Coming soon to your favorite casino: cryptocurrencies

Cover Art Samantha Gonzales

Words by

Digital Reporter

A seamless payment method with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin replacing physical tokens—this is how you might transact in casinos might once blockchain technology is integrated into their operations.

“I will give two facts for the gaming industry in the next couple of years: one, if you’re not accepting Bitcoin cash as a payment method for your games, do it,” Jimmy Nguyen, CEO of blockchain research and development firm nChain Group, said in a panel discussion at the Asean Gaming Summit last March 21 in Pasay City. “Second, think of ways on how your games and game applications can eliminate intermediaries, people or companies in the middle.”

Nguyen emphasized that adapting blockchain will “transform how things operate” and bring “more efficiency” in the industry.

“The power of blockchain is to eliminate intermediaries,” he said. “It started with Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency eliminating the need for a central issuer of money, so you can send money to people directly anywhere in the world.”

He further said: “We foresee a future where [blockchain] technology is able to power Bitcoin cash micro transactions on any browser-based application and that includes games in the gaming [industry] as well.”

Casinos, he said, can even conduct initial coin offerings (ICO) to generate fund “as long as the coin has some technical functions.” Companies, particularly fintech startups, are using ICO to generate funds for a new product by selling their own tokens.

“For example if it can be used in a game that you can’t do with a normal cryptocurrency or you cannot do with a normal credit card or cash payment,” he said.

While experts are keen towards integration of this technology in daily trades, companies may have a hard time achieving it. Regulation and security issues have bombarded cryptocurrencies amid their sudden popularity worldwide, with countries like South Korea, China, and even the Philippines keeping a strict eye on companies involving cryptocurrencies in their operations.

Adapting

Some companies in the global gaming industry are already adapting this concept.

Just this week, an alliance of gaming manufacturers from different countries including China, Japan, South Korea, and U.S., launched GAME CASH (GSH), a unified payment system powered by blockchain.

“[Last year was] a year of explosive growth of games and the first year of wide application of blockchain technology; 2018 will be the year of gaming blockchain,” GSH Foundation said in a statement. “As the industry develops so rapidly, GSH, as the most important part of the gaming industry blockchain, will play a key role in the creation of the whole industry prosperity.”

Under GSH, players from member countries can use Game Cash (GCash), a virtual currency based on the Ethernet 2.0 protocol, as a common payment token. They can also exchange gaming coins in the alliance and convert unused gaming coins back to GCash.

“It [does] not only solve the problem of recharge redundancy and waste, but also greatly improves the player’s confidence and enhances the fluidity across the whole gaming industry,” it added.

The payment system, the foundation said, aims to integrate gaming industry resource worldwide for the creation of a common cryptocurrency payment system through blockchain technology

“This payment system will make all the gaming channels connected to fully solve the sore points from the industry and the game players,” the foundation said. “The gaming industry has been developing vigorously in the past 10 years, but there are endless kinds of malpractices, black box operations, security and user privacy issues, payment problems, etc. With the emergence of GSH alliance, these problems will be solved once and for all.”