2021 has been a big year for bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.
There have been some record highs and plenty of exposure in the media. Some exposure has been looking favorably on crypto, such as Elon Musk’s obsession with talking it up on social media, whilst other news items have not been so kind. China’s banning of bitcoin certainly hit investor confidence, especially after it came hot on the heels of El Salvador adopting it as a national currency.
Whilst the market remains turbulent, exciting, and ever-evolving, there’s plenty of benefits for those willing to ride the waves. One industry that has adopted bitcoin as a key selling feature is the online poker industry. Online poker is also on the rise; five states have legalized online poker in the United States with more sure to follow. Couple that with the ongoing World Series of Poker this fall and the recent pandemic closing physical venues. It is safe to say online poker is as popular now as it was back in 2003, during the original poker boom.
What the industry did not have back then is bitcoin. In 2011, the online poker industry collapsed due to concerns around safety and legality, something that bitcoin can help to alleviate in the latest poker boom. How is bitcoin being used by online poker providers, and why is it popular? These are the three core reasons.
Bitcoin is much safer than standard payment methods, which has led to some providers offering it as their core method of depositing. Often, these are providers offering a wide range of casino games under the brand of a crypto casino. Customers like these casinos as they don’t have a middleman processing the payment, such as a bank. That means one less link in the chain for fraudsters or hackers to exploit. As we know, crypto chains are virtually impossible to crack, meaning secure payments with little risk.
There are plenty of poker players who prefer that their activity is now known about; that might be big stars playing for high stakes or just people who like to keep their business private. With online poker companies accepting bitcoin or crypto payments, there is full privacy assured. You don’t need to use confidential information, so you’re getting a completely secure payment method without the risk of exposure. On a more basic level, it protects you from identity theft, if nothing else.
Online poker is all about the money, and using a provider that accepts bitcoin payments has financial benefits. Because there’s no intermediary, there’s no money leaking out of the transaction, which can mean bigger rake backs, bigger prizes, and far fewer overheads. Also, poker providers using bitcoin are not bound by the laws applied to real money games, which can mean bigger prizes and much higher stakes. Perfect for the high rollers who wish to play a few hands anonymously, safely, and for big bucks.
Online poker and bitcoin feel like a match made in heaven, but there are pitfalls. The volatile market means your prize pot could be worthless tomorrow than it is today, and there are concerns around the anonymous nature of the industry. Some feel it is prime for money laundering operations, but the real risk is the uncertain value of bitcoin from one day to the next.