The use of cryptocurrency continued to grow in 2023, with the industry becoming more attuned to its benefits and pitfalls.
At the beginning of the year, Fabio Panetta, board member at the European Central Bank, proposed that trading unbacked cryptocurrencies should be managed under gambling laws by regulators. Panetta pointed to the collapse of several crypto schemes throughout 2022. He argues that these were the result of poor structure and disfunction in the crypto market.
While some existing laws – such as the EU’s Regulation on Markets in Crypto Assets – focus on regulating crypto, Panetta said that more needs to be done to manage the industry effectively.
One group that experienced issues with crypto in 2023 was Stake.com. The Drake-backed company was the victim of several unauthorised crypto transfers in September. This affected the Ethereum, Polygon and the Binance Smart Chain wallets on Stake.com.
While Stake.com did not confirm how much had been stolen, media reports within the crypto community suggested that $41.3m (£32.8m/€38.4m) was taken.
The growth of crypto gambling
While crypto has its critics, some in the industry voiced support for it in 2023.
Joe McCallum, then-managing director of Yolo Group spoke to iGB about the company’s aims to offer gambling with cryptocurrency to a wider audience. This includes re-directing its offer to the 25-35 age bracket. This is the group that makes up a large part of the social media generation.
As the owner of Sportsbet.io and Bitcasino – two crypto gambling services – Yolo Group is well placed to take on the crypto opportunity in the year ahead.
In May, the European Council passed regulations requiring crypto businesses to be authorised. The passage kicked off a countdown for European national authorities. At the time, they were given three months to create the relevant authorisation framework.