A Brief History of Cryptocurrencies and Casinos
Many people love that rush of adrenaline that comes from playing an exciting game. That’s probably why Venice’s Il Ridotto, the world’s first modern casino, was such a hit when it opened in 1638. Since then, casinos have only grown in number, size, and exciting complexity.
And thanks to the rise of the Internet in the late 20th and early 21st century, it was almost inevitable for the casino to go online. Here, it met cryptocurrency, which is known to provide secure and anonymous transactions.
In fact, the number of crypto users surpassed 100 million this year, and even Baby Boomers are hopping on the bandwagon. Consequently, the market for so-called crypto casinos is huge, especially as many of the world’s casinos remain closed due to COVID-19.
But how did we get here? Read on for a brief recap of how crypto became the next big thing for casinos.
While the earliest casinos were recorded to exist in China, the aforementioned Il Ridotto, which was part of a hotel, was considered to be the first casino with amenities.
Similar establishments continued to proliferate throughout the rest of Europe and became increasingly luxurious over the next 200 years. But many still saw such places as sinful. As a result, legislation across Europe closed down most casinos in the late 19th century. This made room for Monaco and Las Vegas, places where legislation was less strict, to become the world’s new casino hotspots.
And with the 20th century’s rapid technological advancements, it didn’t take long for software company CryptoLogic to launch the first truly commercial online casino in 1996. Intercasino had digital casino management tools, a player tracking system, and even allowed for wireless payment.
These digitalized casinos usually feature popular staples such as roulette, blackjack, and poker, and offer the services of both virtual and live dealers. Meanwhile, random outcomes are determined with PRNG (pseudorandom number generator) software.
Over time, the online casino became increasingly popular thanks to improvements in internet speed, accessibility, and user experience. Even the ways of playing — and winning — continue to grow, as can be seen with the array of gaming experiences on Foxy Games, a leading UK-based provider. In 1998, for instance, elements of popular slots machines were combined with bingo mechanics to create Slingo games, and the variations of these games have only grown exponentially over the years.
Scratchcards, too, have become a popular feature, while rewards for tourneys and unique missions include cash drops and bonus-backs. And with COVID-19 keeping people at home, the popularity of online casinos is only expected to increase.
The rise of crypto
Meanwhile, crypto began with David Chaum’s 1983 eCash and 1995 DigiCash, both of which used cryptography to ensure confidential transactions. However, the term cryptocurrency wasn’t actually coined until 1998.
And the first real cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was only invented a decade later, amid the 2008 global financial crisis. The inventor? Satoshi Nakamoto — someone whose real identity still remains a mystery.
Today, a multitude of other cryptocurrencies has emerged, including Ethereum and the recently released and wildly viral Dogecoin. And just last April, crypto’s market value hit an all-time high of $2 trillion.
A match made in heaven?
Given their histories, crypto and casinos were bound to find each other eventually. After all, blockchain technology ensures quick and confidential transactions that allow for complete player anonymity, something that regular online casinos can’t provide. And since most governments don’t recognize crypto as an official currency, any earnings made in the casino are tax-free and charged the least possible amount of transaction fees.
Today, enthusiasts can enjoy crypto casino gaming through providers like Bitcasino and CloudBet, while casino gaming giants like Resorts World Las Vegas are opening their doors to crypto transactions. Given both the rise of crypto and the pandemic’s isolation protocols, many analysts believe that they will continue to define the casino in today’s digital age.
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