Bitcoin is a popular payment method that has gained a lot of traction since it was released to the public in 2009 so much so that today you can pay with Bitcoin even in brick-and-mortar establishments.
Therefore, it’s not at all surprising that many online casinos will accept it as a payment method as well. In this article we’ll go into the details of what Bitcoin is, why is it important for USA players, and which are the benefits and drawbacks of using it for deposits at online casinos?
What is Bitcoin?
The inventor of the Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, defined Bitcoin as a “peer-to-peer, electronic cash system”. Indeed, Bitcoin is a decentralised cryptocurrency or virtual currency that is transferred via your PC or smartphone, without the involvement of any banks or governmental institutions. Bitcoin transactions are public and transparent, however, unlike bank transfers Bitcoin has the advantage of offering a degree of anonymity to users in the sense that the identity of Bitcoin owners cannot be linked to their Bitcoin address, unless the owner discloses some information about themselves during a Bitcoin exchange. This is good news for USA players who are faced with serious roadblocks when they want to make a deposit at online casinos by means of popular credit cards, given that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 has made it next to impossible for online casinos to process payments from US nationals.
Bitcoins are stored in e-wallets, and can be generated through mining or you can purchase them directly. The popularity and spread of the Bitcoin, as well as it becoming less volatile than in its early beginnings have led to the emergence of bitcoin casinos that are provably fair, which means that you can verify on the spot the validity of a shuffle for example. Two of the biggest names in provably fair Bitcoin gambling are BitZino and SatoshiDice. While these are bitcoin-only casinos, other online casinos have also adopted Bitcoin as a payment method due to it being so popular and referred to as the safest currency to use online.
Advantages of depositing at Bitcoin casinos
- Secure payment: Bitcoin is regarded as the most secure payment method that is extremely hard to forge or hack.
- Anonymity: While Bitcoin transactions are public and transparent, no-one can trace a transaction back to the real owner, thus, keeping their identity anonymous. This means that a non-USA online casino accepting Bitcoin as a payment method can unknowingly accept players from the US, if these players choose to pay with Bitcoins, thus, circumventing popular payment processors that need to comply with the provisions of the UIGEA.
- No fees: Bitcoin transactions don’t involve any fees for their users, however, some casinos may charge a certain fee.
Disadvantages of depositing at a Bitcoin casino
- Limited selection of casinos: The number of bitcoin casinos is still somewhat limited, so you may need to do some research to find one that accepts Bitcoins.
- Complicated: The use of Bitcoins involves installing certain software on your PC so you’ll be able to use your Bitcoin wallet. Players can either purchase or mine bitcoins, the latter being a very time-consuming endeavour.
Bitcoin casinos are a way to give access to USA players to gamble online. While there aren’t as many bitcoin casinos as regular online casinos, you’ll still be able to find reputable ones like Bovada that have both Bitcoin and other popular payment methods available. Hopefully, more online casinos will start to implement Bitcoin as a deposit method, thus allowing USA players to gamble online.