The blockchain is about to collide with betting. There’s a huge amount of buzz about how cryptocurrencies will make gambling much more enjoyable, personalizable, efficient, and fair. Negative perceptions and associations are gradually fading away as more people become involved in exploring the potential of blockchain tech.
Relevantly, one of the major gripes people have with institutional transaction services are their inefficiency and their often arbitrary criteria when choosing to limit or restrict individual accounts.
With the arrival of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, unregulated digital stores of value now allow much more breathing room for the development of financial technologies and for the development of the digital sphere’s own unique gaming ecosystem.
Fusion: The Interface Between Blockchain and Betting
Betting and gambling are getting a virtual makeover. As a result of the recent popularity of blockchain along with its direct and strong association with technology, a number of applications have spawned to help relate the value conferred by cryptocurrencies onto commonly enjoyed activities.
Enjoy roulette? How about sports betting? Maybe you just want to bet on the outcome of an event with your friend, like whether or not Donald Trump will be a one-term or two-term policy. Blockchain is immensely powerful when it comes to ensuring that all bets are live and fair, and that they are paid out.
How many times have you won a bet against a friend or told a bookie to make a bet for you only to find out that they either ignore you or that they’ve forgotten completely? As it turns out, binary prediction bets are a perfect fit for a decentralized implementation, making automated and efficient bitcoin casinos possible. The advancements in tech which have led to the popularization of blockchain solutions come at an opportune time, as regulatory controls ease or are generally not well-established.
One major market mover is in this space of bitcoin games is Apollo. With Apollo, when you make a bet, it’s immediately associated with your wallet and the transactions along with the randomness of the bet itself are verifiable using the industry-standard provably fair algorithms. There’s no room for cheating because you can use the transaction information that’s tied to the game to verify that the result is, in fact, genuinely random, and the house edge is a bit lower because there’s no physical upkeep to worry about.
Further, gaming sites employing cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech in this manner offer an immersive experience with all of the sounds, effects, and selections you’d expect to experience from an in-person bet, all from the comfort of your laptop or even your phone.
How The Blockchain Differs: A Shift to Legitimacy
While the blockchain is also a primarily digital mode that allows for the transfer and storage of value, a big differentiator between the blockchain and the other payment methods on the Internet exists in the degree of anonymity it affords to its users. Naturally, this was the reason that it was initially co-opted by criminal organizations and individuals to account for monetary value of illicit activities. In its earliest stages, the face of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was heavily associated with the illegal purchases of drugs online in association with the online marketplace Silkroad.
Since then, the increased popularity of Bitcoin and a renewed interested in the technical aspects and potential associated with blockchain technology has galvanized an entirely separate crowd of people and experts looking to optimize the technology for practical uses. Because of this presence, people are beginning to open up to Bitcoin as a more popular and commonplace form of currency. This inverted relationship, which has led to its decreasing popularity in criminal circles, is well-documented in a piece featured by The Atlantic.
However, in contrast to the more nefarious intentions of some of Bitcoin’s earlier adopters along with the nebulousness of Bitcoin’s origins, there is now a vibrant and enthusiastic community surrounding the development and support of Bitcoin along with several major altcoins
The space for bitcoin gambling is also undergoing similar changes as a result of its popularity, with regulatory grey areas giving online venues enough structure and safety to efficiently conduct business without putting significant pressure that would work as an obstacle against new market entrants. Let’s take a closer look at how such a relationship between gambling and online platforms developed over time and how it continues to to evolve.
The Historical Relationship Between Gambling and Technology
Because it takes a while for legislators to understand and catch on with the latest and most recent trends in tech, the time for the appropriate regulation and controls to appear and significantly hamper development will also take much longer.
Everyone familiar with the recent Facebook privacy fiasco with Cambridge Analytica and some of the more controversial questions asked by senators understands this gap. Zuckerberg’s excellent showing contrasted greatly with the inexperience and lack of preparation of the part of some members of the Senate during the hearing.
However, this concerns technology in general. Governments usually have a very strong interest in protecting their citizens from taking risks without understanding the relevant underlying consequences. That’s why organizations such as the SEC and FINRA have stringent standards on who can manage wealth. It’s also why strict controls on the definitions of gambling, even online, exist in many jurisdictions.
The Internet itself is actually one of the best examples of a technology that engendered an entire subcategory related to betting when crafty entrepreneurs took to the digital world to offer platforms for a distributed set of individuals to bet against the house, on events, and against each other.