Bitcoin had almost no value at all when it initially appeared in 2009. There were no exchanges operating and owners couldn’t use it to purchase goods and services like they can today. In early 2010, Bitcoin’s value sat at around $0.003. That’s one-third of a penny. That March, a Bitcoin owner tried to sell 10,000 Bitcoins for just $50. Nobody bought it. With the price of one Bitcoin hovering around $8,000 these days, that $50 investment would now be worth about $80 million.
Things began to change in July 2010 when Bitcoin reached $0.08. Over the next year, the fledgling cryptocurrency reached $31. It proceeded to crash back down to around $2 before closing out 2012 at $13. This volatile virtual currency has since peaked and plummeted many times. It briefly flirted with the $20,000 plateau in December 2017 and it has been as low as under $3,500. What does the future have in store for Bitcoin? While some think cryptocurrency will crash and fade away, a few optimists have mused about the possibility of Bitcoin hitting the $5 million mark one day. One thing seems certain: Gambling companies will have a key role in cryptocurrency’s growth.
It may be mere coincidence, but the first exponential rise in the price of Bitcoin occurred around the same time that some forward-thinking online gambling sites began accepting cryptocurrency. As the number of online casinos that accept Bitcoin increased, so did the value of Bitcoin. Supporting cryptocurrency enabled online betting sites to reach a global audience. How? Well, the very nature of cryptocurrency and the regulatory environment in which it exists makes it possible for online gambling enthusiasts to circumvent the rules and make anonymous transactions.
It’s important to understand that fiat currency-based operators are regulated and need licenses to operate. The same rules don’t yet apply to all crypto gambling sites because cryptocurrency remains unregulated in many countries. Many regions that prohibit online gambling force payment processors to block deposits and withdrawals. Because cryptocurrency uses a peer-to-peer platform, no middlemen play a role in transactions conducted at crypto sites. Therefore, those transactions are nearly impossible to block. Identity verification and geolocation are a couple of other roadblocks that are avoided. Registering at most crypto betting sites only requires an email address and a username.
Online operators also pay for the services of third-party payment processors. Sites that exclusively cater to cryptocurrency users avoid these charges, which increases their bottom lines. It also allows them to carry out their transactions more efficiently. They can process deposits almost instantaneously, while withdrawals are completed significantly faster than almost all other payment methods. Cryptocurrency users are also attracted to the valuable bonuses that online casinos and sportsbooks have to offer. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and the estimated 1,600 other cryptocurrencies are a godsend to both players and operators.
Gambling companies are well-known for their willingness to embrace and utilize new technology such as blockchain and artificial intelligence. This is especially true when integrating something new benefits both the operator and the customer. The vast majority of transactions on platforms like TRON and EOS are for gambling. Running on the Tron blockchain, TronDice is one of the latest dApps to enjoy massive success. Meanwhile, 70% of the estimated $5.5 billion that has gone through EOS has been attributed to gambling dApps. Unlike traditional apps that run on computer systems, dApps are decentralized blockchain-based applications. The exact percentage of crypto’s share of the online gambling market is tough to nail down. However, we know that crypto gambling is more popular than ever. There are also many reasons to believe that it will only continue on an upward trajectory.
It’s true that cryptocurrency users can now spend their virtual money on a variety of goods and services. You can pay for your Starbucks coffee, food delivery, electronics, and even airfare and hotel accommodation. Several of the world’s biggest merchants accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Still, online gambling remains a key driver of the crypto economy. Even in regions like the United States where legalized and regulated online gambling is expanding, crypto gambling continues to prosper because it offers much more value and convenience.
The cryptocurrency online gambling landscape is almost certain to change in the coming years. Most notably, several governments around the world are trying to find ways to regulate cryptocurrency. Gambling jurisdictions are also likely to propose methods of regulating cryptocurrency gambling. At the same time, these things won’t be easy to do because they require coordinated efforts on a global scale. Gambling companies will continue to support and profit from the growth of cryptocurrency well into the unforeseeable future.