Bitcoin has gained unprecedented traction over the last year or so, thanks to mainstream media coverage, and the popularity of the crypto-currency. However, the majority of online gamblers are still unfamiliar with Bitcoin despite the fact more and more online casinos are starting to accept Bitcoin, either solely or alongside other deposit options.
So, in order to help those individuals, we’ve created this guide to teach them what Bitcoin Casinos are, and how you can start playing at one right away.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that can be used to make real money wagers at online casinos, just as you would with other traditional payment methods, such as credit cards. However, the reason why there are an increasing number of gamblers that are using Bitcoin is because it offers a unique array of benefits, all of which we’ll explain in further details below.
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Benefits of Playing at a Bitcoin Casino
Bitcoins offer a succinct number of advantages for players who use them for real money gambling online, and we’ll look at a few of these benefits below.
Privacy: Bitcoin is developed on the ethos that humans should be able to make financial transactions without snooping interference from banks and government institutions. In fact, the cryptocurrency is coded and developed in a way that ensures it’s very hard to track payments – and for those who are privacy-conscious, it’s ideal, as it allows you to gamble anonymously.
Speed: One of the ‘pet-hates’ many players have with online gambling, is that withdrawing can take a long time. This is particularly relevant when making a withdrawal request back onto a debit or credit card, and in some circumstances, it can take up to 9 days for withdrawals to be received to your account. Bitcoin transfers are instant – and this means that once a casino processes your withdrawal and transfers your money, you’ll receive the cash in seconds!
Security: Your Bitcoin wallet (the place you store bitcoins, and where they’re sent to, and from), is password protected, and this means that – unlike using your card online – there isn’t a CVC number, or 16-digit card number that thieves could use to make transactions on your behalf. As long as you keep your wallet password safe, your bitcoins will remain safe and secure!
How to Use Bitcoins at Online Casinos
Using Bitcoin when you want to play for real money at an online casino is simple, and in this section, we’ll take a look at how you can actually deposit, and withdraw bitcoins from your casino of choice.
(To send bitcoins, you’ll need to have purchased some – see the next sub-section if you need help on purchasing bitcoins.)
Once you have some bitcoins in your wallet, you’ll be able to send them to the online casino you wish to play at. Now, dependant on the Bitcoin wallet you choose to use, the exact method for sending bitcoins will differ – but it’s generally just a case of clicking “Send”, or “New Transaction”; something along those lines.
Head to the online casino you wish to deposit money into, and at the cashier tab, select “Bitcoin” as your deposit method.
You’ll then be presented with a random number of words and numbers, and this is the Bitcoin wallet address you’ll be sending money too.
Take a note of this address, and head to your Bitcoin wallet; click send, and paste in the Bitcoin wallet address you just copied from the online casino. Select the amount you wish to send, and once you’ve doubled checked all the details are correct, hit the send button – the bitcoins will be available within your real money balance within a matter of seconds!
If you’ve had a win, and want to withdraw your winnings, you’ll need to head to the cashier section, and request a withdrawal.
Once you select Bitcoin as the withdrawal method, you’ll then be asked to input your receiving Bitcoin wallet address. This can be found inside your Bitcoin wallet.
Simply enter your wallet address at the online casino you’ve been playing at, and once the casino has processed your withdrawal, the funds will be available inside your Bitcoin wallet within a matter of seconds.
How to Get Bitcoin
Assuming you’re looking to get bitcoins for the first time, to enable you to play for real money at a Bitcoin casino, you’ll probably be wondering where exactly they come from – and the answer to that question largely depends on the payment method you wish to use to buy Bitcoin.
The most popular place to source bitcoins is arguably at an online exchange, and a couple of the major examples include LocalBitcoins, Coinbase, and Bittylicious. To buy bitcoins through one of these exchanges, you’ll usually have to verify your identity, so first of all you need to sign up. After that, you’ll be asked to confirm your email, and phone number – and dependant on how much bitcoin you want to buy, you’ll likely need to submit proof of address, as well as a photocopy or image of a government-issued identification card.
Another way to purchase bitcoins, is by finding someone in your local area, and buying them for cash. This is the most anonymous, and privacy-centred way of acquiring bitcoins, but, of course, it carries a large amount of extra effort, and it’s not always easy to find someone who sells them locally for cash.
If you decide to choose the cash route, make sure you take all the necessary precautions for meeting any stranger for whatever reasons. For example, choose to meet the seller in a well-lit and busy place, bring along a friend etc. Also, make sure you’ve received the bitcoins before handing over all of the cash.
Things to Remember
If you’re new to using bitcoins, it will likely be a bit of a learning curve once you start using them. One of the most important things to remember, is to always double, and triple-check the addresses you’re sending/receiving bitcoins to.
Far too often, people don’t receive their bitcoins because they’ve entered one digit wrong in the string of letters and numbers that makes up the Bitcoin address. To avoid this, always copy and paste the address – and ALWAYS double check that it’s correct before clicking send.
The way Bitcoin works means it’s impossible to get back lost bitcoins in the event that anything goes wrong, so it really is worth taking a few seconds to double check everything.
Another thing that you’ll want to look out for, is Bitcoin’s transactions fees. While Bitcoin is free to use, a tiny percentage of every transaction is put towards keeping the Bitcoin network up and running, and while insignificant for the most-part, there is a reason why you’ll want to take note of this fee.
Due to congestion on the Bitcoin network (which means multiple transactions being made at once), it is possible for the network to become clogged up. This basically means transactions take longer to complete, and you could find yourself waiting a few hours for payments to complete.
To help avoid this situation, it’s possible to set a dynamic Bitcoin fee, which basically prioritizes your payment. This isn’t possible through all types of wallet – for example, most exchanges don’t allow for it – but if you’re using a downloadable desktop-based wallet, you can always raise the fee – and most wallets allow you to control a slider, which sets the fee at “high”.
Doing this isn’t always recommended, as you can actually end up paying quite a bit, but in times where the Bitcoin network is heavily congested, it can be beneficial, especially if you don’t want to wait around long for your transaction to complete.
As you can see from the above guide, using bitcoins to play for real money at Bitcoin casinos is fairly straight-forward, and while there is a bit of a learning curve at first, once you begin to understand more about how the Bitcoin network works – and how to buy, sell, and send bitcoins – it becomes second-nature.
It can be hard to get your head around at first, admittedly, so don’t rush, and give yourself some time to read up on Bitcoin if you need more information on the logistics of the cryptocurrency.
Of course, anything “new” like Bitcoin will come as a small culture shock, and the main thing you should watch out for, is that you’re going to be entering a digital world that features incredibly complex mathematics and algorithms to make it work. Thankfully, however, you don’t need to worry about any of this, and simply follow the advice above, and you’ll be able to get started quickly, and easily!