The gambling industry is slowly but surely catching on to the utility of digital currency payments, and there’s perhaps no better time to talk about them than now, when everything seems to be up in the air. Calvinayre.com’s own Rebecca Liggero Fontana moderated a panel on “Blockchain payments as a driver in crisis.” She was joined by panelists Isabelle Delisle, Head of Payments for Pinnacle, Max Krupyshev, CEO of CryptoProcessing.com by CoinsPaid, Lloyd Purser, COO of Funfair Technologies and Tom Bloor, Sales Manager of Cryptopay.
Delisle said Pinnacle have looked at blockchain payments as a companion to fiat, rather than a replacement. The first world has a wealth of options and haven’t shown a great interest in it yet, but digital currencies improve a lot in what’s available in third world nations.
Purser, who’s Funfair Technologies only uses digital assets, is in a place where he’s disrupting the industry. He noted that relying only on digital currencies results in a more secure, fair and faster experience.
Krupyshev, who provides a payment service, argued that digital currencies are completely global; everyone has access to them. They are quick and irreversible, it’s a new market, making for new opportunities, and there’s less middlemen to take a share of the pot. Bloor, who also offers a payment service, added that merchants who turn to blockchain payments generally have problems that they want to improve on, and they don’t care what technology does it. Digital currencies help to get around bank restrictions, and they are also faster across borders.
Statistics helped shed a light on what’s really going on. Delisle said only 5% or so of players use digital currencies with their merchants, but money movers and ewallets are seeing customers use these currencies it at a much higher rate, 25-30%. That could suggest that the usage is increasing, but customers are just establishing habits of how they like to spend their digital currencies. Krupyshev added that different regions are using them at different rates as well, with 22% of Japanese customers and 8% of Latin American customers preferring them, and growing.
But how can those numbers go up? Purser said first of all, merchants have to make the user experience better to get rid of the “crypto nastiness.” Make it easier to create a wallet, and provide a better education of how to do so. Krupyshev talked about all the ways operators get digital currency wrong, by complicating the process. He said to make sure the player doesn’t have to wait for their money ever, and disrupt them less, with as few clicks as possible.
But there is an element of reducing the stigma around digital currencies. Delisle noted that the industry can’t be seen as stop upselling anonymity and nefarious uses. If the public, and regulators for that matter, are to catch on with blockchain, it can’t be seen as the tool of criminals.
Purser added a potential way to sell that argument, noting that outside of payments, blockchain can be used for know your customer (KYC) data, and be easily shared platforms. With everything traceable on the blockchain, regulators should have no reason to fear that an operator is trying to hide anything.
So with COVID-19 dominating the SBC Digital Summit, we asked if the pandemic might do anything to shift the narrative on digital currency payments. Delisle thought that, as regulators are starting to follow the U.K. and get stricter on credit cards, other options like digital currencies will grow. Krupyshev added that with the esports market growing, his firm has seen a huge uptick in payments, and the financial crisis means investors might shift from sliding stock prices to more stable digital currencies.
Even if you’ve missed out on the SBC Digital Summit so far, all of the talks and panels have been recorded to watch, so it’s not too late. Head over and register and see how the gambling industry will come out of this COVID-19 crisis.