Good Week for Cryptocurrencies as New Bank Launches and Malta Looks To Legalize10 months ago
With the US Inland Revenue Service categorizing cryptocurrencies as assets rather than cash for tax purposes, and the UK’s Gambling Commision adding Bitcoin to the list of acceptable payment for its licensees last year, cryptocurrencies have been gaining legitimate recognition of late.
Malta is a large offshore location for online gambling websites, and is home to servers belonging to a huge number of smaller operators on the online gambling stage. While most of the bigger online poker rooms have at least one cryptocurrency option on at least some of their sites, those registered in Malta have had to do without.
Recent efforts to ‘future-proof the industry’ by the Maltese Gambling Commission include a white paper suggesting that some cryptocurrencies be allowed as payment methods by the businesses they regulate.
This comes the same week that Tony G’s new company Bankera launches, offering something like traditional banking services for those with Bitcoins and the like as well as silver, shekels and shillings.
Naturally poker players – who live at the intersection of money, risk, and endless online transactions – have taken immediately to this new world of abstracted and decentralized wealth. There was even spoof speculation that the markets crashed in August as everyone in them cashed out for WSOP buyins.
Tony G in particular took this obsession to the next level, is getting into the world of the blockchain, with not yet another currency, but on the board of a whole bank. Bankera will be a regulated financial institution, providing interest on deposits, IBAN numbers, financing and investments but all of it will be integrated with the various cryptocurrency markets that have sprung up.
It held its public coin offering on August 28th where it sold off ‘Bankera tokens’ to raise capital. How it proceeds from here will be fascinating to watch.
The Future Is Now
If the internet was meant to democratize everything then a decentralized currency has to be, at least symbolically, one of the most impressive achievements of the internet age.
They may still in its infancy, but if cryptocurrencies can find their place without creating a massive bubble, then central banks and governments are going to need to find ways of coexisting with this new financial reality. And so are we, the public.
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