SoftSwiss games are everywhere. Numerous Bitcoin gambling platforms run on the provider’s Bitcoin casino software, and this alone is a major success for the company based in Europe. I had the privilege to speak with SoftSwiss CEO Ivan Montik to gain a solid understanding about the current state of his successful company, as well as to have an insight into his perceptions regarding Bitcoin and the Bitcoin gambling market.
SoftSwiss is a big name in the online gaming market. What makes it stand out among the other Bitcoin casino software?
Our Bitcoin Casino is a complete turnkey solution that perfectly suits for starting an online casino business with Bitcoin from scratch. It doesn’t require any specific technical knowledge or preparation from the operator, we basically deliver a fully functional and financially secure website which is ready to accept players and payments in any cryptocurrency.
How does the payment system work? Can you elaborate on this?
All deposits go directly to the operator-controlled Bitcoin wallet. The operator decides whether it is a cold wallet located on his computer or a hot wallet based on the casino web site. He is responsible for keeping the hot wallet funded. The amount of Bitcoin in the hot wallet is usually minimal (the exact amount is configurable).
Hot wallet is used for instant withdrawal of small amounts of Bitcoin. When a player requests a cash out, Bitcoin is withdrawn automatically. It is a big advantage for players who bet small amounts in order to test out casino performance. Larger cash out requests as well as those that do not pass security checks are processed in the manual mode. The operator manually approves such requests and transfers Bitcoin either from his computer-based cold wallet or from the hot wallet.
Softswiss has a range of Bitcoin casino games. What are the new elements that you believe will make your products more in demand?
Making our casino games provably fair was the next step to go. Provability was present in many Satochi dice type of games but not in the traditional casino. It took us time to develop the technology and make our games provably fair so that now players can verify that the result of their game was a mixture of the pre-generated random number and their own input, nothing changed by the casino. The main advantage of our solution compared to other providers is that it has an intuitive interface and an easy-to-understand mechanism with step-by-step instructions of how to check the provability. Even a player with minimal knowledge of how Bitcoin gambling works can use these instructions to make sure that the game is fair.
You have been in the business for several years already, but it was only recently that you indulged in the Bitcoin casino software market. From your experience, what are the challenges of operating this business and brand?
Until larger market players are still very skeptical regarding Bitcoin and slow to adapt their products to the new type of gaming, SoftSwiss has a very stable position as a market leader in Bitcoin casino software. However, I’m sure that the industry giants will all accept inevitability of working with Bitcoin and start adapting their products accordingly, so operators will have a bigger choice of providers and SoftSwiss will have more competition to deal with. This could be the potential challenge, but we are getting prepared and partnering with companies like Amatic and Betsoft Gaming, which are already working with Bitcoin, to offer better content to operators and cover a large market segment.
From the technical point of view, we faced certain challenges in the past when we just started working with Bitcoin, most of which were related to security. We learnt on our mistakes and ended up with an absolutely unique anti-fraud system which is now part of the platform. It helps mitigate the risks connected to the irreversible payments – the main feature of Bitcoin. It detects suspicious wins and automatically blocks pay outs in case of player’s fraudulent actions. A recent example: a player claimed to have won 2000 BTC at our client’s casino and was trying to cash it out, but the system timely detected the case of fraud and refused withdrawal.
As an operator yourself, what else would you want your potential clients to know about SoftSwiss?
The main thing we would like our customers to know is that we are flexible and always trying to meet individual requirements of each casino, whether it’s an established land-based casino brand moving online or a newcomer on the gaming market. From enhancing the software with new features to integrating third-party software to developing custom games, we are open for discussion and eager to implement new things that really make our product better. Client service is our strong point. Striving to establish long-term relationships with our customers, we don’t just provide the software but we consult them on many aspects of running online gaming business, from legality of operation to the key marketing points. We are in the same boat and our customers’ success is our success.
Speaking of success, the Bitcoin gambling market has been on the rise. What are your thoughts on this?
The market growth for Bitcoin casinos is amazing. We have received about 400 requests for the launch of a Bitcoin casino in the last 6 months. With the right marketing strategy in place, commercial opportunities for casinos operating with Bitcoin are unlimited. On our client website, Betcoin Casino, launched just about a year ago, there are single wagers reaching 200 – 400 BTC. The total amount of BTC wagered on all of the sites operating with SoftSwiss platform is equal to 10 mln USD per month.
How about on the gambling laws and regulation?
With the perfect financial perspectives that open in front of Bitcoin casino operators, the legality of online gambling for Bitcoin is still one of the main challenges. Governments and financial institutions are rapidly changing their attitude towards Bitcoin as a payment method and taking different measures that sometimes give it more freedom and sometime block the opportunities for development. Then, there’s a gambling aspect which is also treated differently in different countries. Basically, Bitcoin casino is not subject to regulation until the cryptocurrency is officially recognized as currency, so it can be operated without a license in most countries and this is what many casinos do. However, the most cautious operators still want to be on the secure side and apply for a gambling license in one of the available jurisdictions. We support this responsible approach and can recommend every new business starting its way in the online gaming business, doesn’t matter if it’s Bitcoin or fiat currencies, to learn the legislation of the country it is operating in and targeting and to get a qualified consultation of the lawyer to avoid any kind of legal hassle.
Very insightful, Ivan. Do you personally believe, though, that cryptocurrency will affect our lives in the future?
Bitcoin will become part of our everyday life. With more and more online retailers starting to accept Bitcoin, one can already buy practically anything for it, from food to larger items like luxury cars. Although I don’t think Bitcoin will completely outweigh fiat money in the next couple of years, I strongly believe that the transparency and anonymity of the cryptocurrency will take it to the leading positions and governments will come to using the advantages of Bitcoin instead of fighting the progress. Acceptance of Bitcoin by Californian government is an important step showing the trend.
Indeed. Before we wrap this up, can you give us a glimpse of what we can expect from SoftSwiss in the weeks, months, or even years to come?
The plan is to develop more games. Mobile game development is an important part of the roadmap for the rest of 2014. We are also planning more partnerships with other game content providers because the more games we have to offer, the bigger segment of players the casino can cover. Besides our own games, we already have integrated those from Quickfire, Amatic, Betsoft Gaming and Ezugi live dealer, and we don’t stop here.
We are also constantly working on enhancing our product functionality, adding further features and options and improving the software in terms of administration. On top of that, security is the important issue that we never stop to work at.
The global goal is to keep our position of a leader on the Bitcoin casino software market. To meet this goal, we follow the development of the latest technologies and make sure that our product is well adapted to the latest trends. We investigate on the other cryptocurrencies a lot, too, and plan to continue implementation of those which have good potential to take their market share.
Sounds like you’ve got it all worked out already. Well, all the best, Ivan, and thank you for this opportunity!