More and more online casinos are starting to accept Bitcoin as payment, but what is it? Is it just a temporary fad or does it hail a massive shift in currency as we know it? It’s a complex area, and can be confusing for newcomers with little or no idea how Bitcoin works. In this guide, we’ll take a look at what this new cryptocurrency is, how it works, and how you can use it at online casinos instead of ‘real’ money.
+ Anonymity is a key factor. Unless you choose to publish your transaction history, your purchases will remain secret as they’re never linked to your personal details. They cannot be traced back to you, as with cash-only sales, as the anonymous address Bitcoin creates for purchases alters for every transaction you make.
+ As banks and governments have no control over Bitcoin, they cannot interrupt your transactions, charge you, or interfere with your account in any form. Bitcoin remains a peer-to-peer system, offering much more freedom than with standard currencies around the world. This also means there is no tax to pay on Bitcoin either, preventing extra costs being added to products.
+ Making wire transfers with real money at certain online casinos can lead to a charge, even modest ones, but Bitcoin’s fees tend to be much lower. You can actually access your Bitcoin account via mobile devices too, enabling you to add funds for playing at online casinos on the move or wherever you have internet access.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency created by a mysterious internet user known as Satoshi Nakamoto – who has yet to be identified successfully. Since it was launched in 2009, Bitcoin has become a transformative mode of online money management for a growing user-base. It employs decentralised technology to power secure transactions and money-storage, without any banks or even any need to give your name. Bitcoin’s more flexible, anonymous service holds considerable appeal at a time when the public trusts banks less and less. When it was first announced in an email circular, it was described as a method to liberate money just as the internet had delivered free information to the world.
Bitcoin operates on the blockchain, a decentralised public log which keeps users’ wallet IDs (preventing their real names being revealed). Buyers and sellers can conduct their business without creating a trail, as they would with traditional payment systems, and Bitcoins are kept in a user’s digital wallet; this is stored on a hard drive or cloud storage. Bitcoins are ‘mined’ (or generated) as computers solve incredibly complicated maths problems, and winners receive 25 bitcoins approximately every 10 minutes (at present). Spending Bitcoins online allows you to make payments to businesses around the world without fees or extortionate charges, as they aren’t tied to any one country or under any governmental regulations.
How Do you Make Bitcoin Deposits and Withdrawals at Online Casinos?
Making deposits and withdrawals at online casinos is quick, easy, and secure. The first time you make a deposit, you’ll need to sign into the casino and click the ‘my account’ or ‘deposit’ button located on the homepage. This will take you to your money management page, and enable you to add Bitcoins of varying amounts to your account; minimum deposits vary, but tend to range from £10 to £20. Simply select Bitcoins (or BTC) as your preferred payment method, enter the amount of funds you want to deposit, and you’ll be set.
Making withdrawals is just as simple. Go to your account, then your money management page, and request a specific amount of Bitcoins to take out. When exchanging your Bitcoin winnings into real money, though, be aware that rising or falling values can affect the overall amount you end up with. Keep your eye on the Bitcoins market to ensure you know how your winnings may alter depending on its current status.
Using Bitcoin at New Casinos
The first thing you need to do before you can start spending Bitcoins at an online casino is create your own wallet, either a blockchain (stored in the cloud), software (stored on a computer), or hardware (kept on a USB drive). The latter is a popular option, as you can keep it stored in a safe pocket on you at all times, yet cloud storage is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. You can buy Bitcoins from a number of online sites, and once these are added to your wallet, you’re good to go. This is a faster alternative to mining them instead, or can be used in combination with that.
Bitcoin is used like standard money at online casinos. You can use it to place bets of varying amounts, and claim winnings much as you have before. The selection of online casinos accepting Bitcoins as a payment option is growing, but is still somewhat limited at the time of writing. Be sure to take the time to explore the range of options available, rather than just registering for the first casino accepting Bitcoin you stumble upon.
You may be able to take advantage of a great welcome bonus, which will give you extra funds or free spins on slot games. Casinos offer bonuses to compete with each other and make their site more appealing, so shop around before you commit. Not all online casinos welcoming Bitcoins will feature the same games or be of the same quality. Using Bitcoin to fund your online gaming may seem daunting at first, but once you set up your account and give it a try, you’ll soon find yourself growing comfortable. As you can see, Bitcoin offers a number of advantages, and the process of making deposits / withdrawals from online casinos remains largely the same. You’ll get lower fees, more anonymity, and fast transfers!