Cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies have had a significant impact on the development of the iGaming industry and online betting particularly in recent years. The first to see the potential of cryptocurrencies in gambling was SOFTSWISS, an international company with Belarusian roots.
“SOFTSWISS as a fast growing company has always been interested in new technology and innovation. We had been closely following the development of cryptocurrency since 2011,” says Ivan Montik, the Founder of SOFTSWISS. — “We had a fairly young company at the time and an equally ambitious team. So we decided to focus on developing crypto solutions for classic casino and in the spring of 2013 added special features for the SOFTSWISS Online Casino Platform and processing for bitcoin gambling. There was nothing like it on the market at that time except for a few one-page dice games.”
SOFTSWISS was the first in the world to offer the B2B market a turnkey crypto solution for running a casino. This coincided with the crisis in Cyprus, when bitcoin showed serious growth and drew attention as an interesting tool not only for geeks and IT professionals, but also for businesses. However, in iGaming cryptocurrency was still considered a dark horse. Even the seasoned players of the gambling industry did not know or understand the full potential of the new currency at the time.
“Initially, SOFTSWISS was the first to introduce bitcoin and blockchain into the operation of gambling,” notes Andrey Starovoitov, Chief Operating Officer at SOFTSWISS. — “It was SOFTSWISS that first recommended providers to include cryptocurrencies in the list of currencies available in casino games to accept bets.”
“We were the ones who first sponsored and helped organise the bitcoin seminar at the ICE Totally Gaming conference in London in 2014, where there were panel discussions and I spoke to the iGaming guys,” Ivan continues. — “We tried to tell the industry that it was cool and to open their eyes to the fact that cryptocurrencies were the future of iGaming. The main objective was to convince providers to add bitcoin as a full-fledged betting currency without exchanging it for euros.”
The pioneers in crypto gambling were Bitstarz, 7Bit Casino and BetChain, well-known and successful companies now. These were the first brands to start taking bets in bitcoin, taking advantage of the SOFTSWISS Online Casino Platform and cryptocurrency solution.
This segment of the casino industry existed separately for a long time, until the year 2020-2021 when a radical change occurred. This is when so-called ‘dice sites’, which were not online casinos in the classical sense, but offered players their in-house developed games: roulette, crash games, etc., came into the limelight. One of the important components of these companies was the provably fair feature, based on cryptographic algorithms, which allowed players to verify the outcome of a bet. Among them were crypto gambling giants such as Stake and BC.Game.
“Dice sites have long been known in the industry, but have always had an isolated place amongst other iGaming projects. We saw great potential in collaborating with them and expanding their gaming content. So we decided to use the knowledge we already had and offer them a complete ecosystem of products, including Game Aggregator, Affilka and Sportsbook. So in 2020 the SOFTSWISS Game Aggregator partnered with several new crypto projects — Stake .com, Roobet, BC.Game, Rollbit. Their performance has been staggering. In the first few months, the count was in the millions of GGR. There is no other example in my practice of gaining momentum and showing such rapid growth,” says Andrey.
“We started communicating with them, offering to diversify their content with SOFTSWISS, adding to their existing games hundreds of new brands, brought together in the SOFTSWISS Game Aggregator. We had a large set of providers that, thanks to their cooperation with SOFTSWISS, were open to cryptocurrency betting. So since our partnership, crypto betting rates have been breaking one record after another,” adds Ivan.
One of the benefits of the dice sites has been the use of more effective marketing tools borrowed primarily from cybersports (CS:GO, Dota 2). Created by guys who knew these games and their audience from the inside, they offered the younger generation exactly what they wanted: engagement, demonstration of skills and elements of competition with rivals, rather than slots that produce results you cannot influence. New brands have learned how to attract and retain this audience in online casinos through new formats, gamification and niche social platforms such as Twitch streaming.
“We are seeing a landmark shift in the gambling audience. It is getting younger whereas classic casino brands are mainly geared towards the mature player. The competitive element is very much in favour of and attracts the younger generation,” Andrey concludes. — “It can be easily seen by the popularity of eSports and games where several people can play at the same time. And while marketing experts in many companies are struggling with the question of how to attract a young audience, the new brands have already found a way to do it.”
“What we are seeing now is the second wave of crypto gambling that has already come to us. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are the reality that can no longer be denied. There are still a lot of opportunities for development in this field. Unfortunately, there is often no space for innovation due to strict licensing and regulation. And that leaves the entire industry at a disadvantage. — “But SOFTSWISS already offers innovative and unparalleled solutions for crypto gambling. You just have to take advantage of them if you want to be on the crest of the new wave, rather than watching the most interesting things unfold from the shore.”