Cryptocurrency and the blockchain are slowly becoming more mainstream across all industries. One industry that benefits from these innovations is the online casino industry, in particular, the online poker sector. The online version of poker has seen a huge rise in interest in the past few years as more people looked for gaming outlets on the internet. This led to the online poker gaming market increasing by 43%. Today most top online poker providers will now provide cryptocurrency support to remain competitive. In this article, we will examine how crypto is transforming online poker.
Faster Cash Transactions
One of the advantages of crypto and the blockchain is the speed of monetary transactions. Blockchain has made transferring authenticated, regulated, and managed money as simple as sending an email. Traditional banking transactions are much slower, as depositing money into a poker account can take days, and accessing winnings can take up to a week. Poker sites need approval before moving any money from financial institutions. Because crypto is decentralized and doesn’t pass through a third party, the transactions are instantaneous, often with minimal fees. This ease of playing makes online poker much more appealing for those who play regularly.
Security and Financial Anonymity
Besides being faster, using crypto for online poker also improves the security and financial anonymity of transactions. Users who don’t want online poker transactions appearing on their bank statements can use the blockchain to limit how many third parties can see their online transactions. Banks can see the amount, location, and payment method and could potentially share this information with other parties. Crypto payments that go through a blockchain wallet can only be accessed by those who have access to the unique transaction ID. Because each transaction is special, it also greatly reduces the chance of being hacked or forged.
Legalizing Online Poker
The legality of online poker changes depending on which country you are in. In the U.S., only five states allow licensed and regulated poker sites (Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania). This is although the U.S. is home to the world’s biggest poker tournaments. With crypto in online poker becoming much more widely accepted, it potentially allows regulators and players to get around the Interstate Wire Act of 1961. This act “prevents gambling sites from legally accepting online wagers outside of certain jurisdictions,” making it illegal for banks outside of the above five states to process poker transactions. Cryptos are purchased from an app rather than a bank and transferred directly into an online poker account. Because crypto bypasses the banks, lawmakers could potentially be more inclined to relax the rules on online poker. This change is already being implemented in Europe, with Estonia, Denmark, Finland, and Germany allowing internet gambling with crypto as long as the provider has a special license.
Poker has changed a lot in the 21st century as it became more popular as an online game. The next step in online poker’s evolution is using crypto. And as the above points show, the increased use of crypto is changing online poker for the better.