As gaming continues to move to the blockchain, play-to-earn experiences are becoming all the rage. These are games in which users generate crypto earnings while they play. And according to Cryptoslate.com, the first three months of 2022 alone brought about a 2,000% increase in the user base for these games.
As much as play-to-earn appears to represent the future of blockchain- and crypto-driven gaming though, we also see some simpler examples of digital asset gaming. For instance, not long ago we highlighted a chess game by Animoca Brands that will be infused with NFTs. While this is in effect a play-to-earn game as well, it will by all accounts function like an ordinary chess video game (with a well-known Norwegian grandmaster even involved in bringing the game to life). It will just also involve opportunities to earn digital assets.
Along these lines –– and flying somewhat under the radar next to the play-to-earn boom –– there have also been emerging opportunities to play online poker with cryptocurrency on the line. In these instances, we don’t necessarily see a play-to-earn format. Rather, as Poker.org’s online poker overview explains, we are simply seeing Bitcoin being added to the deposit options at internet poker sites. This means that players can use their Bitcoin to fund their accounts, and in some cases –– depending on the site –– withdraw winnings in crypto form as well.
For those interested in this new twist on the internet poker, here are a few of the platforms supporting Bitcoin:
Bovada is one of the biggest names in online gambling and is arguably the most influential platform to have embraced Bitcoin to date. The site supports extensive poker activity and enables players not only to fund their games with Bitcoin but to withdraw winnings in crypto form. Specifically, players are permitted one crypto withdrawal every 15 minutes (which for most, effectively means every withdrawal can be in crypto).
GGPoker isn’t quite the full gambling giant Bovada is. In the past decade in particular though, it has become one of the most respected names in global online poker. The platform doesn’t make a huge point of accepting Bitcoin or paying out cryptocurrency. However, it does work with crypto payment gateway CryptoPayments. This is essentially a processing tool servicing more than 100,000 merchants around the world, and which in this case facilitates Bitcoin deposits for GGPoker players.
Americas Cardroom has become another premier international platform, boasting a packed, all-day tournament schedule, a growing user base, smooth gameplay, and rapid payouts. The site has also made a point of going above and beyond to embrace crypto users, however –– not just accepting Bitcoin deposits, but linking directly to more than a dozen exchanges where those who wish to play with crypto can acquire it.
Ignition bills itself as “America’s go-to online casino,” and while that may be a stretch in general, it has certainly asserted itself as a leader among crypto users. Ignition supports both casino gaming and poker play with crypto deposits, and also offers “Ignition Rewards” that can be converted to Bitcoin. These rewards essentially follow the play-to-earn model, in that players gather “miles” for playing games, and can then translate those miles into monetary payouts. Rest assured, these are not the only sites that support Bitcoin poker. They are among the leaders, however, in what is fast becoming a large category within the online gaming world.
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