While most of us are familiar with the term cryptocurrency, the actual payment method is still far from being widely accepted in the e-commerce markets. There is, however, one branch where you can freely spend your hard-mined crypto coins (and earn some more, of course), and that’s the online gambling industry. In recent years, online casino operators have become the biggest promoters of various cryptocurrencies, but Bitcoin still seems to be dominating across all known markets that accept this form of payment…
What Is Bitcoin and How Does It Work?
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency or electronic money units, designed primarily to provide users with an increased level of privacy and ensure the more secure flow of online transactions. Despite the allure of discretion and lower level of risk, Bitcoin shares quite a few traits with its first cousin, the almighty cash – it is not easy to acquire, but once you mine it, it can slip right through your fingers. As a decentralized currency, Bitcoins can be exchanged freely between the peers via the Bitcoin network, without any need of an intermediator (such as e-wallets or internet banking services).Although Bitcoin exchange will allow you to avoid the mediator, this does not mean that Bitcoin payments are unrecorded. Every transaction is documented and verified to avoid security breaches or data manipulation. This provides just the type of transparency you would hope for in an online payment system and adds an extra layer of security.
To acquire Bitcoins, a person must “mine” them, which is simpler than it may sound. There are several ways of accumulating Bitcoins:
· As payment for providing a service or merchandise: if you have something to sell, you can always opt for an alternative method of pricing and accept the payment in crypto coins rather than your local currency. The principle is pretty much the same as with any other payment tool – just download and install the Bitcoin wallet and direct your payments there;
· Another way to obtain Bitcoins would be to purchase them. You can pay for Bitcoins using e-wallets, credit cards, cash, bank transfers, etc;
· Exchange and trade – the list of community members engaged in online Bitcoin exchange and trade can be easily acquired on the Bitcoin official website;
· Enter competitive Bitcoin mining – this process is much more complicated than the other methods from the list, but it is definitely the most interesting way of collecting Bitcoins. The miners will use a special type of software to solve mathematical problems and a certain number of Bitcoins will be awarded for every completed task. Technically, you will be only investing your time to earn the Bitcoins, but is it quite so? (check out the pros and cons below for a more elaborate take on Bitcoin mining);
Bitcoin in Online Gambling
Fortunately for most of us, one does not have to understand the complex algorithms behind the Bitcoin system to use the currency. It is, however, important to understand the basics, especially if you are planning on utilizing the method on a daily basis, for depositing and wagering in Bitcoin casinos. Not so long ago, finding an online casino operator that includes Bitcoin on its list of accepted payment methods was just as difficult as mining the coins – if not harder. The things have rapidly changed in the past couple of years, and nowadays you will find online casinos with a whole spectrum of cryptocurrency payment options – Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin…
The reason for such a sudden change is the undefined status of online gambling, and while there are states that have already resolved the legality of internet gaming, there are still those that leave this form of gambling in the grey area. This makes it extremely difficult for the players to find a suitable depositing method – without the clearly defined terms that would categorize the online gambling as legal, payment service providers are likely to decline the transaction and thus prevent you from funding your casino cashier.
Bitcoin casinos are a perfect solution for all those who enjoy the thrill of online gambling but struggle to find a reliable and discreet payment method. The USA casino operators are particularly inclined to include Bitcoin as a payment method as most of the states are still in the processing of legalizing sports betting and defining the legal terms of internet gambling.
Apart from adding Bitcoin to other popular payment solutions, some operators go as far as to launch Bitcoin only platforms, dedicated solely to this cryptocurrency. The popularity of Bitcoin has become so vast that the lack of it is already being considered as a serious drawback, and you will find that plenty of casino reviews list the omission of Bitcoin as a major disadvantage.
Bitcoin Online Casinos Bonuses
As already mentioned, Bitcoin casinos can be divided into two types – those that only accept Bitcoin deposits and those that include Bitcoin as one of the payment solutions. Most operators will even feature a separate welcome bonus offers and short-term promotions reserved specifically for Bitcoin depositors.
The terms of these bonuses are no different from standard promotions – to claim them, the players will have to register an account with the selected Bitcoin casino, define the payment option, submit the deposit (the minimum amount will be displayed in _), opt-in for the bonus, and the Bitcoin bonus cash will be loaded on their accounts.
The entire process is pretty much the same as with any other payment and withdrawal transaction, with one significant difference – the level of anonymity that can be achieved with Bitcoin wallet is unparalleled, and if it is discretion that you seek, no other method will come close to this cryptocurrency. Which brings us to the next chapter – the ups and downs of using Bitcoin for your everyday gambling escapades.
The Advantages & Disadvantages of Gambling with Bitcoin
· Payment speed – eliminating the third party from the transaction increases the processing time and Bitcoin withdrawals, unlike the payouts directed to alternative channels, are processed immediately;
· Flexible fees – usually, Bitcoin online casino operators do not charge any fees, but the payment service provider might charge the transaction fee. Bitcoin enables the users to select the commission percentage, which is unrelated to the actual amount one is transferring;
· Lower risk rate – Bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed which makes them a much safer option for the merchants. The risk of losses caused by dishonest chargeback is, therefore, eliminated;
· Security – those that give advantage to Bitcoin are perfectly free to roam the online gambling realms without disclosing any of their personal information. This means that your identity cannot be stolen and that all of your activities remain private;
· Neutral transactions – as stated, Bitcoin transactions are recorded on the blockchain, and outside the control of a single individual or an entity;
As we all know, no method is perfect, and Bitcoin has room for improvement. The mains shortcomings of the method are:
· Low acceptance degree – although developed in 2007, Bitcoin is far from being widely accepted;
· Volatility – the value of circulating coins and the total number of business that use Bitcoin is constantly changing, which, consequently, affects the price;
· Work in progress – Bitcoin software is still in its development stage, and the full potential is yet to be discovered;
· Time-consuming – mining for Bitcoins can last for hours and the electricity bill will reflect all the time you have spent in front of your computer…