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Global Poker Toying With Bitcoin Cash in Wake of Payment Disasters

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After a history of trouble with payment processors, Global Poker is set to add Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as a means of transferring money at its site. The manager of the poker room, Jonas Odman, revealed this information in an interview with CoinGeek.com.

Jonas' Remarks

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The interview, conducted by CoinGeek's Stephanie Tower, took place at the first annual CoinGeek Conference in Hong Kong on May 18. However, video of the conversation was only uploaded to YouTube on Aug. 13, so only a few devotees of the crypto-currency space really knew anything about Jonas' plans for Global Poker BCH acceptance until just recently.

The purpose of the CoinGeek Conference was to promote the adoption of Bitcoin Cash. Jonas was there to participate in a panel discussion entitled “Use Cases: New Products, Opportunities and Challenges for Using Bitcoin.”

During the interview, the following verbal exchange occurred:

STEPHANIE: Are you in the process of integrating this [Bitcoin Cash] into your business now?
JONAS: Yes, we are. We're integrating it through BitPay.

BitPay is a prominent merchant services firm that has added both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to its roster of payment channels. It also offers a BitPay Visa debit card that lets users send BCH and BTC funds to uniquely generated addresses and have the money converted to dollars, ready to spend, in their card balances.

More on Global's Crypto Deployment

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Jonas explained the reasons why Global Poker was moving forward with Bitcoin Cash adoption. He stated that the low fees and fast transaction timeframes are desirable from an operator's point of view. At the same time, consumers will appreciate the speedy withdrawals too, and Jonas revealed that his company intends to incentivize the use of Bitcoin Cash through special bonuses and promos for BCH depositors. He compared Bitcoin Cash to Neteller, the e-wallet website that was de rigueur for American online poker players during the poker boom before it blocked U.S. residents in January 2007.

Jonas Odman - Bitcoin CashJonas Odman, Global Poker Manager

Interestingly, Jonas uttered the phrase “Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash” several times throughout the discussion. This hints at the possibility that legacy Bitcoin will appear in the Global Poker cashier in addition to its forked-off descendant Bitcoin Cash. We cannot confirm for sure at this time whether or not regular BTC will be supported at Global nor if it will appear at the same time as BCH will.

More Reasons for Adding BCH

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Plenty of online gaming entities have begun to accept digital coins, like Bitcoin Cash, as a way of expanding their cashier options. In Global Poker's case, it has more motivation than most for jumping on the crypto-currency bandwagon.

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Global used to transact through PayPal, a rarity in the U.S.A. online poker scene. PayPal eschews gambling transactions and prohibits its American customers from employing its services for the purpose of real money gaming. Ever since it opened its doors in February 2017, Global has claimed that its unique sweepstakes poker offering meant that its product was not a form of illicit gambling. The company stated that its business model had the full approval of PayPal.

Troubles With PayPal

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However, there were indications that not all was right with the way Global was doing things. There were occasional disputes involving thousands of dollars where the money seemingly disappeared with Global and PayPal each denying responsibility. Furthermore, several users who made inquiries at PayPal about their transactions were given bogus shipping information that Global Poker allegedly supplied to confirm “delivery” of its product: a clear impossibility with regard to online poker.

Man Delivering Packages“I've got a delivery here from Global Poker”
“1 x online poker room, new, and...1 x luckbox, slightly used

In the middle of June 2018, Global started transitioning some of its customers over to Worldpay credit card deposits and bank transfer withdrawals. These players had no choice in the matter; PayPal no longer appeared in their cashier screens as a valid deposit and cashout method. At the end of June, Global Poker discontinued PayPal acceptance altogether and moved all users over to the new Worldpay system.

Logo of Worldpay

It's not clear exactly why this occurred, and Global Poker has been pretty tight-lipped about the change. We suspect, though, that the abandonment of PayPal by Global was not a decision of the poker organization but was rather instigated by PayPal itself. The e-wallet service probably scrutinized Global's operations carefully and came to the conclusion that – sweepstakes rationales notwithstanding – the poker site was hosting what were effectively real money poker cash games and tournaments.

Worldpay Leaves Consumers Dissatisfied

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Players who had gotten used to same-day online poker payouts (sometimes next-day) from PayPal were disappointed in the new Worldpay withdrawals. You see, they sometimes take more than a week to get from Global Poker into customers' bank accounts. Moreover, there are those who don't want to receive money from poker into their banks either because they don't have bank accounts or because they simply wish to keep their internet gaming funds separate from their day-to-day monetary reserves.

There have been reports of other issues with Worldpay at Global. Delays in verifying bank account documents, declined credit card purchases, and bank transfers that never hit the recipients' bank accounts have all been reported on popular poker forums.

It's no wonder that Global now intends to conduct business through crypto coins. This would allow it to reduce its dependence on third-party payment firms while keeping costs reasonable. It might also be the company's last chance to prevent users who are frustrated with payment delays from leaving in droves.

Why BCH?

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BCH has been steadily gaining adherents, especially in the online poker world, but it still lags behind its big brother BTC in both merchant acceptance and market capitalization. Some observers are therefore mystified as to why Global would wish to transact in Bitcoin Cash in preference to legacy Bitcoin. In a post on 2+2, ProfRB's own Kahntrutahn gave a very informative response to someone who was wondering about this:

Post Illuminating Why Jonas Odman Likes Bitcoin Cash so Much

Customers Speak Out

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Less than thrilled with the Worldpay cashier method, quite a few users headed online to express their views. Some called for Global to add cryptos to simplify payments as this poster did on the Twoplustwo forums:

Post Urging Global Poker to Add Cryptos

Others were not so convinced that Bitcoin at Global was such a good idea:

Twoplustwo Post Claiming BTC at Global Will Make Games Harder

Consequences

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We applaud Jonas Odman's attempts to enhance player convenience by including crypto-currency in the Global Poker cashier. At the very least, this will increase the number of payment methods available from one to two or even more.

At the same time, we can't help but note that the removal of PayPal and addition of BCH and maybe BTC will make Global just another U.S.-facing poker room. There are already tons of American-friendly internet poker sites that deal in crypto-currency whereas Global was really the only prominent one that used PayPal.

The entire value of its much-lauded sweepstakes poker setup is also now in doubt. When it served as a mechanism for getting around the normal PayPal restrictions on gambling transactions, it perhaps had some utility. Now that PayPal is gone from the scene, it doesn't appear that either Global itself or its user base derives any advantage from the sweepstakes model, so it has become basically irrelevant as a way of attracting player traffic. We can't really go into all the details of Global's sweepstakes justifications here, but you can peruse our comprehensive Global Poker review if you're curious about how exactly this arrangement works.

Conclusion

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The bottom line is that Global offers very few advantages to online poker fans these days. You can find sites with higher player liquidity, better sign up bonuses than Global's $2 no deposit deal, superior software, flat-rate rakeback deals, and a wider variety of game types depending on what's most important to you. Global, despite its name, doesn't even do business around the world but rather only pays winnings out to Americans and Canadians. So it doesn't even offer the element, standard at U.S. online poker destinations, of being able to match your skills against individuals from across the globe.

If you're an American in search of a new poker home, then we have compiled a list of preferred sites for you in our U.S.A. online poker overview. If you're one of our neighbors to the north, then check out our Canadian internet poker roundup instead.

You've probably heard a lot about crypto-currency lately, and if you aren't exactly sure how to use it, then we're here to help. We've prepared thorough walkthroughs showing you, with screenshots, how to make your initial Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash purchases and start using these coins for online gaming. Crypto is really the preferred way to conduct all your online money movements because it's fast, secure, and relatively free from interference by governments and financial institutions.