Betting on the blockchain
Whether you enjoy online casino games, poker, or sports betting, betting on the blockchain is exciting new technology that has the potential to completely change the way we place bets online.
To understand the concept of betting on the blockchain, first we have to have a basic understanding of how smart contracts work on the blockchain.
A blockchain is a ledger distributed across many computers in several different locations all over the internet. This ledger simply record transactions in a permanent and verifiable way.
A blockchain-based smart contract is simply a computerized transaction protocol that executes the predetermined terms of a contract, and records it to the blockchain. Or more simply put, a programmer has written code that will execute a certain set of rules when a condition is fulfilled. You can think of a smart contract casino much like how traditional online casinos operate, only every aspect of the casino has been automated, from deposit to withdrawal. There are no middlemen, employees, or humans running the operation. Every act is executed by a code, and recorded to the open and verifiable ledger.
There are many benefits to having online casinos run on the blockchain, and from what I have seen, it makes for a seamless betting experience. Below we will discuss just a few of the benefits, as well as a few drawbacks to this very new, but amazingly well constructed technology.
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In a world where code is law, fairness is verifiable, and everything is recorded on a public ledger, there is no need for human verification. In most cases you can simply place a bet from your personal cryptocurrency wallet, and that bet is written into a smart contract. If you win, your funds are immediately placed back into your wallet. There is no need to request a cash out, or wait an extended period of time for verification. Everything on the blockchain is automated, and processed instantly.
When using blockchain-based smart contracts, there is no need to provide personal or identifying information to any third party. Furthermore, you retain custodianship of your funds until the conditions of the contract are fulfilled. Your funds are never sent to a third party service, where they could be subject to confiscation or withheld. This puts you, as the player in control.
Again, you can be as discreet or transparent as you wish. Most blockchain-based cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin and Ethereum is pseudonymous. This means that your cryptocurrency address, is not directly tied to your personal or identifying information. An in turn, this means you can freely transact with other individuals, without them knowing any of your personal details.
Virtually no fees
Traditional online casinos, would often charge a fee for processing transactions including withdrawals, and sometimes deposits. Many times this fee would be rather large, then your bank would often charge you a wire transfer or check cashing fee on top of that. When using cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or ethereum, you only need to pay a small transaction fee, usually amounting to less than a few cents. Other cryptocurrencies such as Tron, have no transaction fee at all.
Examples of blockchain betting sites
Wink.org is one example of a full blockchain-based casino, that is runs off smart contracts, and offers traditional casino games. They have a full casino, with table games, slots, and live dealer games. They also have a full poker room, with multiplayer games, as well as a full sportsbook.
Blockchain Casinos Versus Crypto Casinos
It may be important to note, that blockchain based smart contract casinos are different from crypto casinos or simply Bitcoin casinos. A lot of traditional online casinos now accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a method of deposit. While this does offer many benefits, including instant withdrawals (after casino approval), along with reduced withdrawal fees. Only smart contract casinos provide all of the benefits listed above.
Drawbacks of smart contracts casinos
One of the main drawbacks to blockchain-based casinos, is lack of support. Since everything is executed by code, there is often no human point of contact if you have questions or concerns. This could be challenging, for non-technical users, or users not yet comfortable with the technology.
Another potential drawback, is that while this code is well tested, audited and constantly reviewed by developers. There is the potential for bugs in the smart contracts. This is still very new, cutting-edge technology, and there is sure to be a few hiccups along the way.
For me personally, I’ve been burned by traditional online casinos a few times, so the risk of a potential bug in the code, is less of a concern. But still, as a rule of thumb, never gamble with more than you can afford to lose, and that will apply to blockchain based casinos as well.
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