Here at LegalBettingOnline, we’re all about legal betting online.
More specifically, we’re all about legal betting online with cryptocurrency.
It’s always the time.
That said, like you, we’re not entirely content with the status quo.
While we love gambling at reputable, time-tested online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms, we’re constantly on the lookout for new forms of gambling, new expressions of the market, and new concepts about what gambling really means.
We’re especially interested when these new avenues represent overlaps of our two favorite hobbies: betting and crypto investing (which, really, is just another form of betting).
One of the hottest trends lately has been something called the “metaverse.”
To be clear, the metaverse concept isn’t new.
It’s been around for years.
If you’ve ever played a persistent online MMORPG or a game like Second Life, those are metaverses.
That is, they’re online universes where entire worlds are built, in-game economies are established, and people spend lots and lots of time.
But the advent of crypto smart contracts – particularly crypto NFTs (non-fungible tokens) – has given new life to the metaverse idea.
It’s taken the metaverse out of the realm of gaming and placed it firmly into the realm of living.
Because the aforesaid smart contracts and NFTs allow in-game items (think outfits, weapons, art collections, and even virtual real estate) to have real-world value, these platforms aren’t just for fun or socializing. They’re now capable of sustaining players financially.
No longer is gaming a one-way street.
Before, you – the gamer – would purchase a game and/or use microtransactions and IAPs (in-app purchases) to buy the above items.
Loot boxes have oft been likened to gambling, and for good reason.
But because there’s never been a built-in foundational mechanism to sell the items you’ve acquired to other players for real-world currency as opposed to in-game currency (which has no external value), tying these assets to smart contracts – and allowing players to buy and sell these items among one another – finally gives them real worth.
Yes, a player – depending on the game or metaverse in question – could earn, buy, or win an item and then “sell” that item to another player using virtual money units represented within the title.
That in-game money could then be used to buy other in-game items, but it could never be cashed out.
Sure, some external sites exist for certain games/metaverses that allow members to auction off their digital kit for cold, hard cash, but these typically violate games’ EULAs and aren’t necessarily legal.
They’re shady, to say the least. We need not remind you of Mt. Gox.
But now, with these virtual realities being built atop the blockchain and all in-game items being tokenized as NFTs, players can actually sell goods for crypto and then cash that crypto out into USD.
And they do this all while taking advantage of market gains for the assets in question.
This is similar to how we recommend gambling online with crypto and then cashing out in the same to grow your winnings when those various crypto coins increase in price on the exchanges.
All that said, there’s a significant barrier of entry for these new crypto metaverse concepts, and that’s that they’re mostly all built on the Ethereum network.
Ethereum is the most mature cryptocurrency that allows for smart contracts and NFTs, and that’s why it’s the most heavily traded asset in the space.
However, it’s complex, requires significant resources to verify transactions, and thus has higher native fees and transfer times than most other coins.
Tying this again back to legal online betting, it’s why we recommend using Ether only if you already hold Ether.
For new crypto bettors, we typically recommend a lighter-weight coin like the aptly named Litecoin, as LTC has nearly instant processing times and blockchain fees that are literally (fractions of) pennies on the dollar compared against ETH.
But how do metaverses really tie into online gambling outside the fact that all crypto investment and trading is a gamble?
Because metaverses are starting to host online casinos themselves.
Atari recently moved its classic arcade library to the Fantom platform, where the Atari token – ATRI – can be spent and won playing certified RNG casino games based on the above arcade games.
These are the same kinds of RNG titles you’ll find at any of the top-rated online casinos we recommend, with the exception that they exist within virtual worlds and are powered by the blockchain itself.
Similarly, Decentraland – the most popular Ethereum-based metaverse in the world – has its own casinos, with RNG crypto developer Decentral Games picking up steam within the community.
All this is no doubt exciting, but it won’t replace proper online casinos like those we recommend here.
Also, while vendors like Bovada, BetOnline, and others have long since satisfied regulatory scrutiny due to their long-established legal statuses and operations, metaverse-based casinos and other blockchain-based video games are currently under the microscope.
In the Philippines, for example, government agencies are trying to figure out how to tax in-game earnings of Axie Infinity players, some of whom have become literal millionaires during the 2020-2021 coronavirus lockdowns.
It’s very much a “Wild West” situation, but it’s definitely going to become a big part of the mainstream culture.
That’s why we think it’s only a matter of time before the sites we use for all our online gambling needs will open up shop in the metaverse – or multiple metaverses – sooner than later.
Maybe they’ll even let us gamble in VR!
Frankly, the only real holdup seems to be the expense of deployment and developing on Ethereum.
Of course, Cardano (ADA) smart contracts and NFTs are less than two weeks away from their September 12 launch, so things could start changing in a hurry.
A Bovada crypto VR casino in the Cardano metaverse?
Sign us up!