Cryptocurrency in general, and Bitcoin in particular, is a topic that is never far from the headlines. The peaks and troughs that these digital currencies have gone through over the months and years have been well documented and have made crypto a hot topic among investors. For some, that volatility is something that has made them too hot to handle, but despite this, in the real world, cryptocurrency adoption for online transactions has steadily grown.
While we might not yet be at the stage of purchasing our groceries or paying for the car insurance using Bitcoin, there is one area that has taken to crypto like a duck to water, and that is the gaming sector. Way back in 2013, an incredible 50 percent of Bitcoin transactions were gambling related. That same year, the first Bitcoin-only casino launched, and today, it is going stronger than ever, offering the best bitcoin casino games to an ever-growing market. Other casinos have rapidly followed suit, and are offering Bitcoin alongside conventional payment methods like PayPal, Skrill and Neteller.
What’s the attraction?
So why has crypto adoption taken off with such speed in this sector compared with, other types of online transactions? There are a combination of factors at play here.
One is a case of security. If you are gambling at a casino, whether it is online or in the physical world, you need to know that your finances are taken seriously. This is why physical casinos use chips and tokens as opposed to having piles of cash on the tables, and in the online environment, blockchain is acknowledged to represent a benchmark in security.
Anonymity is another compelling factor when it comes to crypto. Some gamers might prefer not to have gambling transactions showing up on their bank and credit card statements. This could be for personal reasons or because they are applying for a bank loan or mortgage.
Thirdly, there is the simple fact that a digital currency lends itself easily to online transactions. Money is transferred instantly and there are typically no commission or transaction costs attached. As well as adding to the convenience, this has the effect of improving the overall return that a gamer can hope to achieve. Even if they don’t end up with a big win, it at least means their bankroll is certain to last a little longer if they are not having to pay out on additional fees.
Other types of crypto gaming
Mention cryptocurrency and gaming and your mind goes automatically to those casino games, and with good reason. However, there are other types of crypto gaming out there that also have a strong following. In 2017, the Ethereum network almost ground to a halt when it introduced the crypto world to the concept of cryptokitties. Described by one commentator as “breedable Beanie Babies,” there is clearly the potential for these to be a fad with a limited lifespan, but this is only the first in a whole range of possibilities.
As a case in point, Cryptocelebrities took the age-old baseball card collecting game to bizarre new levels, offering fans a chance to “buy” their favorite celebrity using Ethereum. The catch, however, was that there was only one of each celebrity. Here’s how it worked. Purchase, for example, Jason Statham, at the contract price of 0.8 ETH and he showed up as all yours. His contract value also increased a set amount to, perhaps, 0.95 ETH, and that is what someone else would then have to pay if they wanted to take possession of him. Clearly, this was always going to be a game with a limited shelf life, and the Cryptocelebrities website shut down last March, but more games like this are certain to follow.
Wondering who was the most traded cryptocelebrity of them all? It should really come as no surprise that it was Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. In the few weeks that the game was up and running, he was traded more than 30 times and the final buyer spent more than 20 ETH on his contract. At the time the game ended, that was equivalent to an eye-watering $13,000. Perhaps we are better off sticking with the slots and roulette games after all.