Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that came after it have certainly played a big role in the world of online poker.
At one point, bitcoin came up as an excellent alternative for players from the United States who were restricted from most traditional sites and could not play any poker hands there. The few they could get on were often difficult to deposit to and withdraw from.
It seemed like poker sites accepting cryptos would become a real force in the States as players were starting to get their heads around this novel idea.
However, it never became as big as some were predicting.
The US is slowly but surely starting to become more open to the idea of online poker and other forms of online gambling. More and more states are regulating this area, and some of the more recent developments connected to the Covid-19 crisis have emphasized the need for a regulated online environment even further.
Does this mean that cryptocurrencies are not going to play a major role in online poker of the future after all? Or are there other, more subtle ways in which cryptos and the underlying technology can revolutionize the world of internet poker?
People Still Want Their Privacy
While bitcoin sites in the US became popular primarily because they represented the only real alternative for poker bankrolls, they offer some qualities that many players appreciate.
One of the cryptos benefits, of course, the much higher level of privacy provided by such rooms.
While the myth of complete anonymity when using bitcoin online has long been debunked, the fact remains that your transactions are much more private and kept away from prying eyes.
You can deposit from and withdraw to your cryptocurrency wallet without ever having to move your money through “official” channels.
There is a long list of reasons why a player would require such an enhanced level of privacy. Despite all the modern developments, poker remains somewhat of a taboo in many parts of the world. Banks don’t particularly like gambling-related transactions even when they’re perfectly legal, and the list goes on.
The modern society is moving in the opposite direction altogether. Keeping things private is becoming a real challenge, and cryptocurrencies seem to offer at least a partial solution.
Those looking to avoid every aspect of their lives being observed through the magnifying glass will likely endorse crypto-based rooms.
Removing the Rigged Dilemma
No matter how many tests they go through and how many certificates they have to show, online poker rooms are constantly being accused of rigging their games in one way or another.
The myth of online poker being rigged has been around for almost as long as the game itself, and players convinced of this aren’t going to change their minds easily.
The best bitcoin poker sites could finally offer a solution to this problem as well. Using the blockchain technology, some rooms are moving closer to the idea of creating peer-to-peer games where the option to manipulate the cards in any way is out of the question.
The whole process behind this is rather complicated and quite technical, but the bottom line is that the virtual deck is being shuffled by the players involved in the game instead of a server. Once done, players exchange encryption keys to reveal their hole cards.
With this technology in place and everything happening inside the chain, the possibility for any interference simply doesn’t exist.
Players have been asking for a more transparent and provably fair version of online poker for years now, and this technology is finally able to offer it.
While it might still be a few months or even a few years away, it’s definitely coming, and once it does, it stands a great chance of changing the face of online poker forever.
Even if big rooms would never rig their games and there is no tangible evidence for most of these accusations, there is also a risk of collusion and all sorts of angle shooting, and if players have doubts, they’re reluctant to play.
Once these doubts are removed, it can attract new players into the industry, and we might see a new growth once again.
It’s Likely – Not Guaranteed
When it had first appeared, bitcoin was a rather vague idea that only a small number of people really understood. With time, as it gained more media exposure, the concept of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has become much closer to an ordinary person.
With that, its value started to surge.
But all the things that make bitcoin appealing to a poker player also make it unattractive to lawmakers and governments across the world. Privacy and anonymity aren’t two of the favorite words for most governments (although they don’t like to talk about it for obvious reasons), especially when it comes to money.
With bitcoin poker, it is much harder to track players’ winnings, which also makes it hard to tax them. It doesn’t take much explaining to understand why such a setup simply can’t fly in most modern countries.
There’s already been a lot of movement to try and put cryptocurrencies into a more defined legal framework.
As time goes on and if their popularity continues to rise, the push for legislation and better control will only increase.
Depending on exact laws, this could create big complications for bitcoin sites.
But even if the idea of bitcoin poker doesn’t take off, the concept of provably fair games still remains something most players would like to see, even the more experienced ones who don’t believe various conspiracy theories.
Such games are easier to track and provide better opportunities to defend against all sorts of cheaters and colluders.
So, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies addition to the best poker software could have a big role in online poker of the future.
It suffices to say that it will be interesting to keep with developments in this area in the upcoming period as there are already some interesting projects floating out there.