Bitcoin is a both a digital currency and a means of electronic payment. Bitcoin is also inherently private, and while it doesn’t ensure anonymity, it certainly affords payers and payees more protection that any traditional currency ever could. It’s for these reasons that the online gambling community throughout the world has embraced Bitcoin so quickly and so thoroughly. Since Bitcoin expansion isn’t a trend that will cease anytime soon, let’s rub our crystal ball and speculate about what 2018 will bring.
1. Bitcoin Will Be Ubiquitous in Online Gambling
Have you heard the term “Bitcoin casino?” It’s used to refer to online casinos that accept Bitcoin deposits and offer Bitcoin withdrawals. This term is currently necessary because those casinos are special. They’re at the vanguard of an industry-wide transition, but by 2018, the term Bitcoin casino may not have a lot of meaning, and the reason for that is that almost every online casino still rocking a year from now will facilitate Bitcoin transactions. It will be a standard and expected.
2. Bitcoin Will Account for the Majority of All Gambling Transactions
Do you know that most online gambling transactions are conducted in the U.S. dollar? It’s true. Even if you take U.S.-based punters out of the equation, USD is used more than the EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD and so forth. The reason is convenience, but that’s about to change, and it’s going to change because Bitcoin is becoming nearly as convenient and certainly more useful. Any conveniences the dollar still offers will be offset by the privacy and other advantages Bitcoin affords.
3. Bitcoin Will Account for More Than 80 Percent of All U.S.-based Transactions
The privacy advantages cannot be overstated when it comes to U.S. gamblers. The local laws they face are stricter than almost anywhere in the world. That hasn’t stopped them from gambling with the USD, but it does expose them to tax liabilities and potential penalties. Changes in U.S. law are almost certainly coming, but those changes certainly won’t be on the books by 2018. Since use of Bitcoin will protect U.S. users from those aforementioned issues, Bitcoin will most certainly become the dominant currency.
4. Online Casinos Bonuses Will Be Bigger for Using Bitcoin
We’re already witnessing this happening, so it isn’t much of a stretch. Online casinos want you to use Bitcoin: they earn more on each “dollar” that way due to reduced transaction costs and other factors. In order to entice you, casinos will pass some of those savings onto you in the form of bigger bonuses.
5. Casinos Will Begin Offering Protection Against Bitcoin Volatility
If there’s a potential downside to Bitcoin is that it tends to be volatile. This is something that should work itself out over time, particularly as Bitcoin becomes more widespread. That won’t happen by 2018, however. For gamblers still reticent to try Bitcoin at this point, this volatility will likely be a sticking point. Some casinos, therefore, will limit this risk by guaranteeing the price of bitcoins maintained in casino accounts. They’ll be able to do this because volatility is more a short-term than long-term risk.
6. More Countries Will Overhaul Their Laws to Account for Bitcoin
Whether we’re talking about the United States, United Kingdom, European Union or Australia, the laws currently on the books were created before the Bitcoin era was on the political radar. That’s no longer the case, and Australia, for instance, is already moving to overhaul its laws to add Bitcoin fees that let them recoup some of the traditional banking fees they’re not getting it. How much these new laws affect average Joes like us remains to be seem, but it could definitely affect that #4 prediction.