Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, have given life to online casinos in a time when governmental bodies have greatly restricted their ability to process payments. When Bitcoin burst onto the scene shortly after the United States housing market crisis tanked our centralized banking system, the decentralized digital currency sparked hopes of a financial system revolution on the horizon. A shaky start, however, lead affections to wain for the game-changing Bitcoin.
But the online gaming industry has pinpointed how well a cryptocurrency – that was not beholden to any bank or government – could serve its customers and increase its reach into areas that were previously off-limits.
While this “match made in digital heaven” increased revenue and allowed the industry to continue growing, it did not bolster the mainstream reputation of either online gambling or Bitcoin. Many people – if they even knew what Bitcoins were to begin with – would have described the digital currency as the money of choice for the black market, conjuring up pictures of Russian hackers, arms traders, and Silk Road drug dealers. Not exactly the company a burgeoning industry wants to associate itself with when trying to legitimize its credibility.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin had limited outlets for its currency to be used and exchanged, making online casinos a very attractive place for Bitcoin holders to engage in transactions and potentially grow their coin amount without mining. Bitcoin and online gambling were like two star-crossed lovers trying to make good for themselves and escape the riff-raff. They needed each other and they were determined to make it work.
Then the mainstream began to take a closer look at the platform Bitcoin was constructed on: Blockchain
This “distributed database” has ignited the imaginations of techies, economists, execs, and changemakers the world over in 2016, enabling transactions to take place via a decentralized digital ledger, which is protected from forgery or tampering via cryptography. Blockchain replicates itself in its entirety on every computer or system that is part of the network, which removes the bottle-necking of power held by centralized banks, and increases security and accountability.
While Bitcoin is the tangible expression of “open finance”, Blockchain decentralized technology is at the heart of making digital currency a reality.
Security and accountability have been the attributes that the online gaming industry has had the most trouble securing for itself in popular perception, and is why Blockchain technology will most likely become the most influential component as online casinos are designed in the future (not to mention virtual and augmented reality capabilities).
Online gambling industry leaders are fastidiously envisioning how incorporating Blockchain technology can fundamentally reshape how the internet betting industry is viewed and how effectively and efficiently it can be regulated. Mark Blandford, the founder of SportingBet, has already invested in a Blockchain tech incubator, which is focused on how Blockchain can prevent money-laundering and make transactions easily auditable and traceable, thus helping the whole industry become more transparent, and consequently, more credible and attractive to the mainstream. As technology continues to advance, many believe we could see Bitcoin as a currency of choice for the majority of online bettors within the next decade.