As the price of Bitcoin reaches record highs, a new cryptocurrency poker site claims it’s set to revolutionize the industry. But some see the innovation as something taking us back to a more unregulated industry.
CoinPoker, a new online poker site using blockchain technology, has gone live for free play gaming ahead of a pre-initial coin offering (ICO) on Nov. 16. The site’s real money gaming options won’t officially launch until January.
The specially designed cryptocurrency is based on Ethereum smart contracts and will, according to the site’s promotional literature, help create a fairer, more accessible form of online poker.
Support from Tony G
Ahead of the sale, cryptocurrency champion Tony G has shown his support for the site while criticizing systems used by current online poker operators.
“Poker is my passion,” Guoga tweeted on Guoga wrote on Sunday. “I love this game. But online #poker is sick & some things need 2 be changed there. Blockchain & crypto currencies could make poker trustworthy again.”
The idea of using blockchain technology to process payments and verify a site’s random number generator is based on solid fundamentals, some believe it will instead regress the industry.
While there is clearly some interest in the advent of cryptocurrency poker sites, it seems that opinions are still divided over its use and position in the online gaming industry.
Commenting on the emergence of cryptocurrency betting sites and new regulations, Investopedia’s Joe Liebkind suggested in a September article that internet gaming regulations could see more sites implement new payment systems.
Liebkind opined that this would result in a greater number of cryptocurrency poker sites and, therefore, a greater chance of players accessing unregulated platforms. Although the author points to increased taxation on licensed regulators as a matter to consider, he also noted a key issue is anonymity.
According to Liebkind, this is why “bitcoin was built, and will remain, an unregulated solution” not only in the world at large, but particularly in the gaming community.
What supporters believe isn’t up for debate is the level of security and transparency that blockchain technology provides. Because each block of information is timestamped and linked to a previous block by a hash pointer, instances of fraud are perceived as virtually impossible, and can be easily pinpointed when and where they do occur.
If you still aren’t quite sure what to make of Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other decentralized, virtual currency alternative, watch this video by financial journalist and author of Moneyball Michael Lewis to feel better about this invention, loved by radical anarchists, he says, that may be passing you by.