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Can Crypto Really Change All Industries? Yes, But Not Yet

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The emergence and subsequent evolution of cryptocurrencies has divided opinions across the tech sector. Some feel like blockchain technology can revolutionize everything it touches; others are less enthusiastic. While there are undoubtedly many applications for blockchains and cryptocurrencies, they might not be the panacea advocates believe they are. Put simply, there are some things crypto can’t change and, in situations where it could help, the industry isn’t ready for it.

A current example of the battle between established norms and future innovations is casino gaming. As an industry, online gambling is worth $65 billion and, by 2030, its value will increase to $153 million, according to analysts at Grand View Research. A willingness to embrace innovation is a primary reason for the industry’s growth since 2000. However, at this stage, crypto technology is yet to make its mark, despite start-ups trying.

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Crypto is Good But Not Good Enough Right Now

Evidence of this is clear when you look at the products offered by a leading online casino brand such as Paddy Power. No one could accuse Paddy Power or its parent company, Flutter Entertainment, of being afraid to embrace change. Paddy Power started out as a chain of betting shops in Ireland back in 1988. Today, it’s a multifaceted operator with interests in casino gaming, poker, sports betting, and bingo. Then, if you look specifically at its casino platform, you’ll see an array of games that use the latest technological innovations.

Live games, for example, combine RFID trackers with HD webcams to create a live/digital hybrid gaming experience. This alone demonstrates that if a particular innovation is useful, gambling operators will use them. What you won’t see at Paddy Power or many of the leading online gambling apps, is crypto payment solutions. That’s not to say you won’t in the future. However, as it stands, Bitcoin et al aren’t suitable for the average customer.

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The Masses Aren’t Ready for a Crypto Life (Yet)

The same is true in the retail sector. Some major brands accept cryptocurrencies as payment. High-end fashion brand Philipp Plein announced in 2021 that it was going to accept major cryptos. From an initial 15 coins, it now accepts 24 different cryptocurrencies. That’s an impressive commitment and a sign of the direction retail may be heading, but examples like this are few and far between. What’s more, it’s not clear how many customers are actually using crypto to pay for goods and services.

The point we’re making is not that cryptocurrencies and blockchains aren’t useful. They are. However, at this stage, they’re not useful enough to make them essential for all businesses. Bitcoin’s whitepaper came out in 2008 but the technology is still in an embryonic state. Even exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance are far from user-friendly if you’re not used to making crypto transfers. There is still a long way to go. Yes, there is scope for crypto to make a difference in online gambling, retail, and a whole host of industries. However, as it stands in 2023, we’re not there yet. 

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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