Is the Gambling Industry Ruining Bitcoin’s Reputation?
Bitcoin has hit all-time highs this year, with a whole lot of people electing to use the digital currency, and thereby taking its usage and price steadily upwards. There was a time, not too long ago, when only a few people knew about Bitcoin but the situation is quite different today. A major part of the credit for making Bitcoin famous has to go to the online gambling industry since increasing numbers of people are realizing just how convenient it is for online gambling. However, people who have traditionally been Bitcoin enthusiasts aren’t too happy with this development because they feel that the online currency is getting a bad reputation thanks to the association.
The resistance towards online gamblers’ use of Bitcoin is really quite surprising since the original users of this currency were quite a mixed bag themselves. While there were indeed people who passionately believed in the digital currency and the philosophy it represented of disrupting the current monetary system worldwide, most of its users even right at the outset were speculators and investors.
When Bitcoin started to increase in popularity, banks started to scrutinize it in order to find out exactly what it entailed. Supporters of the cryptocurrency were really quite happy that the mainstream banking world was showing interest in it. This was followed by the insurance industry that started using blockchain as well.
Bitcoin, and the blockchain technology that underlies it has been very transformative for the online gambling industry. However, the effect that the industry has had on the cryptocurrency is mixed.
To start with the disadvantages, the one that comes to mind first is that Bitcoin’s reputation is under threat. It is impossible to wish away the fact that many online casinos are shady operations. Bitcoin itself had had a chequered past thanks to its association with Silk Road. There was a time when people used to buy all sorts of illegal products and services om Silk Road using Bitcoins.
These days, this currency is even by many people seeking to disguise their online gambling or circumvent government restrictions. Another potential problem could occur in cases where people are gambling excessively. If Bitcoin becomes overwhelmingly associated with gambling, then any social problems the industry creates might also be blamed on it.
There is also a good chance that online gamblers will use casinos to convert Bitcoins to cash. This isn’t a problem if it is done on a small scale, but if it is unsupervised it can quickly become a money laundering method.
The gambling industry does have a positive to offer Bitcoin and it is that it can expand the reach of the currency tremendously. Since the industry is ballooning in size, overall Bitcoin usage will only grow along with it.
Increasing numbers of casinos are adopting Bitcoin, and many players are switching to its use on account of its lower cost and ease of use. There are a number of ancillary businesses that will definitely benefit from the surge in Bitcoin usage. These include bitcoin media sites, exchanges, and mining sites.
The Way Forward
Gambling with Bitcoin does have a couple of major disadvantages but the potential advantages are far higher. Bitcoin advocates should ensure that more online gamblers and sites adopt this cyber currency because this is a failsafe way to increase its usage rate. Of course, the gambling industry will also have to take measures to improve its reputation. The industry will benefit tremendously from having proper regulations in place since this will help operators and customers alike and encourage growth along the right channels.