Bitcoin is the internet’s number one virtual currency, and there are now a number of online casinos that accept it.
This article will give you a peek into Bitcoin’s past, explain ways to obtain and manage the currency and reveal the pros and cons of Bitcoin casinos.
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Here is a break down of what each casino that offers Bitcoin as a payment option can provide you with:
Unveiled as a peer-to-peer payment method by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Bitcoin’s popularity (along with its price) has soared over the past few years.
Bitcoins can be obtained by ‘mining’ (an intensive high-tech process where the miner is rewarded for payment processing) or in exchange for standard currency, products or services. Users can send and receive Bitcoins through e-wallet services such as Bitcoin Core and Multibit.
In its infancy, Bitcoin was much maligned for its use in the purchase of illicit goods and services on platforms such as Silk Road and other deep web black markets. But now, international governments are starting to recognise its legitimacy, and countries such as Canada and the USA are taking steps to legalise and regulate its use.
How to gamble with Bitcoin
Why play at a Bitcoin casino?
In times of economic uncertainty and volatile currency rates, Bitcoin seems to retain its security and value. This is because it is free from bank and government interference.
Exchange rate protection
Both players and operators benefit from Bitcoin casinos, as there is no exchange rate risk. Bitcoin transactions are seamless and come with a tiny payment processing fee of 0.0031%, which translate into quick, same-day cash-outs for players. Credit card transactions typically come with a 2-3% processing fee for the merchant – a cost that is usually passed on to the customer.
Dodging regional restrictions
Bitcoin casinos are also extremely popular with American players. This is because the current restrictions on the iGaming market in the States only apply to financial transactions conducted to and from the USA. Because Bitcoin is not officially recognised as a currency, Americans can play freely with Bitcoin without interference from the US government.
You do not need to enter any personal or banking information when registering at a Bitcoin casino. Typically, you will only require a username and password. In addition to opening up the Bitcoin market to territories that are excluded from traditional online gambling, this is a major plus for players who are conscious of their personal security and privacy.
On the whole, Bitcoin casinos provide far more favourable odds and pay-outs than their real-money counterparts. Online slots pay-outs often stand at the 99% mark, for example. This is probably the biggest draw for experienced online players.
The downsides of Bitcoin casinos
It’s not all sunshine and roses in the world of Bitcoin gambling, however. The semi-underground nature of Bitcoin iGaming presents a number of risks that you need to be aware of.
Safety and transparency
There is no regulatory body that currency oversees the Bitcoin casino market. Consequently, there is no absolute way of knowing that the RNG software behind the games on offer at Bitcoin casinos is fair. Additionally, many Bitcoin casinos have a tendency of providing hacked and unlicensed games to their customer.
Typically, the quality and variety of games at Bitcoin casinos is fairly limited. This is because there are only a small number of software developers who build Bitcoin-compatible software. However, the library of games at Bitcoin casinos is increasingly steadily as the market gains momentum.
Lack of bonuses
Bitcoin casinos do not currently provide the kind of offers and bonuses available at real money casino websites. Also, Bitcoin websites do not run loyalty or comp schemes.
Obviously, in order to enjoy the fruits of your wins, you need to convert your Bitcoins into cash. This means selling to one of the many Bitcoin brokers on the market, which is time consuming, can incur additional fees (depending on your payment method) and places you at the mercy of the going rate for Bitcoins.
How to fund your casino account using Bitcoin
First of all, you will need a Bitcoin wallet in which you can keep your Bitcoins. There are two types of wallet – software and cloud. A software wallet is a program that you keep on your PC to keep your Bitcoins safe. A cloud wallet is a wallet where your Bitcoins are stored online. Cloud wallets offer more convenience, plus you don’t run the risk of losing your Bitcoins if your PC malfunctions. For this walk-through, we are going to use a cloud wallet created via Blockchain.info. We start the process by creating our wallet.
Here we just need to enter a valid an email address, and set a password. Passwords for Bitcoin wallets usually have to be very long and very complex. This is to prevent hackers from stealing your Bitcoins.
Once you’ve completed the registration process, your Bitcoin wallet will be ready to use. Your Bitcoin wallet has an address – a long string of random characters and numbers that other people can use to send Bitcoins to you.
Now you have a wallet, you’ll need to get some Bitcoins to put in it!
There are lots of way you can get Bitcoins – by trading for them, or just by outright buying them. Here we are going to use one of the simplest methods – Bittylicious. All you need to buy Bitcoins via Bittylicious is a bank account that allows fast bank transfers, an email address and your Bitcoin wallet address. Enter the latter two and the amount of Bitcoins you want to buy – here we are buying 0.005 Bitcoins, or five millibits.
Once you start the transaction, you will have a certain amount of time to complete it. You will need to log on to your online banking facility and transfer the amount of your own currency as necessary to the sort code and bank account number provided. You will also be given a reference code to send as the reference for the transaction – this will enable your Bitcoin transaction to be identified. Once all is okay, the transaction will take place. Most Bitcoin transactions are completed within a few seconds, but they can take up to an hour in exceptional circumstances.
When the transaction is complete your Bitcoins will appear in your Bitcoin wallet.
Now you will need to log on to your favorite online casino that accepts Bitcoins, and transfer the Bitcoins to your casino account. Go the casino’s ‘Cashier’ section. They will give you a Bitcoin address. This is the address of the casino’s Bitcoin wallet. You use this address to transfer your Bitcoins from your wallet to the Casino. This is as easy as sending normal currency via PayPal – you just use the casino’s Bitcoin wallet’s address instead of an email address..
Once you have completed the transaction, your Bitcoins will appear in your casino account. You may notice a change in their value – this is because the value of Bitcoins constantly fluctuates, and small amounts increase or decrease in value especially.
You can now use your Bitcoin balance to play your favourite casino games. Withdrawing to your Bitcoin wallet is very easy – you just give the casino the address of your Bitcoin wallet and the amount of Bitcoins you wish to withdraw. Most Bitcoin withdrawals are transacted instantaneously.
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