As this piece is about to go live, Bitcoin is battling $55,000 and the whole crypto market is flourishing, expectations as high as never before. So do online casinos: valued at $59 billion, the global online gambling market is projected to double in size in five years.
Crypto and online casinos have been in mutually beneficial cooperation all along. Today, paying with crypto is not a novelty but rather the only viable way to gamble for many countries where gambling is restricted or banned outright (note: in no way this should be considered as an encouragement to violate the law).
But along with the ever-growing adoption of crypto, new challenges knock on the door. This mainly stems from the inability of Bitcoin to scale, which entails exorbitant fees and the necessity to refer to Lightning Network, a very dubious scaling solution with a whole plethora of drawbacks.
The future of Bitcoin and online casinos isn’t that rosy at all, at least unless BTC finds a way to scale reliably and efficiently. But would crypto stay afloat if Bitcoin were to lose its dominance, and what are the chances of that happening? Let’s speculate a little bit on that.
BTC is Still King, Though in a Precarious Position
Before 2017, replenishing your account in a top Bitcoin casino wasn’t a problem regardless of the amount being deposited. You could send a few, a few dozen, or a few thousand dollars with a negligible fee – just what you can do now with Bitcoin Cash, DigiByte, or Nano – but that’s no longer possible.
If you were to be that crazy to use BTC as a payment option in 2021, you would have to pay an exorbitant fee of $20 to $60 depending on the network load and how fast you want to get your money delivered; to refer to Lightning Network, which is a not-that-successful scaling solution for BTC. First of all, you will have to collateralize some amount of BTC, about $100. Secondly, you will have to trust your counterpart on the payment channel. Finally, you will have to be online to make a transaction.
BTC is still King, but its dominance is less obvious than ever. Luckily for BTC, the second-largest crypto, Ethereum, is stuck with the same scaling problem. Nevertheless, with so many second-layer solutions, it will likely scale faster than BTC – if the latter will ever scale, that is. What keeps BTC afloat is its ticker and market size, and if it were to lose one or both (Bitcoin Cash is the one that can take the ticker away from BTC), then chances are it will go down quickly and be gone for good in no time.
What Would the Fall of BTC Mean for the Crypto Market and Online Casinos?
There’s no crystal ball to predict the future, but the possible scenarios may look like this:
BTC tops out, loses its dominance, and never recovers. Up until now, the money has been flowing similarly every Bull Run: BTC grows first, and then, as it approaches the blow-off top, other cryptocurrencies follow, first the biggest ones and then the rest. Then the bear market starts: capitals move back to fiat money. Rinse and repeat. But what if BTC were to lose its dominance to, say, Ethereum, which is getting closer and closer? If that were to happen, we would likely see a smooth dethroning without a sharp decline in the capitalization of the crypto market.
BTC loses its dominance, BUT all the money from BTC flows to fiat. There’s no guarantee that whales would put the money from BTC to big-cap cryptos as they could move their money to fiat, protecting their capital. If that were to happen, we would likely see a prolonged bear market with many cryptos fighting for the place under the sun and Ethereum in a pole position.
But would the fall of BTC affect online casinos? Drumroll…it won’t! Online platforms accept dozens of cryptocurrencies and will accept even more as new cryptos stand the test of time. With or without BTC, the world of gambling will embrace cryptocurrencies just like it embraces new technologies, be it video streaming, virtual reality, or anything else. There’s absolutely no doubt that the mutually beneficial crypto-gambling cooperation will continue since for crypto-agnostic casinos, it doesn’t matter which crypto carries the torch.