Like many other industries nowadays, Bitcoin casinos have become the hot new thing in the online gambling world. Touted by its proponents as the “new age of finance”, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have very rapidly assimilated into both popular culture and finance through a combination of aggressive marketing and general fascination with the concept of a purely digital currency.
So what are Bitcoin casinos, how did they come about, and what could they mean for the rest of the industry?
What are Bitcoin casinos?
Now, I know you aren’t the kind of person that thinks about the philosophical and macroeconomic ramifications of cryptocurrency on the global economy. So with that, let’s look at things from the practical perspective—how does Bitcoin and cryptocurrency work in the context of online casinos?
Generally speaking, not much.
For most people that only really care about using the actual product, Bitcoin as a payment method is not that much different from an e-wallet. The only real difference is that you will need to go through a rather involved process of setting up your cryptocurrency wallet as every holder of cryptocurrency effectively serves as their own bank.
From the perspective of every Bitcoin casino that has hopped on the trend early, Bitcoin is mostly also treated as just another payment option. With the continuing maturity of the technology, however, newer Bitcoin casinos have taken more creative approaches with how they integrate cryptocurrency into their casino games and systems. For instance, an online casino can actually use Bitcoin as the main currency of the online casino, allowing gamblers to wager, lose, and win Bitcoin.
Why are online casinos embracing Bitcoin?
Anyone who has been following the online casino space over the past year or so will definitely have noticed the growing number of casinos that use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (Ethereum is one such option). Considering the fact that cryptocurrency still more or less functions as a payment method, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise for online casinos to have it available for the gamblers that do actually use Bitcoin and other digital coins.
Besides its growing popularity, online casinos are adopting Bitcoin in greater numbers for a variety of interesting reasons. Some of these are:
No government regulation: In recent years, governments around the world have been taking a stand against online casinos because of issues relating to crime, fraud, and consumer protection. Many large online and land-based casinos around the world have already come under fire by regulators, which is expected to worsen the relationship that the gambling industry has with governments.
Hence we are seeing this fairly rapid growth in the Bitcoin casino sector. Because cryptocurrencies are outside of the jurisdiction of any centralized regulator, Bitcoin casinos can accept them as valid payment without any restrictions. This, of course, is in contrast to traditional banks, which are being pressured by governments to withhold or even block transactions that are under suspicion of being used for gambling purposes.
Smoother transactions: Compared to the standard fare of online casino payment methods, cryptocurrency transactions are actually a lot smoother and faster. Players rarely (if ever) have to worry about transactions being rejected or blocked.
Safe & anonymous: As we touched on earlier, the technology that cryptocurrency runs on makes all of the users on the crypto network effectively anonymous as there is very little data that can be used to identify them. This, in turn, makes Bitcoin transactions safer than the standard.
Bitcoin Casinos and the Future
With all of that established, what does the future hold for Bitcoin casinos?
Now, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Bitcoin casinos are here to stay. With lobbyists and regulators looking to crack down further on online gambling in their respective regions, the pressure on land-based and online casino operators is building up faster and faster.
For many of these operators, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be seen as a way out. The position of crypto outside the influence of governments gives Bitcoin casinos a monetization stream that not only solves the problem of payment processor restrictions but is also a relatively accessible payment method for the players in general.
Of course, cryptocurrency is still very much in its formative years, and innovations continue to be pumped out each month that could further the technology to become fully realized as the future of online casinos.
Should you use Bitcoin for online gambling?
This of course brings us to the quintessential question: should you actually use bitcoin for your online gambling transactions?
Like all other payment methods, the answer really depends on what you need from your payment method. Do you need absolute anonymity? Are you the kind of person who likes to become an early adopter of emerging technologies? Are you comfortable with using a measure of value for online gambling that itself has a fluctuating value that turns the very active holding it into a gamble in and of itself?
If you said yes to all of these questions, then bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies just might be for you.
If not, then you might want to wait around and see what cryptocurrency will be capable of in the future. As we’ve already seen, there is an entire metaverse in store for Bitcoin and blockchain technology just around the corner, so it might not be long before Bitcoin becomes the gold standard for gambling payment methods.