PokerStars Reportedly Pushing for Bitcoin iGaming

December 4th, 2014 | by Brian Corlisse
PokerStars is reportedly considering Bitcoin functionality.

PokerStars eyeing up Bitcoin payments.

PokerStars could be on the verge of offering Bitcoin services to its customers if recent reports are correct.

Although unconfirmed by PokerStars, some industry insiders, including Online Poker Report’s Chris Grove, have suggested that Bitcoin integration is on the site’s horizon.

Increasing Interest in Bitcoin

Over the last few months interest in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, has piqued thanks to new operators entering the market and utilizing the virtual cash for player deposits and withdrawals.

Moreover, a growing awareness among poker players has led to established platforms to consider the integration of cryptocurrencies.

According to Grove, in addition to PokerStars being one of the iGaming companies leading the charge for Bitcoin gaming, the site’s potential integration of Bitcoin functionality is already at an “advanced stage.”

If Bitcoin was to become a feature of PokerStars’ platform, the company would be perfectly situated to take full advantage of the industry.

In recent months the Isle of Man, PokerStars’ base, has become a hub for Bitcoin exchanges. This proximity to some of the top Bitcoin controllers would undoubtedly give PokerStars an advantage over its iGaming rivals based in different locations.

A Growing Industry Trend

As we’ve noted, the integration of Bitcoin into PokerStars’ platform hasn’t been confirmed. However, such a move would certainly be in line with recent trends in the industry. Over the last few months companies such as Breakout Gaming have emerged with a Bitcoin solution for players.

Additionally, professional poker player Michael Mizrachi recently attached his name to a Bitcoin poker site in anticipation of a potential surge in the market during 2015.

As well as keeping up with the latest industry trends, Bitcoin is also being touted as a way for online poker sites to remain operational in both regulated and unregulated markets.

Because the currency isn’t overseen by a government and doesn’t exist outside of the internet, it would, technically, be legal for operators to use it as a real money gaming option.

Of course, this theory hasn’t yet been tested and would likely raise other legal issues. However, it’s certainly an option that both players and online poker sites are looking to explore in the coming months.

Positive for Players

In response to the recent speculation, members of the community have been asking what it would mean for rake costs. Because Bitcoin would be a cheaper currency option (for now) than traditional methods, it could mean the savings would be passed onto players in the form of reduced charges and rake.

Whether or not this will be the case remains to be seen. In fact, for the time being, players on PokerStars will have to stick to the industry’s tried and tested methods such as dollars, pounds and euros if they want to ante-up online.

2 Comments

  1. Grixm says:

    Fantastic news!

  2. Dragon Spiconi says:

    Illustrating the principle of these optional choices, the people of Sweden recently had the opportunity of voting in a referendum on whether or not Sweden should join the Eurocurrency bloc and replace the kronor by the euro and thus use the same currency as Finland. The people voted against that, for various reasons. But it cannot be irrelevant whether or not the future quality of a rake is really assured or whether instead that it depends on the shifting sands of poker site decisions or the possibly arbitrary actions of a bureaucracy of officials (PSFTCIAFBIDOJ).

    The voters in the U.K. are expecting to have the opportunity to vote in a referendum relating to the adoption, for the U.K., of the euro (which is already adopted in Ireland). Here they have a dramatic conflict, since the pound was the original currency of “the gold standard”, with its value pegged to gold in 1717 by Isaac Newton who was then Master of the Mint. (Of course it was not irrelevant that George II, the king then, was an early Hanoverian and also ruled territory in Germany.)

    In recent years the rake has had a comparatively good rating with regard to inflation, inferior to the rating of the Swiss franc but superior to most currencies of the world. So the British have the alternatives of accepting adoption of the euro when first voting, or after a delay, or never.

    Have we figured out what “ideal poker” is yet?

    Quote: “We can legitimately wonder how the speediness of its adoption or delays in its adoption might affect the policies operating to control the actual exchange value of poker deposits. The constitutional structure of the authority behind rake is of the “chips” character in that nothing is really guaranteed as far as the value of the chips is concerned. But this is typical of all currencies used in the world nowadays.”

    “And so the various currencies managed with “rake targeting” would be comparable by professional and recreational players who would be able to form opinions about the quality of the rake. And what I want to suggest is that “the public” or the players, those for whom a medium of exchange functions as a basic utility, may develop opinions that are critical of rake of lower “value quality”. That is, the public may learn to demand better quality of that which CAN be managed to be of better quality or which can be managed to be of the lower quality observed in so many of the various poker sites in the 21st century.

    So here is the possibility of “asymptotically ideal (rakeless) poker”. Starting with the idea of value stabilization in relation to a domestic ‘deposits raked’ index associated with the territory of one state, beyond that there is the natural and logical concept of internationally based rake comparisons. The sites being compared, like PSFTCIAFBIDOJ, Merge, Party Poker, etc. can be viewed with critical eyes by their players and by those who may have the option of whether or not or how to use one of them. This can lead to pressure for good quality and consequently for a lessened rate of rake.

    “And this parallel makes it seem not implausible that a process of poker revolution might lead to the expectation on the part of players in the “great game types” that they should be better situated to be able to understand whatever will be the rake policies which, indeed, are typically of great importance to players who may have alternative options for where to place their “deposits”.”

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