As the name rightly suggests, crypto casinos are online platforms where users can play various games of chance and make transactions using Bitcoin and other crypto currencies. In recent years, the concept has gained traction and international popularity, with around 2000 such sites in operation according to some estimates. But, what is behind the rise and evolution of a Bitcoin casino? The following is an overview of the origins of these hyper-popular platforms as well as the current landscape and possible future.

Satoshi Nakamoto introduces Bitcoin

The creation of Bitcoin is attributed to an enigmatic figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto. In October 2008, amidst the Global Financial Crisis, Nakamoto published the renowned whitepaper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Here, the inventor (or group of inventors) outlined the workings and philosophy behind the digital currency. The core idea was to provide people with a digital medium of exchange without relying on financial intermediaries and centralized governance.

Yet, Bitcoin’s official launch took place in January 2009 with the mining of the first block, the “genesis block.” It started operating on a public ledger called the blockchain, utilizing a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to validate transactions and secure the network. On May the 22nd 2010, Laslo Hanyecz, made the first real-world cryptocurrency transactions by purchasing two pizzas in Jacksonville, Florida, for 10.000 BTC.

In the wake of Bitcoin’s success, a series of cryptocurrencies or altcoins emerged, including Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB), XRP, and even meme coins such as Doge Coin (DOGE).

The first Bitcoin casino launches

In April 2012, almost three years after the introduction of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency entrepreneur Erik Voorhees launched SatoshiDice. The website is largely attributed to being the first-ever operational crypto casino in history. However, SatoshiDice was a far cry from today’s crypto casinos. A blockchain-based betting game would be a more accurate description, as the site offered users the opportunity to place their Bitcoin bet, roll the dice, choose a lucky number, and discover if they had won or lost.

According to Voorhees, SatoshiDice brought a new level of transparency and security to the world of casinos. “SatoshiDice showed you what the odds were,” the entrepreneur said. “It was transparent with the odds, and you could prove that the rules were fair.” Shortly after its release, the site was for around half of all Bitcoin transactions.

The mid-2010s saw the rise of crypto casinos that offered not just one game but a wide catalog of titles. Users could access classics, such as bingo, slots, roulette, poker, blackjack, and baccarat as well as original titles. In addition to Bitcoin, crypto casinos also started processing transactions in a variety of currencies, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Tether, Tron, and Ripple to name a few.

Crypto gambling becomes a billionaire industry

According to some estimates, there are over 900 crypto gambling decentralized apps (Dapps) and more than 2000 Bitcoin gambling casino apps.

Thanks to the evolution of technology, increased accessibility to the internet, and popularization of digital currencies, crypto gambling has evolved into a gigantic, global industry. Celebrities like Drake have also contributed to the popularity of crypto gambling sites. Famously, the Canadian hip-hop sensation took home USD 1.26 million worth of Bitcoin after the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII against Philadelphia in 2023.

2021 was a particularly good year for crypto casinos, as the number of crypto currency users saw a 178% increase. Then, in 2022, crypto gamblers placed the equivalent of USD 6.3 billion. Nowadays, the market size is estimated to be around USD 90 billion and it’s expected to continue growing in the coming years.