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CalvinAyre.com Adds CoinGeek.com to Portfolio

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Online gaming news site CalvinAyre.com is the new owner of crypto-currency news provider CoinGeek.com according to a press release distributed by PR Newswire on Aug. 21, 2017. CalvinAyre.com was started in 2009 by the eponymous founder of the Bodog gambling brand and focuses on items of interest to online poker players, sports bettors, and casino enthusiasts. CoinGeek.com was founded in 2017 and presents news about crypto-currencies several times per week.

Synergies Between the Two Properties

Two Hands Holding Puzzle Pieces

Because the two sites focus on real money gaming and crypto coins separately, they're ideally suited to jointly spreading stories involving both of these subjects. Cryptos, especially Bitcoin (BTC), are heavily used for online gambling, so this deal makes sense from a business perspective. CalvinAyre.com has announced that it will deploy “its considerable resources“ to assist CoinGeek.com in beefing up its staff and covering Bitcoin news across the globe.

Motives Behind the Move

Silhouette of a Man Thinking

Besides the officially stated reasons for the transaction, there may be more to this deal than meets the eye. The press release announcing it states that “…Ayre believes the Bitcoin Cash blockchain will become the one chain that powers the world, a view shared by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda.” If true, this means that Ayre is backing the recently forked version of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Calvin Ayre is a known associate of computer scientist Craig Wright who has come out strongly in favor of BCH. In fact, CalvinAyre.com posted a piece on July 28 expressing support for Wright's position.

Ayre was appointed Economic Envoy by the island nation of Antigua & Barbuda just a couple of weeks ago. It's possible that the recent acquisition of CoinGeek.com is more about developing a platform to promote Bitcoin Cash than enhancing the market reach of CalvinAyre.com. Because Antigua is a leader in offshore banking and online gambling, any decisions it makes with regard to which version of Bitcoin to support will have large repercussions throughout the virtual currency marketplace.

Bitcoin Wars

Two Swords Crossed

The split between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash occurred on Aug. 1 of this year. It was the result of a disagreement within the Bitcoin community about the proper way to scale up the technology to deal with increasing demand. Everyone who held BTC at the time of the fork received an identical amount of BCH.

At first, a majority of miners and exchanges chose to stick with Bitcoin while only a few opted to include compatibility for Bitcoin Cash. However, many BTC services have since announced that they will add BCH to their rosters, including the Coinbase exchange and Falcon Private Bank, a firm that sells a menu of digital currencies to its customers. Nevertheless, there are very few (if any) merchants who currently accept payments in Bitcoin Cash.

After plunging to a low of near $206 per coin on Aug. 6, Bitcoin Cash has since increased to a price of around $631 each at the time of this writing according to CoinMarketCap.com. Trading volume has also surged from several hundred million dollars' worth of BCH exchanging hands per day up to more than $1 billion per 24 hour period at present. Over the same interval, the value of traditional Bitcoin has also risen but not nearly as significantly. One BTC is now worth approximately $4,042, up from $3,166 on Aug. 6.

The reasons for Bitcoin Cash's success include lower mining fees than BTC and easier difficulty, which incentivizes miners to switch over to the newer currency. When BCH first debuted, it sometimes took several hours for a single block to be processed while the normal Bitcoin blockchain infrastructure was able to add a block about every 10 minutes. However, Bitcoin Cash processing has speeded up since then, and transaction waiting timeframes are now comparable with those of Bitcoin.

Effect on Poker Players

AJo and Poker Chips

The old-school Bitcoin currency was heavily favored by most observers to emerge as the victor in the fight against newcomer Bitcoin Cash. The recent news regarding CalvinAyre.com and CoinGeek.com calls this into question. This development could accelerate the process of one coin entirely supplanting the other. One thing that is very likely to happen is increasing volatility of BTC. In turn, poker players who transact in Bitcoin may experience more ups and downs in the price of BTC if trading liquidity and mining power is split between the two camps.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of future changes at the Bodog brands. The Bodog brands and the Pai Wang Luo Network cover at least 20 countries around the world from America to Australia and from Latin America to China. Consider that while Calvin Ayre is now supposedly removed from the operation of these gambling entities, the Bodog brand name that he created is still licensed and flourishing at Bodog, Bodog88, and Ignition Casino.Surely Mr. Ayre still has some influence at these companies even if he is not the outright owner any longer.

Imagine if Ignition Poker, an offshoot of the Bodog site that Ayre founded, adds Bitcoin Cash to its list of payment methods. This would result in an instant increase in BCH usage particularly among people who now own the upstart currency but have not hitherto found a good way to spend it. Ignition is the largest internet poker room open to Americans, soon to be the largest site available in Australia now that PokerStars has announced its departure from Aussie territory, and so any moves it makes may be emulated by its rivals. If Bodog.eu began accepting BCH, that would open up a venue for BCH to be spent in a dozen Latin American countries that Bodog now services. If Bodog88 began taking BCH, then China, Vietnam, and Asian gambling markets would be introduced to the new digital currency as well.

While these gambling sites swapping over to BCH would not in and of itself cause a world-wide flip from BTC to BCH with regard to who is the dominating player, it certainly could help BCH gain a toehold. If an entire country, such as Antigua and Barbuda, were to adopt BCH as a legal currency under Calvin Ayre's guidance, that could be another huge factor in BCH's favor, especially if they were to shun BTC. We don't think either of these events would be enough to secure for Bitcoin Cash an insuperable advantage, but another “adult” pastime might be. Everyone knows that pornography controls technology acceptance – it's what killed Betamax and made Blu-ray triumph over HD-DVD. So if you're pro BTC, you should really start to panic if your favorite adult site begins accepting BCH for subscriptions!

Banner of Broken Bitcoins

Protect Yourself

We urge our readers to exercise caution until the situation clarifies over time. Poker balances held in dollars or some other government currency will retain their value irrespective of any changes in the crypto-currency situation, so it's safe to leave your cash at sites that hold balances in fiat money. They include Ignition along with most other poker rooms. Those who play at Bitcoin-only sites, like Nitrogen Poker and SwCPoker, may wish to convert the majority of their bankrolls into their local currency, like USD, so as to minimize their risk of loss in case the Bitcoin (BTC) price ends up tanking while the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) price continues to rise. There are currently no poker sites that denominate user balances in Bitcoin Cash, so there's no reason for a player to hold BCH unless he or she wishes to speculate in crypto-currency. If you haven't yet investigated your cryptocurrency poker options but are interested in learning more, we have a list of sites that transact in BTC. Or if you would like to read up on the top USA sites in general, then our helpful guide for American poker fans may be worth checking out.