Could Blockchain Technology Become a Staple in the iGaming Industry?
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The iGaming industry is incredibly competitive. With hundreds of different brands offering online casino games to their players, they have to work hard to stand out from the crowd. One of the ways they do this is by running promotions that include bonuses for new players either after signing up or making their first deposit. There are so many of these that sites like oddschecker have started listing all available offers so players can find the one that suits them.
Of course, bonuses aren't the only way iGaming brands try to differentiate themselves. Many are also turning to technology to expand and improve their offerings.
For example, you will notice that some leading companies have started developing virtual reality games to provide a unique experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
However, apart from a few smaller and offshore sites, there are not many iGaming platforms that use blockchain.
Could this change? After all, there has been a lot of talk about how blockchain and its various implementations can help revolutionize many industries, including iGaming.
The most obvious implementation of blockchain technology in iGaming is the acceptance of cryptocurrencies.
Since online casinos and betting sites accept payments from their bettors and then the winning bettors, digital tokens like Bitcoin can easily replace fiat currencies in this case.
There are already some limited implementations of this. First, there are niche sites that use cryptocurrencies for both deposits and betting, completely eliminating traditional money.
Another way is to use only digital tokens for deposits. In this case, the player may be using cryptocurrency to fund their account, but either the payment processor or the casino will convert it to dollars, euros or pounds before betting can take place.
The latter is more practical for large iGaming companies as it removes the currency risk associated with exchange rates. However, that defeats much of the purpose of using cryptocurrency.
Broader adoption in this area is unlikely to happen until the majority of people adopt digital money. Therefore, it may be some distance away.
Use of smart contracts
In addition to cryptocurrencies, smart contracts were one of the first ideas advocated by blockchain enthusiasts.
They work using public ledgers to create a record of the contract and have an automatic trigger mechanism to ensure that one party pays the other.
Those who have been involved in the technology for some time have championed the various uses of smart contracts in applications ranging from real estate to shipping to iGaming.
Smart contracts could enable "provably fair" games, a term that essentially refers to transparency, as it would allow anyone to inspect the accounts to see if payouts have been made to winning players.
This sounds good on paper, but the reality is that smart contracts are a solution to a problem that has already been solved.
In most regulated markets, licensing requires checks and audits to ensure the games are fair. Similarly, most casino games are created by developers who use third parties to ensure that the creations are fair and accurate.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a newer development along our collective crypto journey.
They allow a record of ownership to be left on the blockchain, ensuring that someone's right to something is publicly provable.
They became a hot topic in 2021 as people raced to buy digital artworks, mostly in the hope that they could flip them for a profit later.
NFTs have already found their way into iGaming, with one slot software company purchasing the digital art and incorporating it into one of their games.
There are also other possible uses, such as offering NFT cards as rewards instead of or in addition to cash. This could be done digitally as the technology's provable scarcity would help add value to such rewards.
We're also seeing moves to include NFTs in other game types, with publisher Ubisoft already launching their own platform for them.
If iGaming follows this trend, NFTs may well be the way for blockchain to succeed in the industry.
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