Bitcoin users who rely on the cryptocurrency primarily to gamble online are probably not all that concerned that it has lost more than half its value this year (2018).
But the drastic price drop has some investors concerned. Losing half the value of your portfolio in less than 12 months is enough to shake the confidence of even the most rock-solid market players.
The good news is that bitcoin's price drop ultimately helps all the other cryptocurrencies on the market. It will, in the end, prove to be a good thing if bitcoin investors just sit tight and ride it out. Perhaps they should take a break from investing and spend a little time playing MegaMoolah.com? There are a lot worse things they could do with their holdings than gamble.
Understanding how bitcoin's price drop helps its competitors requires a little bit of knowledge about investing. We are primarily interested in two things: market capitalization and what are known as mergers and acquisitions (M&As).
Since bitcoin is not considered legal tender in any country, it is treated as a security. In other words, it is a lot like stocks and bonds. As a security, people who track cryptocurrencies are interested in the amount of money currently invested in bitcoin. That total amount of money is known as 'market capitalization'.
Market capitalization is seen as an important indicator of company health. The more money behind an organization, the more favorably it is positioned to compete. This is as true for cryptocurrency as it is traditional businesses. And as far as crypto platforms go, bitcoin is the clear leader in market capitalization.
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As)
The next term, M&As, refers to the process of companies growing by merging with or acquiring other companies. The M&A strategy is a normal part of the corporate world. Every year, hundreds of companies are involved in M&A transactions that the general public is completely unaware of.
The most important thing about M&As in the context of this discussion is the fact that cryptocurrency platforms are not immune from takeover. If you own bitcoin, you are an investor in the bitcoin platform. That small number of owners that own the most coins exert the most control over the platform. The best way for you to exert more control is to buy more coins.
Most of today's cryptocurrencies are propped up by investors. This is to say that wealthy individuals and corporations have bought into cryptocurrency platforms in hopes of making money off them. Thus, the platforms are open to mergers and acquisitions just as if they were corporations selling goods and services.
Market capitalization vs. value
We finally get to the point of talking about how bitcoin's price drop ultimately helps other cryptocurrencies. The explanation is found in an understanding of market capitalization versus value. You already know what market capitalization is; value refers to the actual cash value of a given asset. In the case of bitcoin, its value was listed at USD $6,382 at the time of this writing.
The market capitalization and value of any particular investment do not always run parallel. There are companies with high market capitalization and fairly low value. Conversely, there are companies with rather pricey stock but low market capitalization. So the relationship between the two is mostly unimportant - except when it comes to cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is the exception to the rule for one simple reason: the value of most other cryptocurrencies rises and falls in relation to bitcoin's value. That might sound strange, but it's true. Even though crypto value is dependent on supply and demand - due to the limited number of coins available - holders of other cryptocurrencies tend to believe that the value of what they own depends on how well bitcoin is doing.
As the thinking goes, a drop in the price of bitcoin also reduces the value of other cryptocurrencies. This is because bitcoin is considered the standard on which other crypto platforms operate. When bitcoin goes up, others tend to follow. When bitcoin drops, so do other cryptos.
High market cap, low value
So, why does any of this matter? Remember that bitcoin has lost more than half its value this year. Other cryptocurrencies haven't lost as much, but they have still lost too. Curiously though, market capitalization has not been affected. Investors are still pouring money into cryptocurrency with the expectation that it will rebound.
High market capitalization tells the investor there is money behind a cryptocurrency. That produces confidence. If that investor observes both high market capitalization and low value at the same time, what do you suppose that tells him? It tells him to buy. And why wouldn't he? He wants to get in while the price is low so that he can make more money once the price starts rising again.
The deals are hot and heavy
Now, let us tie this all together in order to answer the fundamental question raised at the start of this post. To do so, we need to talk about mergers and acquisitions again. They are the linchpin here.
According to an 18 October (2018) report from CNBC, the number of mergers and acquisitions involving cryptocurrencies has jumped more than 200% so far this year. Some 115 deals had already been completed by the start of that week, and experts anticipate the total number of deals at the end of the year could be 145 or more.
Simply put, the deals involving cryptocurrency platforms have been hot and heavy all year. Cryptocurrencies and their blockchains have been the subject of numerous mergers and acquisitions that are seeing properties change hands at an unprecedented pace.
Companies are snapping up cryptocurrencies not because they want the coins but because they want the blockchains. That is where the real money in crypto lies. Get your hands on the blockchain and you can earn money both on the cryptocurrency itself and by adapting the blockchain for other uses.
Decoupling other cryptocurrencies
The net benefit of all these acquisitions and mergers should be the decoupling of all those other cryptocurrencies from bitcoin. Competitors like Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin will be better suited to stand on their own because their blockchains will extend beyond just trading coins. As such, their value will increasingly become more independent of Bitcoin Core.
A decoupling of those other cryptocurrencies should ultimately result in coin values increasing. As previously mentioned, bitcoin currently stands at around $6,200. Ethereum, which is the number two crypto in terms of market capitalization, is valued at USD $202.98. Bitcoin Cash comes in at $437 while Litecoin is worth just over $52.
As you can see, there is quite a bit of disparity in the values of the most popular cryptocurrency platforms. But that should change if current trends continue unaltered. Heavy investment in cryptocurrency and blockchain that ultimately ends up decoupling these other platforms from bitcoin should start leveling the playing field and balancing prices.
In the meantime
We are still too early in the game to be able to predict what is going to happen with market capitalization, value, and M&As. So just sit tight and wait. In the meantime, bitcoin is still a great option for online gambling. There are plenty of casinos that accept bitcoin payments, and more are being added to the fold every single day.
Why gamble with bitcoin? There are lots of reasons. First and foremost, bitcoin transactions are completely anonymous. You can push bitcoin to your favorite online casino without having to share any bank or credit card information. You are represented as a digital token on the Bitcoin Blockchain, and that's it. No one can use blockchain information to trace your deposit back to you.
Another great reason to gamble with bitcoin is one of security. Bitcoin's blockchain technology has been built in such a way as to make it nearly impossible to hack. Transacting with bitcoin is one of the most secure ways of doing business online.
Lastly, consider the fact that a lot of bitcoin casinos offer tremendous welcome bonuses to bitcoin players. Welcome bonuses instantly boost your bankroll so that you have more money to play with. You can still find welcome bonuses for fiat cash, but they tend to pale in comparison to their bitcoin counterparts. As long as you are hoping to boost your bankroll with a welcome bonus, you might just as well do it with bitcoin.
Note that gambling with bitcoin requires that you have a digital wallet. There are couple of ways to get one. You can start by going directly to the bitcoin website and clicking the 'choose your wallet' link. That will redirect your browser to a number of organizations offering wallets for desktop, mobile devices, etc.
If you prefer, you can look for a cryptocurrency exchange first. Find one you like, and you will probably be able to obtain a wallet from them when you make your first bitcoin purchase. Then you'll be ready to arrange your deposit and start playing.