Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are fast, secure, and anonymous online cash – the seemingly perfect currency for online gambling. However, online casinos and gambling companies have been hesitant to adopt Bitcoin or any blockchain technology thus far. The reasons for this might surprise you, and so might some of the ways entrepreneurs are hoping to shake things up.
The Boom Of Cryptocurrencies
So far, the massive boom in cryptocurrency prices and recognition has done little to tempt the big online gambling companies. 888casino.com, for example, doesn’t use or allow Bitcoin its players to wager with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and it hasn’t shown any intention of doing so in the near future.
A spokesman for 888casino.com, says: “888casino is constantly monitoring new developments and improvements in the industry and cryptocurrency may become a game-changer for online gambling at some point in the future.
Unfortunately, the adoption and recognition of cryptocurrency is not yet fully ensured and can still pose some risks for online casino operators. That said, we are always looking to place ourselves at the cutting edge of technologies and, and it is something we continue to monitor.”
The first reason for the lack of adoption is regulation. Despite their somewhat shady reputation, online casinos are highly regulated in most countries. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, have almost no regulations surrounding them. For some of the big players in online gambling, adding cryptocurrency payments or games would likely result in a legal minefield. To make things even more difficult, these websites use complex payment gateways which don’t yet have cryptocurrencies built in, and adding those features will take time.
Another key concern is protecting public opinion. Many people still view cryptocurrencies as the currency of the online black market – for illegal deals, hacking and even ransom. Online casinos that already struggle with reputation issues aren’t sure how customers would react if they introduced this technology to their own platforms. Just the announcement might scare some customers away.
The biggest payoffs for incorporating cryptocurrency or blockchain technology into online gambling go to the customers, rather than the companies themselves. Transactions on a blockchain are completely secure, and as long you’re smart about it, your money is safe. No middlemen ever have access to your funds, so the risk of fraud is drastically reduced.
Cryptocurrencies also boast 24/7 near instant transactions. No payments need to be cleared by banks, and you won’t spend any time waiting for funds or winnings to clear. Everything could be done automatically on the blockchain. Transaction fees are also low. Bitcoin is the most popular, but many other cryptocurrencies are built to have transaction costs of just a few cents, even for large transactions.
With so many data leaks and scandals in the news these days – even the Queen of England has been affected –, anonymity is also a major concern. Cryptocurrencies have privacy and anonymity built into them, so anyone using them can feel safe.
So Who Is Leading The Way?
These potential benefits have caught the attention of some. Just like many industries in the world at the moment, there are bold entrepreneurs looking to disrupt the old way of doing things with new technology.
Cryptocurrencies have struggled in the last few years to find solid use cases to benefit consumers. But, entrepreneur Jez San, a venture capitalist and one of the guys behind the Nintendo game Star Fox and 3D online poker site, PKR, is hoping to change that.
Jez San’s new company, FunFair, is looking to take advantage of all of the customer benefits just mentioned. He sees the greater level of trust as a big selling point that customers will love. Right now, even with heavy regulation, some customers still lack trust in online casinos.
Blockchain offers a fundamentally different way of doing things. The FunFair platform will be based on Ethereum, a worldwide ‘computer’ based on blockchain technology. With Ethereum, FunFair will allow players to use ‘smart contracts’ to play games and come to agreements with each other. These smart contracts are incorruptible. Once the games have started and everyone has agreed to the terms, they can’t be tampered with. If you win a game, the winnings are yours.
What’s more is the smart contracts are agreed between the players only and kept completely separate from the house. This speeds the entire process up, letting players spend more time playing. Licensing fees for using the technology would be taken from the deposit at the start of a game.
Jez also has plans to use smart contracts to allow third party operators to launch cryptocurrency casinos using this platform as a basis, and for game developers to design and produce slots and table games using the Ethereum blockchain.
Keep an eye on how this evolves. Even though cryptocurrencies haven’t cracked the online casino industry yet, you can bet that it won’t be long before they do. FunFair and other new companies could use blockchain to make our online activities more secure, and, over time, this added trust will help the online casino industry continue to improve its reputation and move even further into the mainstream.
If you are interested in even more cryptocurrency-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels then we have a lot to choose from.