The Ultimate Ethereum Casino Guide for 2019
With the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry has had a somewhat disastrous 2018, at least in terms of market value, it is hoped that 2019 will play out significantly more positive. However, it is important to note that whilst cryptocurrency portfolio values have taken a beating, much is going on behind the scenes.
This sentiment could not ring truer for Ethereum and its underlying smart contract protocol, with a range of industry disruptions potentially on its way. One such space that appears to be growing in size is that of the Ethereum gambling arena, with users now accustomed to a significant number of ETH-based casinos, sportsbooks and poker rooms.
In our Ultimate Ethereum Casino Guide for 2019, we are going to explore the ETH gambling sector in greater detail. This will include the current state of the Ethereum blockchain and what projects are waiting in the wings. We will also cover some of the key platforms that now operate in the Ethereum casino space, including innovative developments such as decentralized gambling platforms. By the end of reading it from start to finish, you will have a complete overview of what to expect from the Ethereum casino industry for 2019 and beyond!
Let’s start by taking a brief look at the current state of Ethereum.
Ethereum – The current state of play
Ethereum was the first blockchain protocol to take decentralized technology beyond just financial transactions. Launched in 2015, unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin and other leading cryptocurrencies at the time, Ethereum allows users to create and enter in to binding agreements through its smart contract technology. Essentially, a smart contract is based on pre-defined conditions that are agreed upon by both parties involved. The underlying code cannot be changed or amended, and once the conditions have been met, the technology automatically distributes its native token – ETH.
When sending or receiving funds through the Ethereum blockchain, transaction times average just 16 seconds, which is significantly faster than its Bitcoin counterpart, which usually takes 10 minutes. The technology itself was founded by a young Russian/Canadian developer called Vitalik Buterin. The innovative developer is so well-regarded in the blockchain industry that Bloomberg included Buterin within their list of the ‘Top 50 Most Influential People’, subsequently rubbing shoulders with the likes of Elon Music and Jeff Bezoz.
Although the technology is no doubt revolutionary, it is important to note that Ethereum also has its challenges. One of the key concerns that Buterin and his team of innovative developers are attempting to resolve is that of scalability. The problem at the moment is that the Ethereum blockchain can only process approximately 15 transactions per second. Although superseding Bitcoin, which is limited to just 7, other smart contract blockchain protocols such as EOS are able to achieve more than 10,000 per second, with a target of over a million.
Nevertheless, the Ethereum team have a number of solutions up their sleeves, which we could potentially see in 2019. First and foremost, the team are looking to make a transition from the energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism over to that of the more efficient Proof-of-Stake (PoW). Moreover, in what the team call ‘Sharding’ and ‘Plaza’, the two projects will allow the blockchain to facilitate smart contracts off-chain, with the contract staying off the main blockchain until it is executed.
Taking all of this in to account, it is hoped that the aforementioned solutions will result in an Ethereum blockchain that is able to process transactions in the ‘Millions per second’.
Why the online casino industry should feel threatened
For those unaware, it is often argued that the one industry that could be disrupted overnight by the growth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is that of the online casino space. In fact, there are already a significant number of casinos that now specialize purely in Ethereum deposits and withdrawals. Interestingly, the technology not only benefits the player, but the casino operator too.
The key reason for this is that the decentralized nature of the Ethereum blockchain allows casino websites to operate in a burden-free environment. Although a good number of operators still choose to become regulated, they are not accustomed to the same level of red-tape as their fiat currency counterparts.
This initially begins with the account opening procedure. Unlike traditional online casinos, Ethereum gambling operators do not ask for a long list of personal information, such as the player’s full name, address, date of birth and nationality. On the contrary, players are most commonly only required to supply their email address.
What this also means is that the dreaded KYC (Know-Your-Customer) process is virtually non-existent in the Ethereum casino arena. Although this might not be the case forever, it remains to be seen if this will change in 2019.
Moreover, a further reason that Ethereum casinos are becoming more and more popular is that the deposit and withdrawal process is practically seamless. Not only are deposit and withdrawal requests free of charge (apart from the blockchain fee, which is minute), but they are also instant too (in-line with average transaction times of 16 seconds).
Ultimately, this means that players cam receive their winnings in seconds, rather than having to go through the long process of submitting identity documents and waiting for the average three-day bank processing timeframe.
First past the post – Ethereum casino industry leaders
Although the number of Ethereum-accepting casinos is now in to the hundreds, there are of course some clear industry leaders. Notably, these consist of Fortune Jack, mBit and BitStarz. The aforementioned Ethereum casinos have a range of common denominators that has resulted in an established and trusted status within the industry.
All three casinos hold a full gaming license, meaning that players are not only accustomed to the protections and transparencies of the blockchain, but they also have a regulatory oversight. This also rings true for the innovative ‘Provably Fair’ protocol, which is a cryptographic system that guarantees that software gambling games are fair.
Although the gaming outcomes generated by Provably Fair can be viewed within the public domain, it is the sole responsibility of the license issuer to perform regular audits on the data.
Exciting Decentralized Ethereum Casino Projects
Outside of the aforementioned Ethereum casino platforms, there are also a couple of alternative crypto-gambling projects to keep an eye on, notably Edgeless Casino and DAO.Casino. Let’s take a look at how the two platforms might disrupt the industry in 2019 and beyond.
Edgeless casino are an online gambling platform that offers the first of its kind – 0% house-edge on its games. For those unaware, the house-edge is the statistical advantage that the casino has over the player. Although this varies from game-to-game, the casino implements a house-edge to ensure that they return profits on a long-term basis.
However, the Edgeless casino concept is to remove the house-edge in its entirety. So how do they make money? Well, the team at Edgeless explain that the 0% house-edge is always applicable, as long as the user plays the ‘perfect game’. For example, taking an additional card in Blackjack when you already have 20 would not be classed as the perfect game! In this particular scenario, the player would most probably lose and as such, the edge goes back in the favor of the casino. Ultimately, casinos will always attract reckless players who take risks far and beyond the logical!
The team at DAO.casino have taken decentralized gambling to the very next level. The concept behind the project is to allow players and backers to gamble on a peer-to-peer basis, effectively removing the middleman. By opening up the online casino doors, developers of all sizes can market their casino games on the DAO.casino network, fully supported by the transparent characteristics of the blockchain protocol.
Moreover, in what the project refer to as ‘Bankrollers’, users can earn guaranteed profits by providing liquidity for the casino games hosted on the platform. Those looking to gamble with Ethereum and other leading cryptocurrencies benefit because the removal of third party operators providers lower house-edges, instant deposits and withdrawals and guaranteed fairness.
Hybrid projects cater for multiple digital tokens
Although Ethereum-based casino platforms appear to be the most prominent amongst those looking to gamble with cryptocurrencies, some casinos now cater to a significant number of alternative tokens too. These types of platforms are known as ‘Hybrid Casinos’ and as of 2019, two specific operators in particular are dominating the market share.
The verdict? Ethereum casino 2019 and beyond
Although the Ethereum blockchain was only launched in 2015, the project has come a long way since its inception. One such sector that appears to be benefiting greatly from the original smart contract protocol is the online casino space. Whilst there are already a range established Ethereum-based casinos in the market, there is still a significant amount of maneuver for the phenomenon to grow.
In particular, the development of decentralized casinos is something that interests the crypto-community, not least because its falls in-line with the ideology of blockchain technology. Ultimately, if and when the Ethereum team resolve their scalability woes, the crypto-casino industry could potentially explode to the masses.