Since it was first proposed in a published thesis by Satoshi Nakamoto back in 2008, Bitcoin has witnessed a meteoric rise to global success.
At the time, few people could have predicted just how quickly the notion of a decentralised cryptocurrency would gain traction.
In less than ten years, Bitcoin has evolved beyond the preserve of a few hundred people to become a legitimate currency that is now officially recognised by major economies from around the world. The past few months in particular have proved to be a major phase of development, whereby Bitcoin reached a record high trading price of $2,289.21 following the decision of the Japanese government to recognise it as a legitimate method of payment.
Despite the fact that the price has levelled out since then, it remains a promising sign for the cryptocurrency as it continues to become validated in the eyes of both businesses and individuals. There are already several commercial industries that are well on their way to adopting Bitcoin as a valid payment system, none more so than gaming. Let’s take a closer look at the range of online games that are pushing Bitcoin forward.
The world of online casinos, poker rooms and slots games is, in many ways, perfectly placed to integrate digital payments into its general service offering.
Keen fans of iGaming will have already noticed the increasing number of online operators that have started to accept Bitcoin. Sites like BitCasino advocate the heightened security and anonymity that Bitcoin offers to its customers, to the point where it has become a central selling point to their service.
It’s also widely regarded that Bitcoin transactions are a faster option compared to standard credit card or bank transfers, which can take up to five days to clear. In contrast, Bitcoin payments and withdrawals usually take less than an hour.
Digital distribution networks
After a long-standing rumour that eventually came to fruition in April last year, Valve announced that its major digital media and gaming platform Steam would be accepting Bitcoin payments via processing service BitPay.
A representative for BitPay commented on the development, explaining that Valve was looking for a quick, international method of payment for users in emerging gaming markets like Brazil, India and China. The integration of Bitcoin is particularly good news for the vast number of players in these countries who do not have access to more traditional payment methods used in the West.
What will the future hold?
As more and more people start to recognise the advantages of using Bitcoin – namely the speed, efficiency, security and value involved – no doubt we’ll start to see another wave of gaming businesses starting to offer this option to their customer base.
The youthful spirit of Bitcoin is certainly shared by the vast swathe of startups that fuel the continued progression of the entire gaming industry. In fact, it’s hard to think of a better commercial environment to foster the growth of innovation, where the benefits of using Bitcoin versus other forms of payment are understood and likely to be capitalised on sooner rather than later.