Betting in the Meta

John Caldwell
3 min readNov 12, 2020


A look at how cryptocurrency gamblers view things a little differently than traditional gamblers and sports bettors.

Last time out, we took a brief look at how the people that gamble with crypto think, and more importantly act, differently.

Continuing to dig deeper into the mind of the crypto gambler, today we look at how the use of crypto affects the gambler’s mentality.

I am reminded of a time recently that I had lunch with a friend of mine who I knew to be a big bettor. I found the chat fascinating.

He had placed a futures bet on an event that would take place in two months’ time. We were discussing the merits of the bet itself, when he offhandedly mentioned that he ‘bet that one in Bitcoin’.

I assumed that was because he knew that I work in the space and he wanted to let me know he was down with the cause. I get that a lot.

Still, something about the way he said it prodded me to follow up. “Why did you specifically say you bet that in BTC?” I asked. Without thinking about it, he responded “I’m like 80% that BTC is going to go up 10–15% in the next couple months. It adds to the sweat”.

So, not only was he placing a bet where he saw value, he was metagaming the price of the asset he bet with. This was part of the appeal to him. He liked having another layer to think about and consider. [note: BTC is actually up 22% since my lunch with him. The event is still two weeks away]

The volatility of crypto gave him another level to consider when making a bet. In most of my discussions over the last three years, one of the main points of hesitance from operators is the volatility of crypto. While my friend may have been interested in ‘second level gambling’, the operators were certainly not. Fair enough.

This ‘second level’ thinking reminded me of a conversation I once had with a very well known poker pro when she was talking me through a hand she played on TV. The conversation went something like this: “Well, he [her opponent in the hand] knows that I know that he knows that I know”. Wait…what?

The point is that the new gambler needs a different level of intensity to satisfy his or her intellectual curiosity. Not only are they operating in and considering a ‘multi-level meta’ in a way that is different than generations prior, they are doing so very rapidly. I am reminded of an esports in-play betting pitch I sat in once where the provider suggested new bet propositions every 20 seconds throughout the course of a 35 minute match.

Back to the volatility factor for a moment. While researching this piece, I was surprised to learn that, as of the date of my writing this, versus USD, Bitcoin had exactly the same volatility as gold since August 1st. And BTC was actually less volatile against the USD than several currencies, including the Mexican Peso, during that same period of time. As adoption and use continues to rise, BTC and other cryptos should level out more in terms of volatility.

I guess my friend will need to find another second layer to satisfy him.



John Caldwell

Founder: ASG Solutions. Software for facilitating transparent gaming. Chips & salsa connoisseur. Broncos, LA Kings. Carlsbad, CA/Charleston, SC