Online casino firm SatoshiDice, launched in 2012 and achieving revenues of above $50,000 a month, has been sold to an undisclosed buyer for 126,315 Bitcoins, or about $11.5 million, making it a breakthrough for the Bitcoin virtual currency.
The site that has seen more than 5.3 million bets placed and paid out more than 3.9 million wins, features a simple 'lucky dice game' so, when punters send Bitcoins to the site and pick a number, ‘The Ghost of Satoshi’ rolls a lucky number and those who selected a number that is lower than the one on the dice - win.
All the winnings in the game are dispatched within 30 seconds, while the company charges a small transaction fee on each bet.
Based in Panama and Dublin, SatoshiDice is listed on the Romanian MPEX Bitcoin exchange. This week its founder Erik Voorhees revealed that the acquisition deal represents a 277 percent premium on the sale price and a 175 percent premium on the company’s valuation according to MPEX.
Addressing the shareholders Voorhees said: "While I know some S.DICE owners intended to hold for a long time, and will thus be dismayed by the buyout, it is my sincere hope that this compensation level will be amenable. It is substantially higher than the contract mandates, and it is almost 3x higher than all private owners are being paid.
“It has not been easy to negotiate to this level, but I believe it is the right thing to do. The deal is the first significant buy-out of a Bitcoin industry company and highlights the potential revenues and money that is circling around the industry."
The US authorities have taken a closer interest in Bitcoin this year, including an investigation into Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange.
In May this year Satoshi blocked US players for the reason of "coercive threats" by the government, and next officials seized Dwolla’s payments to and from the service in May for conducting “unlicensed money transmitting”.
However, Mt. Gox reopened its US dollar trading service on July 4 following a two-week suspension, but avoided to if the temporary shutdown was ordered by the US government or was the result of an investigation.