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25K delegates descend on SiGMA Europe 2023

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The SiGMA Europe Summit in 2023 was a Malta week to remember, bringing all the premium networking experiences, keynote addresses, panel discussions and industry presence that outshone the delegation of over 25,000’s expectations.

Breathing life into a brand new venue at the Mediterranean Maritime Hub (MMH), the exhibition floor was a true labyrinth of impressive industry opportunities and spectacles.

Boasting 2 stages, an expansive open-air food court and more stands than ever, the MMH was a succinctly fitting venue for all the event had to offer.

Esteemed delegation

SiGMA Group’s largest-ever attending delegation brought incredible diversity and quality in its decision-making and industry-leading individuals, including the CEO of Wicked Games Darryl Manning, Alexandre Tomic, Founder and CEO of Alea, serial entrepreneur, David Meltzer and Soft2Bet’s CEO, Uri Poliavich to name only a small few.

AIBC’s Summit also drew a great deal of expertise and knowledge from the emerging technologies sector, with speakers such as Sara Al Madani, Tony Ventura and investment partner in Ikigai Ventures, Vinícius M. de Carvalho.

Impactful insights

Uri Poliavich, CEO of Soft2Bet.

Many of the speakers at Malta Week can most certainly be described as being outstanding in their industry and with this expertise comes a high level of insight and understanding.

Uri Poliavich placed a heavy emphasis on his thought that “quality brings attention”.

David Meltzer was typically knowledgeable explaining:

“I have never met anyone who makes a lot of money, helps a lot of people, who isn’t happy, who isn’t inspired, isn’t inspiring others to be inspiring, so over the years I have created practices to effectuate this idea of abundance.”

A focus on the state of the local industry was also a topic of discussion with Tanja Dimitrijevic, the head of legal at Red Acre Group stating with regards to the islands’ legislative movements:

“Embracing innovative technologies shows that you are more forward-thinking than other jurisdictions.”

You can find all of these keynote addresses and panel discussions in full on our YouTube channel.

Honourable arrivals

The nation’s Prime Minister, Robert Abela attended the conferences and visited the abundance of stands showcasing all the innovations being perpetuated across the most cutting-edge organisations in the industry.

He noted that the event proves that Malta is a centre of excellence in the iGaming world, with SiGMA being a powerful contributor to the nation’s economy.

He also mentioned that the government will continue to invest in this sector, amongst which is the implementation of a national strategy for eSports and diverse initiatives so that the education and digital gaming sector may continue to develop.

He was also joined by Hon. Silvio Schembri MP, Malta’s Minister for Economy,

EU Funds and Lands as well as the head of the Nationalist Party opposition leader, Bernard Grech.

The Pitch Competition

The winning pitch at SiGMA Europe, delivered by 8BIT Gaming.

This year’s Malta Week also saw the much-anticipated return of the SiGMA Pitch Competition, a victory taken with joyous enthusiasm by 8BIT Gaming.

The start-up’s product displayed the quality, innovative strength and nostalgic intent to be deemed the best on the SiGMA stage by our panel of esteemed judges.

The AIBC Europe Pitch was also in attendance with SharkGate emerging victorious who had this to say about their prestigious win:

“We want the internet to be a safer place for everybody to enjoy and we want to revolutionise the way the industry is protected.”

MMA: CFC16 – Centurion “Mursa”

CFC16 – Centurion “Mursa”.

SiGMA’s flagship event also coincided with another headlining event in Centurion “Mursa”.

The Roberto Gallo-led fight promotion afforded a great number of SiGMA’s eager delegation the opportunity to attend the cumulative event in the Centurion Calendar.

The event showcased a two-fight, Co-main event, the first bout of which saw the ascension of a new Light Heavyweight Champion when Rafael Carvalho defeated Marcelo Alfaya.

The 4-man Grand Prix tournament then concluded the show in ecstatic fashion when Filipe Douglas fought through two bouts, ultimately sealing a victory via unanimous decision which saw him crowned King of Malta at Ta’Qali basketball sports pavilion.

Further highlights and activities

SiGMA Europe’s delegation in Valletta for the cultural tour.

Aside from the plethora of premium networking opportunities afforded to SiGMA’s delegation through event evenings’ dinners and iGatherings, there was much more fun to have during the expansive event’s duration.

An intriguing challenge was set at HighRoller.com’s free-to-enter, charity Poker Tournament which set a bounty on so of more higher profile players and delegates.

The SiGMA Cup 5-a-side tournament at Luxol Sports Club proved to be an energetic thrill for all involved, as did the 6K fun run which took delegates from Valletta’s Grand Excelsior Hotel across the storied Maltese capital.

A slower pace did not mean less exuberant as a VIP Golf tournament was hosted at the Royal Malta Golf Club, courtesy of SiGMA Play.

Malta’s captivating capital was showcased in all her glory through a Land and Sea tour of the historic settlement, a UNESCO World Heritage site in its entirety.

Awards expansion

This event served as a cumulative summit for all those who have made an impact on the industry throughout the year.

So successful has the industry been this year that it was only fitting that not one but three awards nights were hosted to adequately celebrate all that has been achieved.

The award evenings this year were categorised by achievements in either B2B or B2C industries for the very first time at a SiGMA event, with an anticipated return afforded to the SiGMA Streamers Awards.

Notable awards winners this year included, Haddzy, who took home the accreditation of Most Innovative Streamer of the Year, G.Partners – the Best Affiliate Network of 2023 at the B2C Awards and Sportradar for Best Virtual Sports Provider 2023 at the B2B Awards.

The AIBC Europe 2023, gala awards night.

The AIBC Europe Summit also brought its own awards night to the Casino Maltese with notable award winners being Google and the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA).

The SiGMA Foundation

The summit’s immense success in no small way extended to the Group’s philanthropic arm, the SiGMA Foundation.

Chairman of the SiGMA Foundation, Keith Marshall.

Each of these gala events would subsequently host a charity art auction which would see a terrific level of support gifted to the Foundation’s selfless endeavours to the tune of over 130K EUR.

The SiGMA Foundation is a shining example of what can be accomplished when a group of passionate individuals come together for a common cause.

A bright 2024 is now in store for the Foundation with profoundly impactful projects in Columbia, Ethiopia, Chile and Morrocco lined up for the coming calendar year.

To contribute to these and any upcoming projects yourself reach out to Jessie on [email protected].

SiGMA Eurasia

SiGMA’s world-renowned summits will return in 2024 when SiGMA Eurasia graces the industry’s calendar once again. Dubai will be the host yet again for the much-anticipated conference and exhibition from the 25th – 27th of February. Get your tickets now to ensure you won’t miss out!



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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency Market Update: Bitcoin Slips Below $70,000 Amidst High Liquidation

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In a swift turn of events, Bitcoin (BTC), the pioneering cryptocurrency, dropped below the $70,000 threshold early on Wednesday following a wave of investor sell-offs. Just a day prior, Bitcoin had crossed the $71,000 mark, but market sentiment swiftly shifted, dragging other major altcoins—including Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Solana (SOL), and Litecoin (LTC)—into the red zone.

According to CoinMarketCap data, the overall Market Fear & Greed Index stood at 75 (Greed) out of 100, indicating a mix of optimism and apprehension among traders. Notably, the Bittensor (TAO) token emerged as the top gainer with a remarkable 24-hour surge of over 7 percent, while dogwifhat (WIF) experienced the largest loss, plummeting nearly 16 percent.

Bitcoin (BTC) Price Update Bitcoin’s price tumbled to $69,089.01, marking a 24-hour dip of 3.05 percent, as reported by CoinMarketCap. On the Indian exchange WazirX, BTC was priced at Rs 60.93 lakh.

Other Major Cryptocurrencies Ethereum (ETH) saw a 24-hour loss of 4.81 percent, trading at $3,508.86, while Dogecoin (DOGE) registered a dip of 5.59 percent, currently priced at $0.1879. Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) also experienced losses, with Solana (SOL) marking a 24-hour loss of 3.44 percent.

Top Gainers and Losers Bittensor (TAO) led the pack of gainers with a 7.30 percent surge, while dogwifhat (WIF) suffered the most significant loss, dropping by 15.58 percent.

Market Analysis and Expert Insights Experts weighed in on the market scenario, attributing Bitcoin’s downturn to heightened liquidations and cautious sentiment ahead of the upcoming US CPI data release. While Bitcoin’s immediate support rests at $67,700, resistance is expected at $70,400. Ethereum proponents face challenges amid hopes for an ETF approval, with the SEC providing limited updates on the matter.

Final Thoughts The cryptocurrency market remains highly dynamic, with prices fluctuating rapidly and investor sentiment playing a pivotal role. As the market navigates through volatility, it’s essential for investors to stay informed, exercise caution, and seek expert advice before making any investment decisions.

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Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency: A Scapegoat for Foreign Policy Failures?

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Cryptocurrency has once again found itself at the center of a heated debate, this time regarding its alleged role in facilitating illicit activities and circumventing sanctions imposed by the United States. The Biden administration, in particular, has come under scrutiny for its handling of the issue, with some accusing it of using digital assets as a convenient scapegoat for broader foreign policy shortcomings.

In a recent hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo raised concerns about the misuse of cryptocurrencies by foreign adversaries such as Iran, Russia, North Korea, and militant groups like Hamas. Adeyemo’s remarks underscored a growing unease within the U.S. government regarding the potential national security implications of unregulated digital currencies.

However, voices from within the cryptocurrency industry and Congress have pushed back against the administration’s narrative. Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer at Coinbase, one of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges, pointed out that the prevalence of illicit activity in the crypto space is relatively low compared to traditional finance. Instead of demonizing cryptocurrencies, Shirzad argued, the focus should be on targeting bad actors operating offshore.

Senator Tim Scott, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, echoed these sentiments, accusing the Biden administration of using digital assets as a distraction from its failure to effectively combat financial flows to sanctioned entities. Scott’s criticism reflects broader skepticism among some lawmakers about the government’s approach to regulating cryptocurrencies.

One area of potential agreement between the Biden administration and the cryptocurrency industry is the need for clearer regulations governing stablecoins, a type of digital asset pegged to a fiat currency like the U.S. dollar. Both sides recognize the importance of addressing the potential risks associated with stablecoin issuance and usage, particularly in the context of national security and financial stability.

The debate over stablecoins has intensified following reports of their alleged role in facilitating illicit transactions, including those linked to Russia’s war effort in Ukraine. The Treasury Department has called for increased oversight of stablecoin issuers and transactions, while also advocating for legislation that would subject them to stricter regulatory standards.

Despite the contentious nature of the discussion, there are signs of bipartisan cooperation on certain aspects of cryptocurrency regulation. A bipartisan bill addressing stablecoin regulation passed the House Financial Services Committee last year, signaling a potential path forward for legislative action in this area.

As the debate over cryptocurrency regulation continues to unfold, it is clear that finding the right balance between innovation and security will be paramount. While concerns about illicit activity and national security must be addressed, policymakers must also recognize the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies in fostering financial inclusion and technological advancement.

Ultimately, the resolution of these issues will require thoughtful collaboration between government officials, industry stakeholders, and lawmakers to develop a regulatory framework that promotes innovation while safeguarding against misuse. Only through constructive dialogue and cooperation can we ensure that cryptocurrencies fulfill their potential as a force for positive change in the global economy.

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Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Resurgence: Why Wall Street Is Embracing the Crypto Revolution

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Andrew Pratt of Wiser Wealth Management in Marietta, Ga., finds little resistance as he proposes Bitcoin investments to his firm’s committee. With Bitcoin surging 140% in the past year and backed by giants like BlackRock, skepticism has waned. Pratt sees the potential to allocate a modest 1% of client portfolios to Bitcoin, acknowledging the limited downside risk compared to potential gains.

The debate over Bitcoin’s intrinsic value seems to have lost its relevance amidst its soaring market performance. Once dismissed, Bitcoin now boasts a market value of $1.3 trillion, driving the total crypto market to $2.5 trillion. Wall Street, once wary, now views cryptocurrency as an opportunity for profit rather than a speculative venture.

Despite lingering doubts about Bitcoin’s utility beyond speculation, Wall Street executives are increasingly supportive. BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, notably reversed his stance, endorsing Bitcoin’s long-term prospects and championing the iShares Bitcoin Trust, now one of the largest Bitcoin ETFs with nearly $18 billion in assets.

While skepticism persists about Bitcoin’s status as a real asset or currency, its growing acceptance on Wall Street underscores the evolving landscape of finance. As institutions embrace cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s journey from pariah to portfolio asset highlights the transformative power of digital assets in reshaping traditional investment strategies.

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