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How to Gamble Online Using Cryptocurrencies
As the cryptocurrency craze continues to rage on, more and more avid gamblers are making the switch to using it as a means to make transactions on online gambling sites.
In a lot of ways, using cryptocurrency to gamble online is safer than using your bank account or PayPal information, because, at its core, cryptocurrency aims to protect the user through something called the blockchain, as well as through the use of cryptography to validate and secure all transactions.
If you are a current user and owner of cryptocurrency, this choice is a simple one: to gamble or not to gamble. You already have one piece of the puzzle and are reading this to learn more about the logistics of using your cryptocurrency to gamble online.
Your prior and practical knowledge of how cryptocurrency works, coupled with having a few transactions under your belt, will aide you in figuring out which options are best for you personally.
If you do not currently own cryptocurrency or have never owned it, don’t consider yourself at a disadvantage. There is a wealth of knowledge that you can arm yourself with and a lot of ways you can gain a better understanding of each type of cryptocurrency that fits your everyday gambling needs.
No matter your experience level with cryptocurrency, this page is here for you to decide if online gambling with your chosen currency or coin is right for you.
In order to better understand what gambling with cryptocurrency entails, it’s important to first understand how cryptocurrency works.
Cryptocurrency is essentially a type of intangible digital cash that is kept in an online or hardware wallet which is protected by a series of algorithms. The most well-known cryptocurrency of the moment is called Bitcoin (BTC), but it isn’t the only one on the market.
Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) are some other popular options for those that would prefer to use something a little more low-key.
Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. Their value changes regularly, and sometimes the changes are dramatic.
Before you get involved with cryptocurrency, it’s vital that you’re aware of the risks involved in simply owning any of it. The potential for big swings in value means that any currency you hold can be worth a lot less than you paid for it at any time. Or a lot more, of course.
The volatility comes from the fact that cryptocurrency is largely unregulated by any governmental body and isn’t controlled by a central authority like the United States federal reserve.
The lack of a central authority is an appealing concept for people who are not fond of how long it can take for certain bank or money order transactions to be validated.
For instance, when you deposit a check at the bank, it will typically take at least one full business day to appear in your account, which can be inconvenient.
Instead, cryptocurrency users will see their transactions approved and validated almost instantly. In this model, you have total control over your money and do not have to wait a day or more to spend or save the currency in your digital wallet.
A big contributing factor to the speed and security of cryptocurrency transactions is the blockchain.
The blockchain relies on users to be completely responsible for keeping a ledger or record of their transactions. It validates the transactions based on when they were made and puts them together in sequence, so they can’t be tampered with.
This underlying system of all cryptocurrencies is also used for things like medical records and other sensitive material that needs to be kept as secure as possible. If a block is tampered with, it corrupts the entire platform. This ensures its integrity is maintained.
The blockchain system also helps prevent scams carried out by other cryptocurrency users in exchanges. The most well-known scam that can be attempted by any average cryptocurrency user is called the double spend.
Double spending is essentially the practice of making two transactions while knowing that you only have enough to pay for one.
Here’s an example of double spending.
If Jack has an apple for sale for one Bitcoin, and Jill has an orange for sale for one Bitcoin, and you only have one Bitcoin in your pocket but want both (very expensive) pieces of fruit, you would process both transactions in quick succession so that both would think they were receiving your one Bitcoin.
Through the blockchain system, both transactions would be sent to the transaction pool awaiting validation. Your transaction with Jill and transaction with Jack are sent to different chains. Jill’s transaction occurred a split second faster than Jack’s, so it is validated first, and more transactions are strung together to continue the chain.
Then Jack’s is up for validation, and the system is able to ascertain that your account no longer contains one Bitcoin, and it does not validate your transaction with Jack.
Because the blockchain is so complex, the system needs to ensure each link in the chain is valid and complete. An invalid transaction chain could collapse a chain and maybe even the entire system as a whole.
Now, beyond what we’ve outlined here, you don’t really NEED to know anything more about the fundamental mechanics of cryptocurrency.
However, the following page covers all the basics extensively and includes some other related information. Take a look if you’d like to learn more about how cryptocurrency works, the blockchain, and a history of cryptocurrency.
After you’ve decided to go down the gambling with cryptocurrency path, you next need to figure out which type of site is right for your needs and priorities. The two main types of cryptocurrency gambling sites are cryptocurrency-only sites and established sites that have added cryptocurrency as a payment option.
Your specific needs and wants will dictate which is right for you, but it is best to make the decision when knowing the ins and outs of each type.
Let’s take a look at how these two main types of site differ.
Cryptocurrency-only sites, as the name suggests, deal ONLY in cryptocurrency. They don’t accept deposits using traditional currencies, and all winnings are paid out in cryptocurrency.
Sites of this nature are mostly relatively new and typically unestablished without a history or proven track record.
The biggest fear with a cryptocurrency-only site is that it would be there one day and gone the next.
Cryptocurrency is volatile and gaining popularity, meaning that a site needs to be equipped not only to deal with high-volume traffic and payouts but also to account for and handle the value and price fluctuations.
If you are interested in using a cryptocurrency-only site, you have to be willing and prepared to go the extra mile in terms of research and double-checking to ensure the safety of your money.
Scam sites that are built and run essentially to take your money and leave you high and dry are a dime a dozen, and the differences between a reputable site and a scam site are not always crystal clear.
Cryptocurrency-only sites are generally seen as being a simpler option for those who are well-versed in the process of online gambling with cryptocurrency. Because it deals only in cryptocurrency in payments and payouts, it is more of a streamlined approach. It is often seen as a faster option, and because of that, it is appealing.
As it stands, for most people, the cons of cryptocurrency-only sites outweigh the pros.
When possible, especially if you are new to cryptocurrency or gambling with cryptocurrency, it is advised that you play on established sites with added cryptocurrency abilities.
Established Sites with Cryptocurrency Options
Established sites with cryptocurrency options are sites that you maybe know and love and have played on in the past that have added cryptocurrency as an accepted payment or payout method.
Sites of this type are a good choice for anyone wanting to gamble using their preferred cryptocurrency because many of them have a history of dependability, stability, and have a cache of satisfied players that spans over at least six months.
This option may not have as many types of cryptocurrency offered as a payment or payout method as compared to crypto-only sites, though.
So if you own a smaller or more obscure type of coin or currency, you may need to purchase one that is more mainstream in order to use it on this type of site. This really depends and just requires a little more research on your part.
There is ultimately no guarantee that a site won’t go bust or experience a crash or an overload, but with this option, you have at least a little more assurance that the odds of that are smaller than on a crypto-only site.
If you are given the choice between a site of this type and a cryptocurrency-only site, this type of site is generally a safer choice. There’s a caveat, though. You still need to do your due diligence with prior research and a careful selection of the site you’d like to play on.
We can help with this, as we’ve ranked the top gambling sites that accept cryptocurrency (including some cryptocurrency-only sites) in a variety of different categories. All of our top-ranked sites are high-quality, trustworthy, and reputable. To see the sites we recommend and the categories we cover, please visit the following page.
Provably fair (PF) gambling is a revolutionary system in online gambling, and it only came about because of the “invention” of cryptocurrency. It ensures complete fairness for all outcomes in gambling games by using cryptographic hash functions and mathematical algorithms.
These functions and algorithms map data as it’s processed and string it together in an impenetrable structure. It is similar to the blockchain that is utilized with other types of cryptocurrency transactions.
An online casino using a PF system can prove to the player that a game was fair and wasn’t tampered with after a win to instead show a loss.
PF gambling is available for a variety of games online at a variety of different sites. Each game and site have different PF algorithms. For instance, a dice game’s PF algorithm would be different than a slot game. Regardless of this, the fundamental principle of PF gambling is constant.
Unfortunately, provably fair poker doesn’t exist, and its closest equivalent (a system called mental poker) still has kinks to be worked out.
The mental poker system relies on both players being present and sticking out the entire game, or the game is suspended and is paused indefinitely. So, if a player goes offline, either by accident or on purpose, any player participating in that game has to wait.
But don’t worry; mental poker or PF poker is sure to enter the scene as soon as that issue is worked through. Online poker is one of the most popular game choices for online gamblers, so whoever is able to figure out the ideal way to create a PF online poker game could potentially revolutionize the way it is played forever.
Provably fair gambling is (currently) only available using Bitcoin. For a more detailed look at how it works, please visit the following page.
Pros and Cons of Using Cryptocurrency for Online Gambling
There are separate pros and cons for both using cryptocurrency and gambling online, so putting them together should give you a lot to think about. It can help you to decide whether you want to get involved with cryptocurrency at all and/or whether you want to use it for the purposes of online gambling.
Here’s a look at the main pros and cons to consider.
Your personal information is secure and impenetrable via the blockchain
Access to provably fair gambling
Streamlined transactions (paying and collecting payouts via your chosen cryptocurrency)
May have to play on a few different sites to get all of the games you’d like to play
Future laws and regulations placed on cryptocurrency
In the situation of online gambling, the pros and cons are really dependent on the player’s needs and priorities. There are a multitude of different opinions and arguments for and against both cryptocurrency and online gambling as separate entities, so you might think that fact alone could bring a storm of negative consequences.
The reality is that in a lot of ways, online gambling is safer when you play with cryptocurrency.
It still isn’t perfect, sites could go bust, and owning cryptocurrency, in general, is a gamble, but in terms of protection of your identity, personal information, and bank account, online gambling with cryptocurrency is a safer bet.
If you are not a current cryptocurrency owner, don’t go all in. Buy a small amount and use that on your chosen gambling site to see if it is for you. Additionally, practicing responsible gambling is easiest if you only have a small amount of cryptocurrency to gamble with.
It may not necessarily feel like you’re gambling with “real” money when you’re getting the funds from your digital wallet and not your bank account, but it’s essential to remember that you are gambling with your hard-earned money and to treat it the same way as you would if you were spending physical cash.
Types of Gambling You Can Access with Cryptocurrency
Most forms of gambling that are available online using traditional currency are also available using cryptocurrency. They’re not necessarily all available in one place, so you might need to use different sites, but you’re not going to “miss out” on anything if you choose to gamble online with cryptocurrency as opposed to traditional currency.
Your typical online casino games are still there waiting for you, and some are even safer through something called provably fair gambling.
The biggest issue or inconvenience when gambling in an online casino with cryptocurrency is that your favorite or most frequented games may be split up between a few different sites, and it may take you a while to get settled into that pattern.
But if you are serious about wanting to give it a try, you shouldn’t let this get in your way.
Sports fans and gamblers will be happy to find that there are lots of established and reputable sites that both cover the sports they love to bet on and accept cryptocurrency.
Football betting, soccer betting, horse racing betting, tennis betting, cricket betting…you name it, and you can probably find a site that allows you to bet on it.
Other forms of online gambling available with cryptocurrency include the following.
Daily fantasy sports
Remember, all the same benefits (and drawbacks) of using cryptocurrency versus traditional currency apply regardless of what form of gambling you partake in.
Why Should You Use Cryptocurrency to Gamble Online?
So why should you make the switch to gambling with cryptocurrency if you’ve gone this long using your bank account information or PayPal account without incident? Simple – the safety of your information.
One of the biggest concerns about gambling online in the past has been the fact that by entering your account information into a site, there is some risk of your personal information being compromised either through a scam site or a security breach on a trustworthy one.
When you have used your online wallet and purchased cryptocurrency to gamble with, security risks are almost totally neutralized.
The nature of cryptocurrency is that cryptographic hashes are used to secure and string transactions together in a way that makes them virtually impenetrable and incorruptible.
The volatile nature of cryptocurrency aside, you are most secure and safe when you choose to use it to gamble with online. And remember, the same rules apply to cryptocurrency gambling as any other type of gambling.
You only use money that you could literally dispose of and remain financially secure. Just because it isn’t coming directly out of your pocket in the form of hard cash or out of your bank account doesn’t render it fake.
Cryptocurrency that sits in your online wallet is exactly the same as any other type of currency you might have sitting in your back pocket.
As long as you stick to the same rules you use to practice responsible gambling at a brick-and-mortar casino or any other online or physical gambling establishment, and you ensure your safety by doing plenty of research on the site you’d like to use, you’ll be just fine.
Tips for Online Gambling Using Cryptocurrency
Though cryptocurrency offers an added layer of protection against identity theft, it’s important that you still remain cautious and aware of yourself when playing on any online gambling site.
If you accidentally choose a scam site or a site that gives you some cause for concern for whatever reason, don’t panic. Withdraw your winnings if you can and move on to another one that you know is trustworthy and reputable.
If you haven’t run into any problems, you should still remain vigilant by withdrawing your winnings every day before you leave the site if you can.
And remember, those who gamble with cryptocurrency have an added layer of the changing value to keep in mind and pay attention to every single day. Don’t wait to withdraw your crypto-winnings because you never know what the next day will hold for its value.
You should always consider converting at least some of your payouts back to your country’s regulated currency.
Make sure that if your country actually has regulations and laws dealing with cryptocurrency and/or gambling online that you abide by them to the best of your ability. Breaking the law would put you at a significant risk of possible legal consequences, and no game or bet is worth going to jail for.
As they say, the best defense is a good offense. The ease of playing your favorite casino game online or betting on your favorite sport with your cryptocurrency of choice means nothing if find yourself playing on an untrustworthy site.
Gambling online using cryptocurrency is definitely something worth considering. You do need to use the right sites, though. By using the tips we’ve provided on this page, as well as our other cryptocurrency pages, you can learn how best to ensure your safety before you even join a site.
The internet and your thorough research are two of the most important tools in your arsenal when guarding against scams and unestablished sites. Always remember to gamble mindfully using your best judgment, and you will reap the rewards.