Believe it or not, almost 13 years have gone by since the first bitcoin transaction signaled the birth of cryptocurrency. In the intervening years, crypto has never been far from the headlines, but it has not become the global currency of choice that some predicted. There is, however, one area in which digital currency has established a foothold ,and that is in the world of online gambling.
The first crypto casino launched in January 2014, and both operators and players soon came to understand that it was more than just a novelty. Today, there are dozens of online casinos that are crypto-focused, and a growing number of regular platforms are starting to accept crypto as a payment option. It’s a trend that is particularly noticeable in Australia.
Advantages of crypto casinos
One thing that crypto casinos have in common with regular platforms is bonuses. Let’s be honest, when choosing a new casino site, the type and scale of the bonuses on offer is usually an important deciding factor, and a Bitcoin casino bonus will typically be more generous that a fiat one. It might have a superior dollar value, or perhaps more attractive conditions in terms of the wagering requirement and so on.
Crypto casinos also offer anonymity. This is likely to be one of the significant factors that gives them appeal in Australia. After all, the legal and regulatory framework for online casinos is obscure, to put it diplomatically. The only operators available to Australian gamblers are offshore ones, so there is plenty to be said for using a payment option that does not require you to part with sensitive personal data.
Beyond these points, though, there is an inherent elegance in wagering digital money on a digital platform. As well as being secure, it is slick, with faster transaction times and, in many cases, no fees or commissions to add.
Disadvantages of crypto casinos
So much for the pros – but if that was the entire story, everyone would be gambling with Bitcoin or Ethereum without a second thought. There are still some factors that might cause you to think twice, and the most significant is Bitcoin’s legendary volatility. Altcoins are, by and large, no better, and it means that simply owning crypto can be something of a gamble in itself. Some see the idea of then placing it on black 22 or feeding it into a virtual slot as a step too far.
Also, the uncertainty of the regulatory environment can be a double-edged sword. You could argue that throwing more uncertainty in the mix in a market like Australia is only adding to the overall risk.
A growing segment
These are, however, factors with which Australian gamblers, in particular, seem comfortable. Right now, an estimated 10 percent of online gambling payments are made using cryptocurrencies and industry experts predict that the market will continue to grow and develop through 2022 and beyond. Integrating crypto payments into online gambling platforms is something that every operator needs to seriously consider over the coming months.