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Why Online Poker Was Always Right about Bitcoin
Online Poker Adopted Bitcoin A Long Time Ago
Bitcoin is one of the hottest topics these days. Although it's been experiencing a bit of a downswing lately in value, these days everybody and their dog are interested in getting involved with the Bitcoin game.
Looking at the present-day situation, it may seem like Bitcoin was always this huge thing, but this is far from the truth.
In fact, when Bitcoin first appeared, most individuals stayed as far away from it as possible, not to mention different business that simply failed to understand what was all the fuss about. Online poker and the online gambling industry in general were one exception to this rule and, as it turned out, they were always right about Bitcoin. It was going places and it created opportunities that no fiat currency could ever hope to offer.
Recognizing the Rising Star of Bitcoin
The fact of the matter is, online poker was probably one of the first mainstream industries to start accepting Bitcoin on a large scale. Although it is hard to say for sure, this probably helped the original cryptocurrency get to where it is today. Naturally, this begs the questions if the online gambling industry was truly filled with such visionaries and great minds who could predict future better than their counterparts in other areas of business?
While people from the online gambling sector may have had a better understanding of what Bitcoin stands for and what it could become, the truth is not so shocking. Bitcoin probably managed to penetrate online gambling and online poker in particular out of sheer necessity. Poker sites need an alternative and Bitcoin could offer almost everything they were after.
USA Ban on Online Poker Creates Tremendous Push for Bitcoin
On April 15, 2011, the US Department of Justice made a pushback against online poker unlike anything the world had seen before. They shut down sites of three major online poker operators and forced them to leave the US market once and for all. Initially, people believed this was a temporary action before federal legislation was introduced that would regulate online poker across the country, but such legislation never came.
All of a sudden, a country with possibly the highest number of online poker players (professional and recreational alike) was cut off from online poker entirely. While some sites still chose to accept US traffic, moving money to and from these sites was a real nightmare. The government put in place strict regulations, prohibiting banks from processing any transactions related to online gambling, and the banks happily complied.
In that kind of an environment, those sites wanting to keep serving the US players needed some sort of a solution because moving money around has become too complicated, too expensive, and too long. That's where Bitcoin came in.
From Online Poker to Unprecedented Heights
Online poker sites catering to Americans were among the first to start accepting Bitcoins (source: https://www.beatthefish.com/us-poker-sites/). Although it was a big gamble at the time, it was the risk they were willing to take because alternatives were pretty much nonexistent and Bitcoin did have some chance of success if things turned out right.
Players, itching to join online poker tables once again, were also happy to take the gamble. All of a sudden, they were able to make deposits and withdrawals that wouldn't take weeks or months to process and the games were running once again.
Of course, it was far cry from online poker during the golden age of the early-to-mid-2000s, but it was infinitely better than nothing and much better than the alternatives. Depositing and playing with Bitcoins had its risks as the cryptocurrency was (and still is) rather volatile, but it was worth it.
Bitcoin Value Rises Along with Online Gaming Adoption
As the community of poker players using Bitcoin started to grow, the Bitcoin value started to rise as well. By trying to create an alternative for online poker and online gambling, the industry actually helped Bitcoin finally start to realize its potential (source: https://www.coindesk.com/bitcoins-gambling-boom-just-getting-started/). The dream of decentralized currency that's not controlled by any government or any institution was finally becoming mainstream, opening a whole new chapter for Bitcoin.
This is not to say that online poker was the sole reason for the success of Bitcoin, but there is no denying it played an important role in helping the cryptocurrency achieve its current position. So, it turns out that the online poker industry was right about Bitcoin all along and the people behind it were right to put their trust into Bitcoin.