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.
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.
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.
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 willÂ 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.