The last decade or so has seen crypto send ripples through industry after industry, accelerating in the last five.
It is true that in many cases, the disruption was short-lived and only meant to generate buzz. But not always: Crypto has helped to break ground, for instance, enabling contemporary African artists to have work auctioned at Christie’s of London for the first time in history.
The concept of digital ownership is a foundational feature not only of Bitcoin or NFT art, but also of projects like the Ethereum Name Service or ENS, which aims to replace the more centralized infrastructure that tends to underpin DNS.
After thousands of alts, DeFi and NFTs, crypto’s killer app are still cross-border payments
All of these examples illustrate how key a part crypto can play in the realization of the potential that the Internet was supposed to promise; to connect the world in meaningful, distributed ways.
But IT idealists are not the only ones who have long envisioned the erosion of geography-bound regulation holding the world in place.
One of the long-posited core benefits of cryptocurrency is that widespread adoption of crypto as means of exchange could do away with cross-border transfer hitches. And the erosion of geographic boundaries is something that crypto is pushing in the online casino space, as well.
Crypto casinos are exactly what they sound like: online casinos where cryptoassets like Bitcoin are used instead of fiat currency.
The space has moved fast. One piece on Cryptonews describes an ascent from the simple dice game Satoshidice to much slicker implementations, and recent reports claim that 150 crypto casinos are opening per year.
So what accounts for this popularity, and how are they different from traditional online casinos?
So long as players stick to reputable online casinos, they shouldn’t find it impossible to win.
Blockchain casinos score a bit better here. As Hackernoon explains, crypto casinos — usually living on Ethereum blockchain — have a pre-programmed payout rate that can be read in the open code.
And because the wagers all take place on-chain without an intermediary, they can be checked and verified too, which many hail as an advantage over standard online casinos.
Range of Games
Online entertainment as a whole is a huge and well-established industry. Consequently, your typical online casino has a wide variety of content. This includes different game types as well as themes. Case in point; Gala Bingo Slingo titles include Slingo Stampede and Slingo X Factor, two different themes around a unique genre. Elsewhere, the same provider has game shows, live casino games, poker and more. This is the typical offering.
But you may find a crypto casino doesn’t have the same depth. The fact is that despite its popularity, crypto gambling is still only one segment of the wider industry, and with fewer players, it makes sense not to have such an expansive selection of options at this time.
That may yet change, however - especially if crypto entertainment becomes more popular.
Anonymity and Crossing Borders
There are plenty reasons why someone might want to use an anonymous wallet at a casino rather than a bank account.
Some are shady. The reality is that there are legal restrictions in many countriesaround the world that people try to circumvent. There will be plenty of wagers on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, for instance, though none of them can be made from within the country itself.
Tough regulations came down on iGaming in the US during the George W. Bush administration, too, with slow state-by-state legalization during the last decade. If a player is used to legal wagers in Connecticut but moves just over the border to Rhode Island, it is understandable, albeit illegal, to try to continue.
Like it or not, crypto makes and opening for that. In this sense, to reasonable regulators, crypto could be making a case for iGaming in general to be legal across borders rather than pushing it underground, 1930s prohibition-style.
Then there are good reasons, too, though. Some people just don’t want casinos to appear on their bank statements, often for privacy or even, for instance, to avoid any unwanted impact on their credit rating. While there are startups that collect credit rating data on blockchain as well, pairing a BTC address with a real world identity is much more difficult in crypto than in a bank.
To wrap it up, let’s admin that crypto casinos are evolving into a mainstay within the wider industry. BTC and ETH predominate because of their network effect and reputation, of course, but many crypto-first shops run on their own tokens. It remains to be seen which of these two models will be most popular in years to come.