The Bitcoin bounce: how the price of BTC affects the online casino industry

  • Bitcoin’s price, while largely on the rise, has seen fluctuation recently
  • How do those changing values impact online bitcoin casinos and their players?

When the history books are written on Bitcoin, 2017 will go down as a pivotal year for the cryptocurrency, right up there with 2011 and 2013 as a period when ‘stuff’ happened.

Fluctuating bitcoin prices
Will the fluctuating value of Bitcoin prove problematic for online casinos and their players?

Much of the headlines Bitcoin has generated this year have been in regard to the record highs it’s reached against the dollar. While these eye-watering prices make for good copy – Bitcoin reached almost $2,800 10 days ago before falling to under $1,900 within the space of a few days – focusing on the price alone is not the best indicator of Bitcoin’s health.

There are a number of reasons why 2017 has been regarded as a good year for Bitcoin and these include the increased adoption of the digital currency, with online casinos proving to be particularly suited to Bitcoin.

This isn’t news of course: one of the very first and very few uses of Bitcoin was to bet on dice games when the currency was still in its infancy.

Betting with Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s come a long way since then and so has the state of the online casino industry. Betting with Bitcoin is no longer seen as a novel option: it’s regarded by many as a sensible option, one which provides more privacy than using credit card, more security and which also avoids the sort of legislative issues that can plague offshore casinos.

Provided you have a modicum of technical knowledge, Bitcoin is easier than ever to obtain and easier than ever to spend at hundreds of online casinos, including sites whose quality is up there with the best the web has to offer. This is a good time to be an online bettor, especially one who’s conversant in Bitcoin, but what effect does the bouncing price of BTC have on gambling?

Rising (and falling) value

In case you haven’t noticed, Bitcoin’s been on quite a journey over the last few weeks, with swings of as much as $500 in a single day. While the currency is still in rude health and is up over 100% on its price at the start of the year, it’s currently trading at around $500 less than its recent peak.

These may be fun times for day traders, who can attempt to profit from Bitcoin’s peaks and troughs, but how about online casino customers, for whom a stable cryptocurrency is desirable?

When the price of Bitcoin is moving fast, the trouble is that no one wants to spend it. When your Bitcoin could be worth $100 or $200 more tomorrow than it was today, it would be far more prudent to sit on it than it would be to wager it at an online casino in the hopes of making a quick buck.

And thus, while the skyrocketing (and occasionally sky-falling) price of Bitcoin is good news for speculators, it’s less handy for people who simply want to spend it on a few hands of poker or the odd game of blackjack.

Bitcoin’s entered a few bubble phases in the past, and when the currency first soared past $1,000, shortly before the fall of Mt Gox, Bitcoin hoarding was the norm. For Bitcoin to mature into an everyday currency that’s suited to gambling, those dramatic swings need to be reined in.

But that’s the thing about having a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that can’t be regulated by any one entity: Bitcoin does what it – or rather what the market as a whole – likes. And right now, the market is having some fun while it toys with its digital asset and tries to get a feel for what it’s worth. Bouncing Bitcoin might be good for the profiteers, but it’s not much use to the players.

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