Cryptocurrencies have become really popular in the iGaming industry over the past few years and are firmly rooted in the online casino world.
In this article Andrey Starovoitov, CEO at SOFTSWISS, Daniel Heywood, co-founder of NuxGame, and Matt Sahakian, director of security at Technamin, talked about the future of cryptocurrency and why it is now an extremely important part of the industry.
Which markets is the cryptocurrency solution especially relevant at?
Andrey Starovoitov: The use of cryptocurrencies in gambling is a steady trend that has only become stronger over the years. Today we see how the sector of the crypto casino industry is developing every day and gaining a significant market share.
Cryptocurrency is undoubtedly the flagship of our client portfolio, along with major fiat casinos. Cryptocurrencies are up 10% year-over-year and account for about 35% of SOFTSWISS turnover. This is a clear indicator of growth against the backdrop of price volatility for major coins and indicates a gradual increase in players’ interest in this type of deposit.
Daniel Heywood: In recent years, the use of cryptocurrencies has expanded significantly in various industries, including finance, IT, and e-commerce. Moreover, it is used not only by enterprises, but also by thousands of individuals who regularly use cryptocurrencies. This is far from the image that cryptocurrencies had just a few years ago, and indicates their growth.
Matt Sahakian: Currently, cryptocurrencies are inseparable from our industry. Most reputable online casinos today offer cryptocurrency payment methods, and those that do not will definitely include this in their short term plans. Online bookmakers have joined this trend a bit later than online casinos, but they are certainly catching up as we see cryptocurrency sports betting growing in the industry.
What are the biggest benefits of using cryptocurrencies for operators and players when betting online?
AS: Firstly, operators get access to a completely new, younger audience that does not overlap with traditional fiat casinos. The use of cryptocurrencies often provides a certain degree of anonymity, which attracts VIP players and high rollers.
At the transaction level, all crypto casino metrics such as acceptance and conversion rates are much higher than fiat casinos. For example, the SOFTSWISS acceptance rate (the ratio of successful deposits to the number of deposit attempts) for cryptocurrencies is 99%.
All of the above are just some of the benefits of using cryptocurrencies in iGaming. The biggest advantage is that cryptocurrencies have continued to rise over the past five years.
DH: There are many benefits for both players and operators, the most obvious of which is the speed of transactions. Since there are no intermediaries in the transaction, everything can be done faster and in fewer steps than with traditional payment methods. Moreover, eliminating this middleman has a significant side effect of lowering fees, streamlining processes, and improving cost efficiencies.
MS: The main advantage is the increased level of security provided by the blockchain technology on which these currencies are based. Security is always of paramount importance for operators and players, and cryptography ensures the security of both. In addition, since these currencies are decentralized, they are anonymous, which favors players in knowing their information and transaction history.
Which markets is the cryptocurrency solution especially relevant for?
AS: Indeed, when we are asked where the market for cryptocurrencies in gambling is, we at SOFTSWISS emphasize that cryptocurrencies belong to a separate new market. And this is logical, since the differences between crypto and fiat audiences are quite significant – the requirements for transaction processing speed, the availability of technological games with provably fair implementation, high game limits, and even the lists of the best games in these two segments are completely different. In general, the geography of cryptogamblers is quite extensive – Canada, Germany, Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina) and Asia.
DH: Cryptocurrencies are relevant all over the world. There is not a single market where its importance has not increased. However, this has contributed to the expansion of the iGaming industry, especially in developing countries. This is mainly due to strict banking regulation and restrictions in these countries/regions.
MS: We see that the Asian market, as well as some areas of the Latin American market, are adopting cryptocurrency, along with Africa and the United States. Mexico is also actively using the blockchain, entering the top 50 countries where the cryptocurrency is most popular. Countries such as Greece, Denmark, Sweden, Romania and the UK are also joining this trend.
Is it all about Bitcoin or are other cryptocurrencies commercially viable?
AS: Indeed, cryptocurrencies are seeing an increase in the number of new coins while bitcoin is gradually declining, but this does not mean that bitcoin is losing its appeal, but that other cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular as a way to deposit money for gambling. According to research from our partners, customer interests are shifting towards stablecoins. Most crypto traders have already sold off the most volatile cryptocurrencies. USDT is the leader among stablecoins, followed by BUSD. As a result, in 2022 we saw that Bitcoin is not the final choice for payments. But make no mistake, only bitcoin offers undeniable decentralization and freedom of payments, and it’s still huge. The average transaction rate has dropped from 65% to 49%, which is quite low for new casinos with a young player base.
DH: Of course, Bitcoin is the undisputed leader among cryptocurrencies, but the opportunities for both players and operators are constantly growing. Through them, customers are offering an increasingly diverse range of payment options, including projects such as Ethereum, Solana, and Tether.
MS: There was a time when the crypto world was rocked by bitcoin. Today, however, things are different. There are about 10,000 active cryptocurrencies. Of course, not all of them are popular and used, but many are as popular among players as Bitcoin, including Ethereum, Binance USD, Dogecoin, Tether and XRP. That’s the thing with these currencies. That’s the thing with these currencies. You never know who will take the lead.
What is the future of using cryptocurrencies in online gaming? Is this a passing trend or will it continue?
AS: In general, despite the current volatility, the crypto gambling sector and its users will continue to grow. This is due to the fact that players value speed, simplicity and a certain level of anonymity most of all in cryptocurrencies. As more businesses, including large corporations, add cryptocurrencies to their payment methods, it is clear that interest in this niche is on the rise.
DH: Cryptocurrencies are definitely not going anywhere; by now I’m sure most would agree with that. As the crypto industry develops, more and more innovative solutions appear that compete for 15 minutes of fame. This, in turn, stimulates further innovation. As the crypto industry develops, new and more innovative solutions emerge that compete for their 15 minutes of fame. Some of them are no doubt a passing trend, but some will stay with us for a long time and become part of the industry.
MS: When bitcoin was launched in 2009 as the first open source currency and blockchain, many considered it a passing trend. More than a decade later, let’s see how these currencies fared. As with any other phenomenon, it is impossible to say where the cryptocurrency is heading, but its popularity and spread over the course of a decade clearly show that this is a path that we should keep a close eye on.
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