Call for Papers: Special Issue on the Intersections of Cryptocurrency, Blockchain Technology, and Gambling


Guest editors:

Richard Woolley, Ingo Fiedler, Fred Steinmetz

Manuscript submission information:

Please submit at

July 1, 2024

Special issue information:

The marriage of blockchain's secure, transparent ledger and cryptocurrencies' fast, pseudo-anonymous, and programmable exchange of value is reshaping various areas of our society. While the impact on finance is often discussed, another domain experiencing a seismic shift is online gambling (Beck et al., 2017; Steinmetz et al., 2020; Yli-Huumo et al., 2016). Not only are cryptocurrencies used as stake in online gambling, exposing gamblers simultaneously to the volatility risk of cryptocurrencies and the risks of gambling. The technology is also used to create applications whose actual gambling logic and operations is automated and transparently visible on blockchains. Their deployment on public blockchain infrastructure implies unprecedented levels of pseudo-anonymity for gamblers and operators, posing challenges for regulators and prosecutors. 

While existing studies delve into aspects like trust, transparency, efficiency, and the risks of problem gambling associated with blockchain and cryptocurrencies in gambling, the academic exploration of this intersection is in its infancy. Beyond the application of existing frameworks for screening and measuring the prevalence of traits and problematic behaviors among cryptocurrency gamblers, new disciplinary and interdisciplinary understandings are urgently required.

This special issue of Critical Gambling Studies is seeking papers that explore the complex interrelations of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and gambling and encourage quantitative and qualitative submissions from diverse disciplines, encompassing but not limited to sociology, anthropology, law, cultural studies, computer science, psychology, political economy, business and economics.

Topics could include the following:

  • Structural Features of Gambling with cryptocurrency
    • Cryptocurrency as stakes in online casinos, usage of decentralized gambling applications and blockchain-based crypto casinos
    • Mechanisms of how cryptocurrency investment turns into gambling

     -     Regulatory and policy implications

  • Challenges to individual and public health posed by cryptocurrency gambling
  • Distinctive ways money is laundered in cryptocurrency casino contexts
  • Challenges of defining and policing fraudulent conduct
  • Transformations to borders and beneficiaries of gambling revenue when gambling is entangled with cryptocurrencies
  • Political and ideological dimensions of cryptocurrency provision, marketing and consumption
  • Cryptocurrency trading and gambling
    • Behavioral aspects of cryptocurrency trading and gambling
    • Structural similarities of trading high-risk digital assets and gambling
    • User groups, risk categories, differentiations to the literature on the similarities between high-risk stock trading and gambling
    • The role of memes, trading cards and other NFTs for trading and gambling with cryptocurrencies
    • Validity of gambling-related scales and applicability to cryptocurrency trading
    • The role of subcultural and political identities in the creation and use of spaces and products designed for cryptocurrency gambling
    • Indigeneity, race, gender and disability as embodied dimensions of individual and group engagement with cryptocurrency trading and gambling
  • Gamification and Gamblification of Cryptocurrency
    • Motivations and drivers of multi-activity pursuit by individuals
    • Case studies of gamifications and gamblification within the cryptocurrency space and subcultures
    • Cryptoassets’ roles in gaming and gambling, e.g., project-specific tokens, non-fungible token-backed game items, etc.
    • GambleFi: Identification, description and analysis of cross-platform cryptocurrency projects, for example with a focus on gaming and gambling via Telegram messenger-based applications
    • The role of social media and trading apps in gamifying crypto asset investments


Cryptocurrency, crypto assets, blockchain technology, gambling, gaming, GambleFi