I’m sure everyone working in the online gambling industry has heard of Bitcoin and Blockchain by now, but hearing of something and understanding how this something can transform your business are two entirely different things.
Most of us have an awareness of Bitcoin and the technology behind it, Blockchain, but still need some convincing before integrating the currency and/or technology into our businesses. This week I’d like to highlight some ways we can all educate ourselves on Bitcoin and Blockchain in order to stay ahead of the curve and welcome these game-changers into the iGaming world.
Online News Sources
Here at CalvinAyre.com, Bitcoin is a big area of focus and we- including our founder Calvin Ayre– are huge believers in the currency’s imminent positive impact on the online gambling industry for a variety of reasons. These reasons include improving compliance and auditability, banishing payment processing fees and chargebacks, streamlining payments operations and more.
If you haven’t noticed already, we have been pumping out plenty of coverage on Bitcoin developments and will be covering several Bitcoin and Blockchain events in 2017. At the risk of sounding biased, a good place to start with your Bitcoin enlightenment is with us.
For those of you after more in-depth Bitcoin and Blockchain information and coverage, I recommend CoinDesk.com, an established, dedicated news source on the subject, also offering a daily newsletter that is worth subscribing to. Even browsing the headlines of the CoinDesk newsletter each day has proven to be helpful for me, something that honestly takes one minute out of the day.
BitcoinChaser.com is another good resource, especially for those who are interested in getting involved with Bitcoin as an iGaming affiliate or for those who are interested in gambling online with Bitcoin.
Follow the fans on social media
Another great way to keep on top of the latest in Bitcoin and Blockchain is to follow the fans on Facebook and Twitter. Professionals focused on the developments in this space are likely to share the most interesting and breaking news stories, anecdotes, predictions- especially when it comes to the value of Bitcoin- and other juicy tidbits of information you wouldn’t find easily on your own.
One place to start is Calvin Ayre’s personal Facebook page as he is constantly sharing excellent Bitcoin news pieces and his predictions on where the value of the currency is headed.
There are also a number of Twitter accounts to keep tabs on, especially those belonging to individuals who have believed in Bitcoin since its inception in 2008. Here are my suggestions on what Twitter accounts to start following, most of which belong to people I have also interviewed:
–Jon Matonis, @jonmatonis: Founding Director of Bitcoin Foundation
–Max Keiser, @maxkeiser: The eccentric Keiser Report presenter, started recommending Bitcoin when it was worth three dollars
–Brock Pierce, @brockpierce : Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation, entrepreneur and investor in Bitcoin start-ups, speaker at Bitcoin and Blockchain events across the globe
-Charlie Shrem, @charlieshrem: Founder of Bitcoin Foundation, Bitcoin pioneer, Co-Founder of BitInstant
-Erik Voorhees, @ErikVoorhees: Founder of Coinapult, Founder of SatoshiDice
–Roger Ver, @rogerkver: The world’s first investor in Bitcoin start-ups, also known as “Bitcoin Jesus”
Sign up for a course
Believe it or not, Bitcoin and Blockchain have hit a level of such interest that there are now actual courses available on the subject(s). While these courses tend to be on the more expensive side, you can bet you’ll walk away with a much more solid understanding of the technology after an “academy-style” experience.
While researching upcoming Blockchain events, I came across the Blockchain Academy London taking place on March 13th and 14th, an event I’ve not had the pleasure of attending personally, but would imagine is packed full of information.
Another opportunity certainly worth mentioning is the GamCrowd Digital Transformation Academy in partnership with Clarion, taking place in Cambridge, UK on the 10th and 11th of May. In particular, the second day of the course has a focus on Blockchain and the “Internet of Things”, plus this course has been built by iGaming professionals and should therefore directly apply to your business.
As a side note, I’d like to highlight GamCrowd’s Blockchain Report, a resource meant to educate iGaming professionals on Blockchain technology and how it can improve our businesses and industry as a whole. I’ve read the report myself and recommend it highly.
BTC & Blockchain dedicated conferences
While there is usually at least one dedicated Bitcoin session at each of our iGaming events, if you really want to take a deep dive into the wonderful world of Bitcoin, attending that one session every few months will not suffice.
Luckily there are a huge number of dedicated Blockchain conferences around the world each year, all varying in size and scope. As a word of caution, I’ve heard warnings that some of the newer Blockchain events popping up are a result of organizers trying to milk some money out of a hot space. The calendar will calm down soon and we’ll be left with the cream of the conferences, my contacts say. In the meantime, I would suggest doing your due diligence before forking out budget to attend a Blockchain Conference and here are a few suggestions to get you started…
–Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Tallin, March 9, 2017
–Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Russia, April 19, 2017
–Bitcoin Conference Prague, May 19, 2017
–GamCrowd Tech Week, June 12-16, 2017
–Bitcoin & Blockchain Conference Kiev, September 21, 2017