AT the end of March, CasinoBeats covered the appointment of Ashish Tawakley as chief commercial officer of the CasinoCoin Foundation, a non-profit organisation supporting the cryptocurrency CasinoCoin
CasinoBeats caught up with the experienced gaming professional to ask what drew him to CasinoCoin and what the future holds for crypto in igaming.
What caused you to move from an established career in betting and gaming to cryptocurrency? It shows a lot of faith in the new project.
AT: “I have been following the growth of crypto over the last 18 months and became increasingly excited by the potential for blockchain technology application in gaming. I was keen to get involved with the right project, one that would truly add value to the gaming world.
“My background is in large gaming corporations that focus on regulated markets and work diligently to ensure the highest standards are met for responsible gaming. Until I heard about CasinoCoin, I felt the technological and commercial challenges for crypto use in gaming were too much of a barrier to entry. Things like slow transaction speeds, high transaction costs, the difficulty for non-tech-specialists to understand crypto – as well as no real-world regulated market utility – were too much of a risk for any of the projects I knew about to significantly come in and challenge the status quo.
“With CasinoCoin, while there are still the risks that come with any new and (so far) unregulated industry, I recognised the value it could bring to regulated gaming operators, and the whole industry. The coin has genuine utility and the team has a deep understanding of the regulatory needs of this market and has been working with regulators since they took on the project, ensuring everything is approved and delivered through the correct channels. This is key in my opinion.
“CasinoCoin provides a gateway for operators to reach a new player demographic and it provides regulators with the assurance that these players have undergone stringent KYC checks before they begin to play. All the above is achieved with a product that is easy to use, safe, secure, lightning fast and with extremely low fees. As a gambler, I felt it was a risk worth taking.”
So what is so special about the CasinoCoin offering?
“For me, CasinoCoin is totally unique, it’s a blockchain-powered payment solution with a custom-made blockchain designed for, and which aims to complement, the regulated online gaming industry. Its simplicity, with no desire to become an operator or platform, and its real-world utility provide the best application of blockchain technology in the online gaming space. Everything about CasinoCoin has been built with users, gaming operators, and regulators in mind. Our soon-to-launch Bankroll Manager (BRM) app features built-in KYC and AML capabilities and responsible gaming options, and provides a fully transparent and traceable payment solution.
“CasinoCoin has the experience and operating management of a much larger and more mature business but the energy, enthusiasm and tech awareness of a young start-up. There is a continuous stream of innovation and development that I am constantly amazed at and it’s not just pie-in-the-sky ideas – there have been hundreds of hours of development behind the things I am being shown. I can’t say too much but just last week I was taken through plans to unveil the first blockchain system designed specifically to be an online/offline solution for brick-and-mortar gaming casinos – it’s revolutionary, live blockchain products that actually work!”
What is it about CasinoCoin that is so appealing to operators specifically?
“The benefits already mentioned above, around transparency, speed, ease of use and cost effectiveness will be hugely appealing and advantageous to operators and users.
“On top of that, the CasinoCoin Foundation, a non-profit entity made up of gaming industry and tech veterans, is focused on harmoniously developing the use of blockchain technology in the regulated gaming industry. This means operators that integrate CasinoCoin’s blockchain-powered payment solution can utilise the experience and support of a wider team of experts who have made it their mission to progress the use of blockchain in the world of gaming.
“The operators that partner with CasinoCoin will also benefit from the Foundation’s continued development into new blockchain innovation, without the need to invest in expensive tech development teams of their own.
“Finally, they will benefit from CasinoCoin as a gateway to a new and untapped group of players, already fully vetted to stand the test of today’s regulatory requirements. This will provide a new revenue stream that, we believe, will only continue to grow in time as blockchain and cryptocurrency become more central to everyday life.”
“Due to the complex nature of crypto and blockchain, we believe initial adoption and growth will come from the cryptocurrency community.”
How important is it to have the backing of the player community when promoting such a product, and how is CasinoCoin being received?
“The CasinoCoin community has been one of the elements of the project that has impressed me the most. We have a very active and steadily growing online community that is incredibly enthusiastic and supportive. They believe in the project as much as we do and some of them have even created tools, websites and widgets that benefit the growth of CasinoCoin.
“Due to the complex nature of crypto and blockchain, we believe that initial adoption and growth of CasinoCoin will come from the cryptocurrency community. We know this to be a large and growing community where millions have already been wagered on unregulated online crypto casinos. There is a steep learning curve when it comes to understanding how all things crypto and blockchain work, and it takes time to become comfortable with all the functionality. A core cryptocurrency principle is removal of third-party trust – ‘be your own bank’. This means that the ultimate responsibility of protecting your coins and tokens lies with you. The crypto community champions this principle, is comfortable with the responsibility and understands the risk.
“We believe that, in time, crypto will become more prevalent in all our daily lives. As that happens, and to really establish CasinoCoin, we will need to to attract today’s online gaming players. We believe they will adapt to using our coin and Bankroll Manager app as they would any other type of payment. This will happen over time, and will require us to provide the necessary education to make them comfortable with the world of crypto, best practices on how to secure their coins, and on educating players of the multiple benefits that cryptocurrency holds over traditional fiat currencies including cost, security and speed.
“…crypto still has an image problem with the public, and the negative assessment is not completely unfair“
“The concept of cryptocurrency still has an image problem with much of the public, and the negative assessment is not completely unfair as there are many documented cases of scams and hacks that resulted in millions of dollars being stolen. The way to remedy this again comes back to education on how to spot scams and store your coins securely, as well as technological advancement.
“We have a responsibility to do as much as we can to protect our customers, and we will continue to invest in tech development to keep CasinoCoin up with the ever-changing and evolving crypto security landscape.
“With the help of our operating partners, we believe CasinoCoin can offer a superior igaming customer experience compared to what is available today, but ultimately it will be up to the customers to decide.”