Is Bitcoin a Part of the Future of Online Gaming?

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As developers look for more ways to monetise their games, and players continue to invest more time and money into their gaming habits, many have begun to wonder if bitcoin will be the next big thing in online gaming. The virtual currency has been a hot topic in the media, with many sceptics and critics questioning its legitimacy, applicable uses, and long-term viability. Still, it’s clear that gamers and development companies have no qualms about using Bitcoin. In fact, entire online casinos and gaming platforms like 888poker have begun accepting the currency, leading many to ponder whether it could become ingrained as an integral part of the future of online gaming.

Bitcoin and Gambling – An Inevitable Combination
The controversial crypto-currency has been widely used in the online gambling industry since its introduction back in 2009. At one point, the online gambling site SatoshiDice was responsible for half of all bitcoin transactions, which isn’t surprising considering it was named after the creator of bitcoin, who goes by the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto.” Despite the currency’s early adoption by gamblers, online poker platforms are just recently starting to ride the wave. It seems most gamblers find it easier to part with bitcoin than to load their accounts with funds from a debit/credit card. This makes sense when you realise that many of them are mining bitcoin specifically for the purpose of using it for online gambling.

The Courts Agree, Bitcoin is Legit Money
Much of the uncertainty surrounding bitcoin and online gambling is that some players are hesitant to get involved because there seems to be an irrational fear that bitcoin could suddenly lose its value and become obsolete. Last week, U.S. District Judge Allison Nathan confirmed that bitcoin should be seen as “funds” under federal law, citing that the currency is widely used as a means of payment and a medium of exchange by many legitimate businesses. In 2015, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that bitcoin is a form of legal tender and that any transactions involving the currency are in fact subject to VAT laws and regulations.

Why Use Bitcoin for Online Gaming?
It seems many gamers prefer to use bitcoin for the simple fact that it’s convenient, secure, and doesn’t take away from their other currency reserves. Many gamers have access to powerful hardware and are savvy enough to start mining their own bitcoins, so in many cases they’re actually earning the currency just by running machines. Of course, mining a currency out of cyberspace and then multiplying it with a few solid bets is a good deal all around, so it won’t be surprising to see this trend reach new heights in the coming years.

Will Bitcoin Eventually Be Accepted Everywhere?
When discussing where you’re able to use bitcoin, there’s really no need to look into the future. Did you know that VISA is currently offering a Shift Card, which allows you to spend bitcoin at any of the more than 38 million stores that currently accept VISA? With major card issuers and governments accepting its use, and online gaming sites rushing to jump on the bandwagon, it’s not unrealistic to assume that it could become one of the most popular forms of payment in online gaming during the next 5-10 years.