Bitcoin have achieved global coverage over the last few years, largely due to the rapid increase in consumers using the cryptocurrency in their daily lives, and due to the insane volatility the currencies price sees every day. In fact, as the popularity of the currency has risen, even some of the world’s largest banks and investment firms have begun getting involved trading, buying, and selling Bitcoin, and what used to be associated with shady activity on the ‘dark net’, is now a core part of many businesses lives.
Bitcoin Gambling has become increasingly popular as Bitcoin itself has gone ‘mainstream’, and while the number of casinos accepting Bitcoin as a payment method is still few and far between, it’s becoming more popular. In this post, we look at what Bitcoin is, online casinos that do accept it, and how you can start depositing and withdrawing in Bitcoins!
What Are Bitcoins?
For newcomers, Bitcoins – and the concept of how they work – can be incredibly confusing. Even those that live, eat, and breathe the currency often find certain aspects of the cryptocurrency hard to get their heads around. However, general buying and selling of Bitcoins is simple, and once you get the hang of a few core phrases, you’ll be all set. Bitcoin itself was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous developer and coder, believed to be from China or Japan. The first software to mine Bitcoin (mining is the term for how Bitcoins are created) was released in January 2009, though it wasn’t for a good 5-6 years later that they really started to become mainstream.
As Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, there’s nothing “physical” about it; for example, if you own one Bitcoin, you don’t have any banknotes, or coins in person – everything exists electronically, and Bitcoins are passed from person to person using peer-to-peer technology, through what’s known as the Bitcoin network. No one owns or controls Bitcoin, and it is open-source, ensuring transparency, security, and anonymity at all times.
In its most simple format, Bitcoin can be thought of much like traditional bank accounts. However, rather than having a bank account where you’d have money send to, when using Bitcoin, you have what’s known as a “Bitcoin Wallet”. This is where your Bitcoins are stored, and it’s from your wallet that you can make trades and send Bitcoins.
Each Bitcoin Wallet Uses a Bitcoin Address
Tthis is much like the Sort Code and Account number you have with your bank; when you want to receive Bitcoin, you’d give the person sending you them your Bitcoin Wallet’s Address, and likewise, when paying/sending Bitcoins, you’d receive a Bitcoin address. An example of a Bitcoin Address is shown here: 1BoatSLRHtKNngkdXEeobR76b53LETtpyT
There’s an infinite number of Bitcoin Addresses, and what yours looks like/how regularly it changes depends largely on the type of Bitcoin Wallet you have. Below, we’ll cover the types of Bitcoin Wallet.
An online Bitcoin Wallet is one that is cloud-based. These are generally the easiest Wallets to create, and for those wanting to use Bitcoins simply for making the odd purchase, are the most suitable type of Wallet to create. An online Bitcoin Wallet can be thought of much like PayPal – and indeed, many of the world’s most popular wallets function similarly. Examples of reputable online Wallet providers include LocalBitcoins, Blockchain.info, and Coinbase.
A local Bitcoin Wallet is one that you download physically to your computer, USB, or other hardware device. It often takes a long time to sync and get up and running, as it must essentially process every Bitcoin transaction ever made, in order to get up to speed; now it’s not quite as literal as that, but users with slower Internet Connections may need to wait up to 2-3 days for their computer to ‘sync up’ with the Blockchain (the blockchain is the centre of the Bitcoin network and is how all transactions take place.)
The benefit of a local Bitcoin wallet, is that you’re not trusting your Bitcoins with a 3rd party, and decrease the risk of losing your Bitcoins through a website being hacked – although users with inadequate security measures may actually increase their chances of being hacked and losing Bitcoins, as specific Bitcoin-stealing malware is becoming more commonplace.
A physical Bitcoin Wallet is relatively rare, due to its physical constraints; in essence, it’s nothing more than a glorified USB stick – though Physical Wallets are generally built with a more security-conscious design.
Advantages of Bitcoin
There are many advantages of using Bitcoin, and a more in-depth breakdown (as well as some of the negatives), can be found at the bottom of this post. Some of the immediate benefits, however, include:
- Anonymity: Bitcoins are an anonymous currency, and while there are ways of tracing transactions, the privacy-conscious gambler can do so without interference from Government or unwanted third parties.
- Control: Because Bitcoins are exchanged on a peer-to-peer network, anyone can send or receive Bitcoin, whenever they want.
- Affordable: Bitcoin fees are incredibly low, and generally will be pence. A Bitcoin fee accompanies every transaction, and enables the Blockchain to process the transaction. The higher the fee, the faster the transfer is received – though as you’ll see below, this rarely matters.
- Speed: Bitcoin transfers are generally instant. Wwhen the Blockchain is busy, it can take longer, however. 5-10 minutes is a good guideline for how long you should expect transactions to take.
Online Casinos That Accept Bitcoin
As mentioned earlier, the number of online casinos that accept Bitcoin is still fairly small. This is due to confusion surrounding the legal status of the coin (some countries, for example, refuse to acknowledge Bitcoins as a currency), although as lawmakers start to include Bitcoins in their regulations, it’s becoming more common for online casinos to accept the cryptocurrency. Below, you’ll see casinos that currently accept Bitcoins for deposits and withdrawals.
How to Deposit and Withdraw with Bitcoin at an Online Casino
Once you’ve decided that you’d like to use Bitcoins as your deposit/withdrawal method, it’s time to actually get some Bitcoins! See the “Buying and Selling Bitcoin” section below for more information on this – for now, we’ll assume you already have Bitcoins, ready to deposit.
Depositing Using Bitcoin
In order to deposit using Bitcoin, you’ll notice the process varies slightly from a regular deposit. Normally, you choose how much to fund your account with on the casinos site, and enter your payment details – with Bitcoins, however, due to the price changes, and fees, you don’t begin the process with telling the casino how much you want to deposit. Instead, the casino will give you a Wallet Address to send Bitcoins to. This address is unique to your online casino account only, and is usually valid for 7 days (although you’ll notice it changes after each deposit.) From your Bitcoin Wallet, simply choose your amount, and send the funds to the Wallet Address the online casino gave you!
Once the casino receives the Bitcoins they’ll be credited to your account as normal, however, the time it takes for your online casino balance to show your funds varies, largely depending on whether the casino requires any confirmations. A confirmation is part of the Blockchain network’s ability to process Bitcoin transactions, and it works like this: when you first send a transaction, it will have zero confirmations – the blockchain will see the transaction, but won’t have confirmed it. Over time (usually within 20 minutes), the blockchain will see 1, 2, and 3 confirmations, as the Bitcoins are successfully sent – and once it hits the magic number of 3, that’s it. The transaction is complete.
Now, some online casinos will credit your account with funds as soon as they see the transaction – no confirmations necessary – and other casinos will require you to wait until there are 1, 2, or 3 confirmations – it’s all down to casino policy. As a general rule of thumb, however, depositing in Bitcoins is instant, at most online casinos.
In order to withdraw your Bitcoin winnings from an online casino, your transactions will always need the full 3 confirmations. Once done so, all your funds, including winnings, will display inside your online casino account as withdrawal able, and to withdraw, you simply enter the amount to withdraw, and input your Bitcoin Wallet Address, and that’s it! The casino will process your withdrawal, and once compete, will send the Bitcoins to your specified Wallet!
Buying & Selling Bitcoins
Buying and selling Bitcoin is fairly simple – and first of all, you’ll need to get yourself a Bitcoin Wallet, like we talked about earlier. Now, if you’re new to Bitcoin, LocalBitcoins is likely your best option, as this site acts as both a Bitcoin Wallet, and a place to buy and sell the cryptocurrency. You can then purchase Bitcoins, using one of the many payment methods provided.
Note: If you want to use Bank Transfer to buy Bitcoin, which is the quickest method, you’ll usually be asked by the Bitcoin Traders to verify your identity, in order to eliminate fraud. This is completely normal. If you don’t wish to do this, you can find people in your local area to buy Bitcoins for cash with, or use one of the other methods available.
Other places to Buy Bitcoin include:
Each site offers detailed guidance on how to buy and sell Bitcoins, so it’s worth taking a moment to read through these, so you have a better idea of how to do so. When it comes to selling Bitcoins, you can use most of the sites above. Again, each site will show you exactly how to do so in their Help sections, so these are worth reading, when you’re looking to sell your Bitcoins.
Other Bitcoin Resources
There’s no doubt the idea of Bitcoins, both in terms of how they work and how you can begin using them, is complex – and it can take a little bit of time to get to grips with them. They do, however, provide a fantastic way for players to enjoy complete privacy while gambling online, and once you’ve got a Wallet set up, and know how to buy and sell your Bitcoins, depositing and withdrawing is really simple. If you’re still struggling to get your head around the concept, check out the following guides, that will aide in furthering your knowledge:
- Bitcoin Explained in a Way that Even a Five-Year-Old Could Understand
- Bitcoin Basics
- How Bitcoin Works
And remember, if you want to enjoy Bitcoin Gambling, be sure to use a reputable site, such as the ones listed throughout this guide.