It’s 2017 and bitcoin might still seem like a buzz word for a lot of people. When you look at all the people around you, many have probably heard of bitcoin but have no idea how it works and it’s probably too intimidating for them to figure it out. The same can be said for people not understanding how social media works, it’s easy to remain confused if you don’t experiment and take the time to learn it.
Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies but blockchain can and will be applied to so many more things. For everyone in the online gambling industry, many probably don’t know that blockchain will be something that is forced on them.
When it comes to banking, it’s hard to imagine the future of banking won’t involve blockchain and when it comes to governments and compliance, it’s the same. Governments want to start using and incorporating blockchain into their systems to save time, money, and most importantly build secure data systems that are as close to hack-proof as you can get.
Right now blockchain is being driven forward by the tech community, investors, and people that know what it will do for the future. Once blockchain gets off the ground, the remaining driving force behind it will be consumers. That is, consumers will want more systems using blockchain and this will stretch from government to banking. This no doubt will have implications for the internet.
It is surprising that blockchain wasn’t introduced at the start of the internet revolution but what the internet has done for our world, blockchain is going to have the same transformational effect. You can think of blockchain as a system that locks in truth of data. That is every block connects to the proceeding block and this forms a link which of course continues on in a chain. As the chain gets longer, it becomes virtually impossible to edit older data without breaking every link to the present. So this system becomes foolproof where old data can’t be manipulated whether it be from hacking or someone trying to erase or modify a transaction. All of this data is secured and locked into place.
Bitcoin you can think of as a currency where all the transactions are recorded in a public ledger. You can go on blockchain.com and with a transaction ID, you can see the amount transferred and the date of that transaction. This is all permanent! The best part of bitcoin is that you can transfer money to anyone, anywhere in the world and the transfer fees are a fraction of what traditional banking would take and it’s almost a real-time transfer. Bitcoin has the potential to eat away at a common feature of banking which is transferring money. The ledge system of recording all transactions is based on blockchain.
Ethereum is a cryptocurrency but you can think of it as a cryptocurrency with a purpose or goal attached to it. Smart contracts are meant to be the central aspect of Ethereum and there are so many examples of these contracts happening all over the world. In gaming, this contract can be the exact mechanism of offering a game of chance, accepting the payment and completing the contract based on the outcome. Ethereum is acknowledged to be one of the big 2 cryptocurrencies along with bitcoin to dominate the landscape.
With online gambling, you have so many aspects of the industry that will no doubt be influenced by blockchain. This comes from the data of the games that’s fed to the user, the payments and financial transactions between players and gaming companies and as well we can also apply this to the website and the frontend data of a casino or sportsbook for example.
There have been too many complaints where a player has been rejected a winning where they claim a term and condition was changed after they have played. The only way we can know if this has happened to not is to vigorously record this data which isn’t a perfect solution. Now if any changes happen on a secure website like an online casino, at some point we’ll be able to document every change that has taken place, and blockchain will be the technology behind it to inform when events have happened.
Of course, there are many gaming companies that might not want to be subjected to this but this will be driven by players and by the online gambling licensing authorities. If we take the United Kingdom Gambling Control, for example, they might want blockchain to secure the data on their websites which would help mediate complaints over issues of changed terms and conditions.
When it comes to the gaming servers, players will want this protected. If data is ever hacked or say games might be proven to be rigged, everyone is going to want to know this data wasn’t just tossed out. At some point gaming companies will require some auditing and those licensing bodies might want blockchain implemented for both security and to ensure data is never tampered with. Blockchain would encourage copies of the data to be made with the licensing bodies and there would be no excuses that data was ever deleted if an investigation was required.
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