bitcoinmagazine.com / By Vitalik Buterin / August 3, 2013
Over one year ago, the launch of Erik Voorhees’ SatoshiDice marked the moment that Bitcoin gambling took its first major step into the mainstream. The site offered a level of convenience unmatched by any Bitcoin gambling site – indeed, any online gambling site regardless of payment method, in history: users send money to a Bitcoin address, and if they win they immediately get more money back. The site was an instant hit, rapidly growing to such a point that roughly 50% of all transactions on the Bitcoin network were to or from its addresses. By the beginning of 2013, the site was earning over $300,000 per month, and even as the price of Bitcoin began its meteoric rise at the start of the year the value of the site’s BTC-denominated shares barely budged.
Now, however, Bitcoin gambling is growing to be much more than just SatoshiDice. Of couse, many old-time gambling sites like BitZino and Seals with Clubs have been providing alternatives to SatoshiDice all along, but in the opening months of 2013 the massive success of Erik Voorhees’ juggernaut has prompted dozens of people to come up with alternatives. We now have the roulette-style wheel games SatoshiCircle and most recently BitcoinSpin, the minefield Satoshi Karoshi, the SatoshiDice clone SuzukiDice offering half the fees of the original, and the lottery BitMillions, and new sites are opening practically every week. What is more interesting than just the number of sites, however, is that so many of these second-tier gambling sites are seeing large amounts of bets and attention – such large amounts, in fact, that it may no longer be appropriate to call them second tier.