Last week, the top five gambling dApps tracked by DappRadar accumulated almost $40 million. Coupled with calls by the American Gaming Association (AGA) for the introduction of cashless casinos, and the recent legalization of sports and casino betting in several U.S. states, one conclusion is undeniable: the future is looking very rosy for crypto gaming.
Blockchain’s ability to facilitate immutable transactions and direct-to-wallet withdrawals, all without the need for a middleman, have made it an ideal ally of e-gaming. Whether you want to play card games or slots, or make a wager on sport – including e-sports – the options are plentiful. Especially if bitcoin gambling is your preference.
Why Blockchain Is Tailor-Made for E-Gaming
Blockchain is often touted as a means of refining legacy systems in multiple industries. The technology is best known for, and indeed synonymous with, bitcoin, which finished the 2010s as the best-performing asset by a considerable margin.
Of course, blockchain has also been put to use elsewhere: in global supply chains, fundraising, digital identity management, healthcare, food safety, intellectual property – the list goes on. Momentum is steadily building among governments to pursue blockchain-centric policies, with the European Commission recently expressing interest in a legal and regulatory framework for digital assets and smart contracts. Various blockchain projects are already funded under the EU’s budget.
Unsurprisingly, blockchain technology is viewed as compatible with online gambling, primarily due to its robust security, decentralization, and borderless nature. Nowadays, casinos are under pressure to take these matters seriously, with the concept of Provably Fair Gambling having altered the perception of the online betting market as inherently suspicious and unregulated, a kind of digitized Wild West.
With a provably fair algorithm in place to generate hands and govern slot games, the odds and outcomes of wagers are verifiable, via code and blockchain transactions, giving players the peace of mind they need to stake. Moreover, the decentralized nature of the blockchain means player data isn’t stored on a centralized server – and a single point of failure is eliminated.
An Explosion of Gaming dApps
Decentralized applications (dApps) are run on a blockchain and operate beyond the purview of a centralized authority, with data and records generally made public and payments enabled by a cryptographic token.
Censorship-resistant, constantly accessible and running on open-source smart contracts,dApps now run into the thousands, with gambling applications regularly outperforming other sectors in terms of active dApps. Until decentralized finance (defi) apps started shipping en masse, gambling was also #1 as judged by active daily users and 24hr volume.
Total dApp ecosystem transaction volumes surpassed $12 billion during the second quarter of 2020, with gambling apps on chains such as EOS, Ethereum and TRON constituting a significant percentage. Their popularity stems from their commitment to a simple formula: instant wins, micropayments, giveaway incentives like bonuses, free spins, airdrops, and provably fair gaming. According to DappRadar, the best gambling dApps can maintain monthly retention rates of 70%.
Clearly this is a market that is maturing fast and creating value for those who want to spend (or at any rate, bet with) their cryptocurrency, rather than holding it in anticipation of the price rising.
Actually, the use of cryptocurrency for gambling is reflective of a wider industry trend of increased utility. Crypto that was previously idle can now be lent, borrowed and leveraged without the need to sell. It can also, as we’ve seen, be gambled. And as land-based casinos are likely to move away from the quarters-in-buckets approach towards a cashless system, crypto casinos are already way ahead of them.
Blockchain Meets Brick and Mortar Casinos
One gaming company is already working on a hardware/blockchain solution that can be integrated into physical casinos, enabling them to adopt a cashless ecosystem via crypto mobile wallets, hardware devices installed in slots and table games, and a server that communicates with the blockchain. Who knows, perhaps blockchain-powered brick and mortar casinos will soon compete with gambling dApps and fully-fledged bitcoin casino sites.
Ultimately, most gamblers crave a simple yet stimulating experience. If dApps and crypto casinos continue to deliver the goods, and market developments progress as expected (more legalized gambling, cashless casinos), expect blockchain’s role within the gaming world to grow.