Cryptocurrency is considered, by many, to be the ideal payment solution, far and above cash or conventional card-based payment methods. So it may make sense in the future to see a Bitcoin lottery—or a large sum of cash handed over via crypto.
If and when lottery fees are paid out in crypto, it could change the face of the industry. It’s a real use-case of the currency and having something so influential payout in crypto would mean greater adoption. Few people would argue against a $20 million — or more — payout of any currency, including crypto.
The real question, however, is whether or not lotteries will ever adjust their systems to make payouts in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies?
It’s Already Happening
Believe it or not, cryptocurrency is already making waves in the lottery market.
JackPocket is a mobile app — valid for residents of New York, Minnesota, Texas and New Hampshire with more states coming — that allows users to buy lottery tickets online, from anywhere. Recently, the JackPocket team started accepting Bitcoin payments for tickets.
Another, Irish-based service called Lottoland became one of the first operations to offer an online Bitcoin jackpot. CryptoMillionsLotto, on the other hand, is exclusively offering crypto-based payouts for participants, as opposed to cash payouts. Beyond that, more services have cropped up including Wild Crypto and Fire Lotto.
While it’s clear the movement has already started, it remains to be seen whether or not these services and applications will be influential on the adoption of crypto. One could argue, however, that’s it more about the larger lottery operations adopting the currency than anything else.
It’s difficult to imagine the true impact of an official state lottery offering payouts in Bitcoin. It hasn’t happened yet, which means technically, the answer to the original question is — as of this time — no. Yet, just because it doesn’t look like any official lottery services will pay out in Bitcoin any time soon, that doesn’t mean it’s not on the horizon.
What is Preventing Bitcoin-Based Lottery Payouts?
Official lottery services have yet to adopt Bitcoin for either payments or payout solutions, relegating the support to third parties — JackPocket is the perfect example. There are some valid reasons for this, outside of slow crypto adoption, in general.
First, there’s the matter of legitimacy and regulation. LottoLand was the “world’s first” regulated Bitcoin lottery, but it’s still relatively new. The decentralized nature of Bitcoin and high volatility makes it a less than ideal currency solution for most lotto pools.
Another problem has to do with the structure of lottery services themselves. Really, they are a form of voluntary and they are used to improve the local communities through philanthropic efforts. But due to the nature of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, if lotteries accepted and paid out via these digital currencies, it could potentially complicate the entire “giving back” aspect of the operation.
Not only would the currency itself need to be properly converted into usable funds for the community, but the General Assembly would also have to discern how best to distribute and apply said funds. The potential is certainly there, meaning it could happen, but it’s going to be a complex, drawn-out process if it does.
Finally, there’s the nature of crypto management altogether. Cryptocurrencies are stored in something called a crypto-wallet, and the funds are distributed through the blockchain. The nature of this process is better suited to one-on-one transactions, which isn’t necessarily how lottery payouts work.
In many cases, a winning number is designated to multiple people. Paying out to everyone involved would already be a complicated process, marred even more by a large number of winners. Again, it’s something that’s certainly possible but would take some time and experimentation to get right.
Will Lotteries Ever Pay in Bitcoin or Crypto?
Once again, we’ve come full circle to the original question: Will lotteries pay in Bitcoin or cryptocurrency? The current answer is obviously, no. But there’s a lot of potential in paying out lotteries with crypto, specifically when it comes to preserving the anonymity of winners while honoring more transparent exchanges.
With blockchain-based payouts, everyone could see what’s happening. There would be a clear winner, and a clear payout including the amount, all while said winner remains hidden from the public eye.
But alongside the benefits, there are drawbacks. Retaining the philanthropic nature of official lottery services, for example, is a tough egg to crack. It highlights the fact that, if this is going to happen or work, it will take some time to reach a full-scale adoption.
For that reason alone, it’s nearly impossible to say if or when it will happen. Just know, the possibility is certainly there.