Ever since it was taking its first baby steps, the internet has been a technology that was always destined to grow and transform our society in a way we couldn’t predict.
From social media, through to betting on the sports you love most, the use of the internet today has reached all new levels. So where does Bitcoin come into this? Online markets have always had downfalls with security and privacy, an issue that companies and tech giants all over the world are trying to fix, but Bitcoin could be the first step to making our transactions in online markets secure, safe and practically untraceable. But how else is the technology behind Bitcoin changing online markets?
Since its creation in the 1980’s, the internet has since grown to unthinkable levels. Many of our markets and businesses wouldn’t be able to function properly without it, but like most technologies of this age, it has its flaws and in the case of the internet the flaws lay mostly in security and privacy, or rather, it’s lack of them. Bitcoin’s blockchain technology, however, essentially acts as a private, secure and virtually anonymous public database. The transactions are permanently recorded, but each transaction sits in a block, and can only be accessed with a certain ‘key’ that will belong to a single person.
In short, blockchain technology eliminates the need for a third party, and none of your information will be stored on a single, centralised ledger. The act of mining bitcoins not only acts as a way for someone to earn Bitcoins, but it is also its own verification process. Without the mining of Bitcoins, the entire system would grind to a halt. In the way of online markets and merchants that accept bitcoins, this blockchain technology can help increase security and remove any chance for forgery or fraudulent purchases.
Influence on the online gaming industry
As far as the rise of Bitcoin goes, finding a reason for this rise isn’t always easy. While the security and privacy of the cryptocurrency has certainly drawn in many a user, there are plenty of other reasons for its growth, not least its use within online gaming. While traditional casinos have been accepting bitcoins for small payments since 2015, online slots makers and other games are using bitcoins more openly and freely across their services. This immediate and secure way of depositing and withdrawing from these sites is making it much simpler for gamers to manage their accounts and the finances that pass through them.
In the past year or so, the internet has seen the number of online casinos multiply to levels they couldn’t expect. Creating and running a gaming business via Bitcoin is far easier and much simpler than trying to operate using fiat. Bitcoin gaming sites are cheaper, take less time and the market is more vast and accepting of start-ups than that of any other centralised currency. The absence of fees when using Bitcoin can mean better payouts and more attractive new-player offers that pull in bettors and gamblers from all over the world.
What about banks?
While there is an argument that Bitcoin and the alternate cryptocurrencies that are appearing could make Banks obsolete, or at least far less necessary than they currently are, these big, centralised institutions can actually benefit from the technology that Bitcoin runs from. Creating a tailor-made version of the Blockchain technology that Bitcoin uses can remove the need for any middlemen, a fair amount of manual processing, and it can ultimately speed up transactions and cut down on costs. The blockchain technology can also make your transactions far more secure even through a bank.
By introducing blockchain into these traditional financial institutions, your transactions may be able to be encrypted in a way that only you or your bank can decrypt. Such a service won’t give you the complete security that you may get with Bitcoin, but it will mean that your transactions are more secure than they may be today.
How can other markets help Bitcoin?
Where Bitcoin and Blockchain can help markets and businesses, they can always do the same back, even if it’s on a basic level. The art market, for example, can be used in such a way that makes Bitcoin and its technologies more accessible and understandable to those who might otherwise not be sure on what exactly it is. New Zealand artist Simon Denny has already taken to using his art to explain this technology. His exhibition Blockchain Future States opened in New York’s Petzel Gallery, and has used the game ‘Risk’ to explain and illustrate the technology. This show looks at three major blockchain companies through the lens of the board game which creates a more openly understood explanation for the technology and what it has to offer not only businesses, but the everyday consumer to
While the mainstream art world hasn’t picked up blockchain technology and Bitcoin as a whole, it’s becoming increasingly more common to find such technologies, and similar, mentioned and featured in all kinds of artwork. Even on the level of writing, articles and books are popping up worldwide explaining the world of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and secure online spending. The increased popularity of this cryptocurrency is pulling it from its reputation as a currency used on the dark web, giving it a stronger and more reputable standing amongst business, consumers, and online markets as a whole.