Ever since cryptocurrencies took a spotlight in the financial arena, the entire world has been looking for ways to take advantage of their unique features. The overall convenience, anonymity, and transaction speed of these digital assets offers many utilities – especially in the field of online poker.
As you can imagine, on an Ethereum poker site, you will be depositing and withdrawing funds using ETH – instead of a fiat currency.
To make things clear, this does not alter the game or its rules in any way. With that said, beyond this simple change, an online poker site that accepts Ethereum offers a full suite of advantages that fiat platforms cannot rival.
In this article, let us consider how and why Ethereum is considered one of the most powerful cryptocurrencies that can steer the future of online poker.
Existing Problems in Online Poker
What makes Ethereum one of the most popular options for online poker?
In order to answer that, we will have to consider the shortcomings of the current online gambling industry.
Deposit and Withdrawal Delays
To begin with, traditional poker platforms do not make it easy for you to process your transactions. This is primarily because providers are required to meet and comply with an over-burden of regulations.
A such, when requesting a withdrawal, you’ll need to wait for the poker site to authorize it. This could result in a waiting period for days, if not weeks, to gain access to your poker winnings.
Perhaps, the most notable disadvantage of the current online poker space is that it is overly regulated. In this way, online poker sites can be heavily intrusive. In order to start using the platform, you will first have to verify your identity.
This step will require you to provide your personal information – including your residential address and date of birth.
Secondly, you will also have to complete a Know Your Customer process. This means – at the very least, you will have to upload a copy of your passport or driver’s license and an official document to offer proof of your address.
As you can see, not everybody will be eager to go through such hurdles to enjoy a game of poker with their hard-earned money.
Question of Fairness
Traditional online poker sites are also often associated with fraud and unfairness. In fact, many users believe that gambling platforms employ bots or AI to hack the games and alter their results in favor of operators.
Even if a platform might have the best interests of players at heart, it can be nearly impossible to prove or communicate its fairness and credibility to users.
As such, many online poker sites are generally regarded obscure and uncertain by seasoned players.
How Ethereum can Solve These Issues
Cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum are not under the governance of any entity. This lack of regulation can also be highly advantageous – especially in the case of Ethereum.
Unlike popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum is not merely a digital coin. It also comes with a wide spectrum of utilities. The Ethereum network is arguably the largest and most established decentralized software platform.
In fact, Ethereum was developed as a platform that can facilitate programmable smart contracts and applications using the ETF token. The token can be used to deploy smart contracts and build decentralized applications for any purpose.
As such, online poker platforms that accept Ethereum also stand to benefit from the several advantages of blockchain technology and the concept of decentralization.
Advantages of Ethereum Online Poker Sites
Ethereum and its underlying blockchain technology can hold the key to the new age of online poker.
Here are some of the reasons why:
Ethereum also forms the basis of decentralized transacting. Put simply, this paves the way for burden-free and trustless transactions via a P2P model that can solve all of the problems that we listed above.
On the contrary, existing gambling sites that dominate the online poker space are centralized. Combining the functionalities of Ethereum and blockchain, operators can build parallel gambling sites via the DeFi concept.
This will eliminate the need to go through the cumbersome KYC process to gain access to a game of poker.
This form of online poker is gradually seeing increased interest from players due to the numerous benefits it offers for the end-to-end gaming experience.
In the long run, DeFi poker sites can turn out to be more favorable for players – because of an alleviation of over-regulation. .
Another huge benefit of Ethereum poker is that blockchain transactions can ensure complete privacy for the player. Any details concerning your transactions on a poker site will not be available to third parties – such as banks.
This isn’t the case when you are dealing with fiat currencies – where every payment you make will be reflected on your bank statement. When you make payments through Ethereum, all transactions will be available in a public ledger.
However, these will be in the form of untraceable alphanumerics. In other words, your identity and any transactions you make on the platform will remain anonymous.
The lack of verification will also help players to avoid any kind of geographical hindrances. For instance, many countries have very strict regulations when it comes to the online poker industry – which prohibits access for players.
Decentralized platforms offer a way around this – enabling players to participate in online poker games via an anonymous ecosystem.
As we discussed earlier, one of the main drawbacks of the current online poker system is the lack of trustworthiness. On a conventional poker website, players are forced to believe the data provided by operators – as there is no other way to ensure legitimacy.
Blockchain technology can offer a reliable solution for this.
Although blockchain transactions are untraceable – these are verifiable indeed. In fact, many online casinos have already implemented the feature of ‘Provable Fairness’.
This Provably Fair technology allows you to ensure that online poker games are devoid of any wrongdoing. In simpler terms, this technology will generate a unique hash for all games – that can verify the outcome of each poker hand.
Players can check these crypto-hashes on any third-party platform to ensure that the poker platform is fair beyond any doubt.
Faster and Cheaper Transactions
The majority of the centralized poker arena seeks approval and confirmations from banks in order to process a transaction. As we touched upon earlier, this constriction can add extra time for the processing of your payments.
In addition, such platforms also hold the right to pause a withdrawal until certain conditions are met by the player – such as uploading ID.
On the contrary, an Ethereum poker site built on blockchain technology offers fast, cheap, and burden-free transactions. On such sites, there will be no centralized authority to screen the website.
Instead, your payments will be released automatically when favorable conditions as predefined by the smart contracts are triggered.
This can reduce the time and effort spent on payment requests to centralized departments. DeFi poker platforms are completely automatic, and you will be able to receive your winning within minutes.
A Rising Competition to Bitcoin
It is true that Bitcoin still holds the position of being the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. However, this perception is slowly changing.
The use case of Ethereum has expanded – making it one of the most capitalized digital coins in the crypto market.
Moreover, compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum has no issuance or circulation limit. This could make this digital coin more suitable as a stable economic resource instead of Bitcoin.
Challenges of Ethereum Poker Sites
Make no mistake about it – Ethereum might be one of the best ways to solve the existing issues with the online poker industry, but that does not mean that the digital coin has a smooth road ahead.
Despite the many advantages, cryptocurrencies are yet to be accepted entirely by online poker platforms and players. It is still a relatively new technology that is yet to be adopted in our day-to-day lives.
In reality, many long-term poker players still have a hard time trusting it.
Online poker players are used to relying on payment methods that have stood the test of time, such as debit cards, credit cards, and even e-wallets such as PayPal. In comparison, cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum are still new and unconventional in the grand scheme of things.
However, this is primarily because there is a lack of knowledge and awareness surrounding crypto assets.
In plain words, even if Ethereum payments are extremely easy and convenient, it might take a lot more time for poker players to understand the concept of the blockchain protocol and why it can be beneficial.
That said, ultimately – everybody wants fast, secure, and cheap ways to gain access to their favorite poker games. In that regard, Ethereum can be the ideal solution.
Where is the Future of Online Poker Headed?
It goes without saying that cryptocurrencies are not going to disappear anytime soon. If anything, the popularity of Ethereum is all but certain to rise over the course of time – with the increasing adoption of DeFi platforms and apps.
If Ethereum can overcome the current challenges it faces, then the chances are that this digital currency can evolve to become the golden standard in the online poker space. In fact, ETH has the potential to even surpass the fame of Bitcoin.
Ethereum is steadily growing in value in the open market, too – garnering more interest from both poker and casino players. The more successful it becomes, the more people will want to learn about the crypto asset. In turn, this might help to eliminate any remaining trust issues.
All in all, Ethereum will unquestionably be one of the top forces that drives the challenges currently seen in the traditional online poker arena.