Cryptocurrencies are here to stay and are becoming increasingly incorporated into online casinos and sportsbooks, says igaming veteran Frank Schuengel, who has taken a look into his crystal ball to offer up some of his key predictions for 2022 in the field of crypto, blockchain and non-fungible tokens (NFT).
Crypto currency gambling to become mainstream
Bitcoin is already being accepted by a number of sportsbooks and casinos that previously only dealt with fiat. On top of that, crypto-only and crypto-focused operators are also steadily increasing in numbers. This trend will firmly continue as more and more players and companies realise the potential that cryptocurrencies hold for them.
An important shift here is the move towards better regulation in this space. Trust is the most important aspect when it comes to crypto books and players will increasingly demand better safeguards in this respect. Horror stories about unlicensed or mickey mouse licensed operators who fail to offer fair gameplay, don’t pay out winnings, facilitate underage gambling, or operate in other, dubious ways have highlighted the need for better regulation and jurisdictions that cater for this, such as the Isle of Man, will benefit and see continued growth in this area.
NFTs to become more relevant in gaming
While it’s easy to dismiss NFTs as silly little jpgs trying to give the traditional art market a run for its money, Non Fungible Tokens do have some great uses for e-gaming. Less imaginative companies will try to use them as loyalty cards or in other complicated ways that have little to no immediately obvious value for players. Smarter firms will look towards building on what the likes of Zed Run have pioneered: games where players actually own a piece of it in the form of an NFT.
This concept has so many potential uses I am honestly amazed we haven’t seen more of it yet. You want to be ahead of the game? Build virtual sports where the players own part of it. A football game where participants own the players on the pitch and can form teams to take on other teams, a motorsport games where players own the cars or bikes, or a slot machine where players can cooperate and use NFTs as part of the game. The possibilities are endless.
Everyone is an expert, no one is Satoshi
This will be another year where numerous people continue to claim being the inventor of Bitcoin, and none of them will be able to convincingly prove it. By convincingly I mean being able to sign messages and/or move funds from several of the early blocks that we know only the real Satoshi could control, going right back to the genesis block.
Anything else, like court cases and paid shills desperately trying to convince the public that person XYZ is Satoshi, are unwelcome distractions and should be treated as such. The industry needs stability and credibility, which also brings me to the topic of everyone being an expert these days, a trend that sadly will continue.
They say “in regione caecorum rex est luscus” (in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king), but in the brave new world of Blockchains, DeFi projects, and daily new get rich quick schemes, even the one-eyed man often doesn’t have much eyesight anymore.
People take one day courses or watch a YouTube video and then call themselves experts in the field, a trend that requires anyone looking to get involved in this world to very carefully evaluate who they take advice from.
Bitcoin, not Blockchain
Bitcoin, and by this, I mean the big, orange coin using the letters BTC, will continue to be the main cryptocurrency that matters. A number of other currencies such as ETH and USDT will also play a part in the gambling industry as players turn to whatever currency best suits their individual needs and locations.
The vast majority of other coins, and 99.99 percent of all new coins and projects, will remain irrelevant, turn out to be scams, rug pulls, or other, unnecessary noise you should stay far away from. Choose very wisely before getting involved with any new project and don’t let fear of missing out dictate your actions.
Cryptocurrencies are still a very young technology, and we are very much at the start of the journey with them. As for a Bitcoin price prediction: I predict the BTC price will move and ultimately it will only move in one direction. How far up it will go depends on many different factors, but up it will go. You don’t need a crystal ball to predict that.
Frank Schuengel is a twenty-year gaming veteran and consultant based in the Isle of Man.