Cryptocurrencies are all the rage right now. Bitcoin passed the $8K barrier and if you're an avid follower of the poker community on social media, then you know many well-known pros went all-in on various cryptocurrencies. A couple of online poker rooms supported by cryptocurrencies have popped up. Virtue Poker, a new site with a launch date for the tail end of 2018, added Phil Ivey as an advisor.
Welcome to the beginning of the crypto poker wars! Virtue Poker is a new start-up in the poker world, which is a decentralized P2P poker platform built on Ethereum. Set to debut sometime in 2018, Virtue Poker will utilize blockchain technology developed for Ethereum to create an online poker room. Virtue Poker tapped Brian Rast and Dan Colman as its ambassadors. And just last week, Virtue Poker announced they added Phil Ivey to their team as a consultant.
In a press release, Ivey said, "I'm looking forward to serving as a strategic adviser to the Virtue Poker team. I believe their new peer-to-peer solution built using blockchain technology can add significant value to the online poker experience."
Virtue Poker's co-founder, Ryan Gittleson explained, "The lack of transparency and accountability in the practices of many online poker companies presents a great opportunity for blockchain technology to showcase its utility in a manner that will satisfy both players and regulators."
According to Virtue Poker's FAQs, "Virtue Poker will not store any player funds. Instead, users will fund a wallet that will always be under their control. In order to join games on the platform, users will send their buy-in to a table contract which will escrow all participants buy-ins, and will autonomously payout players based on game outcomes, directly back into their digital wallet. The funds under escrow will be controlled the blockchain contract, and not by Virtue Poker or any other single entity."
Fiat money. Benjamins. Greenbacks. Moolah. Loot. Cashola. Whatever you call paper money, it's been a central governing figure in all of our lives. We love to hate it, because let's be honest… the pursuit of money is what inspires us and destroys us. And in the poker world, taking a shot at the poker tables has been a lucrative means to accumulate wealth in a very short amount of time. However, we've all learned the hard way that paper money and currencies pegged to a specific nation fluctuate based upon numerous factors, mostly inflation, interest rates, natural disasters, wars, and the economic strength of said country. The exchange rate for the Euro to US Dollar and the Pound to US Dollar have risen considerably over the last year, after the Euro and Pound plunged in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Welcome to the future of currency… cryptocurrency. As humanity takes steps towards a cashless society, the race is on to determine which crypto will become the dominant virtual currency. After all, virtual money is not pegged to a specific country.
The poker community has been on the ball with cryptocurrencies since the inception of Bitcoin a couple of years ago. Seems like BTC and Ethereum was all anyone was talking about on Twitter all summer long during the WSOP. Since then numerous clones and crypto options have popped up such as Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, etc.
Satoshi Nakamoto, the so-called inventor of Bitcoin, initially created it as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that was decentralized without a specific server or central authority. The system was set up to prevent double transactions (and fraud). Technically, it has no intrinsic value, nor can it be traded for anything physical. Its supply is not controlled by a central bank or governing authority.
Previous attempts at setting of digital cash systems in the late 20th Century failed. But Satoshi worked out a reliable system, which he called Bitcoin. Everyone on the system, which consists of a network of peers, has access to the "ledger" and knows the history of every single transaction. Simply put, it's a basic p2p-technology in which transactions are verified by the community.
The future is now. And the poker community is once again ahead of the curve when it comes to innovative technology. Crypto poker has arrived.