Whether you’re invested in currency news or simply read headlines in passing, you’ve probably heard about Bitcoin. Launched in 2009, Bitcoin ushered cryptocurrency to the forefront of economics in an astonishingly short amount of time, and it remains an ever-growing topic of discussion today. Over the past decade or so, cryptocurrency has become increasingly used in mainstream spaces, including at online casinos. This article explores the growth of Bitcoin and how it is reflected in the casino industry and beyond.
A brief history of Bitcoin
For many countries around the world, official currency has been in place for centuries. The Canadian dollar, for example, has been in place since 1871 when the Uniform Currency Act was passed by Parliament. As a result of the Act, the Canadian dollar replaced the somewhat fractured currency of the provinces as a universal system. Watching a currency come to fruition and rise in use is not a common experience many people around the world have shared until cryptocurrency was invented.
In 2009, the world’s first cryptocurrency was invented: Bitcoin. In a little more than a decade, the currency has gone from an underground and rarely recognized option to an increasingly popular mainstream payment solution. While the exact origins of Bitcoin remain a mystery, with relatively little hope of uncovering its true creator(s), the impact it has had on society in general cannot be denied. Some industries have been more affected than others, with the casino industry being one of the most impacted fields.
What is Bitcoin?
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of cryptocurrency, the idea of Bitcoin might be confusing. It is not a currency that has a physical counterpart, instead, it is entirely digital. You will not find any physical Bitcoins in circulation in other words, but digital coins can be exchanged for items and services. The amount of Bitcoin in circulation is finite too, with there being a limit of 21 million coins in all. No additional coins will be minted after that number is reached.
What does this mean for users around the world? For most people, Bitcoin will operate in a similar way to a normal fiat or government-issued currency even once all 21 million Bitcoins are in circulation. It is highly unlikely that we will reach that milestone in the current century. Some estimates predict it will be 2140 when this limit will be hit. In the meantime, more and more people are adopting Bitcoin for use in their everyday lives, something that even just a short decade ago seemed incredibly unlikely. Let’s explore some of the areas where cryptocurrency is most commonly used.
Where is Bitcoin used?
While there is no explicit limit on what industries can use Bitcoin, some fields have been quicker than others to adopt it. From online gambling to hotels and everything in between, here are some of the areas where Bitcoin is most often used.
You might not be surprised to learn that online gaming is one of the industries where Bitcoin is growing the fastest. Many gamers around the world have access to cryptocurrency and are using it to pay for games and in-game transactions. Depending on the country and game in question, the currency can be used to pay for many of the same things that the dollar can be. While this is most popular in mobile gaming, it is also used in other online gaming activities such as online gambling.
A decade or so ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find an online operator accepting cryptocurrency. Today, there are more than 25 licenced and regulated online casinos that accept Bitcoin. This number has risen quite sharply over the past few years, and it seems as though new operators are accepting cryptocurrencies every day. It has never been easier to use cryptocurrencies while gambling online than it is today, and this very much reflects the increasing popularity of the currency in the mainstream.
Social media use remains one of the most popular pastimes around the world. While you might be familiar with platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, you might be surprised to learn that there are many other platforms serving smaller audiences. Some of these have adopted cryptocurrency in exchange for activity, providing users with Bitcoin in exchange for expanding their networks, for example, or posting and engaging with other people using the website. While larger social networks have yet to follow suit, the industry is still expanding rapidly.
In 2021, Pavilions Hotels & Resorts became one of the first hotel chains to accept cryptocurrency payments. This decision was announced to much fanfare, with customers around the world interested in the potential of using Bitcoin to pay for their rooms. Since then, Kessler Collection and S Hotel & Resorts have joined Pavilions in allowing customers to pay flexibly using many different kinds of cryptocurrency and doing a great deal to legitimize the use of the currency in everyday society. We expect that additional providers will follow suit, especially once the payment process is refined.
Yet another industry where Bitcoin is becoming increasingly used is retail. Not only are some third-party services such as PayPal making it easy to purchase and spend cryptocurrencies in certain countries, but large retailers around the world are also accepting them. Fast food brands such as KFC, Subway and Burger King, for example, along with Overstock, Newegg and Shopify are making it easy for their customers to shop using whatever cryptocurrency they want within reason.
As Bitcoin continues to grow, the casino industry is poised to launch even more cryptocurrency casinos just as retail spaces expand their cryptocurrency offerings. If you’re interested in learning more about the growth and future of Bitcoin, use the information above as a guide and you’ll be an expert in no time!