They were the talk of the town in 2017 and now cryptocurrencies are starting to become household names. Whether it’s the big boys like Bitcoin and Ethereum, or the new kids on the block such as Electroneum, Ripple and Tron, the world seems to be embracing the crypto-revolution. Online casinos will undoubtedly also look to take part in this future opportunity for digital gaming.
However, beyond the headlines, what do you really know about cryptocurrencies? For most, the answer will be ‘not a lot’. To help plug some gaps in your knowledge, we’ve outlined five things you probably didn’t know about Bitcoin and its peers.
The Sky isn’t the Limit
Virtually every cryptocurrency you can use will have a production limit. Like a concept car or a designer garment, the programmers decide how many coins will be produced beforehand.
The reason this happens is mainly down to the mathematics that control the mining process. When it comes to Bitcoin, the reward for mining a coin (i.e. processing transactions to create a new Bitcoin) halves every two years. Based on this and some other factors, the reward will be zero when the number of coins in circulation hits 21 million.
Putting a limit on things now makes the supply more predictable, it removes the element of human control. With a currency like GBP, the UK government can decide to increase the supply at any time. This could destabilise a currency and, in turn, an economy. Cryptocurrency supply limits are a way to prevent things like this.
Space is the Limit
OK, so we now know that Bitcoin’s limit is 21 million units. However, long before it hits that peak, the leading cryptocurrency’s limit was space. Thanks to Genesis Mining, a Bitcoin transaction was completed beyond the Armstrong limit of 20 kilometres above the earth.
After printing a 3D model of the Bitcoin symbol and putting a paper wallet inside, the team hooked it up to a weather balloon. Once the vessel was officially in space, the ground team hit the send button and the funds were beamed up to the wallet.
Yes, this was basically a publicity stunt. However, since that 2016 feat, Blockstream sent a blockchain satellite into space. Much like satellites used in other industries, the orbiting blockchain satellite will send and receive information all around the world in seconds.
Crypto Betting is a Thing
Yes, you read that correctly, cryptocurrency betting is now a real thing. Anyone who’s been around the online betting industry for a few years will know developers are always willing to work with the latest tech innovations.
With this in mind, it should come as little surprise that you can now make deposits and, at some sites, bets using Bitcoin and more. Given that cryptocurrencies are touted as a universal, secure and efficient online currency, it makes sense that online casinos are embracing them.
Will the industry go completely crypto in the future? Possibly not, but it’s highly likely it will become a standard payment option in the coming years. If you have hit if big with cypyto already and have found a casino who accepts it, be sure to check it our guide to High Stake Slots.
Bitcoin is More Powerful than Google
In real terms Bitcoin doesn’t have more power in the overall sense than the virtual overlord that is Google. However, when you look at the power generated by all the computers connected by Bitcoin’s blockchain, you find it surpasses Google’s servers.
How much does it beat it by? Well, it’s somewhere in the region of 100-times. To put this in context, it takes around 200 kWh to mine a single Bitcoin. That’s the same amount of energy you’d need to power an average-size house for a month. On top of this, the power needed to process all the Bitcoin transactions in a single day can hit 76 million kWh. That’s a huge amount of power.
Our Next Results Could be Blockchain-Based
The final interesting thing you may not have known about cryptocurrencies is that they’re helping to change the way we process odds, bets and results. Thanks to the blockchain technology that makes cryptocurrencies what they are, we’re now able to devise new ways of randomising actions and ensuring fair results (a big reason stocks are different than gambling).
Although the current system of random number generators using complex equations to generate fair results is great, blockchains are public ledgers. In other words, when you run casino software using blockchain technology (specifically smart contracts), the results can be publicly audited. The technology is in its infancy, but it’s certainly an area of interest to monitor.
So, there you have it. Although there’s a lot more to cryptocurrencies than we’ve written about today, we hope these five facts prove there’s more to this technology than meets the eye. As more people climb aboard the crypto-train and the technology evolves, we could see more areas of our lives improved by Bitcoin and its digital buddies.