Since it was first launched back in January 2009, Bitcoin has grown considerably. It wasn’t until 2011 that the first business, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, began accepting Bitcoins. This was followed by other businesses and organisations such as WikiLeaks and WordPress. By February 2013, the digital currency exchange Coinbase reported selling $1 million worth of Bitcoins over a single month. In the following years, more businesses began investing into Bitcoin including Zynga, Newegg, Dell and online game retailer Steam.
As more and more businesses began to accept Bitcoin and after Japan and Russia legalised the usage of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin experienced a boom in which it repeatedly reached new highs between March 2017 and December 2017. All of this led online casinos to add Bitcoin as a valid payment method to their portfolio.
The Advantages Of Bitcoin Gambling
There are various reasons why people are now choosing to gamble with Bitcoin. Firstly, because Bitcoin does not have a central bank, you generally do not need to pay any fees, unlike other major payment options. However, some Bitcoin casinos may still charge you (small) fees for faster processing or for converting the currency into fiat money such as euros, pounds or dollars.
One of the biggest appeals regarding Bitcoin is that it gives you privacy since your personal details are not visible to third-parties, protecting you from identity theft. In fact, the only visible details are the address of your Bitcoin wallet and its balance. What’s more, there can be no chargebacks as users cannot reverse transactions; when Bitcoins are sent, they’re gone. However, this can also be a drawback because you’re unable to retrieve your money if you send it to an untrustworthy user or business.
Bitcoin transactions can be relatively fast but the time it takes for the transaction to complete depends on the number of transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain as they need to be processed by miners. Generally speaking, the transaction can be seen after around 10-15 minutes but can take up to an hour, and possibly more, before it’s confirmed and fully processed. While this takes much longer than other deposit methods such as debit or credit cards, which are usually transferred within minutes, it’s much faster for withdrawals. For example, debit and credit cards can take up from three to five days to reach you but Bitcoins, following the same procedure laid out above, will generally be available after an hour, though this still isn’t as fast as e-Wallet payments such as Skrill and Neteller. Those are often processed in real-time.
The Downside Of Bitcoin Casinos
Most Bitcoin casinos do not possess a solid gambling license which means you risk playing at an unsafe website where you can lose money on games that are not fair to the player. In some casinos, you may never receive winnings from the operator and if this happens, there’s little you can do as most of these casinos reside in tax havens and territories that are outside the jurisdiction of your home country. Their lack of a proper licensing means that most of these sites cannot offer their services to people in the UK legally, creating a lack of Bitcoin casinos. At the time of writing, there are under 10 sites that accept Bitcoin in the UK, which means British gamers have less choice and may find it hard to discover a site that caters to their needs while also accepting the currency.
It’s also important to remember that Bitcoin is a volatile currency which means that its exchange rate can move quickly, either positively or negatively. This volatility can actually cause you to lose winnings if Bitcoin’s value plummets before you can make a withdrawal. This is also one of the reasons online casinos have begun taking the risk of accepting Bitcoin, they’re hoping that the value of Bitcoin plummets when it’s time for them to withdraw money and that the value rises after you’ve made a payment to them. This unreliability is one of the reasons why the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has proposed a ban to stop punters from betting on the cryptocurrency, and why so many online casinos have yet to accept Bitcoin.
Finding An Online Casino Accepting Bitcoin
If you want to play at an online casino and transact in Bitcoin, you will need to put some effort in first. Your the best chance is to sign up with a new casino which is attempting to attract new players as those tend to be more innovative than the established brands. Besides transaction with Bitcoin, those new casino sites tend to offer more competitive bonuses and ongoing promotions.
If you prefer playing at an online casino that has already made a name for it head over to Mansion Casino or Slots Heaven with both having introduced Bitcoin to their payment method portfolio recently.
After finding an online casino accepting it, you’ll need to register a wallet and then purchase cryptocurrency from an online exchange or via a bank transfer. From there, you can deposit Bitcoin as easily as you would with any other payment method.
Ultimately, using Bitcoin at an online casino can be risky, but its benefits mean you’re more secure and can move money faster, it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s worth using. Just remember to ensure that the online is trusted, secure, and fair.