You may have read on this site before about the benefits of smart contracts for enterprise, and really these same contracts are proving to be the most exciting thing about the blockchain. When you really get to thinking about the innumerable ways in which smart contracts can be put to use, you start to understand why some people have started referring to the blockchain itself as a new form of internet, or even a future alternative.
As big as the concept is though, blockchain-based contracts serve very specific purposes, and one that it seems we should start to talk about is betting. Already an enormous business around the world, betting is migrating to the U.S. in a way that figures to be fairly lucrative. And there’s a clear opening for the blockchain to play a major role in how business is conducted in this expanding arena.
Right now, betting sites already come in great variety, and choosing between the options comes down to small but crucial factors. People consider the look and feel of a certain brand, said brand’s reputation, what sign-up offers and betting bonuses are available, and how secure the payment system is. This last point is something that is typically very important to people investing in any kind of betting service, because , it’s necessary to protect personal information and make sure payments are handled professionally and securely. For the most part, this means betting platforms simply make use of known, reputable payment processors, though some will also ask for credit card information for direct deposits.
With the blockchain however, this whole aspect of online betting can be changed, and frankly, made more secure. On the most basic level, the simple idea of paying with bitcoin or a similar cryptocurrency at a betting platform might put a lot of customers at ease. No credit card information or personal information is exposed, and the payments can be efficiently tracked and verified via the blockchain. It’s conceivable that a few other steps could be taken as well though, such that the entire betting process would play out on the blockchain. Thinking of things this way, each individual bet could represent a sort of smart contract; it could be written into code that if a given outcome happens, the appropriate payouts follow.
For this to happen at the betting firms that are already set up and operational will take time. These sites work as is, and as much as people want securely regulated payments, they also trust what works. In the U.S. however, betting itself will be new to a lot of people, and interested platforms will have the chance to start with the blockchain from the beginning. It’s definitely something to watch for.