After reporting a mechanical failure and going offline on February 11, the industry’s top Bitcoin poker site, SealsWithClubs (SWC), has shut down completely.
That information was relayed via a message posted on the site stating that player funds are not in jeopardy. However, players are advised to withdraw whatever account balances remain in an expeditious fashion, as the ability to do so
will only be open for a limited period of time.
That amount of time has not been fixed – a few months is possible according to the statement on the SWC site – but players who patronized the poker room should cashout post-haste. Before going down last week, an average of 85 players could be found at the cash tables.
The reason for the shutdown was rather vague, citing only
operational security issues. The site’s management team believes that continuing operations would jeopardize player safety, so decided to pull the plug completely.
SWC had been preparing to unveil a new software package in coming months. Version 2.0 was being readied. That endeavor has not been abandoned, as SWC chairman Brian Micon will apparently roll that out under a new domain – swcpoker.eu – at some point in the future.
The old domain – sealswithclubs.eu – will be put to rest for eternity, marking another chapter in the storied history of online poker. Whether that history will ever include Bitcoin as a popular payment processing alternative remains to be seen.
SWC was open to players from around the globe, including the U.S. However, we here at USAfriendlypokersites.com chose not to recommend Bitcoin-only poker sites to our customers. The SWC shutdown bears out that our decision was correct.
Bitcoin remains an iffy proposition due to its volatile nature and the fact that the cryptocurrency has not garnered mainstream acceptance. Should its popularity spike in the future, we will most certainly reevaluate our position on the matter.