360. 

However, comments from the time support the notion that people were indeed HODLing and waiting for the market to rebound, rather than abandoning the principle. This, of course, proved to be the right play.

The last few posts on the HODL thread were made in July 2016 as Bitcoin’s price approached $700 again. This proved the concept was still holding strong:

“Holding is the only thing that makes sense now. Just think about selling now and the price going to 2k in a couple of years.”

Little could this poster have imagined that Bitcoin would hit ten times that figure in a little over half the time. And that, is the history of HODL.


What is HODL today? A solid message

So what is HODL all about these days? The HODL meme has only grown over time as the space has increased in size, valuation, and the number of participants. For obvious reasons, it is particularly prevalent during bear markets when the temptation to sell after having held a loss is increased for fear of further downside.

Along with the general message to hold Bitcoin for the long term, the actual content of the post, which is often forgotten, is also a great lesson for newcomers. Trading in cryptocurrency markets is something that very few people are cut out for. For the inexperienced, doing so is an easy way to lose your bitcoin. Don’t get “rekt”.

Guide on how not to get rekt on cryptos.

Only those who have experience of trading in other markets, or are trying to learn the ropes and are happy to lose money while they do so, should be involved in multiple acts of buying and selling during a bear market.

The vast majority of people, as GameKyuubi says, should simply HODL and not try to outsmart those that are more efficient traders than they are.


HODL is more than a meme

Today, HODL is more than a meme, and certainly more than just a typo – it is almost a franchise. You can buy HODL t-shirts, hoodies, caps, mugs and more. Leaders in the crypto world frequently use the term in their online discussions, and for some, it has come to embody a way of life rather than just a way of preserving wealth. 

HODL is becoming a symbol for perseverance and hope, for holding on through the hard times and not giving up, as remembered throughout the history of HODL.

Keep calm and HODL on.

HODL is slowly becoming a 21st-century continuation of the stoic philosophy that dates to around the third century BC. Assuming that it continues to do so, it would be quite something if a drunken typo from a Bitcoin bear market survivor acts as the catalyst to an entire philosophical movement.

The history of HODL is something that those outside the crypto space won’t be aware of. Many will assume, as John Oliver did, that it is a thought-out acronym, rather than a near decade-old misspelling. 

Now, however, if you hear anyone trying to make such an outrageous claim, you will be able to proudly explain what HODL stands for – none of that “What is HODL” business anymore – you’re part of the club now.

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Bitcoin’s First $20,000 Breakthrough

December 12, 2022

Bitcoin’s First $20,000 Breakthrough

December 12, 2022

Blog » Posts tagged "crypto news"

The First Time Bitcoin Reached $20,000 and How

The Bitcoin $20,000 run made many millionaires almost overnight and is remembered as the first time that cryptocurrency really went viral. In this article, we relive those heady days and dig deeper into what happened on the way to the Bitcoin 20,000 breakthrough in some of the most pinnacle moments in its price history.


The roots of the Bitcoin $20,000 bull run

Bitcoin’s $20,000 breakthrough had its roots at the end of the prior bear market. In November 2013, Bitcoin topped out at $1,242 and spent the following 13 months in freefall, with a capitulation event in January 2015 acting as the final flush before the new cycle began. 

This flush saw Bitcoin’s price drop from $317 to $152 in just a few days, with mainstream media outlets attributing it to various outside influences, including a hack on the Bitstamp exchange a week before, “anticipation of the Feds selling 100K more bitcoins in light of the #SilkRoadTrial news” in the words of Roger Ver, Russia banning crypto websites, and finally, miners needing to settle their loans.

Whatever the reason, the capitulation put the stopper in the bear market and sparked nine months of accumulation before the price started to rise again and the bull market properly began.


The $1,000 mark was a key level

Nobody took much notice of Bitcoin’s recovery, particularly the media outlets that had predicted its demise – until it crossed $1,000 again. Bitcoin accomplished this 3 years after it had last been there when Bitcoin hit the $1,000 mark for the first time.

Bitcoin remained in this $1,000 pocket for 3 months, finally breaking out and trebling in value by the middle of 2017. The bull market was well and truly raging on, and it was clear that this time around something was different. 

More and more first-timers were coming into the market, those who had previously had no interest in Bitcoin but were reading in the news about how it had gone 10x in six months and hearing from friends that now was the time to buy in, which is where the lead up to the Bitcoin 20,000 dollar breakthrough took flight.

The Bitcoin price almost reaching $20,000 in 2017.

Bitcoin fever really began to take hold in the second half of 2017. Popular cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase began to see more Bitcoin purchases than they had ever experienced, as newcomers to the scene raced to pick up a stack. 

There was no specific fundamental reason why Bitcoin was experiencing such rapid growth – it was still only accepted in a minority of online stores, and use in the physical world was still largely non-existent. 

At the time, a Bitcoin $20,000 price was but a dream, but there were a few companies offering crypto debit cards which seemed to be promising, but this form of adoption was still in its infancy. As before, this bull run was cyclical, with the Bitcoin halving, which had occurred in July 2016, once again providing Bitcoin price history right in dictating a bull run.

Bitcoin halving events to date.


The ‘Block Size War’

Despite all the positivity and price increases, there was one issue that threatened to tear Bitcoin apart in 2017 – the block size war. The war over Bitcoin’s block size had been brewing for years, but in 2017, the battle was in full swing. Within the Bitcoin world there were, broadly speaking, two camps – those who wanted Bitcoin’s block size to stay at 1MB, and those who wanted to expand it.

Funny image of Lego characters depicting Bitcoin's block size war.

As Bitcoin had become more popular over the years, the blocks that formed Bitcoin’s blockchain were filling up with an increasing number of transactions. This caused transaction prices to increase and the network to become slower, as the only way to get a transaction through in a reasonable time was to pay a higher fee to miners for processing it.

There were various solid arguments on both sides of the block size debate, and a series of attempted compromises led to the New York Agreement in May 2017. This is where Bitcoin-related companies and miners decided to implement SegWit2x – a 2-stage amendment to Bitcoin’s protocol aimed at solving the scaling problem – at least enough to satisfy most moderates. 


The birth of Bitcoin Cash

However, this wasn’t enough for some of the ‘big blockers’, who announced that they would launch a competing coin off the Bitcoin blockchain (called a ‘hard fork) if part 1 of SegWit2x was activated as planned in July. 

This was a problem for Bitcoin because if the alternative, called Bitcoin Cash, proved more popular than the original, it could have led to this alternative coin becoming the official ‘Bitcoin’, and a Bitcoin $20,000 price never being reached.

The Bitcoin Cash Fork in 2017.

When the New York Agreement was announced in May, Bitcoin’s price jumped 65% in nine days. However, the concerns over what might be about to happen with the hard fork caused the Bitcoin price to tumble 30% in the weeks leading up to August 1. 

Fortunately, fears over what the hard fork might do were overblown, and when it finally happened, it became clear that the original Bitcoin was still the preferred coin by miners, and the worries were swept away.

As a result, Bitcoin’s price continued on its stratospheric journey, jumping 170% to $4,900 by early September, with the idea that it might double its block size in just a few weeks. But for a Bitcoin 20,000 price to be reached, there was still a lot that needed to happen.


Bitcoin fever hits… hard

By September 2017, Bitcoin fever struck hard. A whole new breed of buyers was emerging, buoyed by the sudden ease with which BTC could be acquired – it was easier than ever to buy bitcoin with a bank card, and the numbers showed. Buying volumes went through the roof on all exchanges, including the newly launched Binance, with those who knew nothing about Bitcoin simply joining in for the ride.

It wouldn’t be long however before a familiar foe would enter the fray and test holders’ strength – China. China had effectively ended the 2013 bull run by announcing that banks were not allowed to handle cash connected to crypto exchanges, severing a vital lifeline at a time when Bitcoin was heavily China-driven. 

This time around, in mid-September, the Chinese government went one further – it was banning cryptocurrency exchanges from operating in the country altogether, and there was no hope for a Bitcoin $20,000 value.

China bans Bitcoin again.

Despite the Bitcoin market being much more heavily diversified in 2017 than it had been four years earlier, the market still reacted badly – Bitcoin’s price fell from $4,178 to $3,000. 

However, the general direction of the market was too strong for this to have any kind of long-term impact, and many exchanges experienced their biggest weekly Bitcoin buying volume of all time as a direct result, propelling the price from $3,000 to $8,000 in less than two months as Bitcoin shrugged off concerns over China.

China's history with Bitcoin.


Bitcoin Cash takes the lead

The coin experienced one final moment of peril before its race to the Bitcoin $20,000 mark, brought on by the block size war once again. On November 8, the architects of the New York Agreement revealed that the 2x element of SegWit2x, the block size doubling, would not go ahead, citing a lack of support. 

This led to a surge of support for the new Bitcoin Cash coin, which rocketed in price while Bitcoin dropped 29% within a few days.

Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash in 2017.

However, this support didn’t last and it was realized that Bitcoin Cash had missed its chance to overtake Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash’s price surge faded just 4 days after the announcement, and, with the block size wars now over, Bitcoin is prepared to take center stage once again.


Bitcoin futures fuels the fire

Having seen off the competition, it was now purely a case of how high Bitcoin could go. By now, you couldn’t budge with mainstream media outlets discussing its incredible rise, fueling a buying spree that saw exchanges having to limit the number of new registrations on a regular basis. Bitcoin breached $10,000 for the first time at the end of November, leading to one of the craziest months in Bitcoin history, and finally the Bitcoin 20,000 dollar price.

In early December, twin announcements from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) revealing that both had been given licenses to launch Bitcoin futures on their platforms led to one of the most explosive episodes in Bitcoin price history.

The CME started offering Bitcoin Futures in 2017.

The price jumped from $11,600 to $16,500 in just 48 incredible hours. This presented the first institutional adoption of Bitcoin, and Bitcoin enthusiasts reveled in the news. 

After a brief drop to $12,750, the coins rebounded and finally, we saw a Bitcoin $20,000 price value hitting the charts on December 17, 2017, marking an incredible run from just $800 the year before.

The Bitcoin price history.

The mania was out of control, with predictions of $50,000 and even $100,000 doing the rounds. However, as it would turn out, this was to be the end of Bitcoin’s amazing run, with Bitcoin maxing out at $20,000 – for the time being, at least.


What stopped the runaway train?

There are several theories as to why the Bitcoin $20,000 run ended. One of the most compelling is that, contrary to the belief that the introduction of futures contracts by institutional players would help propel Bitcoin further, it actually acted to stop it in its tracks. 

Futures markets allowed institutions with balance sheets bigger than Bitcoin’s entire market cap to short it (to place bets that it would go down) and use their influence to make sure it did. In fact, in 2019, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman at the time Christopher Giancarlo admitted as much in an interview:

“One of the untold stories of the past few years is that the CFTC, the Treasury, the SEC and the National Economic Council director at the time, Gary Cohn, believed that the launch of bitcoin futures would have the impact of popping the bitcoin bubble. And it worked.”

Bursting the Bitcoin bubble.

Bitcoin’s price history suggests that this is exactly what happened, and where Bitcoin would have gone had the U.S. authorities not gotten involved was a matter of much debate. Some who argue that it had been going parabolic for long enough and it was natural that it was going to come back down when it did. 

Others, however, argued that with the number of people still waiting to buy in, it could well have kept going for some months more.

Of course, we’ll never know the answer to this question, but the Bitcoin $20,000 run in 2016-2017 will be remembered as the first time the general public got a foot in the door with Bitcoin – a love affair that has only grown stronger as the years have passed.

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BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy and Sues Investment Firm.

BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy and Sues Investment Firm

December 5, 2022

BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy and Sues Investment Firm

December 5, 2022

Blog » Posts tagged "crypto news"

BlockFi Files for Bankruptcy and Sues Bankman-Fried’s Investment Firm

BlockFi, the crypto lending platform that had exposure to FTX filed for bankruptcy last week, and immediately sued FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried over $648 million worth of Robinhood shares. 

The crypto platform was already ensuring a rocky 2022 before the collapse of FTX left it facing a huge liquidity problem – a problem that was clearly insurmountable, with the company failing to raise enough capital to keep going.

BlockFi’s troubles date back to July last year when three states accused the firm of selling unregistered securities through its BlockFi Interest Account (BIA) product. The Alabama Securities Commission, New Jersey’s Bureau of Securities, and the Texas State Securities Board, all issued cease-and-desist letters to BlockFi at the same time.

BlockFi has filed for bankruptcy.

The cases were all wrapped up into 1 charge by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which eventually fined BlockFi “failing to register the offers and sales of its retail crypto lending product” and “violating the registration provisions of the Investment Company Act of 1940”. 


BlockFi files for bankruptcy after suffering severe penalties

In February, BlockFi agreed to a two-pronged penalty; a $50 million fine and an additional $50 million in fines “to 32 states to settle similar charges.” 

Four months later BlockFi shaved 20% of its workforce, just days before it was hit with a $943,000 fine by the State of Iowa over the same securities transgressions. Desperate for money to keep afloat, especially in the wake of the collapse of Three Arrows Capital, BlockFi took out a “flexible” loan from FTX. This loan started out at $250 million, but as BlockFi’s bankruptcy filing showed, it certainly didn’t stop there.

BlockFi received a $250 million load from FTX.

In the midst of the FTX chaos in early November, BlockFi halted withdrawals, citing a need to see how the FTX situation would resolve itself. It was rumored to be considering bankruptcy, and this is indeed what happened – last week, BlockFi filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and began laying off more staff.

The bankruptcy filings laid bare the extent of the problem – the company has around 100,000 creditors and over $1 billion in liabilities, with just $256 million in cash, although it expects to be able to provide sufficient liquidity to support it during restructuring. 

FTX is the second biggest creditor with $275 million owed to it, but there was already more to this than was present in the bankruptcy filing.


BlockFi sues Bankman-Fried-owned investment firm

In the hours before BlockFi filed for bankruptcy, it sued Emergent Fidelity Technologies, the investment vehicle owned by FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, over a loan default suffered by Alameda Research, FTX’s trading arm. 

BlockFi says that Alameda defaulted on the $680 million loan in early November when FTX went down, and as payment, BlockFi is demanding 56.3 million shares in the trading company Robinhood that Emergent purchased earlier this year.

BlockFi files for bankruptcy and is now suing an investment firm owned by Sam Bankman-Fried for Robinhood 56.3 million shares.

BlockFi cites the link between Emergent and Alameda as the reason why the former should be liable for paying up for the latter’s default, which today is valued at $539.92 million. The Financial Times alleges that Bankman-Fried was trying to privately offload these shares, equating to 7.6% of the company, in the days before FTX collapsed, but wasn’t able to do so.

BlockFi said that its bankruptcy would enable it to “stabilize the business and provide BlockFi with the opportunity to consummate a reorganization plan that maximizes value for all stakeholders, including our valued clients.” 

It also promised that it will “continue to work on recovering all obligations owed to BlockFi as promptly as practicable”, although, at the moment, the chances of customers getting more than a token gesture out of the company is looking grim indeed.

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