During the same period of time that has seen cryptocurrencies rise to prominence (such as it is), we’ve also seen online gaming becoming a bigger and more sophisticated business. Referring specifically to gambling-related games, the involved companies have spend the last decade ramping up their sophistication, improving their tech, and generally becoming more appealing to a wider audience. And because this has happened alongside the rise of cryptocurrencies, there are perhaps inevitably links between the two.
One of the simplest explanations for the links may come down to demographics. Simply put, a lot of people inclined to play games online are generally tech-savvy. They know what they’re doing in an internet environment, and are more literate than the average person in various aspects of tech. Macau – one of the world’s biggest in-person gaming and gambling hubs – has even identified “tech-savvy millennials” as a key demographic. And naturally, it’s often going to be people in this or similar categories who are most inclined or able to take up cryptocurrency usage or investment. The correlation is by no means universal or automatic – but we can say in a general sense that people who engage in online gambling have the capacity to handle cryptos, and vice versa.
Some of the same people just discussed regarding tech savviness also place a high value on security. As a result, it’s sometimes specifically noted that one of the things online casinos do better than live ones is offer various security features. SSL secured software and various site-specific safeguards are all designed to protect users’ money and identities. And since bitcoin is essentially designed to do the same thing, it’s a clear, obvious partner for sites and companies in this business. That’s not to say cryptocurrency can entirely address all security concerns related to online casinos, but its use can certainly reassure a lot of users.
Online gambling is a purely digital form of entertainment by nature. Some games do allow you to interact with real people, but the games themselves still operate entirely online and through phones, tablets, and computers. Thus, in some sense, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the most natural partners when it comes to real-money deposits. This may not seem true given that we have digital means of using traditional money at this point. But ask yourself this: If you were completely unfamiliar with money and someone sat you in front of a gambling platform and explained both cash and cryptocurrency, which one would you choose to make your first deposit with? Cryptos match the digital nature of this kind of entertainment, and are thus the more natural partner.
Unlike a lot of other industries, online gaming (both casino and otherwise) embraced cryptos pretty early. Even if platforms like Steam ultimately dropped bitcoin, many gaming sites still accept it as a valid method of payment. More are joining in, slowly but surely, offering bitcoin and other cryptos as a way to fund your entertainment. And because this started happening fairly early on in cryptos’ journey, there are a few examples that have demonstrated that bitcoin payments can work – whereas other industries don’t have these sorts of use cases or examples to point to.
This is a simple, final point, but still a logical one. When gamers use tokens to play games, including poker chips in casinos, they feel less like they’re spending money, and more like they’re just enjoying some entertainment. This is not necessarily a wise way to think about cryptocurrency, but it’s at least worth suggesting that some users might indeed look at cryptos as, for lack of a better word, tokens for online entertainment. This may make them specifically appealing to casino gamers, which further explains the present and growing link between cryptos and this industry.