Recent developments in blockchain technology have been providing new opportunities for companies in a whole host of industries from development new products and services to cost savings, security and efficiencies. As the rate of adoption increases, the time at which blockchain technology will become commonplace is rapidly approaching. Most recently, the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has made headlines in combustion with the use and regulation of ICOS – Initial Coin Offerings which a company can use to raise funds.
Whilst there has been some development and interest shown in the gambling industry, it still lags far behind the level of adoption of new technology that can be seen in many other markets. Most of the new ideas and progress in the gambling-blockchain space so far has come from the efforts of start-ups, which have either the flexibility or foresight to leverage the huge benefits offered by the new technology and will soon come to dominate the scene.
Existing companies, so far, are not showing the level of interest that might be expected when taking into account the huge impact that is already being seen in other industries. It may be that the incumbents are not taking the disruptive potential of blockchain seriously enough, are waiting to see how things develop in the gambling sector or are simply oblivious to the advances in technology that could benefit both them and their customers but whatever the reason, staying out of the blockchain scene is going to impact existing gambling businesses in the long run and those that take too long to begin research and development are going to realise soon that it is too late.
The issue with a tentative approach to blockchain technology is also that it is not going to exist in its own sphere. A whole host of new and upcoming technology developments, including Artificial Intelligence, internet of Things and Big Data are all going to be interconnected. Issues regarding security and connected devices have already made the news in a big way and have highlighted the need for ways to make the eventual Internet of Things safe – which blockchain has the potential to do. A failure to educate and integrate blockchain technology in a company will have a knock-on effect with a variety of other developments in addition to the loss of opportunity from just implementing blockchain itself.
Blockchain start-ups are developing solutions to issues commonly faced in the gambling industry by online or traditional casinos, betting and gaming options. Start-ups such as DAO.Casino, Peerplays and Coingaming provide platforms which are provably fair – giving customers confidence to play in an environment without suspicion, regulators easy verification, and the companies themselves an open and honest reputation. Edgeless uses the huge efficiency savings offered by blockchain technology to offer 0% house edge gaming. FirstBlood uses smart contracts and oracles to give Esports players the opportunity to challenge each other.
The benefits of blockchain for existing gambling companies are huge. The potential uses for an immutable, secure, trustless, transparent solution has already been realised in a number of industries and there are new applications for it being proposed at a huge rate. When customers and regulators begin to insist on it, the start-ups will be in place to meet demand but unless incumbents begin to act, they may not be able to keep up.