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Can You Gamble with Satoshis?

By Randy Ray in General
| January 15, 2018 12:00 am PDT
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Bitcoin gambling has grown considerably in recent years. The majority of online casinos today now accept Bitcoin (BTC) deposits.

But as popular as BTC is at internet casinos, gambling with this cryptocurrency can be intimidating. This is especially the case given that many players don’t know what Bitcoin units are accepted at casinos.

A Satoshi is the smallest available unit of BTC. Is it big enough to gamble with online?

I’m going to answer this question by looking at whether online casinos recognize Satoshis. I’ll also discuss more on BTC units and why you should start gambling with Bitcoin.

What Is a Satoshi?

The easiest way to answer this question is to begin with BTC.

A Bitcoin is an electronic peer-to-peer currency that you can use to buy items online. This lets you purchase goods without any third-party involvement, such as a government, bank, or credit card company.

BTC has different unit sizes, much like American currency has different bill and coin sizes.

A Satoshi is the smallest unit, equaling a one-hundred-millionth of a Bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC).This tiny unit is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous person (people) who created Bitcoin in the late 2000s.

In October 2008, Nakamoto published a Bitcoin report on metzdowd.com. The paper, entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” discussed how this cryptocurrency works.

He released the first Bitcoin software in January 2009, which paved the way for the BTC network and subsequent currency to be released.

What Are the Different Bitcoin Units?

One drawback of Bitcoin’s increasing popularity is that the standard BTC unit has become too expensive for most purchases. One Bitcoin is now worth over $17,000, and this amount continues fluctuating.

The reason why Bitcoin is so valuable is because the current system only allows for 21 million BTC to be mined. This limited supply, coupled with Bitcoin’s rising popularity, has caused the price to skyrocket.

Therefore, the value of smaller BTC units is becoming more practical when purchasing online goods and services. Here are the main units, along with their value in Bitcoin:

  • decaBitcoin (daBTC) = 10 BTC
  • Bitcoin (BTC) = 1
  • deciBitcoin (dBTC) = 0.1
  • centiBitcoin (cBTC) = 0.01
  • milliBitcoin (mBTC) = 0.001
  • microBitcoin (uBTC) = 0.000001
  • Finney = 0.0000001
  • Satoshi= 0.00000001

Can You Gamble at Online Casinos with Satoshis?

The smallest Bitcoin unit that online casinos recognize is a milliBitcoin (mBTC). If you were to deposit one Bitcoin, the casino would break your funds down into 1,000 mBTC.

Internet casinos don’t deal with whole mBTCs when it comes to bets. That’s because a single milliBitcoin is currently worth over $17, which is more than most online gamblers risk on a single wager.

Instead, casinos allow you to bet as little as 0.01 mBTC, which works out to roughly $0.17.

You’d need 100,000 Satoshis just to equal 0.01 mBTC. This is why online casinos aren’t willing to deal in Satoshis.

Another problem with Satoshis is that they’re worth so little in comparison to other currencies. Below, you can see how much 100 Satoshis are worth in terms of major currencies:

  • 100 Satoshis = $0.02
  • 100 Satoshis = €0.01
  • 100 Satoshis = £0.01

It’s not worth an online casino’s time to break bets down into Satoshis. After all, a $5 blackjack hand would require 50,000 Satoshis.

Bitcoin’s value has seen a rapid increase over the past several years. Once equal to $1, a single Bitcoin is now worth $17,249 at the time of this post.

Even still, I don’t see Satoshis becoming a feasible online casino unit in the near future. But I could be wrong, given that an mBTC was once worth pennies and is now up to $17.25.

How to Deposit at Bitcoin Online Casinos

The first step to making a Bitcoin deposit at an online casino is ensuring that you have BTC. This begins with setting up a digital wallet and purchasing funds.

A simple Google or Bing search will bring up a variety of online wallet options. Two of the most common wallets sites include Circle and Coinbase.

What’s great about these sites is that they not only allow you to set up your wallet, but also to buy Bitcoin using the currency of your choice.

When you have a wallet with BTC funds available, the next step is to find an online casino that takes Bitcoin. As I mentioned before, this is really easy today because so many internet casinos accept BTC.

If you’re unsure about whether a prospective online casino takes Bitcoin, you can simply visit their banking section and see their available deposit methods.

Provided Bitcoin is available, you select this option to receive an online address for the casino.

Here are the steps to finalizing your Bitcoin deposit:

  • Head back to your digital wallet (usually there’s a button on the casino deposit page).
  • Enter the given wallet address.
  • Authorize the transfer so that your BTC funds move onto the casino.

Sometimes it takes a few minutes for your Bitcoin transaction to be finalized. You can keep checking your online casino account to see when the funds are available.

Pros of Using Bitcoin for Online Gambling

Many web gamblers question why they should switch to Bitcoin when they’re already used to eWallets and/or credit cards. And this is a good question because I find that using BTC is slightly more complicated than credit cards and eWallets.

But there are some very good reasons why you should consider gambling with Bitcoin.

For starters, there’s no third-party involvement when you use BTC. This means that you don’t have to wait for an eWallet or credit card rep to approve your transactions.

Anybody who has spent days waiting for an online gambling transaction to be processed will appreciate this benefit.

Privacy is another reason to love betting with Bitcoin. This cryptocurrency isn’t tied to any bank or central government, meaning that all of your transactions are anonymous.

The blockchain, or public ledger that records Bitcoin transactions, is the only record of BTC use. But the blockchain doesn’t identify those with Bitcoin addresses.

This is nice if you hate answering questions from financial institutions about your transactions. Bitcoin doesn’t require you to answer to anybody, which makes it perfect for those who don’t want their online gambling habits advertised.

Another BTC advantage is that it can be used in countries where internet gambling is a grey area or even illegal.

The United States is a perfect example because the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) prevents American financial institutions from processing internet gambling transactions.

This doesn’t make online gambling illegal on a federal level in the US. But it does make it harder for offshore casinos to operate in America.

Bitcoin helps casinos bypass the UIGEA so they can continue serving American customers.

Yet another benefit to gambling with BTC is that banking fees are very low, if not nonexistent. Sometimes the system requires transaction fees so that there’s more incentive to process deposits faster.

But even in these cases, online casinos often front the fees for players because they’re so small (usually less than $0.50).

Cons of Using Bitcoin for Online Gambling

I strongly believe that the advantages outweigh the drawbacks when using Bitcoin for internet gambling. But there are still a few downsides that you should be aware of.

Number one is the fact that BTC value fluctuates more wildly than traditional currencies.

In a sense, Bitcoin behaves like a volatile stock.

A popular news story has the ability to drive up or plummet BTC value.

Imagine having your mBTC be worth $17 one day, then suddenly fall to $5 on a report that people are losing confidence in this currency.

This would, in turn, devalue your online casino funds by over one-third of the original worth. The same problem doesn’t occur with fiat currencies to such a high degree.

Earlier, I covered how Bitcoin is able to bypass laws and banking regulations in certain countries. But this can also work against you when considering the anonymity of BTC.

Many Bitcoin casinos operate offshore in licensing jurisdictions where there’s very little regulation. This brings up the chance that the casino could close down and take your funds without you having any recourse.

Bitcoin is typically the fastest way to move funds on and off of an internet casino. But this doesn’t mean BTC is immune to payment processing delays.

You’ll especially deal with this problem when trying to make large withdrawals.

The reason is because miners need to verify the transactions through the blockchain. And they tend to take more time when dealing with bigger transactions.

Conclusion

Satoshis are too small to gamble with online or elsewhere. And this doesn’t look to change anytime soon.

But the good news is that you won’t have any trouble gambling at Bitcoin casinos if you understand the units.

The main unit you need to know is mBTC, which is one-thousandth of a BTC. Online casinos break your deposits down into mBTCs because they’re the most manageable in terms of standard currency.

Based on the advantages and disadvantages that we’ve discussed, it’s worth looking into Bitcoin gambling. This is especially the case when considering that you can make quick transactions without third-party involvement.

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