An introduction into bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital cryptocurrency that has become very popular in recent years. In 2011 it turned into a mainstream, for bitcoin, unlike traditional fiat currencies such as the US dollar, Euro and British Pound, has no central bank and operates solely on the peer-to-peer market.
The bitcoin network first appeared in 2009 and since then has been followed by the rapid rise across the globe. As of 2014, tens of thousands of businesses worldwide started to accept bitcoin, including some of the world’s largest online stores. The online computer retailer Dell with multi-million dollar capital and well-known furniture hypermarket Overstock.com are just a few examples of the major enterprises accepting bitcoin payments.
The bitcoin funds can be transferred between users through bitcoin addresses, a set of numbers and letters ranging from twenty-four to thirty-seven characters. The transactions are mostly free of charge.
One of the most costly aspects of the traditional online casino or any gambling website management is the payment processing. Usually users make deposits via credit or debit card, bank account or eWallet such as Neteller, Moneybookers or PayPal. In this case, companies impose fees for their service.
The majority of online gambling websites cover this cost not applying it to players; however, some gambling companies still charge users. The clients who choose to gamble on unregulated markets, such as the United States, are often obliged to pay the state fee of up to 10 percent from the winning amount.
Even though these websites cover fees associated with the payment processing, users still need to pay some commission, thus, reducing their real profit. However, online gambling platforms have to compensate those losses by lowering fees, offering bonuses or promotions for their clients.
This is only one of several reasons that makes bitcoin so attractive to the online gambling operators. Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that deposits and withdrawals are absolutely free, since any fees for these operations have been effectively eliminated. Consequently, it allows bitcoin casinos to allocate more funds for deposit bonuses and other promotions, but most importantly, gives them an opportunity to offer the best payouts in the gambling industry.
Another crucial aspect of the bitcoin casino is its decentralization and lack of ties with any governmental institution or bank. Funds cannot be seized or frozen, as in case of the traditional currency bank accounts.
It is a small advantage for those who play at legal and regulated online gambling platforms; however, for unregulated or illegal markets it is the main aspect. Over the past decade there have been several cases in the United States when the Ministry of Justice froze online players funds not only in traditional banks, but also in the online world.
Bitcoin gives players total control over their money and absolute freedom of choice, so that users can do whatever they want with their funds. Moreover, some websites guarantee full anonymity to their clients when gambling with bitcoin. Large number of bitcoin gambling platforms may request customer’s email address for the password recovery procedure only. The vast majority of online casinos do not ask for personal information such as name or residence address.
Types of bitcoin casino
As mentioned above, a number of gambling companies already accept bitcoin, but bitcoin wallets still are less common than traditional currencies, especially when it comes to interactive games.
Online gambling sites that deal exclusively with bitcoin are the most preferable among users looking through bitcoin casino webpages. Nevertheless, some gambling platforms accepting traditional currencies, more frequently add cryptocurrency as an additional deposit/withdrawal method.
In comparison with bitcoin-only websites, online casinos using both currencies ask customers to provide their name and address for identity verification upon their withdrawal request. In order to complete verification process client needs to upload a bank statement or utility bill.
The majority of hybrid casinos accept bitcoin deposits and allow to transfer funds to the bitcoin wallet of one’s choice, but convert deposited funds into traditional currency. For example, customer makes deposit to hybrid account using cryptocurrency, but places bets in the national currency – euro or dollars. In case user decides to transfer funds to his bitcoin wallet the reverse conversion will be performed.
Bitcoin casino games
Every year the number of opportunities for bitcoin gambling lovers is increasing. It is not the limit yet. Bitcoin gambling platforms offer exactly the same games as the traditional ones, providing most frequently a higher possibility of free deposits and withdrawals. Bitcoin casinos became quite popular just a few years ago, but have already managed to surpass the traditional operators in a number of markets. The bitcoin gambling can be divided into several types.
- Slot machines/slots. All casino players are keen on slot machines and there is a large amount of them in the bitcoin casino industry. The best bitcoin gambling websites present dozens of various slots with all the possible rewards for clients, including progressive jackpots. However, the feature that can attract more slot machine fans is the payout percentage at bitcoin casinos. The majority of slots offer even higher percentages than designated by other gambling platforms, thus, offline machines seem like legalized robbery. Some sites pay out up to 99% of the online slots winnings, making the bitcoin gambling popular. For users who prefer the traditional game machines, there is no better option than visiting the bitcoin casino and gambling with cryptocurrency.
- Blackjack. Blackjack is the second most popular bitcoin gambling entertainment after slot machines. There are several versions of this game presented on the bitcoin market. Blackjack lovers can choose from a variety of game outcomes, as well as have better chances of winning than on any other ordinary casino (online or offline).
- Roulette. One of the easiest bitcoin gambling games is roulette. It represents the most popular table game, losing out in the ranking only to Blackjack. The bitcoin casino offers a number of roulette variations, including American and European. As many know within the framework of this game users can select multiple spin outcomes and get higher chances of winning than at any regular gambling website.
- Live dealer casinos. Live games have gained wide popularity in the past few years. This trend has not bypassed the bitcoin gambling industry. Such online games like Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat are available for the gambling round with real players on many of bitcoin casinos. Live casino provides an unforgettable experience, betting according to existing regulations, as well as gambling live. Moreover, it is a great way to communicate with others, which provides an opportunity to find friends and like-minded people.
- Other games. The above-mentioned games are considered to be the most preferable among the players, but for bitcoin casinos – the sky is the limit. It presents a full range of products, including video poker, three-card poker, craps, casino war, and a long list of other games. Dice and lottery are quite popular and available on a large number of websites.
Provably fair technology: Provably fair gambling
The provably fair gambling is an efficient way to ensure that the game is fair, not only for bitcoin casinos, but also for other online gambling platforms. Every bitcoin casino gambler has an equal chance of winning. Specialized cryptographic hash technology can help users to verify that casino has no control over the game and does not overstate stakes on purpose.
In every game the provably fair technology is applied differently; however, its general concept becomes more widespread across the major bitcoin casinos. Users can ensure that the game is played fairly, entering the identification number of bet and other information, that may vary depending on operating conditions of internet source.
The provably fair gambling is a revolutionary method of verifying the game’s fairness, since the system is instant and reliable. Players can immediately identify the cheating user, as well as check every bet independently.
When comparing features of bitcoin gambling websites with similar technologies on other online and offline casinos, it becomes clear that the probably fair system is a way more advanced. Independent studies have proven that when users from different gambling websites face controversial situations, trials usually last for weeks or even for months. In every game dozens of players are examined and it is a quite time-consuming procedure. Besides that, investigation requires a lot of money.
Due to the implementation of provably fair technology the bitcoin gambling websites can be tested anytime. There is no need to carry out a thorough investigation when one suspects particular player of cheating; it is enough to check a certain bet using the service. The result will be instantly provided, allowing any user to get information about other players’ bets.
Bitcoin casino license
Online gamblers with years of experience used to play on their preferable licensed gaming platforms. However, licensing requirements may vary depending on the websites country of origin. In some states regulatory authorities impose strict demands, in others – licensing is just a way of collecting extra money for the public treasury; though gambling companies lack regulation.
When it comes to traditional casinos licensing is extremely common, as compared to a very few bitcoin-based gambling platforms that are licensed currently. It has more to do with the novelty of bitcoin in the gambling market, rather than with the fact that websites are not safe enough for obtaining license.
Licensing is actually not as important as it might seem to most players. In many countries when a dispute between a website and a client arises, regulatory authorities are of little help. In most cases, operators’ mercy is clients’ only hope.
Even high-ranking authorities fail to protect players. In 2011, the United States Department of Justice charged PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and CEREUS (Absolute Poker & Ultimate Bet) for violating the UIGEA. The companies were forced to return the deposits to their clients almost immediately.
PokerStars processed withdrawals in less than a week, but Full Tilt and Cereus had an extensive delay before they declared themselves bankrupt. At that time, Full Tilt was the second largest poker website in the world granted by the prestigious Alderney Gambling Control Commission license.
All in all, players were able to get their money back from Full Tilt (though almost three years later), however those who had their funds invested in Cereus — were not that lucky. Nevertheless, this case demonstrates that even the leading gambling companies can fail miserably.
One can come across unscrupulous agents in any industry and service delivery, and bitcoin gambling is no exception. It is important that players make their own research on reliability and respectability of a particular gambling house before depositing BTC funds into the bitcoin casino. Popular websites with a proven track record are the most trustworthy. The main focus of attention should be on the platform’s functioning period, rather than on the license certificate.
Bitcoin casino checklist
The list of criteria helping newcomer to select a win-win option – a website for safe gambling and money investment – is presented below.
- License. As mentioned above, one should look for a bitcoin casino with a special license that allows it to provide online games of this kind. Information about the license can be usually found on a gambling website, and it is worth checking the authority that has issued the permission. The number of licensed bitcoin casinos is increasing, but unfortunately, many of them still have no gambling permission. However, the lack of a license certificate cannot testify about the unreliability of online source. Following recommendations, it is possible to check if the chosen gambling website that accepts cryptocurrency is safe and secure.
- Software. The only way to get confident about the fairness and accuracy of the gaming is to give preference to the most popular bitcoin casino platforms. In a perfect case scenario, bitcoin gambling websites should have flash game set, mobile phone version and fully downloadable platform for PC. It demonstrates how much effort has been put by the casino owner and guarantees the safety of clients’ funds. Due to the rapid bitcoin development, the dynamics of different software for computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones can be as well observed. Thus, gamblers can enjoy bitcoin casino games offered by the most prestigious and popular software vendors, including Playtech, Aristocrat Gaming, Softswiss, Microgaming and Betsoft.
- Reputation. Bitcoin gaming websites can be evaluated by their reputation, general reviews, and payout procedure. Before investing money in a gambling house, one should search for the information in Google. This is the way the user can find different sources with reviews on a particular gaming site.
- Play responsibly. Bitcoin gambling is meant to bring fun, entertainment, and in some cases profit as well. If a user ever feels that he or she spends too much time on playing games or starts losing control, or just wants his gaming activity to be controlled more, it is highly recommended to read an article about responsible gaming.
- Understand the notion of cryptocurrency. Before entering into the world of the bitcoin casino, it is important to be completely aware of the bitcoin system and its functioning. It will most likely be necessary to dedicate more time and put some effort in studying the system’s features, including purchase and sale, different exchange operations etc. When users are able to perform all operations independently, they realise that bitcoin is reliable and can be a perfect solution for online entertainment.
Bitcoin is a revolution in the world of gaming. Players can withdraw their funds anonymously and without any intervention of government; moreover, the payout percentage is one of the best on the planet. Taking into account the provably fair technology, that gives customers absolute confidence of not being cheated, the online bitcoin gambling is truly every gambler’s dream!