In 2011 there were 80million mobile phone gamers in the U.S, a figure that has rapidly proliferated in five years to 180million in 2016. With numbers continuing to swell, the igaming industry is flourishing. Enhanced technology such as tablets and smartphones, and diverse and modernized games like video slots, contribute to the growing popularity of mobile gaming. Bitcoin could be the final piece in the puzzle to make the online gaming sector accessible to everyone.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that started seven years ago as an alternative method for paying for things online. As the online world is theoretically borderless – with people from different countries occupying the same web spaces – it seems logical that there should be a sole internet currency for everyone.
It annuls the need to consider fluctuating exchange rates, it can be used by anyone, anywhere, and it tends to have much lower fees than traditional credit card transactions – about 5.5x lower according to recent estimations.
More businesses are embracing the currency as renowned economists including Barry Eichengreen have speculated that in the near future Bitcoin could become the number one form of online payment. Massive companies like Subway, Microsoft, and WordPress are all now providing customers with the option to pay using Bitcoin, possibly in an attempt to cover all bases or perhaps because they also believe in the e-currency.
What has Bitcoin done for gaming?
The growing popularity of the cryptocurrency has led to the rise of the Bitcoin casino. These are similar to traditional online casinos with the main difference being that the sole betting currency is Bitcoin.
Because Bitcoin transactions have lower fees, it means that online casinos can pass the savings on to customers in the form of tantalising bonuses and promotions. Another notable thing about Bitcoin casinos is that they house specialised slot games that can only be played with Bitcoin. This helps to attract slot fanatics to try playing with the e-currency. Games like Star Cash, Desert Drag, and Burning Flame provide a different and unique gaming experience for Bitcoin customers.
Online casinos that have already made the transition to Bitcoin payments are predicting a Bitcoin future and trying to get ahead of the competition. With virtual reality (VR) about to change the way people game, Bitcoin could be poised to benefit even further. Exploring VR worlds such as MMORPG settings will bring people together from different parts of the world and effectively create multi-national locations in cyberspace.
For buying things within the games such as character upgrades or weapons, it would be beneficial to have a single currency that everyone can use. Microgaming’s VR Roulette game is a step towards developing VR casinos, and Bitcoin could be an ideal currency to spend in them as well. In theory, players would be exploring the VR setting and carrying their Bitcoin wallets around with them.
The gaming industry has come an astoundingly long way since the days of dropping a coin into a machine and pulling a lever. With virtual top-ups now the norm, Bitcoin is the logical future for the online gaming sector that spans all over the world.