Bitcoin and Gambling
Over the past few years, bitcoin has become popular among online gambling platforms. While some may argue that gambling operators have turned to bitcoin to make it easier to partake in illegal or unsavory activities, the fact is that online gambling is a thriving, legal and legitimate business.
Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by Online Casino Bluebook.
Reputable online casinos are far from illegal. In reality, they keep in strict adherence with local laws. In many cases, casinos actually cut off service to certain regions due to regulatory restrictions. Bitcoin Games by Bitcoin.com, for example, does not allow people in the United States to play their games with real money due to the country’s gambling laws.
So then, why would an online casino want to use Bitcoin — a privacy-centric, encrypted currency — if it has no interest in breaking the law or skirting around regulations?
Simply put, there are a lot of reasons why a gambling site might want to use Bitcoin. Here is a top 5 list of benefits Bitcoin provides to online gambling websites and their customers:
A currency’s privacy shouldn’t be taken into consideration if gamblers have nothing to hide, right? Wrong.
While gambling may not be illegal in many parts of the world, it always seems to come with a social stigma. If people know you gamble, they might think you’re an unsavory character, that you’re immoral, or that you have some kind of addiction problem.
While these things can be associated with gambling, most people do it for fun.
Therefore, with Bitcoin’s pseudonymity, casual gamblers can have fun without worrying about being judged by the people around them.
Bitcoin may just be one of the most secure digital currencies out there — if you store it correctly.
As long as you keep your coins away from online wallets, protect your private keys with strong passwords, and keep the majority of your coins in cold storage, you’re probably not going to have to worry about someone stealing your money.
Compare this security with credit cards or Paypal. If gambling website gets hacked, and it has your credit card or Paypal account on record, then you become a likely candidate for the hacker’s next target. Not to mention the various phishing and social engineering schemes that trick even the smartest people into giving their credit card information to thieves.
With Bitcoin, you can rest assured that, if someone asks for your private key or wallet password, they’re trying to steal your money. Keep your private keys private, and you’ll be just fine.
Even with the recent transactions delays from the block size issue, bitcoin payments are incredibly fast. Most transactions get confirmed within minutes, with some taking a few hours. Only in rare cases do bitcoin payments take a day to confirm.
Compare that to an ACH bank transfer, which can take up to 5 business days to complete. International transfers can take a week or more to clear — even worse.
With bitcoin, gamblers can fund their accounts or withdraw winnings instantly (that is, if you’re using a reputable gaming platform). Even in the worst-case scenario, gamers get access to their funds same-day.
In addition to being faster than traditional online payments, bitcoin is much cheaper.
Bitcoin transaction fees are a fraction of the fees associated with bank transfers or credit card payments, which usually take big percentages out of your transaction as a service fee.
This cost-effectiveness benefits both the gambler and the website owners. Gamblers get to keep more of their winnings when withdrawing from the website, and the house saves money on credit card fees when customers choose to fund their accounts with bitcoin.
Optimized for Online Gaming
Bitcoin was born on the Internet and was made especially for online use. Therefore, this digital currency makes for a near-perfect solution for online gambling platforms.
Credit cards and bank transfers were never meant to be used online like they are today. Their sluggishness, cost and inefficiency tell us that much. However, before bitcoin, people really didn’t have much other choice.
But now, we have cash for the digital age, and cumbersome institutions like credit card companies, banks, and payment processors are no longer necessary. Because of its online optimization, Bitcoin eliminates the need for all those things, guaranteeing a relatively high level of privacy, security, efficiency, and ease-of-use.