A Peek into the Crypto-Gambling Revolution
Bitcoin and blockchain technology have had a lot of impact on various spaces and fields ever since they were created. And, by bitcoin we mean all cryptocurrencies – after all, bitcoin is the mother of decentralized digital currencies. Some will agree. Some will certainly not. So, instead let’s agree to disagree and focus on the title of this articles which points to the profound effect that bitcoin and blockchain have had and continue to have on the online gambling space. Now, that is something we can all agree on.
Without delving much into the basics of the crypto ecosystem that most, if not all, people are familiar with, to say the least, we are going to strive to address the more interesting issues while at the same time answering the six key questions: what, who, where, when, why and how?
What? This is pretty easy. It is all about blockchain. It’s all about bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies. And, it is all about gambling. Who? Naturally, this applies to gamblers and gambling service providers as well as all the other stakeholders. Where? Thanks to the internet, and the nature of cryptocurrencies, people can get access to both crypto and online casinos. So, it is, in essence, everywhere. When? It has been going on for a while, but we will give a little more emphasis to the present.
Now, having given a not so brief overview of the first four questions, we are left with why and how? Well, while these two questions can be summed up like the rest, there is more to them than meets the eye. In retrospective, they form the fundamental building blocks of all the changes, shifts and developments that we have witnessed in both the crypto and gambling spaces. Let’s have a look.
There are a couple of viable answers to this question and we are going to break down as many as we can for you.
First of all, the meteoric rise of bitcoin is, undoubtedly, the modern-day gold rush and, as expected, no one is willing to miss out on the opportunity to cash out on the extraordinary returns that it is associated with.
A number of industries, including finance and banking, are already jumping on the bandwagon but none of them have been quite as successful as the gambling industry. So, a fitting first answer to the question of ‘why’ would be the fact that gambling operators are venturing into crypto simply because it is an exciting and lucrative new venture.
Gamblers now have access to a vast range of crypto-powered games including bitcoin slots, crypto poker and many more.
Secondly, while online gambling – which stands to benefit the most from crypto – boasts of an estimated $50-300 billion worth worldwide, it still has to put up with problems that are inherent of the centralized model that has existed for decades. The focal point of conversations pertaining to centralized systems has always been trust – there are always concerns about fairness in the calculation of odds, protection of player funds as well as privacy in regards to the safeguarding of players’ personal data.
Generally speaking, these sum up why the online gambling industry is gradually adopting bitcoin and blockchain technology. So, moving on. How is this being implemented? How does it work?
There needs to be a more comprehensive breakdown of how bitcoin and blockchain technology are disrupting the tradition gambling industry. And, they are:
Improved Transparency and Trust
As mentioned earlier, a number of online casinos have often been found guilty of using tricks and scams to steal from their customers. These proven cases of fraud have made online gambling quite a risky endeavor but this is changing rapidly. The introduction of the blockchain and bitcoin have made gambling transactions secure thanks to the use of smart contracts that cannot be altered or manipulated by a central party.
Many places in the world still prohibit online betting, and this makes it very difficult for gamblers to participate especially because many payment and banking services have chosen to keep clear.
Bitcoin has made it much easier, safer, faster, cheaper and more convenient for punters to make deposits and withdrawals into their online gambling accounts from virtually anywhere in the world. All that is required is an excellent internet connection.
The use of bitcoin as a payment option has existed for quite some time now, but it continues to solidify its place as the best choice for both gamblers and online casino operators.
Now, bitcoin and blockchain are starting to be great selling points for online casino operators especially because of the many risks that they eliminate. In fact, the need for gaming regulators is also eventually bound to reduce significantly since the blockchain technology that is part and parcel of the bitcoin framework may very well liberate the operators from the anti-competitive dictates of payment blocking that are put in place by some governments.
Online casino operators will certainly be the primary beneficiaries of this. Bitcoin transactions are usually non-reversible and this, in turn, reduces the possibility of chargebacks. All the deposits and withdrawals are considered to be final.
Replacing traditional payment systems
The use of bitcoin as an alternative payment method in a number of online casinos has been a big blow for traditional gambling industries. Players are now able to venture away from the regulatory jurisdictions and restrictions since bitcoin is not dependent on any centralized or regulated payment services.
This is one particular area where there is set to be a complete overhaul thanks to the benefits that bitcoin payments offer – this includes the reduction of transaction costs due to the elimination of intermediaries.
Anonymity is something that can be considered to be an icing on the cake but it still ties to most of the other perks mentioned earlier. Signing up for online casino accounts can be a very daunting task with customers being asked to provide a number of identification documents when creating and verifying their accounts.
The use of bitcoin and the blockchain gets rid of this problem and hence users no longer have to share their personal information when conducting transactions. Furthermore, there is no better way of keeping your personal information private and safe than by not dishing it out to an online casino in the first place.
What Is Next for Bitcoin Gambling?
Despite its rapid growth in popularity and value, the concept of bitcoin is still fairly new and so is its application in the online gambling industry. Nonetheless, people continue to find bitcoin to be more appealing and they are therefore finding new ways to utilize it. In essence, gambling is a just another aspect of bitcoin legitimizing itself as a real unit of value, just like fiat currency.