People have always been betting and playing the lottery and gambling. This is a huge market with an annual turnover of over $37 billion as of 2015. This amount is expected to double by 2020. However, this type of activity is not always effectively regulated in a number of countries. To make their job easier, many online casinos have been using cryptocurrencies as an alternative payment method for a long time. The advantages are obvious - anonymity, simplicity (you don't even need to create an account), fast processing and availability anywhere in the world.
But recently, developers have paid attention to the fact that online gambling services can benefit not only from the use of cryptocurrencies, but also from the integration of blockchain technology itself into its own structure.
Everyone knows that the casino always wins. Otherwise, why would people be engaged in the gambling business? Yes, you can win a large amount of money at the casino, betting or buying a lottery ticket, but in the long run, the one who controls the game earns the most.
And here the main problem is the opacity inherent in the traditional gambling business. How can a player be sure that the “house” plays by the rules? It is even more difficult to control this online, and all kinds of online gambling have become a real mecca for scammers.
The use of blockchain technologies for the first time allowed gaming platforms to prove their integrity. The blockchain architecture itself allows any user to audit both the movement of finances and the code of the rules of the game.
Today, there are a number of blockchain-based online gambling solutions. The largest are such well-known projects on the market as VDice, Edgeless, DAO.
Casinos that have collected the equivalent of millions of dollars during the token sale period.
All these projects are united by the fact that they are created on the Ethereum blockchain based on the ERC-20 token, which, firstly, guarantees reliability and transparency, and secondly, allows you to use smart contracts to create complex but reliable gaming systems without using external guarantor and third parties.
The above platforms deal mainly with simple games like craps. But smart contracts on Ethereum allow developers to implement more complex gambling options. For example, the CryptoCup project is launching a sports sweepstakes on the eve of the World Cup. The CryptoCup token is based on the ERC-721 token, which differs from the usual ERC-20 primarily in its uniqueness and indivisibility. Such a token is an electronic ticket, where players will indicate their prediction of the results of all championship matches.
A correctly guessed result will provide the owner with bonus points. The more points, the more expensive the unique token ticket becomes over time.
Blockchain technology is changing the format of online gambling. The problems that gambling faces are inherent in all human economic activity - lack of transparency, unscrupulous intermediaries.
But it is only in this industry that these problems are revealed so sharply. Blockchain arrived just in time to make online gambling safe and fair forever. It is possible that other segments of network economic activity will soon follow.