Not so long ago, when you heard about gambling, the understanding was clear. It meant staking cash to play casino games. Online gambling changed that, though. It made many things possible, like gaming with cryptocurrency. Less than five years ago, digital coins were starting to make their mark on the global economy. In 2021, they have become a major transaction mode, and more online casinos are accepting them. The surging popularity of digital currency is the biggest reason for the growing demand for blockchain-based gambling. 2021 saw Bitcoin achieve a record-high value. Other coins like Dogecoin, Ethereum and Ripple have also enjoyed favourable performances.
So, it’s not surprising that different industries, including gambling and betting, want to capitalise on the power of crypto. The number of gaming websites supporting digital currencies increased exponentially in the last several years. Consumers are also embracing cryptocurrency payments more than ever. For this reason, it is necessary to examine the current state of crypto gaming and what’s in store for the future.
What It Entails
Gambling with cryptocurrency is similar to using fiat currency. The biggest difference is that you have to deposit your bankroll through digital coins and, sometimes, withdraw through the same. One form of blockchain casino gaming is where an operator accepts payments in crypto, then converts the funds into fiat currency through third-party custodians. These transactions are referred to as off-chain blockchain-based gambling. The other type is on-chain gambling, where all records occur on the decentralised network.
Players who prefer transacting with digital currency have two main types of casinos from which to choose. One is the purely crypto gaming site. This operator only accepts digital coins as payment. The number of supported currencies varies from one platform to another. Given that cryptocurrency gambling is still in its early stages, crypto-only websites are limited. Therefore, gamblers have to be particularly careful when choosing where to play. Stake Casino is an example of a reputable crypto platform. Read more about stake gambling for a better understanding of how such sites operate. The second alternative for gamblers is the regular online casino that decides to start supporting digital currencies. These hybrid operators usually start with Bitcoin, which is the most popular coin. They can then move on to other offerings. A hybrid casino gives you the flexibility to switch from one currency type to another according to convenience.
What Regulation Looks Like
Legitimacy is vital in online gambling. Players are always concerned about falling into scams, which is why casino regulation matters. For years, cryptocurrency has gone unregulated in many countries. However, the situation is slowly changing as digital transactions gain prominence. The European Union is always ahead of other regions when it comes to gambling regulation. Presently, the bloc hasn’t established concrete regulations to govern crypto gaming. So, operators have to consider country-specific rules. Malta has some of the most comprehensive blockchain laws.
In the UK, cryptocurrency is not recognised as legal tender, but the government has introduced some regulations regarding its use. As of 2016, UK gaming operators can transact with crypto. The UK Gambling Commission has also started licensing cryptocurrency platforms. In some countries like Canada and the US, it is illegal for local operators to provide crypto gambling and betting to residents. Nevertheless, gamblers can still use offshore websites.
Some countries, especially in Asia, legalised cryptocurrency exchanges but not digital coins. A majority of sites hold licences in Curacao because it is the easiest and cheapest jurisdiction for crypto gaming. Note that cryptocurrency casinos don’t have to be regulated, which is one of the biggest caveats of this gaming form. Hence, players have to be particularly cautious about the platforms where they decide to gamble.
What Drives Crypto Gaming?
Although the option to transact with cryptocurrency has not been available for long, it has generated significant interest. Why is that? What makes digital currencies worth considering as online gambling payment methods? Security is the biggest sell. Digital coins are decentralised, meaning they are not controlled by governments or central banks. Every transaction is recorded on a public ledger and cannot be altered. Additionally, currency-holders don’t have to submit sensitive data during payments. These factors make digital currencies safer than fiat.
The absence of a third party means that operators sidestep standard payment processing fees. Therefore, they save on transactions and pass on those savings to consumers. It’s why crypto casinos have hefty bonuses and promotions. Another advantage of decentralised payments is speed. Players don’t have to wait for third-party approval for transactions. Thus, deposits, and especially withdrawals, are faster than conventional payments. Transacting with digital coins also offers the benefit of low to no fees. Players can get more out of their budgets when they don’t have to give up a percentage of every payment for processing.
So, what does the future of cryptocurrency gambling look like? Judging from the sector’s trajectory thus far, the future seems promising. The attitude towards digital currencies has changed rapidly, with acceptance spreading widely. Besides businesses willing to accept digital coins, consumers are also familiarising themselves better with this payment mode. In August 2021, El Salvador became the first nation to recognise Bitcoin as a legal currency. This move, although not without its challenges, could open more alternatives for crypto transactions and encourage use.
Cryptocurrency gambling is here to stay, and the various stakeholders in the online gaming sector have realised that. A growing number of operators are supporting digital currency payments, and more players are willing to use them. Regulatory bodies are also introducing requirements for crypto gambling to guarantee the safety of consumers. Whether new to cryptocurrency gaming or not, players should always be aware of the risks involved beforehand.