2020 was a huge year for the crypto gambling sector. It was a bad year for the world on the whole, but as more people stayed home and looked for ways to pass the time, online casinos and sportsbooks stepped in.
In 2020, we saw more crypto casinos launch than ever before. New crypto games also hit the market every single week—or so it seemed—and things were on the up.
The growth continued into 2021 and then hit a roadblock of sorts as Bitcoin reached record highs and then saw its value drop by half. But the growth has restarted in the last month or so and crypto casinos are set for a bumper few months as we approach the final quarter of 2021.
The Changes in Bitcoin Gambling
Bitcoin payments are faster and safer than many traditional payment options. The currency itself hasn’t changed much over the years, but the way that it is used in casinos has changed a lot.
In the early days, it was all about wallet IDs and manual payments. These days, companies like CoinsPaid provide a service that works more like a web wallet. It means that players can keep all their cryptos in a single account and then transfer these into and out of their favourite casino in a few clicks.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are also being linked with online casinos, allowing players to connect their exchange like they do a bank account and transfer funds across.
The simplicity of these processes is one of the reasons why Bitcoin is growing so quickly as an online casino payment option.
As easy as these currencies are for experienced users, they can be problematic for complete newbies. The idea of buying coins and transferring them to a virtual wallet via long-string IDs is a little alien. But when the process is automated through web wallet-like services, it’s a little more familiar, and that’s key.
What Drives Bitcoin’s Inclusion?
Volatility is one of the major downsides of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and it’s often cited as the reason that these coins are not widely embraced by companies. It’s less of an issue for online gambling companies, though.
After all, these companies work through merchants and tend to consolidate their payments, so they don’t care what the currency is worth in the future as long as $10 is $10 at the time of purchase.
The biggest issue is anonymity. A debit card is tied to an individual’s bank account, which is tied to their name, address, and other details. It creates a long paper trail and makes it hard for someone to use debit card gambling to launder money or commit fraud.
Cryptocurrency transactions can still be tracked in the blockchain, but they are not tied to an individual and this is where the problems are. Regulators like those in the UK and Sweden expect online casinos to employ strict Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures and that’s just not possible with cryptos.
At the moment, most crypto casinos are regulated in Curacao or Malta, where the rules are a little less strict, but when that changes or workarounds are discovered, the final hurdle will be cleared and cryptos should be as ubiquitous as Neteller, Skrill, and Visa.
It’s not just Bitcoin that is being embraced by the online gambling sector. As the months progress, we’re seeing more and more crypto options being added to the banking pages of casinos and sportsbooks.
Traditionally, it was all about Ethereum and Bitcoin. XRP, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin followed shortly after that and then we show Dogecoin being added during its meteoric—and unexpected—rise. In 2021, we are seeing many smaller altcoins being added, as well as some coins that have had a huge year.
Cardano is one of the biggest to make an appearance on 2021 online casinos while options like Monero, DASH, and Tether are now more common than Bitcoin Cash. They might not be the biggest in terms of market capitalization, but they offer something that other coins don’t and have the technology that can benefit this industry.
As the industry continues to grow, it’s fair to assume that we’ll see many more altcoins being added to these lists. In time, players will be given the option of using dozens of different altcoins every time they make a deposit or withdrawal.
And because cryptocurrencies are faster, easier, and safer than most other payment options, the extra variety could be all that they need to outgrow options like PayPal and debit cards and become the most popular methods used to gamble.