By Daniel CreechJanuary 12, 2021

Bitcoin’s “adoption boom” heads to Sin City

While most folks are watching bitcoin’s crazy price action… there’s a bigger story happening in the news.

Every week, more companies are announcing they’re adopting crypto as part of their business model. This “adoption boom” opens up a huge, long-term growth driver for cryptos. 

Just last week, International Game Technology (IGT) announced it’s pushing into bitcoin…

IGT is an international juggernaut in the gaming industry. Its founder, William “Si” Redd, earned the nickname, “The King of Slot Machines.” 

Today, IGT controls around 30% of the slot machine market. It’s also a major player in international lotteries and sports betting. Most importantly, it’s the market leader in terms of its portfolio of games and intellectual property.  

And now, IGT plans to integrate cryptocurrencies and gambling…

Last week, the company announced it received approval from Nevada regulators for a new cashless wallet system usable in casinos. This “virtual wallet” acts like a loyalty/member card, allowing players to pay for slot machines or other games.

This is another step in the long trend towards cashless contact/payments. It should help gamblers avoid lines at casino cages when they’re exchanging cash for chips or credits. More importantly, this wallet paves the way to integrate cryptocurrencies into gaming. 

And IGT’s new virtual wallet plan isn’t the only big news…

The company also announced a new patent approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This patent will allow users to convert cryptocurrencies to fiat money to place bets

IGT spokesperson Phil O’Shaughnessy summed up the news by saying, “IGT secured this patent to bolster its industry-leading patent portfolio in anticipation of any possibly future direction in regulated gaming involving cryptocurrency.”

In short, IGT is laying the groundwork for making crypto an integral part of the gaming industry. Cryptocurrencies are especially popular among millennials and younger adults—a critical demographic for IGT’s future growth. Around 33% of guests at Caesars Palace in Vegas are 21–40, according to the company.

Here at Token Tracker, this news doesn’t come as a huge surprise. We’ve followed bitcoin’s “adoption boom” for well over a year. Back in December 2019, we highlighted Fidelity and its interest in ethereum.

And over the past few months, we’ve seen companies like software maker Microstrategy (MSTR) buy over $1 billion in bitcoin to keep on its balance sheet. Three months ago, payment processor Square (SQ) announced it bought $50 million in bitcoin, representing 1% of its total assets at the time. Even the 169-year-old mutual insurance company, Mass Mutual, is getting into crypto. Last month, the insurer announced it bought $100 million worth of bitcoin.

It may be hard to imagine bitcoin is still in the “early days” given its recent volatility. Over the past month, its price doubled from $20,000 to over $40,000. This week, the price pulled back near $30,000. 

Nevertheless, the “adoption boom” is just getting started. Keep in mind, most companies spent years ignoring cryptocurrencies. As big companies like IGT make the leap into crypto, it opens up a new growth trend for crypto. 

Don’t be scared by the volatility in the crypto market. The industry’s massive growth story remains intact.

Daniel Creech is a Curzio Research analyst with over a decade of experience. He writes on macro trends, large- and small-cap stocks, and digital securities. He’s a regular contributor to Wall Street Unplugged, Curzio Crypto, Curzio Research Advisory, and The Dollar Stock Club.
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