Do you want to use BitCoin to gamble online? Have you noticed a new payment option in your favourite online casino and wondered know what ‘Ethereum’ is all about? Read on for a complete guide to all you need to know about cryptocurrencies and online casinos.
What is cryptocurrency?
The technical details of cryptocurrency are complex, but in practice the concept is quite simple, and rather similar to an ordinary currency such as pounds or euros. A cryptocurrency—’crypto’ is short for ‘cryptographic’—is a form of currency which is secured by an unbreakable code and exists digitally, instead of as physical notes and coins issued by a national bank. There are many different cryptocurrencies available, including BitCoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin and Dash, but they all offer fast, secure and completely anonymous transactions and can be used to buy everything from groceries to casino credit.
Cryptocurrency and gambling online
As usual with new payment technologies, online casinos were among the first merchants to accept cryptocurrencies, and many casinos including top names are happy to accept cryptocurrency payments. In fact, there are many advantages to using cryptocurrency when gambling online.
- International gambling: Cryptocurrency gambling is truly international as transactions are completely anonymous. Have you ever wanted to play in overseas casinos but regulations don’t allow it? If you choose a casino with cryptocurrency payment options you can gamble wherever you like.
- Secure, fast and cheap transfers: Cryptocurrency transactions are highly secure, and you don’t need to share any private details to make or receive payments. Transfers are fast, with transactions taking anything from a few seconds to one hour to process. And, as the cost of processing cryptocurrency transactions is very low, cryptocurrency players are often given very favourable deals and deposit bonuses.
- Fairer online gambling: Some casinos are starting to take advantage of the nature of cryptocurrency transactions to let players verify the outcome of a spin or wager. If you’ve always been too cautious to gamble online, a casino using cryptocurrency and ‘provably fair’ technology could be just what you’ve been waiting for.
Getting started with cryptocurrency gambling
The process of making your first cryptocurrency purchase can seem complicated and even scary. And yes, it isn’t quite as simple as going to the cashpoint or buying Euros at the bureau de change. But once you are set up you can buy as much or as little cryptocurrency as you want at the click of a mouse, and you can be confident that your money is as secure as the banknotes in your pocket. The following steps will have you confidently buying and wagering cryptocurrencies in no time.
- Choose your currency: There are many different cryptocurrencies available, and it’s important to find the one that suits you. BitCoin is the oldest and most famous cryptocurrency, but its value can change very quickly—great for investors but not always ideal for people who just want to gamble or shop. Ethereum has a far more stable price, and there are also some special Ethereum ‘tokens’ issued exclusively for for gambling online which work like digital casino chips. Dash and LiteCoin are designed for online spending and are very user friendly, but are accepted by fewer casinos.
- Get a wallet: To buy and spend cryptocurrency you need two codes: a public key which allows you to receive currency and a private key which is used to spend or sell your currency. A cryptocurrency wallet is a way to store these codes and manage your currency balance. This can be an app on your computer or phone, an online service or even a piece of paper. However you choose to store your currency, it is vital that you never reveal your private key or your wallet password, as anyone with access to this information can instantly empty your wallet with no chance of detection or refund. No legitimate person or business will ever ask you to provide your private key.
- Buy some cryptocurrency. Now it’s time to turn some pounds into crypto-coins. The easiest and safest way to acquire cryptocurrency is through a broker, who accepts payment via credit or debit card, or bank transfer and sends your currency purchase straight to your wallet.
- Gamble: Choose an online casino in the UK or abroad which accepts your currency, and add funds to your account using your private key or wallet password. Then you can gamble just as you would with a normal currency balance.
- Cashout: When you are ready to claim your winnings, you simply provide your public key and the casino will deposit funds in your wallet. Then spend it anywhere which accepts your currency, or exchange for pounds sterling via your broker or an exchange.