Among the many diverse industries that now use cryptocurrency, online poker is one of the earliest adopters. Both reliant on the digital space, crypto and online poker are seeing widespread acceptance. Among leading poker providers, payouts in crypto are even becoming the norm. An example of this trend is Winning Poker, as 95% of all their online poker cash outs are in cryptocurrency. That said, given how crypto is a hot commodity, is it even wise to use it just for online gaming?
What Role Does Crypto Play In Poker?
To those who are not fans of poker or cryptocurrencies, this pairing may seem odd or unnecessary. In reality, though, crypto poker is one of the most efficient adopters of these digital assets. For starters, cryptocurrency transactions are typically processed faster and with little to no fees. This is a literal game-changer for poker players and providers, who are both reliant on having well-supported bankrolls. Consider that traditional means of funding and withdrawing poker account wallets (using resources like fiat money or credit cards) can incur a transaction fee of about 3%. This is on top of the additional fees that banks typically impose and the rake rate which poker providers have.
Aside from this, another broader benefit to the poker industry and those who have a stake in it is that cryptocurrency may help legalize online poker. Currently, there are only five states in the United States that legally recognize and allow online poker. These are Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Michigan. This is because of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 which prevents gambling sites from legally accepting online wagers outside across state lines. This effectively prohibits banks and other regulated financial institutions from processing transactions critical to online poker. Conversely, since cryptocurrencies are decentralized, they don’t need the intervention of such financial institutions. As such, using crypto, regardless of which state you’re from, is technically not in violation of the act. Additionally, more regulators are hoping to get a better handle on cryptocurrencies. By using crypto widely in online poker this may encourage decision makers to reconsider passing legislation that legalizes poker nationwide.
Should You Go All In On Crypto Poker?
After all is said and done, whether using crypto for poker is worth your while, depends on your personal standing. If you’re a genuine card shark who is confident in their talents, then using crypto to play can be a clever choice. In this way, you’re both enhancing your poker experience (as explained in the section above) and increasing your passive cryptocurrency exposure. After all, “earning” cryptocurrencies through gaming is arguably more enjoyable than toiling away on exchanges.
However, if you’re neither familiar with poker nor cryptocurrencies then you’re better off folding on this one. Keep in mind that cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile, no matter how high their market caps can be. Presently, the crypto market is crashing in spectacular fashion. To date, the global cryptocurrency market’s value has dipped by billions. And while crypto champions insist that this doesn’t mean that crypto is no longer valuable, it does mean that these tokens are worth much less. As a result, some crypto platforms are seeing investor withdrawals of up to $200 million. So, if you do have any crypto, using them in a game like poker that also involves risk and luck may not be the most practical approach.
Instead, if you’re still looking to dabble in more “fun” crypto-related digital assets, you may be better off buying rare NFTs. A contemporary way to enjoy art, NFTs are not risk-free but at least you do end up with something that cannot be lost in a bet or poor hand. Just remember that NFTs are still consumed by a pretty niche market so their resale may not be as high. If you’re able to score a rare NFT from a respected artist, though, they can be worth a substantial amount that grows with time. Ultimately, regardless of whether you go the crypto poker or rare NFT route, having a well-prepared approach is the best way to minimize risk and enjoy digital investments.