The world seems to be going crazy for digital currency right now (especially gamblers for bitcoin), and partypoker has decided to jump on the bandwagon. Well, sort of, at least. You won't have to set up a server farm to mine for a few precious units of cryptocurrency that can be sold on the stock market.
Instead, partypoker has announced that it'll introduce a non-fiat digital currency for players called partypoker LIVE $$$. While perhaps not the most inventive name for a new currency (not as memorable as Bitcoin or Etherium in any case), the idea behind it could certainly prove very popular and major hit within the industry!
The main driver behind the introduction of this new currency in 2018 is allowing players a greater level of flexibility when they participate in tournaments. partypoker LIVE president John Duthie said:
"We’ve spent a lot of this year listening to players and one of the most common criticisms about the online to LIVE satellite route has been getting locked into specific events when circumstances may change."
partypoker aims to address a problem many players were encountering – that of qualifying for a tournament only to be unable to compete due to personal reasons or events outside their control. Currently, if this happens, any chips invested in the tournament or game would simply vanish.
The new currency can be used for other things as well, outside of specific tournament entry. It won't have an expiry date, which means that any tournament attendance problems will become moot moving forward. It can also be used to buy-in to all kinds of live and online events, including the WSOP or Grand Prix.
What's more, players can use their LIVE $$$ to book accommodation or make travel arrangements for any partypoker events they might be attending. Giving the currency more than a singular purpose is a good idea, and could help the whole experience of participating in a live event more seamless.
To get everything rolling, partypoker has set up a few promotions. Firstly, players were given the chance to win LIVE $$$ earlier this month as part of the $5M Gtd Millions event. Granted, you had to win the tournament as a satellite qualifier to grab the $100,000 worth of LIVE $$$.
But it does serve to highlight how keen partypoker is to get all its players using the new currency. Additionally, the company has announced that it'll be launching a special LIVE $$$ leaderboard. This will track player's LIVE $$$ earnings over time, with the top players being the ones who have earned the most digital currency.
While partypoker is the first online gaming company to introduce a digital currency of its own, it's very unlikely it'll be the last. In addition to the huge amount of coverage that cryptocurrency and blockchains are getting currently, digital currencies have long been used by video game companies as a form of microtransaction.
While not that similar to either of these formats, it's no surprise that online gambling companies are looking into the possibilities. There's a very high chance that other industry leaders will follow suit, although it's also quite likely that they'll all be watching in the wings to see just how well the new currency is received.
One thing is certain, however – partypoker has made sure to take player feedback on board, and says it’s committed to doing so as the deployment of the currency unfolds. Whatever happens, it can hopefully only be a good thing for players, as there’ll no longer be any danger of being locked out of a tournament after you've bought in!