You may well have heard the term mentioned plenty of times over the last few years, but what exactly is a cryptocurrency? Launched back in 2009, it was designed as a way to pay for items and services online anonymously where no one, not even a payment wallet such as Paypal, has your details. A decentralized and digital currency called Bitcoin was invented and is one of the biggest cryptocurrencies around today.
Essentially, each transaction is made between 2 users which are shown on a digital ledger and stored on multiple computers. This ensures if a transaction shows up in only one ledger it is marked out as suspicious, ensuring hacks and stealing of cryptocurrency are dealt with.
Although there is much more to it than the above, it gives a very basic overview – it is a decentralized and digital form of payment that is totally anonymous, unlike when you pay by a card or online wallet.
How can I gamble with Cryptocurrency?
A decent, trusted gambling site needs to know all their players are who they say they are and are of legal age to gamble, using cryptocurrency to gamble will never be completely anonymous. However, it does let you gamble without the need to give your payment details to a 3rd party site – you can just send a payment through the site’s normal payment page and the currency will be added to your gaming account as it would in any other way.
If you don’t already have a cryptocurrency account, you will need to open one. There are plenty of good options available to fund your account in your chosen cryptocurrency. You will be given a unique wallet ID which is yours, along with a long combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters and numbers. This is where your cryptocurrency is stored.
Please note that each wallet is for one specific type of cryptocurrency, so you will need a wallet for each if you wish to have more than one currency.
Making withdrawals via cryptocurrency is easy and funds are simply sent back to your unique wallet ID and you can then leave them as that currency or convert them and send them back to your bank or wallet.
Types of Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin was the original cryptocurrency built on the decentralized network (known as blockchain). Therefore, as the oldest and most trusted, it is accepted on more sites than any other. Known as BTC, sites that accept bitcoin for deposits and withdrawals can be found below.
The currency known as Ether was built on the same idea as Bitcoin and users tend to report it is a faster and more efficient option than its older cousin. More and more gaming sites are starting to offer it as a payment method, so this is certainly one you should look at when deciding which cryptocurrency is best for you.
Litecoin – known as LTC – was invented in 2011 by a former Google employee. Again, based on the Bitcoin model but considered faster, this is another excellent option with its popularity growing amongst gaming sites.
As with any new technology, people always think they can improve on it that is why developers launched a Bitcoin mark 2 as it were, Bitcoin Cash known as BCH. Widely considered the future of Bitcoin, many gambling sites accept it for payments, both deposits, and withdrawals.
Known as XRP, Ripple is more aligned to banks than standard cryptocurrencies. Although it is considered less volatile than other cryptocurrencies and therefore better for trading, when using it to gamble online, there are not many differences between Ripple and other cryptocurrencies.
Pros of gambling with Cryptocurrency casinos
The concept of cryptocurrencies was that they could do everything a standard currency like the USD does but quicker and more anonymously. Whilst some industries are slow to accept it as a realistic option, the gambling industry is growing more used to it each month.
The main advantages to using Cryptocurrency for gambling
Privacy: Unlike a bank card or payment wallet, no personal details like name and address are needed. The site simply gets a wallet ID that is unique to you and that is it.
Speed: No more waiting 3 to 5 working days to receive funds when you withdraw any winnings, the funds show up in your wallet within minutes. This allows you to return the money to your bank or leave it for future transactions.
Elimination of fraud: Since each and every transaction is verified and digitally stored, it is very hard for anyone to access your funds as long as they don’t have access to your cryptocurrency wallet. There will be no more need to contact your bank to request a chargeback for a transaction you didn’t make.
No more fees: A major advantage to cryptocurrencies is that there are no banks or online wallets to charge you a fee for moving your money. Depending on how you hold your wallet, there may be a small charge when you send funds back to your bank, however.
Bonuses: In Crypto casinos, no deposit bonuses can be found which gives you an opportunity to try the site before depositing. Some of these are exclusively for cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals so are worth keeping an eye out for.
Universal currency: As cryptocurrency is not specific to a country, there is no need to exchange from one currency to another such as between USD and EUR for example. Wherever you are in the world, the currency you have will be worth the same.
Cons of gambling with cryptocurrency casinos: Like any form of payment, cryptocurrencies have a number of cons as well as pros. It isn’t for everyone so it is important to go into any transaction with your eyes wide open before you decide that cryptocurrency is the way forward for you when it comes to gambling.
Volatility: The price of each cryptocurrency can vary widely due to a number of factors. Even if you have your funds in a gambling site for a couple of days, withdrawing the same amount after this time can see a big difference when you send funds back to your bank. Some of the main reasons for this are the newness of the coin, good/bad news which affects people’s habits when it comes to buying and selling the coin, and the herd mentality of some people when it comes to the fear of them missing out.
Unregulated: Unlike standard banks and currencies, cryptocurrency is unregulated, and therefore if there is an issue with any payment, you don’t always have the same legal recourse as you would with for example a payment from a Visa card.
Hacking: Your coins are kept in an online wallet with an ID that is unique to you. Like any online asset, there is always a chance hackers will find a way to gain access and remove any coins you may have. We, therefore, recommend you keep your password secure and separate from any mention of your wallet IDs. Also, it is always wise to make sure you are the only one who has access to your computer or mobile device.
Are crypto casinos legal?: Yes, whilst each country may still have regulations when it comes to online gambling, there is nothing to stop those that are set up to accept cryptocurrency payments as opposed to card and online wallet payments. We would still recommend playing at casinos that are licensed in good jurisdictions as you have added comfort when it comes to disputes with the casino over winnings.
What games can you play at crypto casinos? Cryptocurrencies are simply a way to add funds to gamble with, so the range of games you can play with these funds is the same as at casinos that don’t offer this payment method. Your funds will be converted when you deposit depending on the casino you play at, and you will often find a range of slots, table games and more.
Do crypto casinos need a license? Any online casino needs to be licensed in order to accept and process transactions for real money. However, this is still a grey area and some unlicensed casinos are still around that offer payments via cryptocurrency. Gambling with an unlicensed casino is always riskier and can lead to you losing funds easier with fewer legal options to get any funds returned. Therefore, wherever possible, we would suggest you gamble at a licensed casino that accepts cryptocurrency if this is to be your payment method of choice.
Is crypto gambling legal in the US? The United States has laws regarding payments into gambling accounts but does not have laws that relate specifically to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Many states do disagree on this issue which remains a grey area. According to the Illegal Internet Gambling Act, “knowingly accepting payments from another person engaging in a bet or wager that is related to Internet use illegal under federal or state law.” You will find that some states interpret that sentence in different ways. It is unlikely however that the end-user will be prosecuted if a casino site accepts their funds via Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Recommended crypto casinos in the USA can be found here.
Are there more crypto payment methods? There are new cryptocurrencies being introduced all the time, some of which are started only with fraud in mind. Wherever possible, we would recommend sticking to some of the tried and tested cryptocurrencies outlined earlier in this article.
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