Blockchain technology is very hot right now. Many global companies and financial institutions have implemented forms of the technology, to help improve the reliability and security of their processes. Forbes has recently reported that even the IRS is hoping to reap the benefits of the technology. One of the industries that could potentially see the greatest improvements from implementing blockchain technology is the online gambling industry.
The technology would deliver what customers and reputable online gambling providers have long since sought; a way of providing permanent verified information that is not open to any form of manipulation. This is a major change for a gambling industry that has sometimes suffered from a lack of trust shown by customers and been hampered by current verification systems which can be cumbersome and unwanted.
Early days of blockchain technology for online gambling
It’s still fairly early days for blockchain technology in the world of online gambling. However, many online casinos already accept cryptocurrencies like Ethereum as a deposit method. Here is a reliable list of recommended sites that provide Ethereum as an option in their cashier. Online casinos are also already implementing their own systems for the completion and signing of smart contracts.
A major sign that blockchain technology could be the way forward for online gambling is that Malta, the center of Europe’s Igaming has recently approved three separate cryptocurrency bills. The content of the bills concerns the legalization and regulation of cryptocurrencies for use in online casinos. This means that online casinos will have a way of being regulated and certified in the use of cryptocurrencies. The Digital Innovation Authority has also been formed, in order to keep check on information which is stored on Distributed Ledger Technology platforms.
Why could blockchain technology be so important?
Online gambling is big business; it accounts for around 25% of all gambling revenue. This means that billions of dollars every year can be made in the gambling industry. The problem is that there are several issues which can have an adverse effect on the ability of the online gambling industry to reach its full potential; not least a perceived lack of transparency and trust.
Technology, such as that used for the Ethereum blockchain, enables the construction, signing and sharing of digital contracts between players and casinos. This means that it will no longer be possible for less reputable companies not to honor promises that have been made. This should mean that disputes will be a thing of the past and that the system of payouts will be quick and problem free. Of course, it’s possible that we will not see these benefits immediately, but blockchain technology certainly has the potential to ensure that these changes happen.
Transparency even behind the scenes
One of the biggest issues that online casinos have had to deal with is the common perception that they are hiding things from players. This could be anything from results to winners and the amount of money that is paid out in prizes. The public has a general belief that much of this type of information is hidden away from them. This often means that the profits from online gambling are not maximised and that the optimum playing experience is not achieved. Bringing blockchain technology into the online gambling arena has the potential to revolutionize it, by removing these issues.
This is a huge positive for online casinos. Many reputable casinos have previously suffered because rogue casinos gave the industry a bad name. How many times have you heard players bemoan the fact that the house always seems to win? If this type of concern becomes prevalent, people can start to stay away from a certain casino. This is no good for the industry. Using blockchain technology means that information is shared across everyone, so it’s not possible for casino to hide anything. This should mean that people have more faith in online casinos, meaning that they start to play more and the revenue of the casinos increases.
Cutting back on player fraud
It’s not just from a reputational point of view that online casinos will benefit from the ongoing use of blockchain technology; they should also see a reduction of losses due to player fraud. There are many different ways in which people who want to cheat the casino can do so; popular options are to hack into the casino or make fraudulent transactions in the cashier. This type of fraud can cost online casinos a lot of money. Using blockchain technology means that online casinos can ensure the security of transactions. Having distributed ledger technology in place means that all winnings are automatically calculated, and the results can clearly be seen by all. Smart contracts are in place and everything is completely open to scrutiny. This means that fraudsters should not be able to manipulate wins any longer. Preventing these losses from fraud is potentially a huge financial benefit for the online casino industry.
Simple payment options
Blockchain technology is obviously closely linked to the use of cryptocurrency, although its use has now gone far beyond that single realm. This original use of blockchain technology provides one of its most useful benefits when it comes to online gambling. The use of cryptocurrencies means that players are not restricted as to how and where they can gamble online, depending on the jurisdiction in which they live. These restrictions can be severe if a player tries to deposit or withdraw using a regulated payment service. Using cryptocurrencies also means that financial charges which casinos have to pay will decrease as they will not have to pay third party financial services providers. This should mean that online casinos no longer charge for the processing of banking transactions which are related to the use of cryptocurrencies.
Complete anonymity online
Anyone who has played at an online casino should know about the problems that sometimes arise from proof of identity being requested. Some casinos request that players provide a whole stack of private documents before they are able to withdraw any winnings. This identification process can be lengthy and extremely frustrating; not something that the casino or the player really wants.
The use of blockchain technology means that this type of identification process could be a thing of the past as the blockchain process itself provides transparency and authentication of contracts. All players should need to do is send blockchain as requested. There is no need to download software or even to create an account. This means that the players and casinos will experience less hassle and that it will not be as easy for hackers to get hold of the personal information of players. This sounds like a really good thing in some ways. However, some people view it as a means of evading current regulatory requirements relating to online casino activity. This can mean that cryptocurrency casinos are viewed with a certain amount of suspicion.
The introduction of Zero Edge
Zero Edge is an online gaming cryptocurrency provider that has fully embraced blockchain technology and its benefits to the world of online gambling. This is a brand new concept involving the launch of the Zerocoin cryptocurrency which is intended for use in the gaming industry. The currency comes alongside a protocol developed by Zero Edge which means that the previously expected house edge no longer exists. This is an online gaming platform which is set to shape the future.
It remains to be seen how popular Zero Edge technology will become, but the more its popularity increases, the better the news is for players. This is because the value of Zerocoin could increase dramatically, which would also increase the value of winnings. It’s easy to see why Zero Edge has caused so much excitement so far. It takes all of the best points of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies and brings them together in one online gambling solution. All of this means that the future of online gambling could be a place where odds are even, deposits and withdrawals are instant and safe and fairness is ensured across all casino games. As all Zerocoin holders are pooled together when using the system, verification issues are fulfilled. All that needs to be known is that a certain amount of Zerocoins has been deposited.
All of this sounds great in theory. However, it’s still very early days for blockchain technology in the world of online gambling. The technology has certainly already started to change online gambling and it has the potential to bring about many more changes in the future. It could increase the profits of online casinos while also making casinos fairer and safer for players. As blockchain technology continues to be at the center of many news stories, it will be interesting to see how its use in the online gaming industry progresses. Only time will tell whether all of the benefits can be embraced and blockchain technology can really become the norm, in the world of online gambling.