Winning Poker Network, an online network that supports numerous online poker websites around the world, has reported an increase in the demand for payments in Bitcoin.
Although the poker network has supported various cryptocurrencies since 2014, the CEO of WPN, Phil Nagy, stated that the company needed to make more purchases of BTC than ever due to the demand caused by the recent price movement over $ 17,000 and USD 18,000 in a matter of days.
“We constantly have to go out and buy bitcoins, a lot”, Nagy said. He estimated that even before this recent price increase, the WPN was paying over $ 100 million worth of BTC monthly, approximately 60% of all transactions on the network. Extrapolated to 95% of payments, Nagy’s reports are currently happening, and assuming the same volume, that would work out to roughly $ 158 million worth of Bitcoin every month.
According to Nagy, the majority of clients who play online poker reside in the United States, which may help explain their preference for cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange, given that online gambling is legal in just 11 of the 50 states. The CEO, who resides in Costa Rica, admitted not checking whether players present their winnings for tax purposes.
“It is an alternative solution to circumvent the law, not really the adoption that Bitcoin should be looking for”, said Reddit user HighFivePuddy. “It’s not exactly a great advertisement.”
Bitcoin and online poker have a long history together and there are many parallels between the popular card game and cryptocurrency trading, down to the “know when to HODL” terminology. Past and current professional poker players have been heavily involved with cryptocurrencies, including Blockfolio co-founder, Ed Moncada, Y Doug Polk, who also runs a cryptocurrency channel on YouTube.
One of the most important turning points between cryptocurrencies and gambling occurred last year, when the WPN established a Guinness World Record for the biggest cryptocurrency jackpot for online poker winnings: $ 1,050,560, or roughly 106 BTC at the time.
Our $ 5 million Venom was a success in more ways than one. We established the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS ™ title for the largest cryptocurrency prize for an online poker tournament with a payout of $ 1,050,560 in Bitcoin. @WPN_CEO #venom #venomtournament pic.twitter.com/1E2I3WjCgE
— Americas Cardroom (@ACR_POKER) July 25, 2019
Even with this level of adoption within the world of online gaming, Nagy said that the WPN generally converted the Bitcoin it received from players directly into fiat money to avoid dealing with volatility. However, that may not be the case for much longer if the demand for Bitcoin payments continues to rise.
At the time of publication of this article, Bitcoin is priced at $ 17,831, having risen more than 9% in the last 7 days.