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Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that started it all. There are dozens of other cryptocurrencies you can use to deposit at BookMaker and hundreds more on the periphery, but Bitcoin is the most well-known of the bunch, and the only one your aunt Ethel and uncle Fred know.
Week of September 21, 2020 News Update
Over the last five years, different countries have tried to come to grips with Bitcoin. It’s clear that many of the decision makers don’t understand it, leading to some convoluted laws and practices in different parts of the world. Israel is one of those countries trying to adjust to cryptocurrency, and four Knesset members are introducing legislation to ease some of the tax burdens of crypto investors.
They have proposed a bill to treat Bitcoin and cryptos more like traditional currency for tax purposes. Currently, Bitcoin is treated like an asset, and that means it is taxed at a flat rate of 25 percent. Under this law, it is considered a capital gains tax, so relieving that burden would help Bitcoin investors in Israel whenever they decided to cash out.
One of the things to watch this week is what happens with crypto futures on Friday. About $1 billion in futures options for BTC and $450 million for ETH are set to expire, and that could lead to some real short-term fluctuation in the crypto market. Most of the options are between $11,000 and $12,000, so it seems unlikely that investors will buy at that rate, but an overnight surge could lead to a wild day of trading on Friday.
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Week of September 14, 2020 News Update
Grayscale Investments is one of the biggest players in the crypto industry. They were one of the first investment trusts to delve into crypto, and they have become the biggest name in that sector. The company filed paperwork to designate themselves as an SEC entity last year, and they hold billions of crypto for clients throughout the world.
With that in mind, everyone takes notice when Grayscale comes out with a statement like the one we saw earlier this week. Their data suggests that speculators are starting to leave the crypto market, giving Bitcoin the stability that some have been craving over the last decade. Through a third-party analytics firm, they found that nearly 40 percent of Bitcoin is being held in long-term wallets, and less than 20 percent of crypto is being held by accounts that have only acquired it within the last 90 days.
There is other good news in the Bitcoin world this week. The coin that is eponymous with cryptocurrency has long dominated the market share, but there was a surge in alt-coin investments over the last two months. That dropped Bitcoin’s market share from 67 percent to 59 percent earlier this month, yet it has sharply risen to over 61 percent over the last few days. While Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and others are appealing due to their far lower price point, there is a safety with Bitcoin that you don’t have with the others.
Week of September 7, 2020 News Update
Although it hasn’t been a great last two weeks for Bitcoin, there is some solace. We have repeatedly seen that $10,000 is the nadir for the cryptocurrency, as the three days that Bitcoin dipped below $10k saw an immediate rally back over the key number. The hope is that this continues to be the floor, but you’re never 100 percent certain when investing in Bitcoin.
We do know that Bitcoin is becoming more widespread. Because of the public ledger with which you can see Bitcoin transactions, we know that over 800,000 addresses now own at least one Bitcoin. There are some big believers in Bitcoin as ten addresses account for nearly five percent of all available Bitcoin according to TNW’s Satoshi Nakaboto.
One of these addresses holds almost 70,000 Bitcoin, and a recent VICE report highlighted that hackers around the world are trying to gain access to the wallet. The address’ alphanumeric code has been shared on numerous hacking forums over the last few months, but no one has had any success breaking into the account and making themselves a multimillionaire.
While that seems to be pretty scary, it also highlights how secure Bitcoin is as no one has been able to brute force the private key to gain access to the wallet. In an online chat, Terahash CEO Jeremi Gosney stated, “"I think it's a hell of a longshot. It'd have to be a fairly weak password to be cold cracked. Or someone getting really, really lucky.”
Week of August 31, 2020 News Update
Thursday was a dark day for cryptocurrency. Bitcoin plunged more than 10 percent to close the day just over $10,000, and speculators took a bath. However, it wasn’t just crypto that took a hit, as both gold prices and the S&P 500 took a dive as well yesterday. Some of this stems from the strength of the Euro against the US dollar, but to be fair, it was only a matter of time before prices started falling given the state of the international economy as a result of the coronavirus.
In other news, the biggest trial in the history of Bitcoin has once again been delayed. Craig Wright was scheduled to defend himself in court on October 13, but the trial date has been moved to 2021. Wright is being sued for billions in Bitcoin by his former partner David Kleiman’s brother Ira.
Wright has become the black sheep of the crypto community after he claimed that he was in fact Satoshi Nakamoto. That claim is disputed by virtually every big name in the crypto world, as Wright has little in the way of evidence that he is in fact the creator of Bitcoin. He could have proved his claim by moving Bitcoin originally mined by Satoshi or through providing evidence that he authored the Bitcoin whitepaper, but he has yet to follow either route.
Week of August 24, 2020 News Update
We know that the Winklevoss twins aren’t afraid of taking chances. They provided the idea for what would become multibillion-dollar giant Facebook, and they were some of the biggest names associated with Bitcoin in the beginning. They claimed to have owned almost one percent of all Bitcoin available seven years ago, and those investments have paid off in a big way as the twins are now billionaires.
The twins are now making an extremely bold claim when it comes to Bitcoin. They stated that the fundamental problems with traditional investments like oil, gold, and other resources and precious metals could lead to the biggest cryptocurrency experiencing an incredible surge in value. They took to their Winklevoss Capital blog to say that Bitcoin could reach as much as $500,000 a coin in the future as the only true long-term hedge against inflation.
While $500k might be a stretch, there is plenty of reason to believe that Bitcoin will surge in the near future once again. The United States is doing everything in its power to save the economy, but they are borrowing from the future to help the present. It’s only a matter of time before the bill comes due for the U.S. in terms of taxes, national debt, and inflation, and a hit to the U.S. Dollar would send enormous shockwaves through the international economy.
Week of August 17, 2020 News Update
The strength of Bitcoin over the last month has led to additional investors from parts of the world you might not expect. As more investors begin to worry about the state of the worldwide global economy and inflation in the wake of an extended economic downturn due to the coronavirus, they are turning to the stability of crypto in general and Bitcoin in particular.
A recent report from Forbes highlights that one of the places that has seen a tremendous surge in Bitcoin investment is Africa. Yellow Card CEO Chris Maurice announced that his company is repeatedly smashing records when it comes to signing up new users and adding volume. Maurice stated that Yellow Card is seeing close to an additional 20,000 new users per month after the company expanded into Botswana and South Africa over the summer.
That push makes a lot of sense if you follow African economies. Countries like Zimbabwe were notorious for their sky-high inflation, and other national economies are more susceptible to big changes in the international market as they aren’t as robust. Africa has an absurdly low median age (18) in comparison to the other continents, so we could see exponential growth in Bitcoin use here as younger investors are the ones buying up crypto.
Week of August 10, 2020 News Update
Unfortunately, Bitcoin was in the news for all the wrong reasons this week. Terrorist groups in the Middle East have been trying to raise funds using the cryptocurrency, so the United States Justice Department stepped in to seize millions of dollars. Government officials seized over 300 crypto accounts allegedly belonging to members of groups like ISIS, Hamas, and Al-Qaeda, highlighting one of the drawbacks of crypto’s ease of use. In addition to seizing the crypto, the government shut down several websites and Facebook pages that were being used to recruit and fundraise.
That wasn’t the only instance of crypto being used for malfeasance this week. According to a report from Coin Telegraph, £115,000 in Bitcoin was seized as a result of a 35-year-old woman in the United Kingdom using the crypto to launder illicit funds earned from filing fraudulent small business loan applications.
In happier news, one of the biggest crypto skeptics has seen the light when it comes to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor declared that Bitcoin wasn’t feasible back in 2013, but his company just purchased $250 million of the crypto earlier this week. Saylor stated that his company now believes that crypto is a safer investment than cash, highlighting its staying power.
Week of August 3, 2020 News Update
After cresting the $10,000 plateau once again last week, Bitcoin finally saw some resistance as it neared $12,000. There has now been pushback at that price point twice, and it appears that the crypto will hold in the $11,000 range for the short term. The question is whether the next big move will be bullish or bearish, and the good news is that it appears to be the former.
A report from JPMorgan this week noted how younger investors are flocking to Bitcoin when investing in alternative currencies. While older investors are moving to the traditional staples of precious metals like gold and silver in these times of financial uncertainty, millennials are buying up Bitcoin. That led to the surge in Bitcoin we saw last week as fears of inflation once again grew as more national economies around the world continued to suffer from extended shutdowns.
That report bodes well for Bitcoin in both the short term and the long term. Since younger investors are eschewing the traditional alternative investments, it stands to reason that they will remain interested in crypto for the long term and younger cohorts will likely join them as well. The future is not as rosy for precious metals, especially since there are multiple reports that millennials don’t buy gold, silver, and diamonds at nearly the same rate as their parents and grandparents.
Week of July 27, 2020 News Update
It’s been an incredible week for Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency was hovering around $9,100 for most of the last week before taking off last Tuesday. It slowly gained ground over the course of the week before punching through the $10,000 plateau on Monday. Bitcoin has surged into the five figures now, surpassing $11,000, and it is currently sitting just over that impressive number as of this posting.
The eroding value of the dollar in international markets has led to a resurgence in crypto. There are concerns that the latest trillion dollar stimulus package will trigger inflation in the United States, as the superpower appears to be on shakier financial footing than previously believed. Given that the federal lending rate has been unsustainably low for an extended period of time, it seems inevitable that inflation will come given the current situation.
That could lead to Bitcoin pushing past a critical barrier according to a recent report from Bloomberg, the eponymously dubbed Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index. It has met resistance at the 500 level twice this year, but it appears poised to break through in this climate. The report quotes Ed Moya, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corporation, who says:
“You’re probably going to have a strong catalyst for the next move higher, because we’re still far away from the record highs. Once you break past these levels, you’re going to see that interest grow and that’s just going to continue to add to that bullish momentum that should be spurring off of this dollar weakness.”
Week of July 20, 2020 News Update
We have seen some strong gains for Bitcoin over the last few days. The premier cryptocurrency hit a three-week low last Thursday, but it has since recovered and is flirting with $10,000 once again. Bitcoin has now solidified over $9,000 for two months, alleviating concerns that many backers had at this time last year.
There are many detractors of Bitcoin, but the world’s most famous chess player is a proponent of cryptocurrency. Garry Kasparov was the undisputed world champion from 1985 to 1993, and he has repeatedly voiced his support for crypto and blockchain technology over the last few years.
In an interview with Forbes on Thursday, Kasparov stated that one of the main advantages of crypto is that it is more difficult to be controlled and manipulated by countries and multinational businesses than fiat currency. He stated:
“The good thing about Bitcoin is that you know exactly the number, the magic number of 21 million. But when you look at the other side, the Fed for instance, you never know how many trillions of dollars will appear on the market tomorrow that will damage your savings.”
Kasparov runs the Human Rights Foundation, and he has also espoused crypto as a means of protecting human rights and subverting authoritarian governments. We have seen that happen in different countries already, so it’s impact may become even more pronounced as more people adopt the technology.
Week of July 13, 2020 News Update
Everyone knows about the big news in Bitcoin this week. On Wednesday, some of the biggest Twitter accounts in the world were hacked by the same group. Over 130 verified accounts were taken over at the same time in a coordinated attempt to swindle people out of as much Bitcoin as possible. Verified accounts belonging to Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Joe Biden, and Barack Obama all posted a very similar message stating that they were looking to share their prodigious wealth and asked users to send money to a Bitcoin address in order to receive as much as 40x in return.
This led to the social media giant going into lockdown mode with verified accounts having their blue checkmarks taken away. Some accounts were not allowed to post anything for a couple hours as Twitter looked to limit the spread of the coordinated hack, and the whole fiasco resulted in a huge black eye for CEO Jack Dorsey and his company. There are multiple ongoing investigations into the who, how, and why, and it will likely be some time until we receive an update.
Given the nature of the breach, it’s somewhat surprising that the perpetrators were only able to collect a little more than $110,000 from victims. Maybe it’s because these types of scams have become somewhat prevalent, but it also highlights an inherent savviness among Bitcoin investors.
Week of July 6, 2020 News Update
There have been some interesting developments in the world of Bitcoin over the last week. As previously discussed in this space, one of the favorite tactics of scam artists over the last couple years has been to pose as Elon Musk in order to separate unsavvy investors from their crypto. They generally take over a verified Twitter account and direct users to a website that is seemingly related to Tesla or Musk, and then ask people to share their Bitcoin in exchange for an even bigger reward from Musk. Of course, that money never comes, and these scams have stolen millions.
It appears as if these scams have moved on from spoofing Musk though, and they are now spoofing another popular celebrity with a somewhat off-kilter personality. Digital con artists are now posing as Joe Rogan, and they have already bilked people out of more than $30,000 according to a report from Decrypt. These scammers have also used spoof accounts for Ben Shapiro, and you can bet that Kanye West will be spoofed at some point as well.
In better news, a famous author has declared that its time to move away from real estate and gold and into Bitcoin. A Forbes article notes that Robert Kiyosaki told his radio show listeners that crypto is the wave of the future and the best investment in the current market, rather than the traditionally stable investments of property and precious metals. Real estate markets around the world are certainly taking a hit as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but it might be a bit much to say that property is being phased out.
In January 2009, Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of Nakamoto remains hotly debated to this day, but that person or group changed the world with this invention.
Like many major breakthroughs, it took a while for people to grasp why Bitcoin was special. Bitcoin was created in the midst of the banking crisis, and one of its major goals was to give people another option to buy and sell products outside of a heavily regulated and centralized banking system.
The first entities to fully embrace Bitcoin were black market enterprises like Silk Road. For a while, Bitcoin became synonymous with the notorious website, but its use became more and more widespread starting in 2013.
That led to the price of Bitcoin skyrocketing and reaching incredible heights in 2017. On January 1, 2017 a single Bitcoin was worth $998, but that price rose by nearly 20 fold near the end of the year, hitting an all-time high of $19,666 on December 17, 2017. Since then, the price of Bitcoin has fallen considerably, but early adopters are still well ahead of the game.
One of the major criticisms of Bitcoin is that the currency wildly fluctuates, but we have not seen a ton of movement in the cryptocurrency since Thanksgiving 2018. As Bitcoin has become more accepted and understood, investors are getting a better understanding of what leads to price changes, and that has led to the Bitcoin market looking a lot like the stock market.
There have been fears over how secure Bitcoin is over the years, but transactions are even more secure as they are in the traditional marketplace thanks to blockchain technology. Whereas we are constantly hearing stories of companies having their databases hacked and identities being stolen, the nature of blockchain presents this from happening with Bitcoin.
For a transaction to occur, the sender must know their private key and digitally sign the transaction, and the signature must be verified by the network using the public key. The number of private keys makes it nearly impossible to hack into another person’s account, but there is one thing to keep in mind. You MUST keep your private key backed up somewhere or else you will lose access to your Bitcoin. Don’t make the mistake of not backing up your private key and risk losing your hard earned money.
How do I buy Bitcoin?
You can buy Bitcoin by using one of the major currency exchanges such as Coinbase or Gemini. These exchanges allow you to use a credit or debit card or bank transfer to buy Bitcoin. You can then send Bitcoin to your sportsbook account and you can withdraw Bitcoin from your sportsbook account to your digital wallet.
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