Whether you’ve been cruising or observing the oceans of economic transactions, chances are you’ve noticed the current of digital assets. Well recognized, cryptocurrencies nowadays work jointly with our normal transactions and investments, or in industries such as iGaming, and create the waves to and from the shores of the innovative and growing digital world we live in.
Considering their size and impact, it’s interesting to see where they can lead us.
Before we dive in, though, let’s quickly measure up the wave, so to speak, and to do that, we start at the surface. So, what do we have here, and how does it work?
Cryptocurrency is your possession just as money in your bank is.
The difference is in the transaction ecosystem. To pay with your credit card you need a network of accounts, balances, and records, governed by central servers. Hence the characterization of these systems as centralized networks.
With cryptocurrency, you get the same results in a different way. You are part of a decentralized network together with your peers. Everybody keeps the same record of transactions, like a giant ledger.
You make the transaction signed with your private key, waiting for the confirmation by miners. In doing so, they make your transaction valid spreading it through the network. For the job done they receive cryptocurrency commission.
Once confirmed, the transaction is final. Combined with others to create a new block of data for the chain in the existing ledger, it becomes part of the blockchain.
Cryptocurrencies are stored in a digital wallet or eWallet. Therein you keep your private and public keys needed to send or receive the funds and to monitor your account.
When somebody sends a cryptocurrency they essentially sign off their coins to your eWallet address. To access them, your private key must match the public key of the currency and, as a result, your balance increases or vice versa.
There are three major types of eWallets:
1. Software eWallets: operating either as software on your desktop computer or online, in the cloud, or at your mobile device, with each option balancing between accessibility and security;
2. Hardware eWallets: storing the keys offline, on a device (say, USB), providing you with easy-to-use protocols for the transactions, considerably increasing the security;
3. Paper eWallets: as the safest since you take your keys, print them in form of QR codes and scan them when needed.
Naturally, each e-Wallet can be used for any available cryptocurrency of your choice.
But why would you ride this wave? In short, for a number of crypto’s unique properties.
First, there are transactional properties with transfer characteristics such as:
Anonymity. No part of the cryptocurrency is connected to the real-world identities, neither transactions nor accounts, but instead to the addresses made of random characters;
Efficiency. Every transaction is propagated almost instantly and confirmed within minutes,
Security. Funds are locked through a robust, almost unbreakable cryptography system since only the private key owner can manage them;
Irreversibility. Upon confirmation, the transaction is unchangeable, cannot be forged, and remains on the record forever (consequently, no one can help you in case of eWallet misuse so choose them astutely);
Availability. Once enabled, the funds are used unconditionally, without a need for permission.
Then, there are monetary properties such as controlled supply and no debt-based value. The former means that majority of cryptocurrencies limit supply by a code-written expiry schedule, eliminating surprises. The latter suggests that they aren’t susceptible to unexpected developments, such as inflation, or to the stock market’s shifts.
The number of cryptocurrency users is growing rapidly. According to Statista there are more than 30 million eWallet users in the world today — six times more than in 2015.
What are they used for? Luxury goods, low-cost money transfers, investments in early-stage startups, travel and vacations (space included), education, fund-raising, charitable donations, augmented reality.
What’s more, Uber and Target accept them, not to mention iTunes, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Dunkin Donuts, or Windows and Xbox games, movies, and apps. Starbucks too, jointly with Microsoft, is on the verge of joining the club. Sony is working on blockchain integration with the Playstation Network.
You can even buy a Lamborghini.
iGaming is no exception. Notwithstanding their financial properties, the immense impact of cryptocurrencies on online casinos comes from:
- The possibility of fast and direct transactions;
- Free and reliable storage of funds;
- Impossible inflation;
- Zero counterfeit possibility;
- Automation of the transactions and tasks;
- Quick and easy conversion into fiat currency.
In effect, when it comes to iGaming, cryptocurrency offers additional layer to players’ protection and experience.
Not surprisingly, the prominent iGaming brands keep accepting cryptocurrencies as a natural form of currency to play with. The same goes for leading international payment systems that are constantly adding new options to players.
When it comes to worldwide usage, the rapid proliferation of cryptocurrencies across a host of industries is real. Compounded with the institutional capital involvement and 31.3% annual growth rate of the market, widespread cryptocurrency acceptance is transforming payment systems — and our lives.
Whether just observing or cruising the economic oceans, cryptocurrencies deliver new and dynamic possibilities.