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Players Prefer Cashing Out in Bitcoin Amid Rally, Says Online Poker Giant

Winning Poker Network said it's having to buy more bitcoin than ever to satisfy payout demand from players.

Nov 20, 2020 at 11:23 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:33 a.m. UTC

One of the world's largest poker networks has said its players currently prefer bitcoin to fiat money for payouts.

Winning Poker Network, which operates a number of online poker sites, said it has been forced to buy millions in bitcoin a day to meet the demands of exiting players.

As reported by Bloomberg on Thursday, 90%–95% of Winning Poker's payouts are in bitcoin because of the recent price rise, said the company's CEO, Phil Nagy. “We are constantly having to go out and buy bitcoin, lots. Lots. More than we’ve even had to before.” 

According to Nagy, the business is clocking over 60% of its transaction volume in bitcoin, roughly $100 million a month. Geographically, the majority of the bitcoin demand derives from the U.S., despite online poker being illegal in most states.

So far this year, bitcoin's price has risen 155%, buoyed by bullish cryptocurrency fundamentals, inflation of fiat currencies and the global coronavirus pandemic.

Nagy noted his company doesn't hold bitcoin, instead preferring to convert to fiat without delay due to the digital asset's volatility. However, he also said that when bitcoin is down, players will pay with the cryptocurrency as a way to liquidate quickly, meaning his company has been "kind of stuck with it."

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