Astonishing growth has been seen in the crypto gaming sector, especially in the last few years. Surprisingly, despite fluctuations in the value of cryptocurrencies, gaming providers are finding unprecedented success in using it as a selling point and increasing their client base. In this article, we are taking a look at this sensational development and what it means for the whole iGaming industry.
Cashing In On Crypto
Previously a niche market, cryptocurrency is now extensively acknowledged and utilized. As an early adopter of digital innovations, the online poker industry quickly recognized the potential of investing in blockchain-based tokenization ahead of its widespread use.
For online poker stakeholders, one of the biggest benefits of using crypto is its convenience and speed. Traditional online payment methods typically take several days and costly fees to process. Conversely, since token transactions eliminate the middleman, transactions are transferred instantaneously or within half an hour at the most. Some crypto payment gateways only charge as little as 0.5% – an amount significantly less than fiat transactions. For poker providers and players, this means that bankroll transactions can be made faster and with less cost to both parties. While naysayers may worry about the security of using unregulated digital assets, online poker providers understand that crypto is protected on the blockchain. Since the blockchain is a public ledger, all the crypto transactions on it are continuously recorded and verified. This means that players and providers using crypto are not at risk of having their transactions tampered with.
Aside from this, the fact that crypto eliminates the need for third parties serves a broader industry benefit. More specifically, many believe that cryptocurrency can help to legalize online poker. Currently, because of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, iGaming providers and banks are prohibited from processing gaming-related transactions outside of their jurisdiction. However, since crypto is decentralized, gaming providers can enjoy a loophole that allows them to process financial transactions from virtually anywhere. Since many legislators also aim to regulate cryptocurrencies, many hope that the wide use of these coins in online poker will convince those in power to legalize the sector for better visibility. As it is, major online poker providers are already reporting monthly crypto transitions in the hundreds of millions.
Into the Future of Crypto Poker
As of writing, major gaming providers have adopted the use of popular tokens like Bitcoin and Ethereum as means for players to fund their bankrolls or cash out on their winnings, as mentioned above. However, tokenization appears to be only a stepping stone in online poker’s path to offering its clientele the newest and most engaging way to play the game. Online poker providers have taken a page from a social media giant’s big investment in the metaverse and introduced virtual casinos. Presently, metaverse casinos like ICE Poker not only allow crypto transactions but have also made NFTs a central feature of the game. This movement has gotten so big that prominent poker organization World Poker Tournament and Poker Hall of Famer Phil Ivey have joined the ranks of NFT supporters.
Over the coming years, stakeholders can expect a sharp rise in the use of cryptocurrencies for payments, notably in the gaming industry. While it is clear that the benefits of crypto poker outweigh the disadvantages, interested players must understand that anything related to digital assets carries some risk. Given the volatility of the market, the value of specific tokens can bottom out. So, as with any investment, proper discretion and sound judgment are advised.