Blockchain technology is the talk of the town right now. Huge numbers of companies around the world are exploring the innovation to see how it can revolutionize the industry they do business in.
For those that don’t know, a blockchain is essentially a database. The thing that makes it unique is that it is distributed amongst participants of the network. The rules of the network dictate who can update the database. Public blockchains often demand that participants compete at computational problems for the right to add new data to the ledger. Private blockchains, like those used in supply chain applications, likely have unique rules that need to be satisfied before a given participant can update the chain.
Since they have no single, attackable point of failure, blockchains can be incredibly resilient to compromise. However, the security aspect of a blockchain depends on the specific rules of the network, whether it’s a public or private network, as well as other variables, such as hashing power on a public blockchain like Bitcoin.
As mentioned, a myriad of players from varied industries has started tinkering with blockchain technology. Aside from cryptocurrency, which brought the technology to the attention of the masses, most of these early initial applications have been related to proving the authenticity of something. Alaskan salmon fisheries, luxury goods manufacturers, and global motor vehicle companies are all currently trialing or using blockchain technology to prove to customers that the item they are selling is exactly what they claim it is.
To be honest, it’s a similar form of accountability that has made the technology appealing to casino designers. Imagine an online casino in which a player could count the cards in the blackjack shoe prior to every hand, checking that every card was indeed present and the player did stand a chance of winning. Well, blockchain technology makes that possible.
Blockchain technology is appealing to those designing casinos for more than just accountability’s sake. There are several other good reasons that online gambling in the future could take place primarily on the blockchain.
Easy, Fast, Decentralized Payments:
Blockchain technology’s first application was in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, and payments in digital assets are common at blockchain casinos.
There are many advantages to using cryptocurrencies as a payment method when gambling online. They are finalized very quickly versus a VISA or Mastercard payment. These legacy methods might appear like they are instantaneous to deposit with, but in reality, they’re not. The casino operator sees that the bank is in the process of sending funds, trusts that they are good for the money, and credits your bank. It might be a couple of days before the casino actually receives the deposit.
This is why withdrawals using such methods take days rather than hours too. Your bank doesn’t trust that the casino is good for the money, so it waits until it receives your withdrawal before letting you spend it.
Some cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, offer a massive amount of finality in the payment after just minutes. After an hour, it would cost some malevolent hacker $1 million in electricity and many more millions in mining equipment to attempt to undo the transaction. Such an attack is prohibitively expensive, and if a single entity did control enough hashing power and have the resources to launch a sustained attack, it would be far more profitable to use their arsenal to support rather than subvert the network. Such an incentive structure makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies an incredibly secure and final method of payment.
The knock-on effect, when used at an online casino of this security and finality, is that cryptocurrency withdrawals take a fraction of the time of their legacy counterparts. This makes cryptocurrency a great choice for those wary about leaving large bankrolls at online casinos for extended periods of time. They can simply withdraw after every session and redeposit the following day.
Another great plus for blockchain and crypto-based casinos is that there is no need for the casino to store reams of personal details on centralized servers. Traditional casinos will have all kinds of records stored on their systems to make them compliant with banking regulations. With cryptocurrency, there are no “accounts” as such. You don’t register your personal details when you create a wallet.
Not only does this reduce the risk of the casino being compromised by cybercriminals – customer data is incredibly valuable – it also means that players can enjoy casino games with a much higher degree of anonymity than previously possible. For those who love to travel this is a great plus. It’s also great living in parts of the world where the pastime is outright banned. However, we’d never encourage you to use cryptocurrency to subvert such draconian legislation.
Massive Welcome Bonuses:
Since they’re the “new kids on the block” so to speak, blockchain casinos are desperate for attention. They’re competing with absolute giants from a long-established industry. Why should a player join this new, strange casino when the likes of William Hill or Bet365 are trustworthy and dependable enough already?
This causes an issue for new casinos since they struggle to prove themselves to the market because there is a little direct incentive to try a brand-new venue using some strange technology that the player might not understand. To get around this and to build a brand and reputation with real customer reviews, blockchain casinos like to dangle absolutely massive welcome bonuses before new players. While Bitcoin (over $10,000) bonuses are available from some cryptocurrency casinos, compare that to the £50 free bet or £200 slot bonus you get elsewhere, and the newcomer just created a powerful incentive to come give them a try.
Provably Fair Gaming:
As alluded to in the introduction of this article, perhaps the biggest innovation of blockchain casinos is the concept of provably fair gaming. Trust is a massive issue in the online casino industry, and operators spend millions of dollars every year undergoing audits, getting licenses, and doing everything in their power to prove to players that their games are straight up and that they’re not running a scam.
Blockchain technology completely revolutionizes the concept of trust in the online casino. If a game is written in open-source code and built on a blockchain, it is possible for a computer savvy-user to check all the code to see if the game has been built to behave according to the rules. For example, in a game of roulette, all numbers on the wheel were indeed entered into the random number generator.
The concept of blockchain-enabled, provably fair gambling is very much in its infancy at the moment and only a few games currently exist. However, we’re expecting efforts to create such transparent games to increase dramatically over the next few years. This could result in huge savings for casino operators if their games can be audited much more readily and by anyone.