Guide to using Bitcoin in Online Casinos

Bitcoin has been a huge influence in the financial world since 2009, and it’s increasingly being recognised by online casinos as a payment method. The cryptocurrency is fast becoming mainstream, and some believe that governments and traditional banks fear the impact this digital currency could have. However, the high level of security Bitcoin provides will undoubtedly reduce levels of money laundering, sale of illegal items and organised crime, due to the level of anonymity key to its usage. As using cryptocurrency is becoming an appealing prospect, here is everything you need to know.

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The Basics

Bitcoin is a form of online money that is decentralised, which means there is no single authority which makes decisions around its operation; instead, multiple parties are entitled to make independent decisions. As it’s also a peer to peer system, transactions take place between users, and there is no middle party, such as a bank, involved. Coins can be bought, exchanged and sold with online vendors, and there is also the option to mine Bitcoin. This involves using special software to solve mathematical problems in exchange for bitcoins. It enables the currency to be issued to peers, which thus facilitates a peer to peer exchange, and provides an incentive for people to mine.

History of Bitcoin

It’s not too clear where Bitcoin came from, although many believe it was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, a blockchain developer from Japan. However, there are stories out there stating that Nakamoto doesn’t actually exist, or that people don’t know who he really is. For example, blogger Nick Szabo, Australian academic Craig Steven Wright and Japanese American Dorian Nakamoto have all been linked to Satoshi.

In 2009, Bitcoin was released as an open source system, meaning that it didn’t belong to anyone in particular and was to be operated collectively. The first known transaction took place between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney, who downloaded the software on the day it was released and received 10 coins from the supposed founder. Many believe that Nakamoto mined over a million Bitcoins in the past, but subsequently disappeared. In 2010, Bitcoin was valued for the first time, and someone swapped 10,000 Bitcoins for two pizzas. In 2017 prices, those Bitcoins would have been worth $100 million.

A year later, competitors to Bitcoin emerged on the market, and the first two which gained some popularity were Namecoin and Litecoin. There are now over 1000 cryptocurrencies in circulation, and this number is rapidly increasing. However, the price of Bitcoin went through a crash in 2013, and began to quickly decline, with many who had invested money at this point experiencing losses. The price went down to around $300, and it was over two years before it reached $1000 again.

History

In 2014, Mt. Gox, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, went offline. 850,000 Bitcoins disappeared, with the owners losing them forever. The haul was worth a total of $450 million at the time, and now, the prices would go into the billions. In 2016, Ethereum began gathering pace, and almost knocked Bitcoin out of the top slot. However, Bitcoin kept steadily growing in popularity, and in 2017, it experienced a price surge, reaching a peak value of nearly $20,000 in December 2017. The tumultuous pattern continued, with 2018 seeing a 67% decline in the currency, and many people selling their coins as quickly as they could.

The currency has been split into two – Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). As the latter is newer, it’s recommended that people go for BTC over BCH.

How To Sign Up For A Bitcoin Wallet

The software which allows you to store your Bitcoin is called a bitcoin wallet, and this will also allow you to start making transactions on the network. The available wallets are Bitcoin Knots, Bitcoin Core, GreenBits, KeepKey, Ledger Nano S, mSIGNA, Trezor, Armory, BitBox, Bitcoin Wallet, Bither, BRD, Eclair Mobile, Electrum,Wasabi, BitGo, BitPay, BTC.com, Coin.Space, Edge, Green Address and Mycelium

Here are the steps you need to take to get up and running:

1. Choose a wallet

Select a wallet from the available options. Most people do this by accessing the Bitcoin site and navigating to the wallet section.

2. Download the necessary software

Treat this like you would any other download. If you don’t have a lot of space available on your device, consider choosing a wallet with low storage space.

3. Transfer some Bitcoin to your wallet

If you have obtained bitcoin from an exchange, place it in your wallet. Consider that you shouldn’t have huge amounts of money in your wallet for security reasons. Treat it like you would any other wallet. The sender will need your wallet address to transfer your coins.

Sign-Up-Bitcoin-Wallet

How To Make Bitcoin Payments In Online Casinos

In order to make a deposit with bitcoin, you will need to register your bitcoin address upon signing up for an online casino account. It is usually instant and free to make a bitcoin deposit into your bitcoin account. Getting the transaction confirmed by the blockchain will almost always take under an hour.

If you want to make a withdrawal using bitcoin, send your coins to your exchange server address and sell them your bitcoins. After that, you can request a withdrawal method as usual. But if you want to hold onto your bitcoins, download a bitcoin wallet and protect it with a password, then have them transferred to this service.

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Bitcoin Fees

To make a bitcoin transaction, a fee will be involved in order to get it processed by a miner, then confirmed by the network. If you want to get a transaction processing speed up, you have to outbid other users, as the available space for transactions within a block is 1MB. The average bitcoin transaction is around 250 MB in size.

When you’re making a bitcoin transaction, you will need to wait for somewhere between 2 and 6 confirmations in order to count it as valid. Additionally, once the transaction is in a bitcoin block and has had its first confirmation, there is roughly a ten minute wait for every additional confirmation to be made. Fees will vary depending on if you want to have your transaction mined with the next block, three blocks and six blocks. For the next block, it takes an average of 10 minutes, 3 blocks levels out at around 30 minutes and there is an hour wait for a 6 block transaction.

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Bitcoin Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It’s safe – Bitcoin isn’t tied to a government or bank, meaning that funds cannot be seized or frozen as they could be if they were held in a bank. This ensures bitcoin users have complete control over their funds.
  • It’s free – The processing fees for payments with bitcoin are covered by the casino sites themselves if they are reputable operators. This means that players don’t have to worry about a percentage of their funds going to a third party.
  • It’s anonymous – The only thing bitcoin casinos will usually ask for is a player’s email address in case a password needs to be recovered, and it isn’t always necessary to upload information such as an address. Additionally, if you haven’t uploaded financial information such as a credit or debit card, this means that you don’t have to worry about any personal information being vulnerable to online attacks.

Cons 

  • The value fluctuates hugely – This can be either a pro or a con depending on how well the market is doing. If there is a surge in the value of bitcoin, you can end up making quite a bit of money. But of course, if it is experiencing a drop, your winnings may not be worth as much as they would be in traditional currency if you choose to withdraw them to a bitcoin wallet.
  • Losing your wallet key means losing everything – Due to the nature of bitcoin wallets, if you forget your wallet key, you will lose all of the money in that account. This is because you are the only one who has the key or password, and because it is a decentralised currency, disputes between customers cannot happen.
  • Transactions can be slow – When comparing bitcoin transaction speed with more well-established methods such as Visa, the difference is clear. While Visa can carry out 2000 transactions a second, Bitcoin can only perform around 7 a second. This can be frustrating for people who want quick transactions on casino sites.

Bitcoin Security

There are several protective measures you can take to secure your wallet. Here’s how to ensure you’re not at risk of being hacked:

  • Only use small amounts – To maximise the safety of your Bitcoin, leave enough in your wallet for everyday use, and not much more. They should be treated like physical wallets, as opposed to banks, because at present, they do not provide enough security or insurance to be used as such.
  • Keep your wallet backed up – There are several points to consider here. When you make a backup, this ensures that your bitcoins aren’t vulnerable to being lost permanently, should there be a problem with your wallet. If you encrypt your online backups, as well as your access to your main bitcoin wallet, this ensures your balance isn’t vulnerable from thieves who may not want to pay for their bitcoin themselves. It’s also a good idea to use lots of secure locations for your backups, as well as different media, such as a CD or USB key. Additionally, make backups regularly, as if you receive a bitcoin windfall and don’t back up your updated balance, you could lose this amount if something goes wrong with your main account.
  • Use an offline wallet for your bitcoin savings – As an offline wallet is not connected to the bitcoin network, this provides a more secure and effective method of storing your savings. This can offer high quality protection against technological vulnerabilities, if done properly. It is generally considered good practice to use an offline wallet as well as encryptions and backups.
  • Keep your bitcoin software up to date – If you ensure your bitcoin software is operating under the latest version, this will minimise the risk of bugs and security vulnerabilities, as these fixes will be applied after each update. New features will also be installed as they become available, enhancing your experience with the bitcoin wallet and keeping your balance as secure as possible.

Bitcoin Bonuses, Promotions & Offers

There are many bonuses on offer for players who make deposits using bitcoin. Some casinos will offer incentives specifically for those who use bitcoin as their payment method, and others will simply have offers that are available for all players who make a deposit, whether it is via e-wallet, Visa, MasterCard or Bitcoin.

Bitcoin faucet bonuses are available on some sites, which is a reward system whereby users perform tasks that are helpful to the site owner, then receive tiny amounts of bitcoin in return, which are called satoshis. Although small, these will add up over time – like a leaking faucet.

 

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The Biggest Bitcoin Wins

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In February 2017, an anonymous player hit a jackpot of 259.74 bitcoins, which converted to 260,000 euros.

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In September 2016, an anonymous player landed a win of 11,000 coins on video slots, which converted to around $1.3 million.

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During a game of Lightning Roulette, a player won 48 coins and 39 coins on single spins, winning a total of $550, 000.

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July 2016 saw a player turn a small wager into a win of 60 coins, which later on got added to with a win of 114 coins. This translated to a $114,000 win from two spins on the same game.

 

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Frequently asked questions

There are many ways to buy bitcoin. It can be purchased using an exchange or brokerage service, where you will be able to buy it using traditional payment methods. Some services also offer payment using PayPal. Bitcoin Teller machines are available around the world, and these are similar to cash ATMs. You can also go to the official bitcoin website to buy coins using your credit card.

A bitcoin exchange is a business, either physical or online, which exchanges digital currencies for traditional payment methods. They can send cryptocurrency to a user’s cryptocurrency wallet, and payment can be made with credit cards, wire transfers or other methods. Another option for customers is to have the cryptocurrency sent to an anonymous prepaid card, which can be used in withdrawals at ATMs across the world.

There is not usually an upper limit to the amount you can deposit and spend in bitcoin in an online casino, but there will sometimes be a lower limit when it comes to the smallest amount you can deposit in a single installment, usually 0.001. It’s worth checking your casino site’s FAQ pages, terms and conditions or contacting their customer support to confirm this information.

This depends on the casino, but often, conversions are instant. It should take around the same amount of time as any other e-wallet transfer, but be aware that if the price of bitcoin isn’t doing well at the time of deposit, you may have to deposit more to cater to the exchange rate.

Reputable casinos will not exempt bitcoin users from bonuses, offers and promotions, which means that if you meet the requirements for a bonus upon signing up, spending a certain amount or playing certain games, you will have the same access to them as anyone else.

These two keys are found with every Bitcoin address and serve a different function. The public key will allow other people to send bitcoins to your address, as well as verify transactions. Meanwhile, the private key allows you to ‘unlock’ access to your bitcoins, as well as spend them.

This means that there is a transaction on the network that miners haven’t yet confirmed. As an average, transactions can take up to 10 minutes to confirm. But there are times where it can take around an hour, due to increased popularity of the network. If a transaction won’t confirm after 72 hours, the funds are sent back to the sender’s bitcoin wallet.

Largely, the use of Bitcoin is legal, although it depends on where in the world you are and what you’re using it for. For example, it’s illegal to use bitcoin as payment for goods and services in Russia, and it’s banned in China, with banks and other payment processes blocked from making transactions or dealing in Bitcoin. The same is the case in Bolivia, Columbia and Ecuador. In the UK, US, Canada, Australia and the EU, the currency is largely legal, although there may be some specific rules to be aware of. For example, the US works to prevent its use in illegal transactions, Canada ensures it isn’t used for money laundering, Finland treats it as a commodity as opposed to a currency and there are certain tax regulations in the UK.

As cryptocurrency is decentralised, there is no official app like you may find with PayPal or your personal banking app. However, you can find several high-quality apps compatible with iOS and Android devices. Some casino apps will accept bitcoin deposits via mobile, and this number will only increase with time.

Bitcoin depends on the blockchain, which is what runs through the entire system and gives it structure. It keeps track of all transactions, which are time stamped by miners. Anyone can see the public keys of any transaction, but there is no identifying information included, as no names are associated with them. The very first transaction was made on the first block to be created, which was called the Genesis Block.

An increasing number of online casinos are accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, making gambling easier for cryptocurrency fans. Additionally, services such as BitPay, CoinKite and Coinbase offer hardware and applications for brick and mortar shop owners to process bitcoin transactions. Two-way ATMs are also in place across the world, and these allow people to sell the currency, although some will only let you buy it.

As bitcoin is more popular among traders and those who like to speculate about price, this makes the currency subject to supply and demand, which means the price can go up and down suddenly as a response to events in the news. If there is positive news about bitcoin, the price will rise, and vice versa. Sometimes, news is based only on bitcoin events, such as a hack which is affecting a large bitcoin exchange, or new regulations which restrict bitcoin.

Sometimes the prices will be volatile due to no perceptible reason, which leads critics to suggest that this means it can never be adopted as a mainstream currency.

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