If you’re wondering what the first killer blockchain-based app is going to be, look no further than casinos.
CyptoKitties gained flash-in-the-pan media attention a month ago – and though eventually there is likely to be a thriving market for crypto-collectibles – the application that is more likely to have a bigger impact this year is the casino.
Blockchain-based gambling has in fact been quietly building steam since the early days of crypto. Proof of concept came when the ability to generate provably fair random events on the Bitcoin protocol spawned Satoshi Dice way back in April 2012. The site was an almost instant success, earning the equivalent of $50,000/month in transaction fees before being sold in 2013 for 126,315 BTC.
The blockchain can deliver the entire experience – KYC, billing, bet accepting & processing together with the generation of the betting event – the random number. This trusted automated process is delivering what the customer wants. A streamlined process that cannot be cheated by the house or the player. The player can bet knowing that the house has the funds in place to pay out big jackpots. Open ledgers can reduce the need for customer service.
Provably fair random events are a big deal because now – for the first time ever in casino gambling – we can know beyond the shadow of a doubt that we are not getting cheated by the house. Blockchain has made online casinos indisputably transparent once and for all.
But, as we have seen with the excruciatingly slow adoption of for example electric vehicles, for a newcomer to meaningfully displace the incumbent, it must be better than the incumbent in every way.
Satoshi Dice was revolutionary as a proof of concept but its painfully simple interface and the lag-time caused by Bitcoin’s 10-minute block time meant that it was only ever adopted among crypto evangelists and gambling purists. Nowadays, due to the high transactions fees, gambling directly on the Bitcoin network only makes sense for huge bets.
For blockchain based casino gambling to truly replace the incumbents, drastic improvements were needed.
As we all know, 2017 saw an explosion of projects raising huge amounts of money to develop new platforms. In the blockchain casino sector, FunFair – the biggest player by market cap in the sector – raised the equivalent of $26 million in its ICO. Other projects in the space include MBit, Dao Casino, and Edgeless.
All of these projects improve upon Satoshi Dice in a few ways. First of all, transaction times are lowered from minutes to seconds. Next, transaction fees are reduced to the equivalent of pennies. Finally, and perhaps most important of all, odds for players are dramatically improved. By decentralizing operators (the house), risks taken by accepting large bets can be distributed across a pool of operators, removing the need for a huge initial investment to be made by a single entity and all of the costs associated with securing that investment. This, in addition to the fact that no central office or costly centralized servers are needed, allows the “house” to operate at a much-reduced margin.
All of this means that blockchain-based casinos are now cheaper, faster, more secure, and fairer than legacy online casinos.
The final piece of the puzzle is user experience. For mainstream casino gamblers to really make the transition to a blockchain-based casino, the experience better be entertaining as well. We must remember that gambling, for most people, is just for fun.
The user experience that players have come to expect was never going to be built by the creators of Satoshi Dice. Those developers paved the way by building the foundations that make blockchain-based casinos superior to legacy casinos in almost every way, but to finish the puzzle, seasoned casino professionals were needed.
In 2018 those professionals are bringing the skills they have developed over decades of providing an entertaining casino gambling experience and deploying that experience on top of the blockchain architecture developed over the last several years.
2018, therefore, will see real adoption of blockchain-based casinos and while several projects are likely to onboard large numbers of users, RealCasino.io is one project that is very well positioned.
With over a decade experience bringing the live online casino experience with entertaining storylines and professional sets, RealCasino is already a master at providing the entertainment casino gamblers seek and expect.
RealCasino already has a Live MVP you can demo right now. And they just added a Live Keno demo, in addition to their suite of high production, story-rich roulette and spin-to-win games running entirely on the blockchain.
RealCasino is holding a token generation event to kick-start its network. The pre-sale, which offers a 30% bonus, begins on February 10th.
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