Affiliates play a crucial role in the gaming sector, one of the main channels for driving traffic and new leads to gambling operators. As the gaming sector continues to grow and mature, the relationship between operator and affiliate is closer than ever, especially with the tightening of regulations around the world.
While affiliates’ role is crucial to the health and growth of the gaming sector, the tracking and payout technology available for affiliates is lacking in innovation.
While the traditional affiliate program model has served the online gaming sector well, it runs into several problems which no doubt holds everyone back. Trust, transparency, accountability and dependable payouts are high on the agenda for affiliates, and the sector has its own well-publicized challenges in these areas.
For gambling affiliates especially, there is significant room for improvement in the systems and infrastructure that currently manages these relationships, to inspire greater confidence in their business relationships.
Enter blockchain. Like so many other sectors, gaming affiliates stand to benefit significantly from greater adoption of blockchain, which solves many of the pain points affiliates and affiliate program managers face today. The technology is already in place to deliver a more reliable, trustworthy and timely affiliate experience and will likely play an increasingly important role in the years to come. Here are some of the biggest challenges affiliates are facing today and how blockchain can help.
Affiliate systems largely operate on trust, with no true transparency for affiliates, other than the data presented by the operator. For malicious operators, especially when it comes to affiliates working on a rev share basis, there is an opportunity to de-tag an affiliate’s code from a whale of a player, cutting the affiliate out of the picture for rightfully owed future revenues. While certainly unethical and a breach of contract from operator to affiliate, it is possible to commit such fraud with the affiliate tracking technology used today.
At the moment, player data is collected and processed by the operator first, before being disclosed to the affiliate—in other words, trust rests with the operator to provide honest information. With blockchain, the data can be shared at source, without going to the operator first.
Blockchains allow for data to be immutably recorded as it happens—a written, verifiable, auditable record that cannot be changed or amended. Both operators and players can know from the outset that the data written to the chain is accurate and unadulterated. This means trust is simply no longer an issue, because all data is verifiably secure and accurate on the distributed ledger.
As a result, both operators and affiliates can look on data as it happens, knowing they are seeing true information. The data is auditable and trackable, and can interact seamlessly and automatically with other systems. Affiliates can track individual players’ spend on the blockchain at their leisure, and are better placed to identify any discrepancies, should they arise.
For affiliates who work with multiple affiliate programs, reconciling payouts can be an enormous headache, each and every month. With blockchain-based payouts, we can cut out the middle men and affiliate managers can automatically and instantly send commissions straight to an affiliate’s wallet. Take CPA commissions, for example—these commissions could be sent to an affiliate the second their player deposits and/or hits the minimum deposit requirement if there is one, as opposed to waiting until the end of the month to collect a payout in bulk.
Delayed payouts can be a big challenge for affiliates, especially for those who are depending on their commissions to pay bills by a certain date. Without the traditional accounting issues that we face today and using digital currency and blockchain-based smart contract technology instead, delayed payouts will be a thing of the past.
Due to regulatory pressures, operators and affiliates must work closer together in order to remain compliant. Operators are now responsible for all the players that the affiliate delivers from their advertising means and methods, so each operator will need to interoperate their own rules and pass these down on to the affiliate. Blockchain helps standardize this interoperability between the two, and, in turn, encourages the two parties to be more transparent with each other.
Bitcoin blockchain for gaming affiliates
Blockchain systems are the future for gaming affiliates, and are already playing an increasing role in shoring up trust, efficiency and integrity in the affiliate model. Bitcoin SV, in particular, is Bitcoin as a platform—designed for developers and entrepreneurs as it has the tools in place to build tracking application to an affiliate’s specifications. The blockchain itself allows for microtransactions—even nanotransactions—to be recorded automatically, right through to automatically issuing payments in BSV, with the help of smart contracts and integrated systems. The power of Bitcoin, as envisioned in the original Bitcoin whitepaper, means affiliate systems can be set up to offer up to the minute tracking, reporting and payments automatically, with full transparency and accountability.
With affiliates in line to benefit significantly from this shift to blockchain tech, it is up to them to encourage the issue across the industry more generally, and to talk with their affiliate managers on what Bitcoin has to offer. By shining the light of transparency, both affiliates and operators win, through a more open and verifiably honest partnership.
See also: CoinGeek Live panel, iGaming Future on the Bitcoin Blockchain
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.