Betting on esports has a long way to go before it can compete with mainstream sports in terms of revenue and popularity.
Viewing numbers are rising, with the League of Legends Championships attracting 106.2 million viewers in 2017, and betting figures will naturally correlate. But it will need another push to cement itself; could it find that in crypto-currencies?
While crypto has come a long way, Eman Pulis, CEO of the Malta Blockchain Summit, thinks there is still a knowledge gap putting players off. He believes crypto-currencies are inching closer to the mainstream, though they're not quite there yet.
It is likely however, this gap will be closed as the next generation of bettors comes through. How many generations is unclear. But if the rise of online gambling from its origins in high street betting shops is any indicator, once momentum builds, it will be hard to operate without the payment option.
So what does the future hold for this partnership? Pulis believes both industry sectors have flourished separately, until recently.
Pulis exclusively told Gambling Insider: "A changing user demographic means the more traditional player has been replaced with users that are more tech-savvy, more interested and knowledgeable about crypto-currencies.
"As that knowledge gap narrows, esports companies are more likely to shift their focus towards digital currencies. Their confidence in doing so is partly down to the fact blockchain offers an ecosystem for crypto-currency transactions that is safe, fast and transparent; mitigating a lot of the associated risks."
Pulis was speaking to Gambling Insider magazine for a feature in its July/August edition.
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