2021 is seeing a new trend in the world of cryptocurrencies, with non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, as the latest new innovation that has taken the world of entertainment and finance by storm. There are already questions around whether NFTs will now be adopted in a similar manner to cryptocurrencies by various online businesses, such as online gambling and casino operators, and early signs are that NFTs could be a significant factor in the way these businesses operate in the future.
The online gambling space has always been quick to jump on and adapt to new trends and technologies, with the example of how they have used cryptocurrencies to improve the customer experience just being the latest example of this tendency. Before we look at the prospects for NFTs in the online gambling market, it is important to understand what NFTs are and how they work.
Every NFT can be used to signify digital ownership or purchases of separate items, and this is precisely how they are being used at the moment in the entertainment sector. The rock band Kings of Leon, for example, has been selling their newest album as an NFT and has already generated over $2 million in revenue. A piece of digital art by the digital art creator Beeple was sold for over $69 million as an NFT, making it the most expensive sale via NFTs, while even something as mundane as the first tweet sent by Jack Dorsey, the founder and CEO of Twitter, was recently sold as an NFT for nearly $3 million. Thus, NFTs are being used to provide exclusive benefits and access to those who buy them, as well as for signifying ownership of extremely rare and collectible items. The music industry has been one of the biggest adopters of NFTs since they provide a large and direct source of revenue to musicians, who have been hit hard in the wake of the ongoing pandemic, where live concerts and events have not been held for a year. It is the same story for online gaming as well, with NFTs being used to represent purchases of in-game upgrades and items. Thus, we can clearly see how NFTs are well-suited to online items, and this has led to the question of whether the online casino industry will also follow suit in adopting this new innovation, and if it does do so, how will NFTs be used in this sector.
The fact that online casinos, especially in the USA, have been quick to latch onto technological changes and progress is an indicator that they may also look to adopt NFTs soon. It is not a stretch of the imagination, for example, to think that esports betting could soon involve NFTs. The entertainment and gaming software company Atari could lead the way for NFTs in online gambling, with the innovation set to form a part of its upcoming online casino. This casino, which will be developed in partnership with Decentral Games on the Ethereum blockchain, will include Atari games as well as Atari NFTs which can be used to earn even more digital currency. The two companies are expecting to see betting volumes reach $150 million this year, and cross $400 million in two years on the platform. Thus, this could very well be the first example of an NFT being used in an online casino, and therefore will be looked at very closely to see if it is a success or failure.
NFTs have a lot of characteristics that make them well-suited to online casinos, which could be another reason why we could see a lot of NFT adoption in the industry in the near future. With the success that using cryptocurrencies and blockchain has brought to online casino operators, it will not be a surprise to see online operators jump onto the bandwagon very soon, especially if this new Atari casino is deemed to be successful.