Bitcoin Making Inroads in Poker IndustryPosted:May 2013
Online poker sites have many deposit and withdrawal methods including credit cards, e-wallets, bank wires, echecks and others. Bitcoin is the newest method, now being offered by a few new initiative sites. Bitcoin as an online poker deposit and withdrawal option is sure to take off in the near future as it offers a number of advantages over more traditional banking options.
Bitcoin has been around since 2009, but has only recently become a serious online currency. The digital peer to peer decentralized currency has gotten a lot of attention of late having been featured in Forbes, Business Insider and other large media outlets. The number of Bitcoin users has grown at a feverous pace over the last few months.
Currently there are only a few poker sites that accept Bitcoin as a deposit and withdrawal options. Seals with Clubs can be credited as being the first stable Bitcoin only poker site. The site offers completely anonymous accounts and all games are played in Bitcoin. The site has grown over the last few months and is now seeing over 400 players online during peak hours.
Most recently WinPoker a member of iPoker, the world’s largest independent poker network, has adopted Bitcoin. They along with RedStar Poker are the first two sites on major Networks to accept the new currency. Unlike Seals with Clubs, a Bitcoin only site, WinPoker and RedStars coverts Bitcoin deposits into dollars upon deposit and back to Bitcoin at the current exchange rate with withdrawals.
Michael Bush the owner of Bitcoinpokersites.net believes that more and more sites will start adopting Bitcoin. “It is only a matter of time before Bitcoin becomes a mainstream depositing and withdrawal option in the industry. The currency is becoming more and more popular and players are pressuring sites to adopt this new method of payment processing.” Bitcoins biggest advantage is that it cuts out banks as the middlemen in payment processing. This could offer the most benefit to players from the US, though no major US facing site has adopted Bitcoin yet. Infiniti Poker, which is soon to launch is planning to be the first US facing poker site in the industry to offer Bitcoin payment processing to US players, and have been featured on Bloomberg Business Weekly.
Infiniti Poker CEO Michael Hajduk told Bloomberg Business Weekly, “Because we’re using Bitcoin, we’re not using U.S. banks—it’s all peer-to-peer…At the end of the day, [the government] cannot freeze your account because they cannot kick down the door to Bitcoin.” Bitcoin should be a game changer in the US online poker industry.
The future of Bitcoin and online poker is still yet to be seen, but next few years should see more and more sites adopt the new currency as more players call for this easy and anonymous payment processing option.
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