Bitcoin and other forms of blockchain are a hugely popular method of payment when it comes down to online casinos and there has been a significant increase in their usage over the last few years.
With players having decided to turn away from the traditional methods of cold-cash by means of credit/debit cards, bank transfers and e-wallets like PayPal, knowing the most about cryptocurrency is vital and it is extremely important to understand all the benefits and negatives they pose those that decide to use them.
Advantages of using Bitcoin
At the end of the day, gameplay will not be affected by the type of currency used. However, there are some rather strong reasons as to why using Bitcoins can have its advantages when playing online casino games.
One major advantage that springs to mind immediately is that the payment method is decentralized. As the player, you are the only person who knows what is available to you as it is not regulated as funds in a bank are, for example. Users will be able to make the transactions that they want to make without facing any possible resistance and are free to do what they wish.
The speed in which transactions are made with blockchain currencies tend to be quicker than those being done by means of the traditional bank transfers. This works for both depositing and withdrawing funds, and can usually be processed within 10 minutes.
One of the biggest advantages that are to come out of the use of Bitcoin technologies is that it offers users plenty of anonymity and confidentiality. Each transaction that is made via this method passes through a unique route that makes it extremely difficult to track and, even if it has been, it is impossible to link it to one particular player.
There is also an element of fairness involved when using blockchain technologies. Each user is able to check if the outcome of the game was made through the use of random numbers, or whether it was tampered as they can get instant verification on each wager they place by entering a bet ID number and some other details. This ensures that there is fairness and that gives users the satisfaction there is no dodgy shenanigans happening behind the scenes. The fact that a Bitcoin casino uses blockchain will also help to improve their own reputation, therefore providing a win-win scenario.
Although online casinos will always strive to offer players with a vast number of different payment methods, not all are universally accepted across the board, which can make depositing/withdrawing funds a little more difficult than it has to be. However, Bitcoin does not have any boundaries and can be used everywhere in the world.
Commissions can be the bain of our lives when trying to take our winnings from the bankroll, however Bitcoin transactions all have the same size of commission regardless of the amounts being withdrawn, making this an appealing factor for those who do not want to be hit with a large percentage cut after withdrawing a significant sum of money.
There are no legal restrictions on Bitcoin as well as the currency is not considered ‘real money’ in certain countries, meaning players will not have to pay taxes on their winnings and keep the vast majority of it.
Other legal issues that can be faced when using normal methods of payment are in countries that have outlawed gambling or place strict rules on online casinos. By using Bitcoin currency, these transactions can by-pass the likes of financial institutions and allow players to get their fix, without any legal consequences.
Disadvantages of using Bitcoin
Of course, whilst there are many advantages that make the possibility of using blockchain technologies an attractive option moving forward, however it does not also come without its negatives, either.
Perhaps one of the well-known problems that are associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is the volatility that the currency has within the trading markets. Confidence is a hugely important factor with those involved in the stock markets and if there is not any, then things can become rather serious.
Fluctuations can happen at any time, with each day hardly providing any real stability. For example, on 17 December 2017: Bitcoin’s price briefly reached its all-time high of $19,783.06. However, just one week later, on 22 December 2017: Bitcoin fell below $11,000, a fall of 45% from its peak.
Of course, there is also a flip side to this, as if the exchange rate is at a favourable rate, then their possible winnings could be a lot more than they originally thought they might be.
Although the fact that there are no legal restrictions on Bitcoin as the currency is not considered ‘real money’ in some places, it still remains a grey area for many. Some countries have completely banned it, whilst others have unclear rules and regulations.
There is no responsibility attached to it, which makes it difficult to solve any problems that may arise by using it. Transactions can not be voided if incorrect, nor can requests be made to return money when made in error. Therefore, a clear understanding must be had before using it.
Although an advantage is that the withdrawal process for Bitcoin can be instant compared to other popular methods, there is still the possibility that they can take longer because of the security processes attached to them.
Of course, when weighing up the benefits and disadvantages of Bitcoin, as well as other cryptocurrencies that are available, there are a number of interesting things that certainly need to be accounted for.
It would be fair to say that it is completely possible in the future that some of the advantages start to disappear, for example, the legal restrictions as there have already been moves by certain countries to try and prohibit its use, or at least, try and restrict it as much as possible.
One thing that must always be at the forefront of a user’s mind is the high volatility the currency has, with it’s exchange rates far from stable and extremely dangerous at times, whilst users must know exactly what they are doing with it, otherwise it could be a costly mistake.