Switching from conventional multi-currency gambling websites to bitcoin-only sites might seem a bit daunting, but it can also be a lucrative opportunity. There are a range of pros and cons that users should consider before signing up, especially now that bitcoin gambling sites are becoming increasingly competitive and more top online casinos are accepting the digital currency.
What are Bitcoins?
Bitcoins are a cryptocurrency, or virtual money with a value that is dictated by supply and demand unconnected to any single country or government. A maximum of 21 million bitcoins can be in existence at any one time – once “mined”, they can be bought or sold on bitcoin exchanges, and used to purchase or play on selected websites.
Can You Gamble Online with Bitcoins?
Yes! Gambling online with bitcoin is actually becoming a popular form of gambling thanks to the security bitcoin transactions can bring as well as the digital nature of the cryptocurrency which transitions nicely into online gambling payments. Players can not only enjoy Bitcoin Casinos, online casinos dedicated to bitcoin gambling, but can now use the currency at traditional online casinos as well.
Thanks to partnerships with eWallets like NETELLER, non-bitcoin casinos are now able to offer the cryptocurrency as a depositing option. NetBet was the first ever UK-based online casino to offer bitcoin services (which they did through ‘bitcoin by NETELLER’) but many experts believe they are just a tip of the iceberg as more top casinos are expected to join in offering bitcoin.
How Do You Buy Bitcoins?
Buying bitcoins is considered the easiest way to procure the valued crytocurrency as opposed to mining it yourself. First players must create a ‘wallet address’ with most popular bitcoin softwares offering the service. Once you’ve located your ‘bitcoin address’, players must choose a bitcoin exchange or bitcoin trade market to use.
Once you’ve selected and signed up for an exchange, you can begin transferring money to your exchange bank account. Once money is deposited, players can choose to ‘Buy’ or ‘Trade’ the bitcoins, depending on what they are looking to do. The pricing will always vary depending on supply and demand. Once the bitcoins are purchased, players can transfer your bitcoins from the bitcoin exchange to their wallets.
Can You Get Bitcoins for Free?
Yes, players can get bitcoins of free to use at online casinos but, unfortunately, getting a hold of these “free” bitcoins can be a bit daunting. Bitcoins can not only be bought and sold like traditional currencies, they can also be “mined.” Mining for bitcoins means gathering bitcoins using a combination of your own software computing power and the Block Chain.
Mining for bitcoins avoids the need to purchase them so “free” is the right term, but finding success while mining is as tough as mining for gold in the early Western expansion of the US and for the same reason: competition. Thanks to heavy competition from quality miners across the web, mining for bitcoins is not a task for amateurs.
What are Bitcoin Deposit and Cashout Options?
Bitcoins can be stored in two ways: software using a cloud or software you download. Among these two forms of storage exist a wealth of services dedicated to depositing and withdrawing bitcoins, specifically to and from online gambling sites. So those hoping to use bitcoin while gambling won’t be limited to just one deposit or cashout option.
Software like BlockChain or GreenAddress store them in a cloud, in a similar way to PayPal or NETELLER and are considered the most popular forms of bitcoin storage. Software like Electrum or Darkwallet is downloaded onto your computer, and the coins are stored on your hard drive. This software tends to be more secure.
Are Bitcoin Transactions Faster?
Although you can’t use a bank account, credit card or cheque, avoiding the conventional banking system means transactions are faster. Using conventional currency, cashouts can take days, and cheque deposits up to a week. Bitcoin transactions are usually complete within minutes.
Does Bitcoin Gambling Have Transaction Costs?
Bitcoin casinos have no transaction costs. All transfers are peer-to-peer, so there are no middlemen to pay. Multi-currency casinos often make charges to deposit or withdraw using a credit card, and the providers themselves may have fees. The same can be true for e-Wallets and banks.
Why are Bitcoin Prices so Volatile?
Some Bitcoin casinos claim they are immune to economic turmoil because they are a virtual currency, but it is true that their value can fluctuate following major events; after the collapse of trading platform Mt Gox, for example. It should be noted that some multi-currency online casinos only accept deposits and withdrawals in selected currencies, which can make exchange rates and conversion fees a costly additional consideration.
Is Bitcoin Gambling Safe?
Depending who you talk to, bitcoin gambling is the safest option. Under conventional banking systems, powerful bodies maintain advanced security systems. There are also insurance systems in place, and secure middlemen like PayPal who guarantee funds.
Yet bitcoin gambling websites argue that cryptocurrency transfers are more secure because they are anonymous, peer-to-peer transactions. When funds are transferred, a security certificate between the two parties is generated and approved by virtual software.
In contrast, forms containing personal data and credit cards details can be hacked, and used to steal funds. This is where the preference of security comes in; some players may prefer the security yet familiarity of traditional payment methods while others are looking to protect their identity at any cost.
Is Bitcoin Gambling Legal and Regulated?
Whether you are considering a multi-currency site that accepts bitcoin or a bitcoin-only gambling site, it is vital to check that it is licensed in the jurisdiction you’re playing from, which has been required since November 2014 in the UK. Ensuring the validity of a bitcoin gambling site’s regulation is vital.
Licensed websites in the UK usually display the Gambling Commission logo on their footer. Most gambling websites also regularly commission independent testing companies like eCOGRA or GLI to confirm that the random number generators in their games are fair, and to assess their return to player percentages. Ensure that the bitcoin gambling site you choose carries these tests out.
Bitcoin-only websites can operate from anywhere in the world, so it’s not always immediately obvious where they are based. Some bitcoin casinos can be licensed outside of the UK, which may be at odds with your local laws, so it pays to check. Fortunately, thanks to it’s digital nature, bitcoin is usually accessible from most common gambling jurisdictions.