Winning Poker Network Buys $160mln Worth Bitcoin Every Month to Complete Payouts
Winning Poker Network (WPN), a web based platform backing several online poker gaming sites across the globe, has revealed a steep rise in demand for payouts in the form of Bitcoin.
According to a Bloomberg article, the CEO of WPN, Phil Nagy, has stated that almost 95% of poker players are currently asking for payments in the form of Bitcoin (BTC).
Even though WPN has been backing multiple cryptos for the past six years, according to Phil Nagy, the company is put in a situation to buy more Bitcoins than ever because of demand created by Bitcoin’s price rally from $17,000 to $18,000 in a span of few days.
Nagy said “We are constantly having to go out and buy Bitcoin — lots.” He assessed that even before the latest price rise, the WPN was paying out over $100 million in Bitcoin on a monthly basis, about 60% of all dealings on the network.
With share of Bitcoins in payouts rising to 95%, assuming no change in volume, Nagy estimates that the platform will have a need to purchase about $158 million worth Bitcoin on a monthly basis.
As per Nagy, a major portion of clients playing poker on the network are US residents and that could be one of the reasons for their choosing crypto as medium of payment. Gambling is legal only in 11 out of 50 states in the US. The CEO, a resident of Costa Rica, acknowledged that he did not verify whether players declare their game winnings in their tax returns.
Reddit user HighFivePuddy said “It’s a work around to flout the law, not really the adoption Bitcoin should be after. Not exactly great PR.”
Together, online poker game and Bitcoin has a lengthy tradition and there are several similarities between the widespread card game and cryptocurrency trading, including the phrase ‘know when to HODL.’ Both current and former professional players of poker are into crypto in a big way. This includes Ed Moncada, Blockfolio co-founder, and Doug Polk, who also owns YouTube channel focused on cryptos.
One of the notable occasions in crypto and gambling happened in 2019, when WPN established a Guinness World Record for the highest prize money of $1,050,560, or about 106 BTC (based on the price at that time) paid in cryptocurrency for the winner.
Our $5 Million Venom was a success in more ways than one. We set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the largest cryptocurrency winning jackpot in an online poker tournament with a $1,050,560 Bitcoin payout. @WPN_CEO #venom #venomtournament pic.twitter.com/1E2I3WjCgE
— Americas Cardroom (@ACR_POKER) July 25, 2019
Despite the high level of adoption in the online gaming arena, WPN generally exchanged Bitcoin received from players on a real-time basis into fiat currency to stay unaffected from price volatility.
Nevertheless, that may not be the scenario in the months ahead if demand for Bitcoin payouts remains on the rise. At the time of writing this article, Bitcoin was trading at $18,123.75, up 2% in the last 24 hours.