Can Crypto Conquer Online Poker and Casinos?
If there’s one thing that the online gambling industry is really good at, that’s picking up new technologies and finding ways to put them to good use.
Some of the gambling companies have been real pioneers in terms of early adoption of fresh ideas, taking the risk but often reaping handsome rewards as well.
Cryptocurrencies of all shapes and sizes have been one of the biggest things in online poker and online gambling in general for a few years now.
It all started with Bitcoin but these days there are all sorts of crypto coins out there like Ethereum, Dogecoin, Monero, Litecoin, some more successful than the others.
In general, though, the iGaming sector has loved the whole cryptocurrency idea, with the number of bitcoin betting sites, online casinos, and poker rooms growing by the day. So, the question is, is crypto the next big thing that’s going to conquer poker and online casinos?
Crypto For Online Poker and Casinos – More Freedom & Anonymity
Although some people may not know this, online poker has played a huge role in helping Bitcoin get where it is today.
More specifically, it was the US poker market that jumped on the Bitcoin wagon seizing the unique opportunity to continue catering to American players despite all restrictions and prohibitions that came after Black Friday.
Offering a new way to move money around, this was the solution to many core problems Americans who wanted to play online poker had to face. Restrictions imposed on financial institutions with regards to gambling-related transactions didn’t apply to Bitcoin wallets.
Initially, there was a lot of stigma surrounding cryptocurrencies as people didn’t know or understand the concept. With time, however, they’ve started to realize many advantages provided by Bitcoin and other crypto coins that followed the pattern.
The fact of the matter is, people don’t like every aspect of their life monitored, and they are especially keen on keeping their financial details private.
With traditional banking systems, this isn’t possible, but cryptos offer a much higher degree of anonymity. They may not be completely anonymous but the info isn’t that readily available, either.
Furthermore, with the current state of laws regulating online poker, many players find it difficult to deposit and withdraw without hassle.
Banks are often reluctant to process these transactions even in jurisdictions where laws are unclear or don’t exist. Crypto eliminates all these issues and gives you a simple way to do what you like with your money.
Crypto Gambling Cons – It Has More Risks
There is no doubt that cryptocurrencies have many great features for poker and casino players. However, using them comes with its own set of risks. It is because of these risks that there aren’t more crypto betting bookmakers, for example, even if the number of them has significantly increased in the last few years.
One of the biggest problems with crypto poker and gambling is the lack of protection. On the one hand, you’re able to maintain a higher degree of anonymity and keep your transactions private.
On the other, however, what happens if your crypto gets stolen? You can pretty much kiss goodbye to it.
In many jurisdictions, they won’t even take your complaint seriously and even if they do, it is extremely hard and often impossible to track down your money.
So, the very same thing that makes crypto so great for poker also makes it a risk.
All of these cryptocurrencies share one common trait as well – they are very volatile. While fiat currencies do go up and down in value, movements are usually not huge.
With cryptos, you could lose 20% or more of what you have virtually overnight. Of course, you could also make money the same way but most people are more worried about the possibility of a significant loss.
People who play online poker are often prepared for some variance, but they prefer to have some say in it, at least. Losing a bunch of money through no fault of your own isn’t the idea a majority of people are comfortable with.
For these reasons, people are reluctant to keep significant amounts of money in crypto and prefer to convert most of it to fiat currency as often as they can.
While this practice makes the possibility of a big loss much less likely, it also hinders the advancement of crypto as a mainstream form of payment.
The Future of Crypto In Online Poker and Gambling
While many questions need to be answered with regards to crypto for poker, one thing seems certain at this point: it is here to stay, especially in online gambling.
More and more operators are endorsing cryptocurrencies and I’m not talking about small, unknown casinos and poker rooms. There are now many major brands entertaining the idea of crypto as a payment method.
The underlying technology of cryptocurrency will also play a big role in the iGaming sector. For the first time in the history of gambling, it provides an opportunity to create provably fair games.
So, no longer will you have to wonder if a site is “rigged.” You’ll be able to see the RNG at work and everything that happens behind the scenes becomes public knowledge.
However, it is highly unlikely that crypto will survive in its current unregulated and semi-anonymous form. There are already movements toward regulating cryptocurrencies and making them more transparent.
While this will help deal with some of the issues I mentioned earlier, such as volatility and keeping your money safe, it might also remove the main motivation for people to use cryptocurrencies.
So, is will crypto conquer the world of iGaming and online poker? It’s still too early to say.
By the time all sorts of lawmakers are done with it, the whole idea that made the concept so popular in the first place could be completely removed from the equation.
As for now, there are some clear benefits for using it, and even some poker training sites are fine with taking crypto as payment, so only time will tell what happens next.