18 May, 2021
The crypto uprising
The number of crypto players will grow, casinos have to transform and affiliates have to adapt as well, says Adam Gros, the owner of the crypto affiliate Gamblineers
Although we are well past the 10 year-mark after Bitcoin came into existence, it still feels like we've only grazed the surface of what the market has to offer. With every new season being called the 'crypto boom' thanks to the ever-growing prices of crypto coins, more and more people discover the crypto market as a lucrative opportunity and decide to transfer at least some of their savings or even all of them to crypto.
The gambling community is no exception.
CRYPTO AND FIAT GAMBLING ARE THE SAME BUT COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
You could say that crypto players are only a subsection of the whole igaming community, and you would be right. But they are such a specific subsection that they caused an entirely new igaming sector to come into existence. The fact that they use a different payment option, and a very specifically different one at that, demands an entirely different approach, or better yet an entirely different casino or bookmaker.
Imagine, if you wanted to play with USD. You probably wouldn't be satisfied with a UK-based casino that offered all its services in GBP or vice versa. Even if said casino accepted USD.
If you want crypto, you need to go fully crypto. So in order to cater to crypto players, casinos have to transform and affiliates have to adapt as well. As it turns out, crypto players are not looking for casinos that only accept crypto, they want a bit more.
THE ROAD TO BLOCKCHAIN
Since it's not just Bitcoin we're talking about in crypto, but countless other coins as well, players rather look for the most attractive features offered by Blockchain or other crypto platforms.
Transparency, anonymity, speed and low transaction fees are most often pointed out when you compare crypto to fiat. So it's to no surprise that expressions like 'fast paying', 'anonymous' and 'provably fair' casinos flooded the crypto part of the igaming community. A lot of players, especially the orthodox part of the crowd, take very seriously the speed and anonymity of crypto and expect nothing less from casinos and bookmakers. Players want to play using their e-mail address and their e-wallet and nothing else, they want to deposit fast (think in seconds) and withdraw fast as well.
So while a regular player might choose his credit card over a bank transfer due to the transaction speed difference, neither can compare with the speed of an e-wallet payment. And while regular players might have gotten used to uploading their ID and personal info to open their accounts, this became a large obstacle for every crypto player.
THE CRYPTO CASINO DISCREPANCY
When Bitcoin rose to fame things were simple: those who wanted to attract crypto players simply added Bitcoin to their payment methods (1st option). But as players' demands evolved along with crypto, so did all casinos who believed that crypto is the way to go. That meant all their services, promotions and basic terminology changed to BTC (2nd option). And in the last few years we have been witnessing the birth of blockchain casinos, where their entire infrastructure is based on the same technology that's running Bitcoin (3rd option).
While a casino can choose one of the three options that suits it best, affiliates are left to speculate what players mean when they say 'crypto casino'. Sometimes it seems that only accepting crypto as a payment option is a bit scarce. But then again, some of the most reputable brands fall into this category, which can't be dismissed so easily. On the other hand, blockchain casinos are so new and yet unregulated that they open up more questions than they answer.
THE RISE OF BLOCKCHAIN CASINOS
Blockchain casinos seem to have taken a similar approach to esports gambling sites. Dark, elegant and simple. Offer as little as possible but really make that pop out. That's why in blockchain casinos you can usually find only a handful of games, preferably in-house-made, cartoon-like graphics and public live chat for players to keep the need for professional support at minimum. Basically, the idea is to make the casino look as if it's running itself and make you feel like the players are in control (like the case of peer-to-peer network in blockchain). Whether blockchain casinos will be the future of crypto gambling, only a branch or won't last at all, is still too early to say. As a crypto affiliate, we are always a bit skeptical when working with blockchain casinos.
Not just because these casinos are new but also because the whole system behind them is new and untested on the market.
THE CRYPTO AFFILIATE
Being an igaming affiliate means a constant struggle to balance player demands, and casino performances and services, while trying to stay as objective as possible. To do that properly is not an easy task.
Being a crypto affiliate means the same thing while trying to focus on a few other aspects, offered by the crypto technology, as well.
I believe that the same is true for crypto affiliates as is for crypto players: they are a subsection to the igaming affiliate community, but a very specific subsection with unique perks and requirements.
To be a crypto affiliate you have to be a 'believer' to some extent. That means you must believe that the crypto market will endure and the prices will keep rising or at least won't crash. After all, all your earnings are in the form of cryptocurrencies and thus subject to volatility.
So far it's been a great time to be a crypto affiliate from that point of view, but you must keep in mind that the tables can turn any day and you always carry the risk.
THE CRYPTO PLAYER
The very same thing drives most crypto players to play with Bitcoin or other desired cryptocurrency.
The term 'HODL' (hold on for dear life) has been a catchphrase in the crypto world describing the idea of believing in the crypto endurance and holding it instead of selling even when the prices go up. So if the idea of a fiat gambler is to make more money by placing bets, the idea of a crypto gambler is exactly the same while hoping for a price rise at the same time, giving the earnings an extra boost.
While that may be true for most crypto players, we can't dismiss the fact that crypto opened the doors into the igaming world to almost everyone, including those, who are otherwise not legal to roam there. Although crypto technology is transparent, it is also anonymous, meaning players can use that to their own advantage, aided by the fact that Bitcoin is still a legal gray area in many parts of the world. Not to mention countless other cryptocurrencies.
Crypto technology, mainly blockchain, has already enabled casinos and affiliates to add some new features to their websites. Or in the case of blockchain casinos, all their infrastructure. Some basic things like 'provably fair' calculators can already be found, used to prove randomness of game results if the game is based on blockchain technology. With the whole crypto sphere searching for new ways to be faster, safer and more versatile, it's only a matter of time before some of that is translated to the igaming world as well.
And as long as the crypto market keeps growing and countless new players are only being introduced to the crypto idea, the number of crypto players will grow and the whole crypto igaming community alongside them.