How cryptocurrency is benefitting online Poker
The cryptocurrency world is a turbulent one, full of mistrust from one side and hope for the future from the other.
In that respect, it very much reflects the world of online poker. That too is an industry with its detractors, but that is seemingly growing regardless of those who wish to see it fail.
Fuelled by the recent pandemic, online poker revenue has shot up across the US, along with other traditional casino games provided online. Physical locations have had to close for a while, which helped drive players to their mobile devices, but improving legislation has also seen new operators setting up across the United States.
Some have likened the current boom to be on a par with the original poker boom early in the century, which saw poker vault into mainstream notoriety, with thousands of new players learning the rules to poker every day. In that instance, Chris Moneymaker qualified for the World Series of Poker and won a $2.5m prize, with huge numbers following his lead into the online game.
That boom came to an abrupt end in 2011 with the Black Friday events, which saw major operators shut down, and since then, online poker has cleaned up its act and became far safer. One aspect of the current climate which is conducive to a safer environment is the emergence of cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been headline news for much of 2021, thanks in no small part to Elon Musk’s constant social media messages. However you view cryptocurrency, the benefits for online poker players are numerous, so much so that some providers now offer 100% crypto poker without any cash deposits at all.
For players, the safety aspect is a big advantage. Cryptocurrency is a far safer and more robust transaction method, which offers a level of anonymity and cuts out the middleman of a bank or merchant. With fewer links in the payment chain, there is less scope for anyone to defraud either party, especially with the solid nature of blockchain. Some detractors point out that cryptocurrency is a method by which money launderers have handled the proceeds of crime. Still, it is a concern voiced usually by opponents of having such a currency. Also, without a middleman, there are no fees for transactions, which means poker players get a better rake back from their provider due to said provider not having to give away a percentage of their profit.
There is also an element of data protection within a crypto poker room because blockchain means no personal details have to be entered by players. One of the major risks involved with cash transactions through a third party is the theft not of your funds but your data which gives a criminal element access to those funds. With blockchain, an instantaneous transaction is conducted without the need for bank details, card details or any other information which could be stolen and used to steal from you.
On a slightly shadier side, cryptocurrency can be used to circumnavigate regional restrictions on playing online poker. If you live in a country that forbids gaming for cash online, a crypto transaction can be conducted, which means you remain within the law when turning cards and bluffing opponents. It is a loophole likely to be examined in certain areas, but it is another advantage to the online poker industry.
All in, cryptocurrency has many benefits for the online poker industry. The same applies the other way around; the more people use and trade cryptocurrency, the more acceptable and recognized it becomes. The two sectors are certainly doing each other a favor as they grow, beyond the expectations of their detractors.