In 1994, the first online casino was created by an Isle of Man-based company known as Microgaming Software Systems. Since that time, online gaming has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, it’s estimated that over $56 billion will be wagered on the internet in 2018 alone. Moreover, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global online gambling market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5% from 2018-2022.
The data demonstrating that the internet gaming industry is expected to experience continued growth is good news for the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin; due to the fact that online wagering is one of the token’s primary use cases.
A few years back, bitcoin received quite a bit of bad press, due to its association with Silk Road. However, the digital currency was used 10 times as often to gamble online, as it was to purchase goods on the now-defunct black market. In total, it’s estimated that roughly 60% of digital currency trades are taking place on betting websites.
After reading these statistics, one might reasonably ask, exactly how much bitcoin is being wagered?
According to a recent article by NewsWatch, “although reports have mentioned that bitcoin has only managed to capture a small part of the online gambling market, this small percentage actually adds up to 4.5 billion dollars in the last four years, and as increasing numbers of casinos accept the currency as well as casinos that deal solely with the cryptocurrency evolve, then that percentage is sure to rise.”
To look at the numbers another way, “Between May 1st, 2014 and May 1st, 2017 there were 266 bets made per second with 2.45 bitcoins being wagered every minute.”
It’s clear that bitcoin is being used by a significant portion of online gamblers and there are several reasons for this. Firstly, in most cases, users can deposit or withdraw their money instantly – when dealing with a reputable gaming site. Conversely, bank transfers can sometimes take several days to complete.
Another advantage to wagering with bitcoin is that fees are generally much cheaper than those associated with banks and credit card companies. There are some sites that don’t charge fees at all when using this relatively new form of currency.
One popular site that accepts crypto, and doesn’t charge any sort of fees to use it, is Bovada. Bovada recently decided to accept both bitcoin and bitcoin cash. The gambling site has the distinction of being the largest online casino that welcomes gamblers located in the United States – making it a viable destination for Americans looking to wager with either digital token.
While Bovada is among the most visible, there are now literally hundreds of gaming destinations that accept bitcoin and other types of digital currencies.
Regardless of how one might feel about gambling –the fact that the world’s first digital coin is becoming widely accepted in online gaming circles could be an important step in cryptocurrency’s journey toward mainstream acceptance.
In a recent interview, Nick Almond of CryptoMilionsLotto discussed online gaming as a digital currency use case.
“The path to crypto adoption will start to happen when people see a real-use case that they know and understand. “It won’t get much easier to understand than this.”
When it comes to something as volatile as cryptocurrency, it’s nearly impossible to forecast what lies ahead. However, based on that data provided, it’s fair to assume that bitcoin (and other forms of digital currency) will be an important part of online gaming for the foreseeable future – one might even say –it’s a safe bet.