Online Casinos: Will Cryptocurrency Catch On?

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Despite being a fringe interest just a few short years ago, it feels like crypto is everywhere we turn these days. You can now use cryptocurrencies to pay for everything from flights to food to houses, with even entire countries going all-in on the crypto craze. As part of the ongoing normalization of crypto, one service that has been quick to adapt is the online gambling sector. 

While players can make wagers and withdraw winnings in dollars, euros, and pounds, as usual, some casinos also offer the chance to play entirely using currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. This is still an emerging trend within gambling, so let's take a closer look to see where it is heading.  

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The state of play 

The casino industry is a very broad and fragmented one, which is why it is difficult to get exact numbers on the adoption of crypto payment methods. By some estimates, cryptocurrency gambling generated more than $900 million of revenue in 2021. While this is still a small fraction of overall online casino revenues, this number represents a whopping 170% increase over the previous year. 

So, it's clear that cryptocurrencies are catching on in casinos fast. However, whether this growth will be sustained in the future remains to be seen. Unsurprisingly, the dominant cryptocurrency in online casinos is Bitcoin, with some casinos offering Bitcoin as the only form of crypto payment.  

The pros 

While it might feel trendy to gamble with cryptocurrencies, it is worth assessing what the pros of doing so actually are for users. If there's one thing we know that online gamblers want, it is secure and discreet payment options. 

This guide to the top online casinos in the US breaks down the security features that characterize quality, popular casinos, such as end-to-end encryption and the use of well-known gateways such as PayPal. 

For some, cryptocurrency might offer an additional layer of security, since Bitcoin transactions on the decentralized blockchain are less vulnerable to interference. Of course, for gamblers, another pro might be the possibility that Bitcoin's inherent volatility could translate to a sudden boost in the value of their winnings. 

The cons 

While volatility means that the value of crypto winnings can go up, it also means they can go down. It is just as likely that a person's Bitcoin winnings from the casino lose a substantial chunk of their value before they can be withdrawn since the price is constantly jumping up and down in a way that fiat currencies never experience. 

Meanwhile, using crypto at casinos is not always the most user-friendly experience, since making deposits and withdrawals via an e-wallet is a more cumbersome process that can sometimes take days to complete. There may also be additional security vulnerabilities that are unique to crypto which casinos will have to adapt to. 

Cryptocurrencies are making themselves known in the online gambling sector in a big way. Whether they are here to stay is another question entirely. The fate of crypto casinos may well depend on whether the current crypto bubble bursts for real.  

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