Polina is an undergraduate student at Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) where she is studying at the faculty of International Business Communication for a degree specializing in Intercultural Communication. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, music and travelling.
Over the last few years, the world online gambling industry has shown a significant growth.
Nowadays, the total number of active players amounts to more than 500,000 people all over the world.
The recent adoption of bitcoin as a means of payment by online gambling websites became a major event for the cryptocurrency industry. For online gambling enthusiasts, it is far more convenient to use bitcoin instead of fiat currency.
Today, we see the growing interest for the digital currency, with more and more investors pouring their money in new bitcoin startups. Last year, the industry received more than $400 million in funding from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. Such tech giants as Microsoft and Dell have already accepted cryptocurrency as a means of payment.
One of the key benefits of using bitcoin is that it allows gambling even in countries where the digital currency is restricted or prohibited. Lack of transaction fees and high speed of payments are among the other advantages, which attract both players and operators of online casinos.
Besides, we observe positive moves regarding the regulation of bitcoin, although its legal status is still undefined in many countries.
Despite all these benefits, many gambling websites still provide only the real money payment option.
According to the statista.com, the online fiat gambling market is currently estimated at over US$ 40 billion. Meantime, the bitcoin gambling is valued at US$320 million, accounting for just 0.8% of the overall market.
Today, the percentage of bitcoin gamblers among the holders of digital currency is rather small, as only 3% of the world’s bitcoin owners use it for gambling. The statistics shows that only 390,000 bitcoins are being used for gambling, while the total amount of cryptocurrency in circulation amounts to 13 million.
The problem is that gambling is not highlighted enough in the bitcoin ecosystem.
The majority of online casino players today don’t have bitcoin wallets, as they don’t have clear understanding of what the digital currency is and how exactly it works. For the most part, bitcoiners are educated people with IT or investment background and cannot be called typical gamblers.
Besides, bitcoin is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trade or money laundering, especially after such stories as the Silk Road closure and the bankruptcy of MtGox exchange. The anonymity it offers made it a favorite payment method of criminals and anyone who is seeking to sell illegal goods.
Another problem is dramatic price fluctuation, which also prevents bitcoin from widespread adoption. In 2014, its price fell by as much as 70% what made it the worst performing currency.
Many professionals have yet to be educated about bitcoin gambling through various marketing channels. Nowadays, there are lots of media agencies that are looking for the targeted markets. The leading bitcoin sources, including Bitcointalk, Blockchain, Bitcoin foundation start offering advertisement opportunities. Many SEO agencies and traffic networks are getting involved in the promotion of bitcoin brands.
Moreover, digital currency and gambling events, magazines and meet-ups seem to be opening up to gambling. Such leading gambling website as BitcoinGG.com is getting more awareness than a year ago. Bitcoin Gambling Guide was established early 2013 and brings the players all the needed information for their games, experience and bonuses.
The niche of bitcoin gambling also shows huge potential for affiliates and entrepreneurs, who can profit in different sectors, such as dice, poker or lottery.
Given the fact that bitcoin is rather new to online gambling, there are still much areas of opportunity in the industry.