Online gaming sites first began accepting Bitcoin in 2013. The famed cryptocurrency has been one of the most-popular banking options at gambling sites ever since.
Internet gaming operations have taken notice of this popularity increase, which is why more casinos accept Bitcoin than ever before. Countless online gamblers now use crypto for casino games, poker, and sports betting.
My only problem with this rising trend is that gamblers may be using Bitcoin based on false assumptions. Furthermore, some of the virtual currency’s perceived advantages aren’t actually true.
I’m going to discuss commonly touted Bitcoin gambling benefits along with why some of them are lies. I’ll also cover the actual perks of gambling with cryptocurrencies.
What Are Bitcoin’s Commonly Stated Gambling Advantages
The online gambling banking space is dominated by debit/credit cards and eWallets. You’ll also find other popular payment options, including bank transfers, prepaid cards, and wire transfers.
But for the most part, credit cards and eWallets are the preferred methods of depositing. Many gamblers find these options to be the quickest and most convenient.
Bitcoin has disrupted this, though, under the banner that it offers distinct advantages over traditional banking methods.
This cryptocurrency was first developed by an unknown person (or people) under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. His/her invention came shortly after the American financial crisis of 2007, which plunged the United States into a recession.
Nakamoto, who may or may not be alive today, developed Bitcoin to serve as a worldwide currency that’s void of banks and governments. After all, it was banks that caused the lending crisis, while the government bailed them out with taxpayer money.
But online gambling has become a surprising side use for Bitcoin. Many people use crypto for its perceived benefits, such as anonymity, no third-party involvement, quick transactions, and low fees.
These perks aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, though, and there’s only some truth to the following Bitcoin traits.
Anonymous Bitcoin Transactions
Bitcoin transactions are recorded through blockchain technology, which serves as a public ledger that anybody can see. This process makes it feel like cryptocurrency users are transparent.
But Bitcoin users are only identified by a wallet address, rather than the personal details that a credit card, eWallet, or bank transfer can provide.
Those who want to keep their internet gambling habits a secret from creditors and/or family members appreciate the alleged anonymity perk.
Lack of Involvement from Governments and Banks
Nakamoto designed Bitcoin to be used with blockchain technology so that the public — rather than banks or other financial institutions —would be behind the system.
This setup completely cuts out governments and banks from the matter. It also allows online casinos to operate without governments and financial institutions getting between them and the customer.
Anybody who’s spent days or even weeks waiting on an online casino withdrawal will be interested in Bitcoin’s transaction speed.
You can often complete deposits within 30 minutes or less. More importantly, you can look forward to receiving cashouts in as little as 15-30 minutes.
Banks, credit cards, and eWallets don’t facilitate internet gambling transactions out ofkindness. Instead, they either take a fee from transactions or charge interest (credit cards).
Bitcoin also requires fees, which go to miners for completing casino deposits or withdrawals. But these fees can be less than what traditional banking methods charge.
Why Some of Bitcoin’s Gambling Advantages Are Lies
Countless websites state the above benefits like they’re accepted facts. And I don’t completely blame these sites for spreading misinformation.
Up until the past couple of years, some of these perks were widely believed. But technology experts have recently poked holes in the alleged advantages.
It’s important that online gamblers understand what’s real and unreal with regard to Bitcoin so that they’re not using it under false assumptions. The following explains the half-truths behind some of the boasts regarding the world’s most-famous crypto.
Bitcoin Transactions Are Neither Anonymous nor Untraceable
The biggest myth surrounding Bitcoin is that it’s anonymous and untraceable. But those who rely on Bitcoin for its anonymity will be severely disappointed.
Cybersecurity researchers have found that merchants regularly leak data regarding cryptocurrency purchases. This practice leaves a link to anybody who makes crypto transactions.
A team at the University of Luxembourg found that Bitcoin’s anonymity can be broken through IP address nodes and tracking payments.
Some people use programs like Dark Wallets and tumblers (mixes crypto transactions) to protect their identities. U of Luxembourg researchers found that these methods can further protect privacy, but they’re still not bulletproof.
This process is difficult to do in theory. But if a family member combed through your PC or smartphone and found a wallet address, they could piece together your online gambling deposits.
Bitcoin Deposits Are Slow
Earlier I described when Bitcoin transactions can be faster than common banking options. You’ll especially notice this with cashouts, which can be facilitated quickly through Bitcoin.
But one shouldn’t take this to mean that crypto transactions are always quicker than other financial instruments.
Nothing is faster than a debit or credit card when making gaming deposits. Once your card information is entered onto a valid account, you can make online casino deposits instantly.
Compare this to Bitcoin, where you’re often left waiting 15 minutes or more before funds are available. Cryptocurrency doesn’t use automation like credit card companies, but instead rely on miners to approve everything on the blockchain.
You’ll don’t have to wait long for this to happen when network traffic is low. But when Bitcoin’s popularity surges and more people are buying it, you can end up waiting for an hour or more.
Using Bitcoin Can Be Expensive
Bitcoin has a reputation for being cheaper to use than other casino banking methods. But this is another overrated aspect of cryptocurrencies in general.
You can choose how much you want to pay a miner to complete your Bitcoin transactions. Paying more provides extra motivation for miners to compete your transaction earlier.
Meanwhile, offering lower fees means that you’ll be waiting longer for your deposit or withdrawal to come through.
Having control over transaction fees is nice. But the tradeoff for paying less is that you’ll have to wait longer on your gaming funds.
What Are the Best Use Cases for Bitcoin Gambling?
Bitcoin doesn’t offer as much in terms of anonymity, low fees, and fast transactions as people are led to believe. Instead, these perks are only accurate in some cases.
But this isn’t to say that Bitcoin is totally useless to online gamblers. In fact, this crypto has multiple traits that make it worth considering for internet gaming purposes.
You’ll see below how Bitcoin is crucial to offshore gaming and allows you to make sure that casino and poker bets are fair.
Offshore Casinos Thrive on Bitcoin
Offshore gaming sites operate in unregulated markets like the United States. These sites are perfect for players who don’t have regulated internet gambling options in their country.
But the downside is that offshore casinos deal with banking restrictions in grey markets. This fact is especially seen in the US, which instituted theUnlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (2006) to hamper offshore gaming.
The UIGEA makes it illegal for American financial institutions to approve unregulated gambling transactions. Offshore casino, poker, and sports betting sites fall under this umbrella, because they’re not licensed in the US.
This law led to a 2011 incident called “Black Friday,” where several of the world’s biggest online poker sites were busted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
Ever since the DoJ cracked down on these poker sites, internet gaming operations have been leery about serving the US. But Bitcoin gives them the perfect way to get around the UIGEA.
Federal governments can’t control Bitcoin or prevent offshore casinos from accepting deposits and making payouts in this cryptocurrency. Likewise, they can’t force banks to avoid processing Bitcoin gambling transactions, because financial institutions don’t control it.
The end result is that numerous offshore casinos are able to serve US players without legal consequences.
Provably Fair Gaming Gives You a Strong Chance to Win
The vast majority of gaming sites operate with integrity, because their reputation depends upon it. One unfair gaming scandal can unravel years of building a successful brand.
Nevertheless, some online gamblers are always suspicious of casino and poker sites. A few isolated cheating incidents — like the UB superuser scandal have added fuel to this fire.
Before provably fair gaming, the only way for sites to ensure customers that their games are random involved hiring a third-party testing lab. While labs like eCOGRA and Technical Systems Testingare still widely used by traditional online casinos, players can ensure fair gaming themselves through provably fair casinos.
These sites provide a built-in tool that allows you to check for randomness. Each bet has an ID number that you can enter to verify fair gaming.
You Can Use Many Different Cryptocurrencies in Online Gaming
I’ve discussed Bitcoin quite a bit up to this point. But there are actually over a dozen other cryptocurrencies that you can use at internet gaming sites.
This isn’t necessarily a Bitcoin benefit but rather a crypto advantage in general. Being able to use so many different cryptocurrencies is similar to the options you have regarding traditional deposit options.
Some of the different crypto that you can use at online casinos includes the following:
Cryptocurrencies all have the same general benefits when it comes to online gaming. But you’ll find separation with different crypto in terms of investments and traits.
For example, Monero is considered the best privacy coin in the business. NEO is interesting in that you can generate another crypto called GAS, which is a token that powers the NEO blockchain.
If you’re already interested in crypto from an investment or usage standpoint, then you’ll appreciate how you can use so many different options at provably fair casinos.
The general public often questions the safety of using Bitcoin. But when done right, this is one of the safest payment options available.
A Bitcoin wallet’s private key, which is essentially the “ticket” that allows crypto to be spent, is a very long number string. Provided nobody gets a hold of your private key(s), there’s virtually no chance of anybody guessing this code.
As reported by MarketWatch, the odds of somebody guessing your private key are similar to winning the Powerball lottery nine times in a row.
Bitcoin has enjoyed a nice rise in the internet gaming world. But some of this climb is due to people failing to understand the virtual currency’s true advantages.
Bitcoin isn’t completely anonymous nor untraceable. Furthermore, you’ll sometimes wait longer for transactions to be completed and pay higher fees than with traditional payment options.
It’s important to understand the realities behind Bitcoin so that you don’t swear off credit cards, eWallets, and bank transfers. Instead, you should weigh crypto’s pros and cons and compare it to these other options.
The true perks to Bitcoin include offshore site usage, provably fair gaming, safety, and the ability to use other cryptocurrencies. These advantages are plenty to sway some online gamblers to using Bitcoin. Therefore, you should definitely consider this option if you value fair gaming, safety, and playing at offshore casinos.
Also keep in mind that we’re only in the early stages of cryptocurrency. That being said, it’s possible that the number of Bitcoin gambling benefits could improve in the future.