Despite what crypto naysayers will say, the decade’s most popular digital asset has penetrated most industries. While some crypto adoptions, as seen in healthcare and retail, remain a bit experimental, crypto in gaming has been a roaring success. As a matter of fact, as the global gaming market has grown to be worth a whopping $173 billion, millions of platforms have started embracing more widespread crypto applications. To date, crypto in gaming has become so accepted and successful that over 75% of online gamers now want to use more cryptocurrencies. However, crypto in poker has proven the most promising among all varieties of crypto gaming today.
What Is Crypto Poker?
A timely upgrade to “traditional” online poker, crypto poker involves the use of digital currencies for financial transactions in regard to online gameplay. For comparison, normal online poker uses fiat money or online banking for funding, betting, and cashing out. Meanwhile, in crypto poker, all bankroll-related transactions are backed purely by different stablecoins.
Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin remains the most commonly used token in crypto poker. Currently, crypto poker has become so well-received that major poker sites have said up to 95% of their payouts are now in crypto. To keep up with this crypto demand among players, some sites record around $100 million worth of cryptocurrency transactions monthly.
How To Join Crypto Poker
So how can crypto traders and poker fans get into crypto poker? It all starts with a secure crypto exchange. Choosing a trustworthy exchange is important since this is where every crypto trade begins. Ideally, a crypto exchange should have a user-friendly interface, exceptional client service, low trading commissions, support for multiple cryptocurrencies, and superior security solutions. From here, you can begin buying, sending, and hodling your tokens.
For crypto poker purposes, you’ll want to use the platform to fund your online poker player account. More often than not, this means that your online poker account will now have your crypto wallet on file. This is kept confidential, of course. Following this, you can now choose to directly use crypto for gaming purposes. Aside from the difference in how you fund your account and possibly process payouts, crypto poker is the same as regular poker in terms of gameplay.
Pros and Cons of Crypto in Poker
In all honesty, crypto poker is exciting but not risk-free. As such, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages that must be weighed prior to trying it out. In terms of benefits, crypto poker has the distinct advantage of using decentralized tokens. Consequently, all transactions are usually faster and less expensive. At the same time, because its decentralized nature cuts out the middleman, many believe that using cryptocurrency will help to legalize online poker.
To be clear, while online poker itself is not illegal, it’s only legal to play it online in five states (Michigan, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada). This is due to the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 which prohibits banks and gambling sites from processing transactions outside of certain jurisdictions. That said, since crypto doesn’t need any third-party intervention, it essentially creates a loophole around the act.
Through this, more players can access more games and sites from across the country. For those who are mostly in it for added crypto exposure, this loophole increases their opportunities for “trading” crypto. On the other hand, even though online poker sites have safety nets, crypto across the board does not. Therefore, any use of crypto can be hazardous especially given its natural volatility. Just recently, the crypto market has been seeing a record-breaking dip in token values.
To illustrate, Bitcoin (arguably the most powerful and valuable token) has crashed 68% in value. This has led many analysts to predict a crypto winter is in our midst. With this in mind, betting your crypto into something as uncertain as a poker game may not be the wisest trading choice. Especially if you’re not an experienced poker player.
To sum it up, crypto poker is truly one of the most innovative and complementary crypto adoptions. However, since both poker and cryptocurrencies are naturally risky, using volatile tokens to fund online matches may be too high stakes for most.