Now that the world is truly and utterly captivated by cryptocurrencies, we are experiencing a gold rush the likes of which we haven’t seen since the dotcom era. It’s clear to see that cryptocurrencies aren’t just a flash in the pan, however, their true value is the source of much speculation. How much are they really worth? Does cryptocurrency have intrinsic value or is its real-world value far less?
A Bitcoin primer
Bitcoin has been around since January of 2009, mere months after the theoretical paper, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, by Satoshi Nakamoto was released. While there was interest in Bitcoin from the very beginning, it wasn’t seen as a serious investment option by many market trend analysts until late 2016. After Bitcoin forked in August of 2017 the value of Bitcoin skyrocketed.
What’s amusing about this story is things like the following: that what I paid in Bitcoin for topping up my phone credit several times over would now be worth 10s of thousands of dollars; that the main transactions in Bitcoin for most of its history were drug exchanges on the dark web; that the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto has been rated one of the top 50 richest figures in the world, despite Satoshi’s Bitcoins never being touched and no trace of them for years.
While a lot of mystery and intrigue surrounds the story of Bitcoin itself, as well as speculation on the market, what’s not a surprise is the volatility of the coin, even from day to day. Half of the value of the coin has been wiped off in just over a month and a half, hitting from up to almost (US)$20,000 a coin to under (US)$10,000. For investors, this is a huge gamble. But a gamble that you may not have considered is the gamble taken by actual gambling houses who themselves accept and cash out Bitcoin.
Online Bitcoin gambling has been quietly gathering steam for years now. Online gambling has come a long way since