What is Bitcoin?
As the world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin was established in 2009 by an anonymous person or group of people going by the name Satoshi Nakatomo. Nakatomo “mined” the first Bitcoin blockchain on January 3 that year, and an open source Bitcoin was released later on January 9.
Bitcoin is a digital currency, meaning that it only exists electronically. As such, it is exchanged through a “peer to peer” network between one BTC user and another. A global blockchain keeps track of individual “wallets” as well as every Bitcoin transaction that has ever taken place. Hundreds of people manage the blockchain to ensure accuracy and transparency.
Obtaining Bitcoins to Gamble With
Before you can gamble with BTC, you will first need to create a wallet. To do this, visit bitcoin.org and click on wallet. Enter some basic information and you’ll be all set.
Next you will need to acquire some Bitcoins. You can do that by purchasing them on the exchange or by having someone else with a Bitcoin wallet send you some. If you have an online business, you can even accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
Bitcoin mining can earn you some free Bitcoins. Miners are the “backbone” of the BTC network, and verify every transaction that takes place in the blockchain. They are rewarded for their efforts with Bitcoin payments. To perform mining, you will need access to a cloud-mining program such as Hashflare, Genesis, or Minex. Keep in mind that many of these programs come with their own fees. In essence, this means that “mining” can actual become something of a gamble in itself.
Placing Wagers at an Online Casino
Before placing any bets, you will first need to see if your casino accepts Bitcoin. The good news is that more and more gaming sites are recognizing BTC as a valid payment option, so you should have no trouble locating one that accepts it. In addition, there are several online casinos that accept cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin exclusively. This means you may have even more gambling options than you would with more traditional payment methods.
Upon determining that your casino accepts Bitcoin, you will then need to make a deposit. Remember that with BTC, this is only done from one wallet to another. Hence, your casino will give you a wallet number to use when making your deposit. Miners will then record your wager in the blockchain, and you can begin gambling. When withdrawing funds, you will provide the gaming site with your wallet number, and the money will be sent directly to it. You will have access to your funds almost immediately.
Cautions when Gambling Online
In its earliest days, many people were hesitant to accept Bitcoin or any other form of cryptocurrency. However, Bitcoin is more widely accepted these days and is therefore a trusted payment method at many online casinos. Unfortunately, it is also accepted at many rogue casinos as well.
Vetting a casino is always important, especially when an operator accepts only cryptocurrency. Before placing any bets, you should verify that your gaming site has the appropriate license for its jurisdiction. Read online reviews and check with the appropriate gambling jurisdiction to see if there are any complaints. Only when you are comfortable with a site’s business practices should you proceed with making wagers.
Advice for US Players
In 2006, the United States passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This law did not outlaw online gambling, but it did prohibit banks from processing transactions with mobile casinos. As a result, many gaming sites stopped accepting US players altogether.
In recent years, the U.S. Justice Department has doubled down on the notion that accepting American currency in online casinos is illegal. Since Bitcoin is not actually distributed by the U.S. Government, many players feel it is an exception to that rule. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has disagreed, going after many Bitcoin casinos and shutting them down. As a result, many crypto-only gaming operators now block US-based players as well.
Whether or not US players can gamble with Bitcoin remains a gray area. As such, anyone in the United States should be aware that using Bitcoin at an online casino could violate federal laws.
Advantages of Gambling with Bitcoin
When you make a casino deposit using Bitcoin, your funds will be available almost immediately. You can make a bet right away without the time lag that is often associated with bank transfers.
Cryptocurrency is one of the safest methods for making online transactions, since it is not tied to any bank account. All you need to provide is your wallet number in order to get started.
Fraud is almost unheard of when using Bitcoin. Accordingly, anyone who worries about their financial information being hacked may want to consider it.
Disadvantages of Using Bitcoin at Online Casinos
The price of Bitcoin can fluctuate rapidly. The currency has noticed significant drops in as little as two hours. So if there is a time lag between winning and cashing out, you could lose significant amounts of money if the rates fluctuate.
After making a BTC deposit, you are unable to get it back unless the receiver personally returns it. This means that gamblers would have to contact the online casino directly if they wanted a refund. Not all gaming sites make their contact information transparent, so getting in touch with someone could be rather difficult.
The nature of Bitcoin makes it impossible to re-create. In fact, only 21 million BTC can ever be produced. For now, there are plenty of Bitcoins to gamble with; however, it is uncertain what will happen once no more Bitcoins are being produced.
Bitcoin is a safe payment method that many reputable gaming sites are happy to accept. Even so, an equal number of rogue casinos also accept BTC because they believe it will help them bypass certain laws. Before gambling with cryptocurrency, you should know its limitations and play only on reputable sites. Always know what the gambling laws are in your country, and avoid using Bitcoin to circumvent them. BTC can be a reliable payment method so long as you use it responsibly.