While investors panic sell their portfolios to the lowest bidder, trying in vain to recoup losses from their previous highs, poker players are buying up those cheap coins at a growing rate. They are of course looking to make quick gains from cryptocurrencies as well but in a different way; hoping that a stellar hand will net them a big pay day instead of riding the latest ICO until its momentum peters out. Casino operators have gleefully reported that the slump has not caused a reduction in betting using these alternative currencies. In fact, the average size of the bets seems to actually be increasing. There’s a pretty simple reason for these findings. Online poker is simply one of the most spot on use cases for cryptocurrency ever, and everyone involved is excited about it.
Online gambling exists in a sort of legal grey area that can make the whole ordeal frustrating for both players and casino operators. Despite the fact that these practices are in fact legal in many countries, payment processors are terrified of potential legal disasters from these institutions. In many cases operators of these establishments could have their accounts suddenly blocked or their funds frozen, even if everything they are doing is above board. Banks don’t even need a legitimate reason to ruin an operator’s day either. “Suspicious” activity is enough to bring the entire business to a screeching and expensive halt. Every country has different rules and regulations concerning betting on table games like poker and having to manage multiple world currencies is both expensive and laborious in many cases. The long list of requirements for verifying accounts in order to use the many different fiat currencies of the world is also exhausting.
However, with cryptocurrency, it seems that this industry may have found a better way. Not only is is cheaper and easier to manage these platforms by accepting deposits in cryptocurrency, but they are also global currencies. Anyone in the world can deposit or withdraw their winnings using Bitcoin, and then exchange it for their own government issued currency if they choose to do so. This takes a great deal of burden off the operator’s shoulders, and it makes it much easier for them to manage these casinos.
It’s also good news for the players. You may think that you are free to spend your money anywhere, but if you were to try using your bank card for a deposit at a poker site you may get a surprise. Many banks simply do not want you to make these kinds of purchases, because they don’t want to be responsible for potential fraud or money laundering accusations. They are also completely free to deny these transactions, often sighting policies having to do with “fraud prevention” to get away with it. By making their wagers with cryptocurrency deposits, players can leave these fears behind them and are free to participate in these games. This means that many users who may have never looked twice at cryptocurrencies are seeing them in a new light. Your Bitcoin wallet can never be frozen, and you are truly free to do with your funds what you will. It’s all very freeing, and it’s a big part of why cryptocurrencies are thriving in this niche.
Of course, it didn’t take long for casino operators to see how great cryptocurrencies were for their business either. More and more casinos have not only adopted using Bitcoin for deposits, but they’ve also upped the ante by accepting many different altcoins as well. Some casinos accepting as many as sixty different coins! Accepting all of these smaller coins also has the benefit of attracting the members of these coin’s communities to the operator’s site who are passionate in supporting businesses who offer to accept their favorite currencies.
It’s also been a popular move with casual players due to the benefits that some of these new coins bring with them. These alternative cryptocurrencies are often cheaper to send, have faster settlement times and in some cases, even offer the casino’s users true anonymity, such as with Monero. After seeing how much more easy and affordable a cryptocurrency based system is, many casinos also began offer substantial bonuses to players for using these alternative currencies. In some cases users can double or even triple their deposit bonuses and promotional amounts for using cryptocurrency rather than fiat. Even for the most skeptical of players that’s often too good of a deal to pass up.
This begs the question, when will these casinos reject fiat options altogether? Things have come so far that it no longer seems to be an ‘if’ but only a ‘when’. While this is likely much farther off in the future, it seems the demand is there. More importantly though, the technology may also be there. Not only have these sites been improved by using cryptocurrency as a method of transferring value between parties, but some have even begun building their entire systems on the blockchain. Thanks to the immutable ledger, this gives casino operators the ability to stand out from the crowd by proving without a doubt that their games are played fairly. Results can be verified, payments automatically distributed, and everyone can finally be certain that they are getting a fair deal.
So, while on the surface cryptocurrencies may look abandoned, that’s far from the truth. When the dust finally settles it seems likely that while a bit battered and bruised, cryptocurrencies will simply go back to their roots. They will be a way for citizens and business owners to transact in the way they see fit. They will be a way for these individuals to finally say no to a system that makes their lives more difficult and does not have their best interests at heart.