Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are going to play a big role in shaping the future of poker. Even though poker players and online poker table operators were much slower to adopt cryptocurrencies in the past, the trend is accelerating for many different reasons. Once you learn more about those reasons, you’ll see that the future is bright for a game that became a pop culture phenomenon in the early 2000s thanks to ESPN and will continue to make waves once again thanks to cryptocurrencies.
The First Time Bitcoin and Poker Was Ever Tied Together
While it has taken some time for poker players and poker site operators to warm up to the idea of playing with cryptocurrency, the author of the bitcoin whitepaper Satoshi Nakamoto actually encoded plans to include poker gaming on the blockchain within the original coding structure. Nakamoto never finished the job, but it’s clear even in the beginnings of what would become Bitcoin, that the mysterious inventor of blockchain technology understood gambling as a valid use case for cryptocurrencies.
It’s not just the coding structure that considered gambling as a use case. The early adopters of Bitcoin also recognize that possibility. The first-ever Bitcoin poker game took place in 2010. The buy-in was 50 BTC, which is an astronomical amount of value today.
Given that it’s been 10 years since then, it’s time that one of the most popular gambling games ever invented embrace Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and there are many reasons to believe that Bitcoin will have a dramatically positive impact on the future of poker.
More and More Poker Players See the Value in Turning Bankroll to Bitcoin
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of MicroStrategy Inc. it’s a publicly traded business consulting firm that is up 21% on its Bitcoin holdings over the last three months. How much value is the company holding in Bitcoin? Approximately $500 million USD. MicroStrategy is just one of the institutions making waves for investing large amounts of capital in Bitcoin.
Jack Dorsey, CEO of both Twitter and payments company Square, just poured $50 million into it. If billionaires and Fortune 500 heavyweights can see the value in investing in Bitcoin, why wouldn’t poker players take a gamble on it? Investing in Bitcoin has been compared to gambling for years. Who better to invest than poker players with large bankrolls who have a penchant for risk anyway?
Anonymity and Borderless Transactions Allow More Poker Players to Acquire Bitcoin
Poker is undoubtedly popular in North America. On this side of the ocean, we take our ability to log on to an online gambling site and place bets for granted. Many countries around the world censor online gambling. Being able to use Bitcoin to play poker means you don’t need your government’s permission to play and you can build your bankroll without having to worry about your money being taken away.
Maintaining anonymity adds another layer of protection for poker players who may have to be extra wary of what their government may do to them should they be discovered not just for gambling online, but simply because they own cryptocurrencies in the first place. Bitcoin is censorship resistant.
PayPal and Other Third-Party Payment Providers Are Joining Bitcoin Frenzy
PayPal is announcing that in 2021, the payment providers goal is to provide its customers and merchants with access to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies internationally. It used to be that both poker players and gambling operators were at the mercy of third-party payment providers in terms of having to pay fees in order to access the financial system, gain the approval of such providers in order to do business and play, and ultimately as a result be forced to provide personal identification in order to transact.
Using PayPal or other third-party payment providers to buy cryptocurrency doesn’t necessarily give you anonymity, but it does allow you to do what you want to do with your crypto once you purchase it. That means you no longer need to worry about your credit card being blocked by your bank. The move by PayPal is a great signal for crypto adoption. It shows that a payment giant that was once steadfastly against making Bitcoin accessible through its platform is now following the “if you can’t beat them, join them” philosophy.
The bottom line is, whether you play Texas Hold‘em, 3 Card Poker or any other style of the game, as long as you play online, the idea of poker players using Bitcoin to buy-in is about to become more commonplace than ever before.