For those of you who have issues playing at your Online Casino of choice due to the fact that it can occasionally be difficult to get deposits and withdrawals handled in a manner that you consider both easy enough and timely (especially in the United States), a new currency created in 2009 may be the answer to your problems. With Bitcoin, a player is able to use any account that he or she wants to in order to purchase Bitcoin and then use said Bitcoin to deposit into the Online Casino of the player's choice in the event that the casino accepts Bitcoin.
As with regulated forms of currency, there is a trading market for Bitcoin, so any players that choose to gamble using Bitcoin are essentially gambling twice. While the Bitcoin market, as of the date of this publication, sits relatively close to its 2016 high, that high is roughly half of the all-time high Bitcoin reached in Late-2013, though Bitcoin is worth more than double its early 2015 low point since that time. In any case, BitCoin clearly experiences what I would consider mild-severe volatility in the short-term, so since the Bitcoin itself has a static value, the player gambling with Bitcoin would also depend on the value of Bitcoin to remain the same (ideally) or to increase.
With that in mind, any player who gambles with Bitcoin, especially for substantial amounts, should really keep an eye on the Bitcoin market at all times. If there can be said to be an advantage, then it would be that a player could theoretically lose some of his or her Bitcoin at a Bitcoin casino, yet due to increases in the value of Bitcoin, might actually have a greater currency value (with whatever currency that the player uses) than the currency value that would have normally been associated with the Bitcoin deposit. The flip side of that coin, of course, is that a player can win Bitcoin in the Bitcoin Casino, but the increased Bitcoin could theoretically have a lower currency value than the amount of Bitcoin the player deposited did at the time the initial deposit was made.
There is no more clear way to state it than the gambler is gambling twice, once in the actual casino and then the second time on the value of the Bitcoin. It is true that the player need not exchange the Bitcoin for the currency that the player uses at the time the player cashes the Bitcoin out of the casino, in the event that the player wins, but if the player plans to turn it back into the player's currency at any point, then the player will be subject to the vagaries of the Bitcoin market.
What are Bitcoins
Bitcoin itself is a decentralized currency meaning that it is not tied to the central bank of any one country, or in fact, of any agency whatsoever. The concept behind this is that the value of Bitcoin cannot be artificially decreased (as would be the value of the currency for a particular country if that country were to produce more currency) and there also exists no means of a centralized Bitcoin, 'Buyback,' in which the amount of currency in circulation could theoretically be forcibly reduced which would cause the value of the currency to go up. Instead, the valuation of a unit (or decimal unit) of Bitcoin more closely resembles the valuation of a share of stock. A key difference here is that a company can actually engage in a, 'Stock-split,' a process in which a company will take shares of its own stock and divide them in order to create extra shares of stock that reduces the value per share.
The creation of Bitcoin is accredited to a certain, 'Satoshi Nakamoto,' who is an entity that claims to hail from Japan, but for all anybody knows, might be a pseudonym that actually describes more than one person. While Satoshi Nakamoto might sounds like an exotic name to non-Japanese speakers, the name is really as common as, 'David Brown,' might be to an English speaker or something like, 'Vivaan Patel,' might be to an Indian.
How are Bitcoin Made?
The way that Bitcoins, which are designed to have a finite maximum number in existence (21 million) are introduced into the world is through a process called, 'Bitcoin Mining.' By design, the first several million Bitcoins were intended to be much easier to get than the final Bitcoin in the 21 million will eventually be. Furthermore, while there is an absolute and finite maximum of 21 million Bitcoins in the world once they have all been, 'Mined,' Bitcoins are often traded in terms of fractions of Bitcoins, therefore, it is possible for more than 21 million people to have access to Bitcoin in some form.
The process of, 'Mining,' bitcoins does not, however, involve a spade, shovel or pan. Rather, the process of Mining simply entails a user's computer utilizing software to verify Bitcoin-related transactions. This verification process takes place via the use of, 'Block Chains,' by which a user's computer will essentially verify every transaction in the history of that particular Bitcoin. When that verification is completed, then the owner of the computer will have, 'Unlocked,' 25 Bitcoins that have never existed before. The reward for transaction verification is currently 25 Bitcoins, but that will be cut in half to 12.5 Bitcoins by the year 2017 and will continue to be halved every four years until the last Bitcoin has been mined.
The increased difficulty in mining Bitcoin has necessitated investments that have increased over time in order to suit the purpose. One such investment was that, after the first couple years, even a device specifically dedicated to mining Bitcoin (such as a personal computer) was not enough to have much success. Bitcoin Mining has become difficult enough now that the only way to be successful, on an individual level, is to have Hardware that is specifically designed for no other purpose to mine Bitcoin. Even in this regard, the hardware continues to evolve and become more specialized, which one would correctly assume to mean, 'Costs more money.'
For anyone who does not have the inclination or the ability to make an investment in Bitcoin mining hardware, which can actually require an initial investment of over $10,000, in some cases, then there are, 'Mining Pools,' that an individual can participate in which enables the user to take it back down to the level of simply having a dedicated computer do the Mining. In the case of Mining Pools, a user's computer is linked to other computers which are all engaged in the task of mining, when a Bitcoin is successfully mined, then a user is supposed to be paid in accordance with how much power that user's device contributed to the process of mining the Bitcoin. Once again, given that a single Bitcoin can be broken down to a very small decimal, this process of Mine Pooling can theoretically enable millions of devices to work in harmony in the process of Mining Bitcoin.
These transactions can be viewed on a site called Blockchain:
What that site does is lists the most recent Bitcoin transaction verification. In fact, I actually happened to look at this right around the time that 25 Bitcoins were created. Admittedly, I had to check out the BlockChain site a few times to actually witness this happen in real time, but here is what it looks like for 25 Bitcoin to be created:
The other specific Blocks on this site will offer statistics on how the Blocks unfolded, including how many transactions were verified in the process of decoding the Block and what the total Bitcoin volume of all of the combined transactions in that block of transactions was.
The site also details other statistics such as the difficulty of the Mining, which I assume to be how many total attempts it took to verify the transaction before the hardware actually doing the mining was actually successful. One of the more successful pools, at least based upon the statistics provided by this website, appears to be AntPool run by Bitmain Tech. Ltd.
Once again, Bitcoin is an open source technology, which means that nobody owns or oversees it. Everyone has access to Bitcoin itself and the programming of Bitcoin is also available for all to see. The main focal point of Bitcoin that its advocates seem to like is that it is completely decentralized and fully self-contained. I suppose that would be a plus for users who intend to use Bitcoin as an exclusive means of electronic purchasing, but for those who want to sell Bitcoin for their actual currency (or buy it for their actual currency, for that matter) to me, it just adds volatility. With that being said, if someone has a favorable opinion on the future valuations of Bitcoin compared to their currency, then I could certainly understand why they would want to acquire and deal in Bitcoin.
Are Bitcoins Secure?
Furthermore, Bitcoin also enables a user to trade, sell or purchase with Bitcoin without actually revealing his or her own identity, and it claims to be fully secured provided an individual takes the proper safeguards to protect their Bitcoin Wallet. Furthermore, Bitcoin can be sent Internationally, often for less than the fees that it would cost (in traditional forms of currency) to send the same amount in its cash value. For these reasons, Bitcoin can often be an attractive alternative to using currency that is regulated by a central bank or government of some kind.
With that in mind, Bitcoin does come with a few downsides. For one thing, you would only want to engage in Bitcoin transactions with trusted agents due to the fact that Bitcoin payments are irreversible. As a result, in the event that an individual or company receives a Bitcoin payment but does not keep its end of whatever the deal is, perhaps in the form of sending a broken product or not doing whatever their end of the deal was at all, then it is up to that individual or entity to provide a refund. Secondly, while Bitcoin claims to be eminently secure in the event that the proper safeguards are taken by an individual to protect his or her Bitcoin Wallet, the fact that Bitcoin transactions are irreversible means that, in the event that your Bitcoin is stolen from you, there is essentially no way to recover it.
Here is a page from Bitcoin.org about securing your Bitcoin Wallet:
I probably got about 25% of the way down that page before I decided that it sounds like a Hell of a lot more than anything I would want to do in securing my money, but it seems like a reasonable level of necessary security for an especially savvy computer-user...which I'm not. With that said, when it comes to Online Casinos, you definitely want to stick with some of the most reputable names in Online Casinos and that is all information that can be found starting here, at Latest Casino Bonuses with our Bitcoin casinos page:
Gambling with Bitcoins at Online Casinos
With that out of the way, a savvy computer (and Bitcoin) user may soon find himself able to gamble at some casinos that otherwise would not do any transactions with the United States due to the difficulty involved in the processing of payments and withdrawals.
One thing that players will notice is that many casinos will allow players to deposit in Bitcoin, but will not allow Bitcoin withdrawals. Ignition Casino is an example of one such casino in which a player can make a deposit by Bitcoin, but withdrawals take place only by check. I would assume that the Bitcoin currency is converted to U.S. Dollars as soon as the deposit is made so that the casino limits its exposure to the fluctuation in Bitcoin prices.
Aside from that, the actual process of playing with Bitcoin is no different than playing with cash in the event of a casino that actually has the player play in Bitcoin. The list of Bitcoin casinos linked above is comprehensive and can be expected to grow as more and more Online Casinos embrace Bitcoin technology.
While Internet Casinos were certainly the first entities in the casino realm to accept Bitcoin, they are actually not the only casinos to do so. On January 21st, 2014, it was announced that The D Casino and Golden Gate Casino in Downtown Las Vegas would accept Bitcoin, through BitPay, at both of the hotel desks as well as at some of the restaurant venues in both casinos. In the event that this proves successful, it may only be a matter of time before BitCoin could theoretically be converted into casino credit (probably via the Players Club and Free Play systems) and customers would no longer need to carry Debit/Credit cards or cash into the casino. That is because Bitcoin purchases can be made from a Bitcoin wallet stored on a mobile device.
The possibilities for the implementation of Bitcoin in the realm of gambling are nearly unlimited, but it remains to be seen whether or not the technology will be widely embraced among the individuals and businesses alike. For anyone who wants to dismiss the possibility out of hand, though, I would point out that there was time that people asked, "Who would ever need to access the Internet from their phone?" Even farther back, I remember one of my Aunts asking me, "Why would I use E-Mail when it is so much easier to send a letter?" If anyone is really interested, my aunt can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter...she also maintained a MySpace at one time, but no longer does.
The point is that technology is rapidly changing, and as changes technology, so changes the world. As I remark about my concerns with the safety and security of Bitcoin, I remember that credit cards were once considered a not particularly secure thing to carry, much less Debit Cards. Nowadays, Credit and Debit Cards can be set up to such an extent that people immediately receive a message on their phone anytime the card is used and, therefore, can take more immediate action to prevent unauthorized transactions. It is difficult to determine whether or not BitCoin users will feel that they enjoy the same level of security, but it is possible that will happen eventually.
To a certain extent, BitCoin might be considered a safer alternative for Online Casinos than Credit Cards, though. BitBet, for instance, is a casino that deals in Bitcoin for deposits and withdrawals and, aside from your Bit Wallet information, the player need not give them any personal information whatsoever. The best part is that BitBet is one of the few casinos to be, "Certified Fair," by the independent Certified Fair Gaming which was once owned by LCB's own Wizard of Odds Michael Shackleford and then passed on to Eliot Jacobsen of APHeat.net and is now owned by Charles Mousseau who is involved in seemingly all things gambling related.
It would seem that, for those of you out there who understand the technicalities of properly securing your Bitcoin Wallet, that Bitcoin might be one of the most convenient possible ways to enjoy the services of Online Casinos, but again, it is very essential that players pay attention to the Bitcoin Market.
Bitcoin might also be an attractive option for a low-rolling gambler as BitBet, just for one example, accepts deposits as low as 0.01 Bitcoin. If the value of Bitcoin is about $457 as it stands at this moment and the casino will accept a minimum deposit of 0.01 Bitcoin, then that means the casino is accepting a deposit that has a cash equivalent of only $4.57 as of the time of this writing.
As a player, I would be inclined to ask myself, how can they possibly allow such a small deposit or pay out such small withdrawals?
The answer to that question is actually very simple: The processing costs on deposits and withdrawals are next to nothing, especially compared to what they would usually pay. When it comes to Deposits and Withdrawals, Online Casinos often have to work through third-party payment processors that may charge a wide range of fees in order to execute the financial transactions for the casino. In the case of Bitcoin, it is almost a direct method of Deposit/Withdrawal between the casino and the player as one possibly could be.
In addition to that, the returns from winnings can be nearly immediate in the event that the player wants them to be. BitBet Casino states in their policy that the longest that a withdrawal could possibly be take is 24 hours, but as a practical matter, they will usually take much less time than that. The one thing that is strange about Bitbet is they say they have a maximum withdrawal of $500 twice per week, so I assume that to mean the Bitcoin equivalent of $500 twice per week.
If, as a player, you are okay with the volatility of the Bitcoin market in terms of valuation, then as far as the actual process of making deposits and receiving withdrawals is concerned, it is unlikely that there is any more convenient means with which to do that than Bitcoin.
The Future of Bitcoin
When it comes to understanding the value of Bitcoin and the prospective for future value, it is eminently essential that you do your research before forming an opinion and deciding to either buy Bitcoin for the purpose of depositing into Online Casinos or purchasing any of the components required to Mine Bitcoin or join a Mining Pool. The information that is available on the Internet regarding Bitcoin is largely propagated by supporters of Bitcoin, and hence, should be taken with a grain of salt. Just for one example, the following Article published in 2014:
The Article above suggests that the price of Bitcoin for, 'Next year,' which in the case of that Article meant 2015, could possibly hit $10,000 per Bitcoin.
I have no knowledge or opinion whatsoever of whether or not the writer of that Article, or the owners of the site own Bitcoin. In fact, nobody really knows who owns Bitcoin or how much they own. With that being said, I would always be wary of sources that professed a bright future for Bitcoin, "Consider the source," as they say. The reason that I feel that way is because, if you owned something that you were considering selling in the event that the value became high enough, wouldn't you do well to, 'SELL,' the product to people by professing to its great value? Is that not especially true if you are considered to be an independent third-party source of information about the product?
Imagine if I owned a used car that I wanted to get rid of and there were no websites such as Carfax or KBB that would give someone an approximate value on how much I should be trying to sell my used car for. In fact, let's imagine that there was no information whatsoever other than what the owners of the product themselves said about the product, in that event, would it not be in the best interest of the owners of the product to talk the product up and increase its value?
Even that comparison is inadequate to emphasize what could potentially happen with respect to Bitcoin if sources with a vested interest start publishing information that otherwise seems credible. At least in the case of the used cars, individuals could take a look at how much new cars actually cost and call me out for being ridiculous if I was asking for anything in the neighborhood of what they could get a used car for. With respect to Bitcoin, much like a stock, nobody really knows what it is truly worth because it is largely worth whatever people think that it is worth when it is being bought or sold with some other form of currency. In fact, even the Bitcoin trackers refer to the ultimate value of all of the Bitcoin currently, 'Mined,' as the Market Cap.
One positive sign for the currency is that Japan, always on the forefront of technological innovation, has officially determined that Bitcoin (and other digital currencies) are a form of money:
If nothing else, this decision definitely legitimizes Bitcoin as a form of currency and the rest of the world may take notice and come to similar legal conclusions. The results of this would be indescribable in terms of human interest, Bitcoin would not simply be the first currency to not be centralized in some fashion, but it would also be the first currency recognized as such by the world to not answer to a central bank or other regulatory agency.
I will abstain from reaching any ultimate conclusions about the future of Bitcoin at this time, although, Bitcoin miners seem to be reporting a positive return on investment (generally speaking) so far for their endeavors. Bitcoin also seems to be widely enough used that a casino operating entirely on Bitcoin, for both deposits and withdrawals, is actually able to exist.
While I am not going to reach any conclusions, I will say it is definitely beyond me to have to worry about fluctuations in valuation and the protection measures necessary to deal with Bitcoin at this time. It may be convenient for some people, and it might even be convenient for me if I were to learn how to do it properly, but it simply seems like too much of an initial headache.
To summarize my position, I would certainly not get into Bitcoin solely for the purpose of gambling at Online Casinos using Bitcoin, but if I were already into Bitcoin, I would have no hesitation to using Bitcoin to fund my play at Online Casinos as long as I believed that they were both safe and secure. Once again, you can use the ratings, reviews and pages about the casinos right here to hear about the experiences of players at various Bitcoin casinos. We can only hope to add more Reviews, News and experiences as soon as more casinos start accepting this form of digital currency.
Bitcoin is easily the most interesting thing to happen in the world of currency in the last century, and as with any other form of technology, has both its strengths and its weaknesses. The continued success of Bitcoin, interestingly enough, only relies upon people continuing to believe in Bitcoin, buying and selling it at high numbers, and ensuring that 1 BTC continues to have the impressive cash equivalent that it currently enjoys.
Furthermore, there is no question that Bitcoin acceptance continues to expand its bounds, not just to Online Casinos, but now also into the physical world and in making physical purchases. I think that may be the most difficult transition of all if Bitcoin does actually manage to gain a larger foothold in the number of financial transaction that are processed daily, but with the admittedly low processing fees (compared even to credit card processing fees) I will admit that it is possible.
In conclusion, the one thing that I cannot emphasize enough is that I absolutely would gamble using Bitcoin Online if I were an owner of Bitcoin to begin with. I think that it seems, by far, to be the absolute most convenient way of making deposits and withdrawals (from what casinos do Bitcoin withdrawals) at Online Casinos. The only exception to this is if I believed that the Bitcoin market was imminently going to tank and I wanted to get rid of it immediately, but the market for the currency seems stable if not even on a slow and steady climb.
For those of you who already use Bitcoin at Online Casinos, if you have not reported on your opinions of dealing with both specific casinos and the currency itself yet, please do so! Unfortunately, due to my nature of being somewhat slow to embrace technology, I'm on the outside looking in, but I would love to hear about it!