Blockchain tech has been adopted and integrated across a range of industries, so while most people associate it with cryptocurrencies it is beginning to be understood and implemented in a multitude of innovative contexts
The world of iGaming has been bitten by the blockchain bug, allowing for compellingly modern online slot experiences to be developed and rolled out to millions of players at a time when the industry is growing rapidly.
Here is a look at how the brave new age of iGaming is being ushered in by blockchain, how this is available to be experienced at the moment and what the future might bring.
Bolstering security & improving transparency
When you learn more about the history of slot machines, it will become apparent that it has taken decades for manufacturers and operators to build trust with players. It should also be obvious that the proliferation of online casino sites has also complicated matters from a security perspective, since phishing sites are increasingly common and good will can easily be eroded by legitimate platforms that suffer some form of breach.
By adopting a blockchain-based payments system, it is possible for online slots to work in an almost entirely transparent way, while also delivering impeccable security which tech-savvy players will appreciate at a time of increasing cybercriminal activity.
In the past, iGaming sites have necessarily relied on traditional payment card platforms to handle transactions, as well as adopting digital payment services that have evolved in the last two decades. Such systems are far from infallible, meaning that certain players have been reluctant to commit their cash to sites for fear that it will either be a risk to leave it in the hands of a third party, or that they will not receive a payout when they are lucky enough to win with a spin.
As new online casinos start to make cryptocurrency transactions a possibility for players, they will once again gain the trust of prospective customers who are familiar with the risks involved in legacy solutions.
Just as businesses operating in the digital space are expected to be as open as possible about the way they operate, there are growing expectations from customers with regards to privacy. Many are reluctant to hand over personal details to businesses for fear that they could also be stolen and exploited by malicious third parties.
Once again this is where blockchain rides to the rescue, especially in an iGaming context. Because transactions can be handed reliably, securely and unambiguously without requiring private data to be passed on by players, online casinos can begin opening up their slots games to people without requiring them to hand over more personal information than is absolutely necessary.
Because of the way that online gambling is regulated in many places, it is not currently possible for people to play entirely anonymously, not least because this is an age-restricted activity in plenty of places. Even so, blockchain is paving the way for an excellent balance between operator transparency and user privacy that would otherwise be unachievable.
Another intriguing facet of blockchain’s adoption in online slot sites is that it means that players can benefit from the intrinsically decentralised nature of this technology. So rather than being reliant on a core set of operator systems to remain active and accessible indefinitely, they can be confident in the consistency of their currency’s availability because it will be kept on a public ledger rather than retained in-house.
For many blockchain advocates it is this decentralisation that makes it especially appealing, freeing them from the potentially obscure and deliberately misleading policies, fees and other foibles of firms in this industry.
Even with the prospect of widespread blockchain adoption in the iGaming arena on the horizon, it is worth noting that there are still some obstacles to overcome before this is an entirely mainstream reality.
Part of the current issue stems from the fact that not all operators that accept deposits and withdrawals via cryptocurrencies support every major example. Likewise there is a relatively small player base out there with an understanding of blockchain and a willingness to use it in an iGaming context.
This creates something of a catch 22 situation, albeit one which is likely to be resolved over time as blockchain tech gains traction and wins favour with a wider audience. Whatever happens, it is undeniably an exciting time for the industry and also for the players who support it.