Cryptocurrency is still a relatively new form of payment, however they are starting to become ever-increasingly popular amongst those that use online casinos. Online casinos have, of course, been around for a lot longer and have always accepted various types of payments, ranging from traditional credit/debit card payments to those made as a Bank Transfer. They adapted when pioneering financial technologies like PayPal emerged and they continue to do to this very day with the rise of cryptocurrency.
But why have online casinos had to adapt and accept the use of a highly volatile and completely virtual payment method? Well, there are a number of reasons.
Brief history as to why cryptocurrency possibly started
Back in 2006, American President George W. Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which imposed huge restrictions on money transfers for online gambling operators. Although gambling online was not outrightly banned, it made it rather difficult for people to get involved, although it perhaps triggered the starting use of Bitcoins and other variations.
For those that do not know, Bitcoin offers users more than just another payment method. The whole idea of this revolutionary blockchain technology was to help provide a new approach to online gambling. Bitcoin allows every transaction to be completely anonymous, therefore providing players with a huge amount of security, as well as doubling up with confidentiality as well.
How did it all start? Where did the popularity begin?
SatoshiDice may be a familiar name to those that use blockchain technologies, as they were the first online casino to accept the new virtual currency. They only provided one game at the time, which was a dice game, however everyone associated with the casino - whether it be owners or users - were completely anonymous, which helped it become hugely popular.
Hundreds of thousands of BTC were waged between the games launch in 2012 and the casino’s sale for $11.5million in 2013. What made it popular was that it allowed players from anywhere in the world to place bets without having to provide any details as long as they had a crypto wallet.
The popularity, however may have caused it’s premature downfall in the United States, as they filed a number of legal notices with the company in 2013 about it’s concerns, forcing SatoshiDice to block players from the US prior to the company’s sale.
The success that they had, though, appeared to inspire a number of other casinos as many of them decided to take the plunge on blockchain currency and offer it as a form of deposit method. Casinos that had only allowed for the traditional currencies to be deposited were now taking Bitcoin deposits, as they opened their doors to new players.
Those that chose the virtual currency as a method and deposited smaller amounts would rarely have to provide any personal data, therefore allowing to keep their anonymity and also the confidentiality.
Entrepreneurs learnt lessons and made it work
Having learnt from SatoshiDice’s failings as the trailblazer, entrepreneurs managed to change the game regarding cryptocurrency and made it more difficult for regulators to target them in attempts to close them down. They noticed that SatoshiDice was running a centralized operation as the service provider, which made them an easy target.
Therefore, entrepreneurs used the advancements in blockchain technology to their advantage as they managed to use the same ideas that were used previously, however with a decentralized approach.
Ethereum blockchain was created, which was a chain that shared a number of similarities with Bitcoin however it differed in the fact that it could be distributed as software, not just as payment. This development meant Bitcoin casino operators could run their own casinos in-house and would then be able to see their casino be distributed without a central party, making it extremely difficult to regulate or even be shut down.
Ethereum’s rise has been huge, as it is now a blockchain method that is accepted by most Bitcoin casinos today for both depositing and withdrawing funds. There has also been a growing trend in more casinos adopting this approach and it appears a popular decision amongst those that use blockchain currency.
The method is not all about trying to avoid the regulators, as it can be used for good as well. Using Ethereum can result in a middleman being eliminated and allowing for players to keep in control of their money, whilst also ensuring some security over their funds as casinos can not simply just take it.
Bitcoin becoming hugely popular for online casinos
Blockchain currency has become incredibly popular for online casino users, that more and more casinos are now accepting a number of variations of the virtual currency. Bitcoin may be the most famous of them all, however Litecoins and Dash are also being used.
Online casinos have also developed more games to accommodate for the increased popularity of Bitcoin, with the likes of slot machines, poker, roulette just a few different styles of game to have been brought into a new era of payment. Bitcoin wallets are widely available to withdraw and deposit as well, therefore showing that they are more than willing to use these different methods to keep users satisfied.
You only have to take a look at India and the rate of casinos in the country making bitcoin available. SlotCatalog’s data of the country details the steady increase in how many are starting to accept the virtual currency, with numbers having doubled since the turn of 2020. The graph also shows that it is currently on track to show that the growth is continuing to steadily be on the rise.
Therefore it would be rather easy to suggest that Bitcoin has helped to revolutionise online gambling forever and it would not be a surprise if it continued to have a huge impact on the industry in the future as technology continues to evolve. It is hugely difficult to predict what exactly will happen, however, with cryptocurrency reliable, secure and confidential, it seems to be a perfect fit for online gambling.
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