The iGaming industry, in some key ways, mirrors the achievements of crypto. It was underestimated, it evolved hugely over a relatively short time, and it’s experienced far greater success than most early spectators could have guessed. This is despite the relationship that crypto has with iGaming’s video gaming cousin often falling short, and still struggling to this day.

From early eagerness, the compatibility of video gaming and crypto integration stumbled, with only a few major players showing how positive the relationship can be. So, how is it that iGaming succeeded so well, and what has it done differently that video games fail to match?

Early Steps and Proving Validity

Before exploring the failures in video games, we need to examine the massive success of iGaming and crypto integration. The very first online crypto-betting websites appeared just four years after the launch of Bitcoin. Rather than integrating with larger existing online betting services, these tended to be smaller dedicated crypto betting businesses. Like many early crypto-driven services, these tested the waters of what was possible, showing the way but not capturing mainstream imaginations.

The biggest success stories would later appear with fully-fledged online casinos, which adopted crypto payment systems in their large existing lineups. The functionality of online casinos remained the same on a basic level, with options like those illustrated by the casinos on CasinoBonusCA. Services like BetOnRed and Stay Casino did and still do reward their players with bonuses like free spins and deposit matches. In other words, anything that players love on classic digital casinos now features broad crypto support, so nobody has to miss out.

As popular as crypto quickly proved itself, it took a decade before popular video gaming names would adopt these payment systems into their existing options. The biggest was Steam, the largest online storefront in the PC space. In 2016, the developer Valve opened its digital doors to Bitcoin payments via a platform named BitPay and was hugely celebrated for the effort.

Success was short-lived, however, as just the next year Steam would stop accepting crypto payment options. Though there’s a lot of debate around the details of this cancelation, they revolve around the payment methods for Bitcoin simply not being efficient enough to hand this kind of real-time payment. As crypto fans know, and is explained by the team at MakeUseOf, this is a basic truth of all Bitcoin transactions due to how the system is built, illustrating an oversight on Valve’s part.

Catering to a Challenge

The difference in success between the iGaming and video gaming markets here demonstrates a difference in approach and research. When iGaming started to work with crypto, the industry understood the challenges the payment system implies. Online casinos implemented a waiting period that works with crypto’s inherent design, allowing the various websites ample time to confirm payments and achieve a result that works for everyone.

Valve, despite being the single biggest game seller in the PC space, did not take such a cautious approach. They jumped in without the proper protections in place and then complained they lacked the proper protection. IGaming met the challenge, where video games pretended it didn’t exist and got humbled for the effort.

What Comes Next?

Successful integration of iGaming and crypto means the relationship is only going to become more popular in the future. More casino websites will offer Bitcoin and Ethereum in the future, and the websites that already provide these options will inevitably widen the types of crypto they support. The tools are in place, the viability is established, so continual growth is inevitable.

The major gaming industry is always looking for new ways to make money, as they’re constantly running into (or creating) issues with funding. As we’ve reported here on FrankNez before, sometimes attempts to save money come from mass firings, and other times they come from ill-fated ventures into NFTs. This continual expansion means that a return to mainstream crypto adoption is inevitable. The question is, will they pay attention this time to the lessons freely given by the iGaming industry, or will they continue to take more of a wishful-thinking type of approach?

Make no mistake, a better level of crypto integration with both iGaming and video gaming is a matter of when and not if. While we can say a larger relationship is inevitable, it’s difficult to make predictions beyond this point. As far as crypto has come, it’s still a new system, so we can’t say for sure where it will go next. All we can say is that iGaming will follow crypto’s evolution, and, eventually, video games will follow.