Blockchain de-mystified

Blockchain is making waves in iGaming, but like eSports it seems to be a bit misunderstood. There’s no need to feel mystified by it any longer, as we’re answering some of the questions that exist around this new technology.

What is blockchain?

You may not have heard of blockchain, but you’ve almost certainly heard of Bitcoin. Blockchain refers to the technology that Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, are built upon. These are blocks of information, which contain transaction information, timestamps and a link to the previous block of information, making a chain. 

All of this information is then stored in a ledger, which records the comings and goings of all the chains of the decentralised currency. Basically, a blockchain is information, which relates to the cryptocurrency you buy and sell. Once this chain has been recorded, it’s not possible for it to be altered. 

What can it be used for?

Blockchain isn’t just for cryptocurrency, as it has many uses. As time goes on, we’re discovering more of these. The basic principles of the tech are that it’s secure, transparent and cannot be edited by two parties at once. 

At its core, the idea of blockchain is that it creates a secure database filled with chains of information. This information can be privately viewable to the administrator, or public. While cryptocurrencies are some of the most visible uses of this tech, it can also be used to create records, gather data and more. 

Some companies are already finding ways to create collaboration networks using this electronic ledger. Analysts think that the growth of this tech will be slow and steady, while the general public gets accustomed to using it. 

How secure is it?

The concept of blockchain is one of the most secure on the planet, as it’s as close to unhackable as possible. All of the nodes within the chain must agree and execute a change, before it can be made. This is why Bitcoin casino sites are touted as some of the most secure around. 

If there is a discrepancy within the data of even one of these nodes, the change won’t be recorded. In this case, a transaction can be rejected within a split second, if a user attempts to deposit the same coins on multiple casino sites. 

The nodes themselves are spread out across the entire system, which means they’re not centralised in one place. You couldn’t take down one computer and access the information on it to get cryptocurrency, as the ledger is always updating. 

How can cryptocurrency impact iGaming?

We’re already seeing some casinos taking Bitcoin, though early adopting sites in other industries have been doing so for almost a decade now. FinTech and even shipping sites have been using this technology since it came out of the recesses of the dark web. It was born from a need for anonymity and security, both of which can appeal to players. 

The main duty of the affiliate when appealing to players interested in using cryptocurrency to play is to explain the process. While some will be savvy and have wallets set up, for most of the public they have only a fleeting knowledge of cryptocurrencies. You have to decide whether you will go for the small portion of the market that knows what they’re doing, or if you want to educate the masses. 

For players, these transactions are also preferable because they are quicker. The time taken to move a currency from one wallet to another is infinitesimal. You could see why this would appeal to casino players. 

Smart contracts are already being used by some cryptocurrency providers, which are set to execute once an action is achieved. For example, you could share a percentage of a prize pot with bettors once the total amount deposited reaches a set value. This kind of disruptive tech can really change what we perceive to be possible. 

Most of all, it seems that blockchain and cryptocurrencies will help us to redefine the way we pay  and play online. It can help  cut down on risk of fraud and make consumers feel more anonymous, both of which can appeal to businesses in iGaming.