Cryptocurrencies were being first talked about as early as 1983, with theoretical discussions about how a cryptographic monetary unit would work. But these theories didn’t get put into practice until 2009, when Bitcoin became the first decentralised cryptocurrency available to the public. Since then there have been over 6000 competing forms of cryptocurrencies created.
Cryptocurrencies are digital-only money, bought and stored without the need to go through a bank. This keeps transaction fees to a minimum and means that transfer and processing times are almost instantaneous. They are also designed to be a completely secure form of payment, with no personal details attached to each transaction. With more transactions being done online now, instances of data theft are on the rise, and companies are looking for more secure payment methods to reassure their customers. As such, some major industries have now started to accept cryptocurrency payments. Big names in the tech industry including Microsoft and NewEgg, and transport industry, including Expedia and Virgin Galactic, have embraced cryptocurrencies and given their customers a new payment option.
Cryptocurrency in gambling
Cryptocurrencies have changed the game for smaller online casinos but they do come with downsides.
Another industry where you can directly spend your cryptocurrency is the online gambling industry. Cryptocurrencies have created a bit of a loophole for online casinos, because they do not explicitly require a license. As such, a large number of crypto casinos have been launched, but they are smaller affairs and many are not of the same excellent quality as the big-name casino sites. Another bonus for crypto casinos is that, because the transactions are completely anonymous, there is no way of tracking which country payments are coming from, so anyone who lives in a country where online gambling is not legalised, could get around restrictions by paying in cryptocurrencies. And as previously mentioned, transactions are instantaneous, so players can make a deposit and play straight away, without having to wait for funds to clear.
However, there are downsides to crypto casinos, and many reasons why most people prefer to stick with tried and tested payment methods, including:
- Cryptocurrency withdrawals can be complicated and lengthy, and many casinos don’t offer them at all. While you can deposit your money instantly, getting it back can take longer than other options.
- Crypto casinos aren’t licensed. There is no official regulation of the industry and therefore less protection for the players. Your financial details will never be leaked, but you could find yourself out of pocket if you take a bet on an unscrupulous website.
- Cryptocurrency is anonymous – this is a huge problem for providers who need to be able to spot any fraudulent activity or instances on money laundering. It is one of the main reasons established providers won’t accept the currency as it can mask funds derived from criminal activity.
- No age verification checks – with cryptocurrency players can skirt around important verification checks. Age verification is highly important for established casinos to prevent underage players from gambling illegally.
There are plenty of different and safer payment options out there for gamblers to choose from.
So, what are the other options? Many people feel uncomfortable using their credit and debit cards for online purchases and deposits. Every website you enter your details into will store them, and stored data is always at risk of being stolen, no matter how good security measures are. But, there are plenty of websites and services which offer a solution and have been around long enough to become trusted by many. The original, and most well-known, payment gateway is PayPal, and it is still the safe choice for most people and most online providers today.
PayPal works by linking a PayPal account to your bank account or debit card. All payments are then made through your PayPal account, meaning that your details aren’t shared with the website. Keeping all your details in one place instead of spreading them around multiple sites reduces your chances of having them stolen, so using a site like PayPal adds an extra layer of security between your purchases and your bank account. PayPal is safe, secure way to pay and a preferred payment method at many major UK casinos such as the highly regarded 888 online casino, who also accepts many other payment methods.
Another advantage of using PayPal is that, because it deals in fiat currencies and all payments are processed by banks, any casinos which will let you use it for payments have to be licensed and regulated in your country. This offers the added protection of knowing you are dealing with a legitimate enterprise and one which offers protection for its customers. PayPal also lets you withdraw into your account, making it an easy way to transfer out your winnings. You then have the option of leaving the winnings in your PayPal account to fund future transactions directly, or withdrawing the amount into your bank account. There is no charge for either.
2. Binance cards
But, payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe don’t deal in cryptocurrencies. However, for people determined to use them for purchases, there might be a new way to do so. You can use a Binance card – a Visa-powered debit card – to make deposits at casinos that don’t traditionally accept cryptocurrencies. The Binance card pays the casino in whatever currency you choose, and convert the funds from your linked cryptocurrency account. It’s the perfect way to use cryptocurrencies for your purchases and casino deposits, without having to limit yourself to only sites which accept them as a form of currency. Now you can use a safe, licensed site for your crypto casino – it’s a win for everybody!
Cryptocurrencies are gaining in popularity and edging closer to becoming a valid mainstream way of shopping online. And as this happens, more and more online retailers will start to accept them as payment. For the online casino industry, it can’t be too long before some sort of regulations are introduced to hold crypto casinos to the same high standards as the rest of the online casinos. Crypto players deserve the same level or protection and the same good quality products as those who pay with fiat currency, and with demand growing steadily, it may come sooner than you think.
Edward is a finance expert that experienced the 2007 stock market crash first hand. In 2010, he discovered Bitcoin and has been a cryptocurrency advocate ever since.