Could online gambling be blockchain’s “killer app”?
For a new technology to crossover to the mainstream it must usually prove its worth in a particular area. Successfully solving one sector’s problems acts as a proof of concept for its application in other domains. Smartphone adoption was arguably fuelled by social media while virtual reality is currently being propelled by gaming.
If blockchain technology is to fulfil its enormous potential it needs to first demonstrate its successful use in a single industry. It is increasingly looking like online gambling might be that industry.
The world of online gambling is facing two revolutionary developments. The first of these is the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Not only are gambling platforms beginning to accept cryptocurrencies as a way for clients to fund their accounts, but multiple startups are starting to provide gambling services which are entirely denominated in cryptocurrency.
Crypto is particularly well suited to the industry as customers can get their winnings immediately, without having to wait for bank transfers. Recording transactions to the blockchain makes these payments transparent. Perhaps just as importantly, users are able to fund their accounts with relative anonymity, without having to rely on bank accounts and payment providers.
US Supreme Court Decision
In May a decision by the United States Supreme Court allowed for sports gambling, previously confined to Nevada, to be made legal across the country. States may now make their own legislation covering gambling, and Delaware and New Jersey have already opened up their markets to the industry.
Following the decision Unikrn, an online E-sports gambling platform, said that “in the last few hours, our dream became real, and our company just became substantially more valuable.” One of Unikrn’s major investors is Mark Cuban, the billionaire Shark Tank star and owner of NBA team the Dallas Mavericks. “Unikrn is going to benefit significantly,” Cuban told ESPN, “They already have the technology in place,” and now it is a matter of “leveraging up depending on what each individual state decides here in U.S.”
Bittrex and Unikrn
Transactions within Unikrn are powered by the platform’s UnikoinGold token. According to Unikrn co-founder Rahul Sood, is it “still too hard” for customers to access and use the token. In a bold attempt to improve accessibility, the company has announced that Bill Shihara, co-founder of Bittrex, one of the world’s leading crypto-exchanges, will be joining Unikrn’s advisory board.
Industry titan Bill Shihara, co-founder & CEO of @BittrexExchange, has joined our Board of Advisors. As @UnikrnCo continues to widen our historic #blockchain and #esports impact, Bill will provide invaluable insight for $UKG‘s future!
— UnikoinGold (@UnikoinGold) June 28, 2018
Sood says that Shihara will “provide incomparable insight and direction for increasing UKG adoption and security” as more “applications, exchanges and groups are brought into the UKG network.”
The benefits of the arrangement may not be confined to Unikrn. Sood hopes that by troubleshooting issues facing the online gambling industry they may work “for the advancement of Blockchain technologies across the board.”
Noting that both blockchain and E-sports are “cutting-edge fields that regularly see more change in a month than most industries face in years,” Sood said that they would soon be “launching a separate joint venture that will have leviathan implications in the crypto world as a whole,” helping to increase “usage for cryptocurrencies and ease of trading for Blockchain assets.”
As Sood says, “today’s horizon is tomorrow’s stomping ground.” Many in the crypto world will be following the partnership with interest. If crypto-powered online E-sports gambling can be made to work, then widespread cryptocurrency adoption may not be far behind.
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