Where are online casinos heading?
Casinos of yesteryear meant having to make your way out to them, more often than not, at some ungodly hour. 1994 saw the introduction of the online casino. The convenience of all those casino games right there in the comfort of your own home was, and still is, amazing. Online gambling has come a long way since then. The graphics are superior, the choice of games is extensive but more impressive is the technology involved. The introduction of blockchain technology, and of course Ethereum Smart Contracts, to online casinos have only added to this. Casino DApps (Decentralized Applications) are the new frontier!
The birth of Casino DApps
A casino handling cryptocurrency will undoubtedly be using something known as blockchain technology. The blockchain is a distributed ledger on the internet, not being owned by any one single entity making it more trustworthy than when it was centralized.
Ethereum casinos are unique because their particular use of blockchain tech – as they also involve something called a smart contracts. What Ethereum’s Smart Contracts bring to the table is the ability to program little pieces of information within the transactions, allowing developers to make fully Decentralized Applications (or DApps). Think of it as ‘if/then’ rules, which are programmed into the decentralized blockchain. So, in the case of a casino, this can be as simple as a Smart Contract which says: “IF player bets on heads, and heads falls, THEN pay out his bet x 2. IF tails, THEN no payout.” Add to this that all these rules are public, and they’re run on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, one can easily see how this leaves zero room for cheating.
Apart from betting rules, pretty much all internal workings of a casino could be embedded within these smart contracts. This can include payment handling, random number generating, bonuses, etc. One can see how these so called Casino DApps can leverage technology in order to reduce transaction cost, increase security and integrity and so forth.
Eliminating the middle man, for processing payments and the likes, also makes it possible for the player and the casino to interact without ever needing to give any information other than a wallet address. Although the wallet info is public there is nothing else which can connect that wallet to a player. This provides anonymity to those who prefer it.
One of the most damaging reputations the online gambling industry has is, here’s that word again, fraud and/or corruption. Blockchain technology virtually eliminates this. Any unauthorized changes made in the software is easily detected while the system is able to function without any loss of data. Not only does this make it a harder environment to hack but also it removes the need for physical servers. In short, a much more transparent gambling environment!
Most current day online casinos who are not casino DApps or gambling DApps have their games hosted on a physical server located in a datacenter. Hopefully, a player would be enjoying games from a reputable online casino. However, it’s not ever really clear to anyone, other than the game programmer, what exactly is in the code. No matter how externally regulated these casinos and games are, human error could still miss something (deliberately) hidden. The transparency of blockchain means there can be no secrets.
Here, there, everywhere
Now, an important distinction needs to be made. When we talk about an Ethereum Casino, we refer to a casino that used blockchain technology and smart contract to run the casino DApp. On the other side of the spectrum you’ll find casinos that accept Ethereum, however, their casino or sportsbook still runs on private servers – just like a traditional casino. At the moment there’s still a big gap between both sides of the spectrum, with some hybrid applications in between. These Ethereum Casinos have, for instance, the dice game run on a decentralized blockchain, but the Random Number Generator is still conventional. As time goes by, more and better completely decentralized Smart Contract casinos will pop up.
DApps need not only be confined to the gambling industry either. Anyone needing a secure environment which is highly protected from hacking, reliable backups and having zero central points of failure could do well with looking into this technology. Anyone looking to cut down on the amount of time spent manually processing documents could use this technology to automate a lot of tasks. Anyone wishing to save money (and who doesn’t?) could also benefit from the faster and cheaper benefits it can provide. The application of blockchain and smart contract technology outside of the casino is endless.
This revolutionary tech, which is still considered new, can make a huge difference on how companies of any size and industries work.