Cryptocurrency has become a major financial trend over the past few years. Knowledge of crypto has grown far and wide in the US, with 86% of Americans being aware of cryptocurrencies and even 16% of adults participating in investments or trading. Much of their interest lies in the blockchain technology crypto runs on, allowing for the currency to be decentralized but remain transparent and secure. Cryptocurrencies aren’t distributed by a central authority, so they don’t usually fall under legal terms.
As a result of these unique features, there are many opportunities to transact and make payments. Lawmakers are now eyeing crypto to potentially change the situation with poker and online gaming. Poker legalization is constantly in flux, as each of the 50 states is free to legalize, regulate, and license live poker rooms or online poker sites as they choose. As of the moment, only Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Connecticut, and West Virginia have legalized state-licensed internet poker. However, with the rise of cryptocurrency, this means there is a form of currency that can be processed with less stringent state regulations. Read on to find out how crypto can impact online gaming, especially poker:
Improve game flexibility
One of the main laws that hinder online poker play is the Interstate Wire Act, which sets limits on taking bets across states. This makes it difficult to play in other states as banks and financial institutions are more likely to reject transactions associated with offshore poker play. But due to the nature of cryptocurrency, there have been no specific guidelines set for the movement of capital, and transactions can be made without interference. In addition, if you are looking to go abroad and play poker, you wouldn’t need to convert your assets into local currency, as long as you are playing using the same cryptocurrency.
Quicker and cheaper transactions
Considering that crypto is decentralized, there is no need for a third-party player or bank to do deposits or withdrawals. This brings the benefit of no additional transactional fees — and with little delay — when using crypto. As an added bonus, all processes are done using the address, which is defined in our glossary of crypto terms as a string of alphanumeric characters that is used to send and receive transactions. Without the need for a name on the transactions, using cryptocurrency allows players to stay anonymous.
Play-to-earn game models
Cryptocurrency has given many states that have not officially legalized online poker a chance to join the gaming scene. Some of these decentralized online poker platforms also offer in-game currency when people sign up for these games; although many only allow this value to be used to join games, this still presents an chance for people to earn money through a play-to-earn model. In other cases, there are poker-like games that employ non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which allow players to build capital depending on how long they play.
The Future of Crypto and Poker
The fluid nature of cryptocurrency has allowed it to bypass some laws that would otherwise hinder the flow of assets. Despite the security it holds, there are still flaws in the system, given a lack of transparency and potential for digital scams. The US federal government is looking into regulating cryptocurrencies to protect these online assets, and even stabilize crypto prices. But even before this change is implemented, the crypto poker industry will likely continue to thrive through its ease of use and accessibility.