One of the biggest hurdles Bitcoin has to face is to get widespread acceptance from major businesses. The cryptocurrency’s popular use in online gaming is limited because it is still just a fraction of the large iGaming industry, even if gambling is popular.
This is the reason it is of great news to hear of Wargaming.net’s partnership with BitPay. One of the largest Bitcoin payment processing companies, BitPay now allows US players of the free-to-play MMO games to buy virtual gold for in-game purchases using Bitcoin.
Gaming can be one of a technology’s ‘killer apps’ and encourages adoption and greater usage with the help of the popularity of esports and other online games. As a simpler and cheaper way to do online business transactions, Bitcoin gives Wargaming’s players a better alternative to strict credit card transactions.
Free MMO games okay with Bitcoin
Wargaming has made a name for itself with its excellent library of MMO strategy war games. The company’s games include the popular World of Tanks game, with its several variations and spinoffs like World of Airplanes and World of Battleships. Fans of these games number in the millions worldwide.
One of the important features of Wargaming’s products is that they are all free to play. The games are funded by the purchase of virtual gold, which are used to buy power ups and vehicles for players. This has resulted in the company’s online shop processing thousands of payments every day.
Bitcoin’s role in the recent partnership is to make in-game purchasing much faster and more convenient to the players. No longer will they need to provide financial details to convert their money to virtual gold when upgrading weapons or buying add-ons. With Bitcoin, they can expect secure and quick processes with the help of BitPay.
What BitPay brings to the table
This is where BitPay comes in. Established in 2011, the Bitcoin payment processor has been in the young Bitcoin payment industry since it started booming. This has given it the experience to better integrate Bitcoin payment schemes into already existing payment infrastructure. With Bitcoin payments being introduced for US customers, players will have an easier time with their purchases.
Additionally, BitPay is instituting the use of Payment Protocol wallets as part of the Wargaming partnership. First introduced in BIP 70 in 2013, this particular Bitcoin standard was developed to make Bitcoin payments even faster and more secure.
According to the BitPay blog post:
“We’re excited to help bring bitcoin to Wargaming’s players. Bitcoin is built for online experiences like gaming, and we’re committed to helping companies like Wargaming use this technology make those experiences more seamless, secure, and fun for users.”
There are three noticeable differences between using Payment Protocol wallets and the normal Bitcoin wallets.
First, instead of a payment address, a URL is sent. Customers click on the link and their Bitcoin wallet automatically send a Payment Protocol request to the link. This eliminates the chance of typos that can result in the wrong address or amount being sent. Second, Payment Protocol makes processing faster by copying the transaction record and rebroadcasting it via BitPay’s server. This ensures the transaction is processed faster.
Third, using Payment Protocol allows for faster refunds. Although Bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed, additional transactions may be made to return the bitcoins used (the main obstacle to a fast refund is determining a verified address). With Payment Protocol standards, a customer’s wallet automatically sends a verified return address with each payment, which cuts down on the usual customer support back and forth.
Boosting Bitcoin acceptance in online gaming
Increased exposure for Bitcoin can only be good news. This is especially so when people see it in action. This partnership between Wargaming and BitPay is just the tip of the iceberg as Bitcoin gains greater acceptance.
Online gaming is an ideal setting for Bitcoin to fully harness its prowess, granted that the iGaming community globally continues to grow. This is already reflected in the increasing attention and demand for Bitcoin slots, table games, and even Bitcoin eSports betting. Although the approach is different from that of the other online gaming sites like Leet, Wargaming already expose more young generation consumers to the benefits of Bitcoin.
BitPay, on the other hand, continues to add more names to its roster of business and organizations it has helped expose to Bitcoin payment technology. Both PayPal and NETELLER, which can be used to send Bitcoin deposits to certain online casinos, are also on board, joining over 60,000 merchants using BitPay.