Bitcoin has become one of those tech and web-related words that we’ve all become used to hearing in recent years, but is it something you really need to get your head around? Potentially yes, as the concept is continuing to gain buzz and even now infiltrating the world of gambling.
Here we take a look at what Bitcoin is, its potential and also how the gambling industry has already taken steps to embrace its existence.
What is bitcoin?
Quite simply, it is type of digital currency that has the potential to change everything we understand about money. It was first released onto the World Wide Web for everyone to use as an open source in January 2009. How do you use it? Well, each person has a digital wallet (or more) and is given the option to send or receive the bitcoins in a transaction. While this article may not have you running to get rid of your traditional coins and notes, take a minute to think about what this means: payments using bitcoin are instant and no middle man is needed – you simply send the coins to anyone across the globe without any admin or handling fees.
How has the gambling industry reacted?
Unsurprisingly. the iGaming industry, known for its embrace of new technology has already made moves to follow this new trend. Take sportsbet.io for instance, which offers visitors the chance to use bitcoin to bet on a range of sports from Premier League football to Squash or Women’s Volleyball. The bookie site offers in-play betting as well as different types of acca and outrights.
Elsewhere, the world’s first licensed online bitcoin casino has also been established which allows users to gamble on a host of traditional games. This may only be the tip of the iceberg, with more bitcoin-related sites likely to pop up in the coming years.
Is it really going to take off?
Well, a Mastercard report recently found that an estimated 136 million people in Europe do not have traditional bank accounts, with many citing trust issues with major banks as a reason not use such services. With this in mind, is it farfetched to consider that some people may turn to alternative currencies like bitcoin in the coming years?
Bitcoin is known as being fairly volatile as a currency, but late last year it was reported that the value of the virtual currency has just reached a three-year high with each individual coin being worth more than £700, with experts suggesting political uncertainty across the world was making bitcoin attractive to the general public.
Finally, there have also been a growing number of instances of people asking to be paid specifically in bitcoin. An example this include developers who made a complex system for a hedge fund. The more people realize that bitcoin payments have minimal additional costs, especially compared to bank handling charges, chances are that they will embrace the digital currency even more.
An option worth exploring
Taking all of the above into account, it is clear that bitcoin clearly has some potential eight years on from its introduction. With its values at an all-time high and new opportunities arising when it comes to making use of the currency, now may well be the moment to spend a little more time exploring this fascinating new phenomenon.