The online casino industry has undergone some significant changes in a relatively short space of time. Over the past two or so decades, the industry has gone from inception and basic digital gaming platforms to one of the leaders and innovators in online gaming technology. In fact, the online casino scene is usually one of the first major online industries to embrace new technologies, with HTML5 gaming being a case in point.
The iGaming niche has also been a leader in embracing a wide range and variety of modern and convenient payment options, most of which have been specially designed for online use. This includes an array of electronic wallets, known as eWallets, as well as other cutting-edge systems including prepaid digital pin code vouchers such as ecoPayz or Virtual Visa Debit and others.
That being said, one of the recent and arguably most significant developments in the online gaming industry within the past few years has to do with the advent of so-called cryptocurrencies.
What are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are perfectly named since they seem to create quite a bit of confusion as to what they are exactly. Essentially, cryptocurrencies are purely digital assets that have been designed or created as an exchange medium that facilitates financial transactions which are secured through the use of cryptography.
The first real cryptocurrency was launched in 2009 as an open source software platform known as Bitcoin. One of the most prominent features of Bitcoin, as well as subsequent cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, is that they are totally decentralised. What this essentially means is that, unlike real world or fiat currencies, there is no central control such as that found through government or central bank control.
The Battle for Control between Cryptocurrencies and Fiat Currencies
Even though cryptocurrencies have been in use on the web for almost a decade, most online casinos were sceptical, choosing not to adopt the often controversial currency in favour of more stable and reliable centralised fiat currencies like US dollars, Euros, British pounds and so forth.
However, as an increased number of internet users began to adopt cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and more recently Ethereum, favouring the higher levels of online security thanks to blockchain and smart ledger technologies, over older fiat currencies as well as their associated payment systems, online casinos were forced to take it more seriously.
Consequently, you will now find more and more online casinos that offer a mix of terrestrial (fiat) currencies as well as some form of cryptocurrency (usually Bitcoin). Some online casinos take the reality of cryptocurrencies a bit more seriously than others, and you will often find more cryptocurrency options at ‘newer generation’ online casinos. This is especially true of online casinos that have also adopted ‘gamification’ principles into their casino platforms.
At the moment it would seem that cryptocurrencies have gained the upper hand over fiat currencies, as more and more gamblers from around the world move to a more secure and anonymous online payment system. You will even find online casinos that only offer cryptocurrencies as a payment system, entirely forgoing what is seen as an outdated payment system represented by fiat currencies.