The iGaming industry is incredibly competitive. With hundreds of different brands all offering online casino games to their players, they have to work hard to stand out from the crowd. One way that they do this is by running promotions that include bonuses for new players, either after signing up or after making their first deposit. There are so many of these around that sites like oddschecker have begun to list all the available offers so that players can find the one that’s right for them.
Of course, bonuses aren’t the only way that iGaming brands try to differentiate themselves. Many also turn to technology to expand and enhance their offering.
For instance, you’ll find that some leading companies have begun to develop virtual reality games to offer a unique type of experience that cannot be found elsewhere.
However, with the exception of a few smaller and offshore sites, there aren’t many iGaming platforms that make use of the blockchain.
Could this change? After all, there has been a lot said about how the blockchain and its different implementations could help to revolutionize many industries, including iGaming.
The most obvious implementation of blockchain technology in iGaming is accepting cryptocurrencies.
Since online casinos and betting sites accept payments from their punters and then payout to those that place winning bets, digital tokens like Bitcoin could easily replace fiat currencies in this case.
There are some limited implementations of this already. Firstly, there are niche sites that use cryptocurrencies for both deposits and wagers, completely doing away with any traditional money.
The second approach is to only use digital tokens for deposits. In this case, a player might use a cryptocurrency to fund their account, but it will be converted to dollars, euros, or pounds by either the payment processor or casino before any betting can take place.
The latter is more practical for major iGaming companies as it removes the currency risk associated with exchange rates. However, it negates much of the point of using a cryptocurrency in the first place.
More widespread adoption in this area is likely not going to happen until digital money becomes adopted by the majority of people. Therefore, it could be some way off.
Using Smart Contracts
Aside from cryptocurrencies, smart contracts were one of the first ideas that blockchain enthusiasts championed.
They work by using the public ledger to create a record of an agreement and have an automated trigger mechanism for ensuring one party pays another.
Those that have been involved with the technology for some time have been championing the different possible uses for smart contracts, with applications ranging from real estate to shipping and iGaming.
Smart contracts could allow for “provably fair” games, a term that essentially refers to transparency, since it would permit anyone to audit the ledger to check payouts were made to winning players.
This sounds great 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 inspections and audits, ensuring fairness in games. Similarly, most casino games are created by developers that use external parties to verify their creations are fair and accurate.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a more recent development along our collective crypto journey.
They allow a record of ownership to be left on the blockchain, ensuring someone’s right to something is publicly provable.
They became the topic of much discussion in 2021 as people raced to buy up digital art pieces, mostly in the hope of flipping them for a profit later.
NFTs have already found their way into iGaming with one slot software company buying some digital artwork and incorporating it into one of their games.
There are other possible uses too, such as providing NFTs as prizes instead of, or as well as, cash. This could be done digitally with the provable scarcity of the technology helping to add value to such prizes.
We’re also seeing moves to incorporate NFTs into other types of games, with publisher Ubisoft already launching its own platform for them.
If iGaming follows this trend, NFTs could well be the means for blockchain to thrive in the industry.
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