The legendary 19th century gamblers who worked the riverboats on the Mississippi and inhabited every Old West town could hardly have conceived of how gambling has changed and is still changing today. Or maybe not; blockchain technology is revolutionizing the online gambling, but the world of online gambling and cryptocurrencies has something of a Wild West feel itself, and those old-timey gamblers might have felt right at home there.

Essentially, a blockchain is a kind of digital ledger. That may not sound very exciting, but its adoption by various gambling sites makes those sites more transparent to users and thus more trustworthy. This is not only good for customers but gives online gambling sites an advantage over brick and mortar casinos. It may also draw more people to online gambling since they can now see for themselves how the site is operating.

Transparency is only one advantage of blockchain technology and the growing use of cryptocurrency. In contrast to casinos’ workings becoming more visible, the gambler has the opportunity to become anonymous. In addition to bitcoin, online casinos might begin using currency created by the gambling industry. While the use of cryptocurrency does mean that people will have to accept the volatility of the coins, this may well be an acceptable risk for those who have a gambling mindset anyway. In some countries, players are asked to demonstrate that they have funds above a certain amount when they place money in an online account, but anonymity removes this requirement.

The ease with which people can now become members of sites has also led to a rise in decentralized platforms for gambling. Prediction markets can now create forecasts using far more complex models, particularly with the rise of neural networks. It is also anticipated that the variety of things on which people can bet will expand. These could range from different options to bet on eSports to gambling on the outcome of elections and more.

People who have been hesitant to turn to online gambling for security reasons may also start to flock to these sites. Blockchain technology means no one has to give up personal details, so theft of personal data is no longer an issue. Of course, there is always a risk that hackers will be able to crack into an empty a bitcoin account, but the difficulty in transferring bitcoins could provide some measure of security against this kind of activity in addition to the safeguards set up by the sites themselves.

House edge costs are the costs of paying staff that come out of the players’ winnings. These costs will be lower since there is less overhead involved with blockchain technology. Many of the tasks performed by humans have been automated by blockchain, so players will take home a bigger percentage of winnings.

The world of gambling, online and offline, even the billion-dollar industry of fantasy sports, is undergoing many changes. A Supreme Court decision that allows states to decide on legalizing sports gambling along with fast-moving technology are both elements that are likely to rapidly alter the landscape in the years ahead. It remains to be seen what effects additional regulations or the rise of cryptocurrency may have on that landscape, but gamblers can feel safe betting that there are more innovations ahead.