Virtual Currencies And Online Gaming: Do You Accept Bitcoin?
Bitcoin, the virtual cryptocurrency created in 2008 experienced an unexpected resurgence in value and popularity in 2016.
Bitcoin has two primary uses: a payment method and a commodity, traded the same as any others such as oil or gold. More fund managers hold a small percentage of their investments in Bitcoin. Perhaps it is no surprise that Bitcoin investments increased during a year of global turmoil that caught the media, businesses and investors by surprise. Hence the 79% surge during 2016, and Bitcoin trading at an all time high this February.
Bitcoin is still trading over $1098 (approximately £850.00) at the time of writing.
At the same time, tech-savvy customers with Bitcoin wallets want more places to spend the currency. Online gaming and gambling have been happy to oblige, making it easier for consumers to use Bitcoin – a highly secure payment option – when playing online games and gambling.
UK Gambling Commission Supports Bitcoin
In 2015, the UK Gambling Commission published an opinion paper on virtual currencies, giving sufficient reason to consider them “equal to real-money wagering.” The Commission made it clear that British online gaming companies need to offer Bitcoin – and potentially other virtual currencies – as another secure payment option. This includes the option to allow payment for in-game purchases using Bitcoin.
However, it is important that risks are carefully controlled, including anti-money laundering prevention and other security measures are taken to safeguard the casinos and players. Virtual currencies don’t mitigate and reduce the obligations casinos face to prevent fraud and other financial crimes.
The technology that makes Bitcoin work – Blockchain – does make this currency secure, but further measures are required when integrating with Bitcoin-friendly payment platforms and consumer-orientated websites, apps and games.
Bitcoin and Online Gaming
Bitcoin is also popular with online gaming platforms. Towards the end of 2016, four of the world’s most popular games platforms – Play-Asia, Kinguin, G2A and Steam – have rolled out Bitcoin payment integration. Several massively-multiplayer online (MMO) games platforms, including Wargaming – with 15 titles – and Spells of Genesis (SoG) – also offer complete Bitcoin integration.
Some games, such as Spells of Genesis (SoG), take Bitcoin integration one step further. Created by EverdreamSoft SA, the game uses Blockchain technology so that players can buy and trade virtual cards in the game. Players can make a lot of money buying and selling cards, depending on how rare they are, which makes a highly secure cryptocurrency an ideal partner for games with dedicated followers.
For the majority of online gamers and gamblers, Bitcoin is not a natural payment option. Many don’t understand cryptocurrencies. However, compared to other online markets, such as e-commerce, there is a much higher percentage of people who use Bitcoin on these online platforms, making it an option that every game and gambling brand should consider integrating in 2017.
If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail with a member of our team, please get in touch. Call +44 (0) 808 274 3229 or contact Secure Trading here.
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