Bitcoin lottery launches in Ireland as calls for regulations mount

19 Dec 2017

A bitcoin lottery has been launched. Image: M. Primakov/Shutterstock

Bitcoin fever shows little sign of abating as gambling with the cryptocurrency launches.

There can be no doubt remaining that bitcoin is officially cresting the wave of mainstream acceptance (or becoming a bubble hurtling towards a messy demise), and the introduction of this new game is another example of increased public interest in the cryptocurrency.

Lottoland has launched the first regulated bitcoin lottery in Ireland, based on the numbers drawn in the official Spanish lottery, Bonolotto. It takes place daily from Monday to Saturday at 9.30pm (Central European Time).

Growing public interest

Entrants select six out of 49 numbers and, if all six are matched, those who win could receive a jackpot of 1,000 bitcoin, while those who snag five digits can win a single bitcoin.

At the time of writing, 1,000 bitcoin is worth in the region of €15m.

Winners can also request the cash equivalent of the first or second-tier prize rather than receive it in bitcoin, the value of which would be decided on the value of a bitcoin as displayed at the exact time of the draw.

If the winner would rather be paid in the digital currency, the value will be locked in at the value of their local currency as displayed on Coinbase at the same time as the draw. Then, on pay-out, this value will be converted back into bitcoin.

Tickets cost €3.50 each and the first draw took place yesterday (18 December).

Europe seeking stricter regulations

Yesterday, Germany joined other European governments looking to regulate bitcoin on a global scale amid worry that the currency is being used by drug traffickers, terrorists and various other criminals.

Bloomberg reported Germany’s finance ministry said it would welcome a French proposal to ask the other G20 countries to consider regulation on a joint level.

The German finance ministry told Bloomberg: “It makes sense to discuss the speculative risks of virtual currencies and their impact on the financial system at [an] international level.” It was reported that the next meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors could be “a good opportunity to do so”.

Bitcoin futures have been trading for several days now and some critics are worried about the volatility of the cryptocurrency.

The European Commission last week stated that the extension of EU money-laundering regulations would include digital currencies, meaning companies would have to report suspicious activity and identify their customers.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects