Cryptocurrency and The Online Casino Market
If you have been watching the news over the last few months, then you were probably bombarded with information about cryptocurrency. This new digital form of payments started way back in 2009 with Bitcoin, has become one of the hottest tech investments of the last decade. What you may not have heard in these news stories is that cryptocurrencies have been used as a payment method in the online casino world for almost as long as they have been in business. These days, more sites are accepting cryptocurrency than ever before.
You may be considering investing in crypto or in fact using it for funding your online gambling accounts. In either case, let’s bring you up to speed on the market and what the future holds for gambling and cryptocurrency.
What is Cryptocurrency, anyway?
Cryptocurrency is best described as a decentralized, anonymous form of payment that is 100% digital in nature. The basis for these currencies is the Blockchain, which is a platform that was built to create ultra-secure networks of information in response to all the data breaches that transpired in the world. There is a lot of math behind the Blockchain, and you can read all about it .
There are now dozens of different cryptocurrencies on the market, but they all come from this original idea that a ledger of activity and payments could be duplicated and stored on multiple computers to protect its integrity. From a gaming perspective, the Blockchain and all the subsequent currencies offer players a chance to make payments to an online casino without ever giving up their personal banking information.
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Online Gaming is an early adopter
As with most technology and payment options, the online gambling market was a perfect spot for testing of these new cryptocurrencies. The market was already mature in that there were millions of players who were making online payments to sites. Combined with that was the increasing difficulty to have payments approved by the traditional FIAT currency companies like Visa and Mastercard. This created a perfect storm, which gave operators a reason to start accepting cryptocurrency payments well before the general business world.
There have been many sites that have launched in the last 5 years that are accepting cryptocurrency as their only form of payment. The ease of opening a crypto wallet and buying coins makes it possible for a casino to completely abandon traditional forms of payment that cost them far more to process. The adoption of cryptocurrency is growing as a direct result of more people becoming aware of the currency as a viable option for payment.
Pros and Cons of Crypto
Of course, this type of digital currency comes with both advantages and disadvantages of use, which can be said for any payment method in the online gambling world. Let’s summarize some of those for you:
- Security – this is far and away the most compelling reason to use cryptocurrency for casinos. These decentralized transactions cannot be altered in any way or else the blockchain will reject them, and as all the transactions are anonymous, there is no way to trace a deposit back to you.
- Costs – the cost of transactions tends to be far less than the traditional FIAT currency options, so you shouldn’t be paying as much to make a crypto payment to a gambling site
- Bonuses – most online gambling sites that accept cryptocurrency payments give players extra incentives to use the coins.
- Volatility – if you have been following along with Bitcoin news, you will see that the value of the currency has had massive swings over the last few years. Until these currencies are fully understood and more commonly adopted, you can expect this volatility to continue.
- Speed – one issue that Bitcoin has had over the years is the speed at which a transaction is completed. In many cases it can take up to 15 minutes for your payment to be confirmed by the Blockchain, meaning you will have to wait for your balance to be updated
- Limits – depending on how you fund your digital wallet, you may have a lower limit than if you just used a credit card at the site in the first place
This is just a sample of both sides of the argument about using cryptocurrency as a payment method for online casinos. However, the overarching theme is that the currency is new, and not enough people are using it to create the critical mass needed to remove the majority of concerns.
What does the future hold for Crypto and Gambling?
The online gambling industry has always pushed the envelope, and this is very true of the payments arm of the space. The introduction of cryptocurrency gives operators another way to interact anonymously with their players. While the currencies themselves are far more volatile than their traditional counterparts, there is no denying the value of the blockchain and the level of security it provides. IN fact, we think that he Blockchain will not only be an important part of the payments ecosystem in gaming but will also be used to power most games in the future. This will almost certainly eliminate rogue operators and vendors and give players the most secure games that have ever existed.
Of course, all of this is far off, but you should stay in the loop when it comes to cryptocurrency as a whole, especially if you are planning to use it for your gambling purposes.