Whenever bitcoin first became popular, its value shot up rapidly, which was followed by a particularly volatile period, which was in turn followed by the “bubble” bursting and a subsequent crash. What most people don’t know is that the value of bitcoin recovered quite well. Despite this, some players still have hesitation about using this crypto-currency because that wild fluctuation is all they remember about it. The fact of the matter is that it’s very stable now, and it’s a particularly viable option for players who want to make safe, secure and anonymous deposits and withdrawals from online casinos.
The Key Advantages of Using Bitcoin
Before you read about how bitcoin actually works, you may wonder what all of the hype is about in the first place. A lot of it comes down to how bitcoin works on a structural level. It’s designed to allow people to send the virtual currency from wallet to wallet without any identifying information latched on. For example, when you make a deposit with a credit card or electronic wallet, your name and a lot of identifying information is kept along with that. With bitcoin, however, none of that is given except for the amount of the currency sent and the wallet from which it came, which is not tied to any identifying information.
Due to its nature, it’s very private and offers a way to make online gambling transactions without a paper trail. This is something that appeals to a lot of players for obvious reasons. However, it’s also important to point out that this also increases security because it makes it particularly difficult to steal your bitcoin if someone steals your identity or intercepts personal information simply because of how transactions with the currency work.
If increased privacy and security sound good, then you’ll also love the fact that the fees are much lower than any other widely available banking method available right now. There are advantages all around, but there are some disadvantages as well.
The main disadvantage to using bitcoin is that there’s a small learning curve where players have to learn a different way of making deposits and withdrawals than what they are used to. This is no different than learning about a new electronic wallet, and it takes about the same amount of time.
Another disadvantage is that bitcoin does fluctuate in value a little more than regular fiat currencies, but it’s nowhere near the extremes that were seen whenever the crypto-currency first got popular coverage in the media. With that having been said, you never really have to hold it for long, as you’ll see below, so this is only a real disadvantage in very specific cases and for players who want to hold onto some amount of the currency outside of casino accounts for whatever reason.
The Two Models for Bitcoin Deposits and Withdrawals
With the important advantages and disadvantages out of the way, we have to look at the two main models for how bitcoin deposits and withdrawals can go. It basically comes down to whether the casino keeps your balance in bitcoin or not. If it keeps your balance in bitcoin, which some casinos do and some do not, then you are subject to the fluctuations of the value of the currency. This is the least preferred of the two methods by most players for obvious reasons, but it becomes less and less of an issue over time because the market value of bitcoin stabilized more and more each month.
The alternative is the equivalent of just using bitcoin as a deposit and withdrawal method. When this works, your bitcoin deposit is covered into a more common currency like the US dollar, euro or British pound, which is the currency your account balance is actually held in. You’ll play in this currency, and when you’re ready to cash out, you’ll have the amount of your withdrawal converted back into bitcoin at that day’s exchange rate. This means your balance is protected from any fluctuation in the value of bitcoin on the market, but you’re still able to get all of the privacy and security advantages, not to mention the lower fee rates.
There’s an advantage of this second approach for the casinos and the players that might not be immediately clear, and it’s something we feel like we need to address here. Not all games have been produced with the ability to use bitcoin as a built-in currency, and the ones that have are actually in the minority. However, virtually all casino games can play in US dollars, euros and British pounds. This means that this second approach that does not have you hold your account balance in bitcoin gives you a much larger selection of games that you can have access to and play.
The Process of Playing at a Bitcoin Casino
If you think that playing at a bitcoin casino is something you’d like to try out, then we can walk you through the basic steps so that you have an idea of what you’re going to be doing. First off, you have to get a bitcoin wallet, and this is what will hold your bitcoin after you purchase it. There are different reputable bitcoin wallets available, but they change over time. Just make sure you stick with one that has a good reputation and a history of taking care of their users.
From there, you’ll need to actually buy the bitcoin, and you can do that through bitcoin exchanges online. Some companies offer wallets and exchanges all in one place, and that’s probably the best option for players who aren’t familiar with the crypto-currency since it simplifies the process as much as possible. It will take a little bit of time for the transaction to go through, but you can buy bitcoin with a credit card just like you would make any other online purchase.
Once the bitcoin is in your wallet, different online casinos will have different sets of instructions for how they want you to place your deposit. Your best option from there is to just contact the support team, preferably through a live chat option, so they can walk you through the entire process. Casinos that accept bitcoin have trained their customer service representatives to be able to do this because they know that plenty of people still haven’t used bitcoin and don’t really know how to do a deposit or withdrawal on their own. This is complicated by the fact that different casino sites have different processes for going about it.
After that, your deposit will be made, and you’ll be ready to get started playing. When you’re ready to cash out, you can set it up straight from your cashier window or ask support for a little assistance like you did with depositing. Once you’ve done a deposit and a withdrawal with an individual casino once, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re doing, and you’ll likely feel comfortable doing it on your own going forward.
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How to Pick a Bitcoin Casino
We want to finish up here with a few thoughts on how to pick a casino that accepts bitcoin. Start off by looking at their licensing and their history in the business as far as being reliable with cash outs and solid customer service. From there, look to make sure they actually have the software you want to play with on the platforms you need with the games you want. For example, if the casino doesn’t have mobile games, and you want to be able to play from your mobile device, then it’s obvious that they aren’t a good pick for you.
Also make sure that they use the approach to their bitcoin balance that you’re comfortable with. There are so many sites out there today that it’s fine to feel like you don’t want to compromise on something like this, and you’ll have no problem playing in bitcoin if that’s what you want to do, but you’ll also have no issue with finding a site that will hold your balance in a more typical currency if you prefer.
Bitcoin is a critical part of the online casino industry right now because it circumvents a lot of the bottlenecks that have given players problems in terms of deposits and withdrawals. It also gives the ability for instant transactions, even with cash outs, with particularly low fees, which is obviously something that appeals to players.
Along these lines, we expect more and more casinos to accept this crypto-currency going forward to the point that it becomes as popular as electronic wallets and credit cards for deposits and withdrawals. While we aren’t quite to that point yet, it’s still very popular, and players will have no issue finding a site that works for them with the games they want that will accept bitcoin.