Cryptocurrency is one of the latest crazes spreading across the globe. As Bitcoin went from strength-to-strength others decided to jump on the bandwagon and now we see a list of almost 1500 currencies available on the market. Here, in the world of online poker, we are on the verge of an exciting new era as poker providers start to produce their own cryptocurrencies. So, we should try and answer the question: are poker ICO’s – Initial Coin Offering - the future of online poker?
The Ultimate in Security
As online poker passes its 20th birthday it now looks completely unrecognisable from how we used to know it. We have seen just about every problem we could have envisaged, with a lot of these connected to security. Now, with the help of blockchain technology, we are possibly going to see online poker explode in a way that we could never have predicted a decade ago.
Blockchain technology was first conceptualised by the team – or person – that came up with Bitcoin. In the simplest sense, it is a security method that prevents people from spending their virtual currency more than once. Now we are being told that this same technology can help to revolutionise online poker.
When something new begins to move into the mainstream there is always some level of resistance. Human beings tend not to like big changes, especially when they happen too fast. With cryptocurrency, these naysayers cried how it was not real and could all disappear in only a heartbeat; they didn’t trust the system.
Think for a moment, that out of the $60 trillion that exists in the world today 90% of it only exists on a computer in some bank. It’s no different from cryptocurrency in the sense of physicality.
No More Scandals
Over the last two decades we have seen all manner of security issues when it comes to transferring funds to and from poker sites. We have also seen the USA player pool decimated due to legislation targeted at payment processing. Just imagine, if we had a payment system so secure on both sides – provider and client – that nobody would ever lose money into a black hole on a poker site. Apparently, we now have that possibility.
There are too many advantages to list here, but as well as being immune from sites going bankrupt and disappearing with your cash, the costs for financial transactions will become nothing. Everybody wins – except the banks, of course.
Possibly the biggest bonus we could see from a change to cryptocurrency poker is being able to circumvent legislation designed to prevent the transfer of money to gambling websites. As far as governments are concerned thus far, playing online poker with cryptocurrency is no different to doing it with tiddlywinks or matchsticks.
CoinPoker went live for real money play with their CHP tokens – AKA Chips - in January 2018. A spokesperson proudly declared how transactions will now take mere seconds rather than days or weeks, and told us how the RNG (random number generator) will be blockchain based. This new era of transparency has officially begun, and with the backing of non other than Tony G.
Poker is my passion. I love this game. But online #poker is sick & some things need 2 be changed there. Blockchain & crypto currencies could make poker trustworthy again. That’s why I am backing http://www.coinpoker.com”
Currently the room is rake free with an amazing leaderboard promotion offering $500,000 every month.
Cryptonia Poker are due to launch their ICO any day now, giving poker players the opportunity to make an investment at the ground level as well as playing some poker with the new technology. Their system is based on Ethereum smart contracts which comes with the bonus of knowing that your funds will never be frozen by support staff or payment processors. Also, no more annoying ID verification.
These poker ICO’s will become more and more common over the next few years as the poker community realises that many of the problems we have can be fixed by cryptocurrency. With ICO’s offering currencies that are not mainstream, players don’t even need to get involved with those that are highly volatile.
Putting It All Back Together
This idea of playing with cryptocurrency that dodges the financial regulations governing the transfer of funds is potentially the best thing that online poker has stumbled upon in its history. Governments seem to want nothing to do with regulating this product that seemingly has value, but also doesn’t really exist. Just think if we could turn the clock back to 2003 and bring the American player pool back into the fold. What about the Indian and Chinese player pools?