When it was first introduced in 2008, few people outside of the insular community surrounding the digital payment system took Bitcoin seriously. But within a few years, the cryptocurrency had become an important way for users to make purchases and exchange funds online. The decentralized nature of the asset has made this a somewhat anonymous way of processing financial transactions, something that has made it attractive to many users around the world.
One of the biggest areas in which this cryptocurrency could make an impact is in the world of online gambling. This is especially true for many players who want to sign up at Internet casinos, but either do not want to share their financial details, do not own a bank account or credit cards, or live in a jurisdiction, such as the United States, where online casino transactions are difficult to process. While the majority of gaming sites still do not accept this payment method, the number is growing rapidly, making it an excellent alternative to more traditional deposit options.
In order to make online gambling deposits or other purchases with Bitcoin, you will first need to set up a digital wallet. There are many online wallet sites that can help you with this process, giving you a place where you can easily see how much of the currency you own. Some of the most common include sites like Coinbase and Circle. These sites can not only set up a wallet, but also help you buy or sell coins using the currency of your choice.
Once you’ve purchased the amount of digital currency you’ll need, it’s time to visit a casino that accepts Bitcoins. Many such sites now exist, with more and more adding this option every month. Simply head into the cashier section of the casino, and you’ll see Bitcoin listed among the offered deposit methods. Select it, and you will typically be given a wallet address for the gambling site in question. Now, you can go back into your digital wallet (there will usually be a button in the deposit process that helps you do this), paste in the address, and authorize the transfer of funds to the site. It may take up to a few minutes for the deposit to be processed, after which you’ll see the amount added to your account, ready to be used for real money play.
Playing with virtual cash may seem like an unusual concept if it isn’t something you’ve considered before, but there are actually many advantages to doing so. In fact, many of the things that have made Bitcoin popular in the first place are particularly useful for gamblers, making this a natural fit in the gaming industry.
For one thing, payments made with a cryptocurrency are virtually anonymous. It’s certainly possible for a wallet address to be connected to an individual: if you use the same address regularly, it will become associated with you, even if only unofficially. But individual transactions do not have a name attached to them, so unless someone is trying rather hard to connect the dots, it is virtually impossible to tell that you’ve been putting money into a gaming site. And if anonymity is a major concern for you, it is quite possible to change addresses or take other steps to further protect your identity when transferring funds.
Bitcoin casinos can also operate freely in many areas where gambling is otherwise prohibited, or where the government has attempted to prevent transactions from being processed to casino sites. Because Bitcoin does not operate through the standard banking systems, it cannot be regulated anywhere near as easily as a fiat currency. And since no central bank has control over it, there is a certain sense of value in each coin that can never be devalued. In addition, there are virtually no transaction costs when processing payments; even when they do exist and sites do not pick them up for players (which is extremely rare), they tend to be the equivalent of a few cents in US dollars.
Another great plus to using these sites is that their games can often be described as “provably fair.” These games use cryptographic algorithms that can then be verified after a bet to ensure that the results of each spin, hand, or roll of the dice were legitimately arrived at through a random process. Often, a button is available right on screen allowing you to do this verification by itself. While this isn’t necessarily a feature that has to be attached to the hip with Bitcoin gaming, the two concepts have become strongly intertwined – perhaps because users of the currency have a strong interest in the cryptographic origins of it as well.
Believe it or not, almost every type of casino game imaginable can now be played online using bitcoin instead of the more traditional currencies that have been used almost exclusively up until now. The availability of games can vary largely from site to site, but most of the mainstream sites will offer games such as slots, video poker, and of course table games like blackjack as well. If you enjoy other forms of gambling, it’s not uncommon to encounter sites that offer sportsbetting, bingo, and other specialty games that you can play with bitcoin too. In all honesty, you really shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to play all of your favorite games with bitcoin, but we’ve put together some game-specific guides below that will help steer you in the right direction should you be interested in a particular type of game.
Despite these advantages, there are some reasons to be at least a little cautious when playing on Bitcoin sites. While most players are likely to have an excellent experience, it’s worth understanding the risks that come when venturing into new territory.
First, you’ll recall that we mentioned the lack of a central bank or agency that controls the value of Bitcoin. In a theoretical sense, this offers protection to those who hold the currency: nobody can intentionally devalue it, as there’s no way to introduce more coins into the money supply.
However, it’s also true that while digital products like this one are used as currencies, in a practical sense, they often behave a lot more like commodities. The value of a single BTC can vary tremendously from day to day, and in real world terms, has proven to be much more volatile than any trusted fiat currency. This means that the value of your digital portfolio has the potential to change dramatically overnight: some bad news about a collapsing exchange could cause your coins to plummet in value, but word of major retailers accepting it in stores could instead see your fortunes increase instantly.
The sites that run using Bitcoin can sometimes also be a source of danger. The Bitcoin casinos we recommend have been in operation for a while and are trusted to offer strong service and fair games. However, with so many new users and numerous operators popping up trying to offer real money play for them, it is inevitable that some rogue operations will pop up as well. To make matters more confusing, many sites in this part of the industry operate without official regulation or oversight; this can give players less recourse if there is a problem with a given operator.
Because of these issues, it is important to be diligent when choosing an Internet betting site. Rather than just picking one at random, look for those that come recommended by us or other trusted review sites, and stick to those that have proven themselves to be reliable in the past. Likewise be sure to choose one that has a gaming license from a recognised licensing jurisdiction.
Other drawbacks tend to be minor inconveniences at worst. For instance, you may find that there are some delays when processing payments using this method. This isn’t typically a problem for smaller transactions; however, larger amounts may take longer to process, as “miners” must verify transactions through the blockchain: the bigger the transaction, the longer the potential wait. For withdrawals, you’ll pretty much always have to wait for this verification before you see your money; for deposits, some sites will instantly add the funds to your account even before actually being certain that the transaction has gone through. In any case, the wait times are usually rather short: typically a matter of minutes rather than hours or days.
However, while the transaction might take a while to confirm on the Blockchain there is no doubt that Bitcoin sites are the fastest paying casinos on the planet bar none.
Although there are many cryptocurrencies being used today, this is by far the most popular and is accepted at more sites than any other. That said, it is far from a universally-accepted payment method. There are now many gambling sites that accept this form of payment, but there are also many that do not; if you do not see a site listed as a Bitcoin casino, chances are that – at least for now – it doesn’t accept this virtual currency.
One of the great things about this deposit option is that it can be used from absolutely anywhere. Because it is a decentralized system, it does not operate from a particular country; the network truly covers the globe, and anyone who wishes to use it simply needs to set up a wallet. Even if you are in a jurisdiction where very few banking options seem to work for you, this should be one that can be relied about no matter where you live.
With the explosion in popularity that Bitcoin gambling has seen recently, specific software platforms have sprung up just to handle gaming using the currency. While once gamblers who wanted to play in BTC were forced to play on older, proprietary software that was at best clunky and at worst unreliable, there are now a number of platforms that are built to handle bets in this and other digital currencies, many of which can also handle wagering with traditional, fiat currencies as well.
Perhaps the most famous of these is SoftSwiss. The company was already in the business of offering up both white label and turnkey software solutions for operators who wanted to open new Internet casinos, but they are now also one of the leaders in Bitcoin-centric sites as well. They offer a package that comes with provably fair gaming and complete anonymity for players, as well as the ability to process exchanges into numerous currencies. Some of the better known Softswiss powered sites include Betchain and Bitstarz.
Similarly, CoinGaming has emerged as an easy solution for operators who want to quickly set up a trustworthy, working, and fun Bitcoin casino. A combination of classic Internet games and live dealer software provides owners with more than 250 games, all of which can be played in BTC. As a member of the Bitcoin Foundation, CoinGaming is a trusted member of the community that has sprung up around the currency, and their gaming license in Curacao has given them legitimacy in the world of betting as well. The company's flagship brand is Bitcasino.io.
While those may be the most famous providers of software specifically designed to handle the currency, other companies have jumped into this realm as well. Other brands, such as the Bulgarian company Ultraplay, have also begun to offer solutions that allow for all play to be handled in BTC (or mBTC, a smaller denomination of the same currency). Meanwhile, many mainstream software providers also offer games at Bitcoin casino sites, including big names like Microgaming, NetEnt, RTG and PlaynGo, among others.
While some sites are designed from the ground up to only use Bitcoin, there are also more flexible options out there if you aren’t looking to do all of your play using the currency. Many traditional online casinos have begun to accept this as one of their many deposit and withdrawal options without actually changing the entire site over to a BTC system. This provides players with the flexibility to use Bitcoin without forcing users to stick with it all the time.
Even at sites that are completely built around cryptocurrencies, you might find that you aren’t entirely required to play strictly in Bitcoin. Some sites support a number of different digital payment systems, allowing you to make transfers between the various currencies and play in any you choose. While none of these are as popular as Bitcoin itself, you will find that some sites offer play in Litecoin, Dogecoin, Peercoin, Ethereum or other cryptocurrencies that have a fairly broad following as well.
When Was Bitcoin Created?
The invention of this currency was first announced in October 2008, and it was released into circulation in early 2009. The creator is known as Satoshi Nakamoto, though it is unclear whether this is a single person or a group of developers, or whether this is a pseudonym. The transaction method soon picked up support among programmers and creators of previous projects that had similar aims.
Are There Any Fees for Depositing?
From what we’ve found, most (if not all) sites charge no fees for making deposits with Bitcoin. The system does allow for transaction fees – as they give incentive for others to process payments faster – but gaming sites rarely if ever ask you for additional funds. In general, the processing cost of a transaction tends to be 0.0001 BTC: virtually unnoticeable for a deposit or withdrawal of any size.
Can This Be Used for Withdrawals?
Many sites do also offer cash outs using this virtual currency. However, this is not completely universal: in some cases, you may see this as a deposit option, but not listed as an option when withdrawing your funds.
Is Bitcoin Safe and Secure?
Yes, provided you are reasonably careful with your funds. As with cash, you will want to keep an eye on your information: the private keys linked to your currency will allow it to be spent, whether by you or someone else. That means that these keys should be treated like cash, much as you would with prepaid cards and voucher programs.
How Does This Method Protect My Privacy?
Because transactions are only connected to addresses and keys, and not to names or other identifiers, it is very difficult to connect any payment back to you (or anyone else). You will not receive any bills or statements for any transactions made in this way, either. If users desire even more privacy, they may change wallet addresses or use other services designed to further mask their activity.
What Kind of Software Can I Play On?
The quality of software at Bitcoin casinos can vary tremendously. Some sites still use proprietary software that was hastily assembled for betting use by the operator themselves, but most new BTC gaming sites are set up with complete solutions provided by one of a number of major providers. Some of the most notable platforms include those created by SoftSwiss and CoinGaming, though others may use games provided by a wide variety of developers.
Do I Have to Play Completely In Bitcoin?
Not necessarily, though this varies depending on exactly where you choose to play. At many websites, the cryptocurrency will be included as just one of many different deposit and withdrawal methods, and you’ll be able to use a variety of government-backed currencies as well, such as American Dollars, British Pounds, Euros, and more. In other cases, you may be asked to play completely in BTC, though deposits and withdrawals in fiat currencies may be offered. Other sites may allow for a variety of digital monetary systems, but will not support fiat money.
Are These Sites Fair?
In a general sense, these sites have the same basic level of fairness as any trustworthy Internet casino. Many of them are audited by the same testing labs that certify other operators as fair, providing players with assurance that the games they play are truly random, secure, and honest.
However, some of these sites also come with an additional layer of protection, as their games are provably fair. In these cases, players can actually see the seeding information used to determine the results of each bet, and can thus recreate the conditions of their hand or spin in order to see that the results they were presented with were completely legitimate.