Cryptocurrency could provide the ideal payment method for online casino and poker gaming while the blockchain and smart contracts can improve security and user experience. It seems like a perfect match, and as a result, the Bitcoin iGaming industry continues to grow in popularity.
Between 2014 and early 2017, the industry saw an estimated $4.5 billion in Bitcoin wagered. Stats from the Bitcoin Strip, which monitors online crypto gaming sites, claim around 24.5 billion bets placed with crypto over two years. At peaks, this reaches 337 bets per second, 3 BTCs per minute worldwide.
Still a Niche Market
These numbers are quite impressive for what is still a niche market, yet the online casino industry is worth over $45 billion a year, so it has only captured a small segment. Many of the major casino and poker operators have yet to adopt cryptocurrency, still business continues to boom. Take, for example, PokerStars, who show no signs of slowing down, recently dealt their 200 billionth hand, setting another record for online poker. The top online casino operators also operate mostly in fiat.
Still, it is clear that online gaming with cryptocurrency has its own advantages and distinguishing factors. Bitcoin makes for a fast and effective payment solution, allowing sites to offer near-instant withdrawals to their personal crypto wallets, often with little or no transaction fees. As a result, crypto iGaming sites often hold little of the player’s money, negating risks. Payouts can even occur via a smart contract.
The blockchain and smart contracts can also improve the reliability and fairness of games, with operators not being able to rig outcomes. Blockchain solutions allow for validated shuffling and randomness of games, providing the potential for increased fairness and trust.
However, there are still barriers when it comes to the growth of the Bitcoin iGaming industry. For one, volatility is still an issue. Price fluctuations still make it hard to use cryptocurrency for transactions, especially for betting where the price could change enough to affect the outcome of the bet. Accessibility is also an issue. Companies like Bitcoin Casino remedy this issue by providing 24/7 support and chat features to assist with withdrawals and deposits.
New Bitcoin Casino Launched
On May 21st, BitcoinCasino.com, one of the latest licensed cryptocurrency sites, announced its official launch. The site accepts Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. It joins the growing ranks of cryptocurrency casino sites, such as BitcoinCasino.io, Cloudbet, and FortuneJack.
BitcoinCasino.com offers over 1,000 games and slots from eight of the world’s major game providers. The platform features games with 3D cinematography as well as live casino games of blackjack, roulette, keno, and baccarat.
Recent licensed cryptocurrency iGaming sites have represented a step up to a level of quality and features that can compete with the more well-established gaming sites. Such may include support and content in multiple languages, fast-loading game streams, multi-tabling options and a secure ecosystem for betting.
In the future, BitcoinCasino.com plans to expand its range of games as well as add new languages and develop their branding.
SwC Poker ‘BIG BTC’ Tournament Proving a Success
The BIG BTC tournament that runs on cryptocurrency poker site SwC Poker has proven to be a success. The tournament takes place on the first Sunday of every month and has a guaranteed prize pool of one million chips, which equals 1 BTC. May was the fourth edition, and the player ‘Austria’ took first place for 260,000 chips (0.26 BTC).
It’s no Sunday Million, which has a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million dollars every week, but it’s a good start for the Bitcoin poker community. SwC also offers a bad beat jackpot that reaches over 1.5 BTC.
There are a growing number of dedicated online poker BTC sites, plus Bitcoin casino sites that also offer poker games. For example, Virtue Poker recently reached an ICO hard cap worth 25,000 Ethereum.
More and more Bitcoin casinos and poker sites have become licensed, providing a high-quality service to customers. Though the mainstream gaming platforms have yet to adopt cryptocurrency, the cryptocurrency iGaming industry continues to grow, with billions of dollars of bets made.