- Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and Litecoin are all accepted at numerous online casinos
- We investigate which digital currency is best for betting on the web
Arguing over which cryptocurrency is best is like arguing over which football team is best: you’re never going to attain consensus cos everyone’s got their favourite.
That’s okay, cos we’re not here to tell you that one particular crypto coin is king and the rest are pointless – far from it. They’ve all got their uses in fact, but when it comes to online casinos, some coins are better suited than others. While we can’t review every single cryptocurrency out there (at the last check there were over 4,000!), here’s our breakdown of the best.
These coins are the ones you’re likeliest to encounter as you play at cryptocurrency casinos on the web.
Let’s begin with the daddy that started it all. Back in the SatoshiDice days of 2013, gambling was one of the few ways in which you could spend Bitcoin. You don’t need to have spent the last four years avidly browsing the Bitcointalk forums to appreciate that Bitcoin is worth a lot more now – like, several thousand percent more.
Which is where one of the drawbacks to using the world’s best known cryptocurrency comes in: due to its extremely high value against the dollar, the average casino wager is now just a fraction of a Bitcoin.
That’s a whole lotta zeroes after the decimal point, which makes it extremely hard to determine how much you’re wagering per spin. Coupled with the fact that during times where Bitcoin’s value is rocketing people are more inclined to hold onto the cryptocurrency than spend it, and there’s a case for saying that Bitcoin is no longer the best digital currency for gambling.
By the notoriously volatile standards of cryptocurrencies, Ethereum is remarkably stable. Its value tends to stay reasonably constant against the dollar, give or take 5%.
This makes it much more suited to betting, as holders can store the coin in their casino wallets in the knowledge that it’s unlikely to dramatically drop in value overnight. Ethereum is also easily obtainable and boasts fast transaction times, certainly compared to Bitcoin.
It’s no coincidence that many of the crypto casinos to have sprung up in the past year are based around the Ethereum blockchain, including ‘provably fair’ models in which punters can determine with complete certainty that the house hasn’t tampered with the odds in any way. Ether – the currency which powers the Ethereum network – is highly versatile and is particularly suited to the demands of online gambling.
ERC20 tokens are Ethereum-backed digital tokens that many online casinos have issued. Examples include Edgeless and FunFair, though there are dozens more including some designed exclusively for sports betting and esports.
Like Ether, ERC20 tokens are ideal for gambling as they can be stored in many Ethereum wallets and can facilitate provably fair betting. Some ERC20 tokens are currently being used in decentralised casinos and for off-chain betting which, without getting too technical, is being billed by some as the next thing in crypto gambling.
The only major downside to ERC20 tokens, it should be noted, is that they’re not universal: FunFair tokens can only be used at FunFair casinos and Edgeless tokens at Edgeless casinos.
One of the longest established cryptocurrencies after Litecoin and Bitcoin, Dash is a no-nonsense crypto that’s designed for spending on things: goods, services and gambling.
Unlike Bitcoin, gambling with Dash doesn’t call for a decimal point followed by a ridiculously long number of zeroes, and the currency also offers more anonymity than Bitcoin. The only real downside to Dash is that it’s not accepted at as many crypto casinos as the likes of Bitcoin.
The web’s second oldest cryptocurrency, Litecoin is basically a Bitcoin clone with faster block times. It’s much cheaper though, making it more suited to everyday use such as gambling.
Litecoin is relatively stable, and easy to obtain from a wide range of exchanges and online marketplaces.
Where to go now?
So which cryptocurrency is best for gambling? Bitcoin’s certainly the easiest to get hold of, but for multiple reasons it’s falling out of favour with gamblers. Instead, try Ethereum or one of the many Ethereum tokens that are available, which are much more versatile and easier to part with than an asset that costs several thousand dollars a coin.
For more information, check out our guide to cryptocurrency casinos, including recommended sites where you can put your Bitcoin and other digital coins to good use.
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