The bitcoin craze – should you jump on the bandwagon and use the cryptocurrency as an alternative fund to your online gambling pastime?
For those who don’t already know – bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency refers to a specific type of digital currency that is intangible and not regulated or monitored by government agencies. This means that your transactions are not recorded, traceable, or trackable by anyone but you.
It also means that hackers are far less likely to be able to infiltrate your account or personal information by way of your bitcoin wallet, unlike banks or credit cards that are more susceptible. For that reason alone, it is enticing for those who frequent online casinos or sports betting sites, because their money and information will ultimately be safer from hackers or untrustworthy sites.
Since bitcoin gained momentum and popularity around 2015, other types of cryptocurrencies have hit the market, but this article will be speaking specifically about bitcoin. Is real money bitcoin gambling for you? Hopefully after you’ve read through the pros and cons, you’ll know for sure.
If you do decide to give it a go, we’ve provided a list of real money bitcoin gambling sites to get you started.
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Convenience or Safety, Do You Have to Choose?
The hysteria and intrigue surrounding bitcoin has made it the perfect tool for gambling sites to use to attract new customers who want to test the full capabilities of their newly purchased currency. Now that the hysteria has died down, and the reliable online casinos and gambling sites have shone through the unreliable ones, it is relatively safer to use the currency on these formats.
In Ireland, you can even win bitcoin through a special lotto draw. But, in countries that have not officially legalized online gambling, you have to do a little bit more digging. You are better off going with a big-name site, because they are more likely to remain stable and capable of timely payouts.
Because there are now established, trustworthy real money bitcoin gambling sites, you don’t have to worry quite as much, but there will always be a risk: just like with any online gambling site. In addition, there are new regulations and laws that have been passed that require real money bitcoin gambling sites to have a license; this is the case in Spain, for example.
If you are looking into using bitcoin only sites, you can check their licensing status first. It is no guarantee that even the more established, well-known real money bitcoin gambling sites will have a license. If you do find one with a license, though, you may want to put it on your short list.
Real Money Bitcoin Gambling Site Transaction Setups
Within the realm of bitcoin gambling, there are essentially two types of real money bitcoin gambling sites to choose from, and they each carry pros and cons. In your search, you will more than likely run into both types, and it is important you know what each site entails before you begin.
The ‘types’ of sites have more to do with bet payments and winnings payouts than the games they contain, so really, the ‘type of site’ is referring to the way the site is setup for financial transactions.
The first setup you may run into is commonly referred to as a ‘bitcoin only’ site.
This type of site deals only in betting and transferring with bitcoin. It doesn’t allow for any other form of currency, such as Paypal or credit card. But an online casino or betting site such as this may not have the capabilities to provide larger payouts, or manage a high-volume patronage. Sites like these are more likely to be in their infancy, as opposed to the sites that have been around for a while and do have those capabilities.
- Pros: Instant payouts, convenient for avid bitcoin users, sites equipped specifically for transactions with bitcoin, transactions not government regulated*
- Cons: Trading in volatile currency, sites have not been around for as long, transactions not government regulated*
(* this point can be considered both a pro and a con, depending on your point of view. The non-government regulations mean that there aren’t necessarily records of your transactions. So, if your money is taken by an unreliable site, it may not be retrievable.)
The second one is simply a site that has added bitcoin to their repertoire of accepted currencies.
If you want to try betting with bitcoin on a site you’ve already grown to know and love, you might be in luck. Some established sites have added special bitcoin capabilities for both payouts and betting. This makes the already tried and true sites more appealing to bitcoin users, and is arguably a little bit safer.
- Pros: Established site, history of coming through on payouts, comfortable and convenient for bitcoin traders new and old
- Cons: Site not necessarily accustomed to transactions made in bi
Of course, some of the lures of the real money bitcoin-only gambling sites are proven moot when you compare them with the established sites that have added bitcoin as an acceptable currency. For instance, the claim that the payout on the real money bitcoin-only sites is faster because they are dealing with only one type of currency. Or, that using bitcoin makes transactions cheaper because you do not have to pay any kinds of deposit fees or taxes.
The fact of the matter is these concerns are really only valid or relevant in the U.S. market. Those who don’t want to use their credit or debit accounts for safety reasons would turn next to a prepaid debit or credit card. If that’s not possible, the next step would be to use money transfers that tack on fees that could significantly knock your winnings down.
Not all sites offer a transfer of payout back to your credit card, either. This slows down the time between winning and having the money in hand significantly.
But, does that mean you should jump directly to bitcoin? After all, you can deposit AND collect using the same currency, taking out the need for an alternate way of collecting your payouts.
The truth is that it depends on your personal needs and priorities.
Now that more established and trusted sites are adding bitcoin as an accepted currency, the choice to use it or not is entirely yours. But, there is no true discernible difference in ease of use or definite reliability, at least when comparing the top, most reliable sites in each category.
So, Which One Should I Use?
The risk seems to be even across the board, and it mostly comes from the low-dependability of the currency itself, and not so much on the sites that use it in their transactions.
If you already own and are well-versed with bitcoin, the choice is really yours to make. If there is a site, either bitcoin-only or one of your favorite established sites that has added bitcoin to their capabilities, that you want to try out: you should! As you would with any other new online gambling prospect, do a bit of research first though. Try to see if you can find the site’s license, peruse the forums for any red-flag complaints, and ensure that customer service is up to your standards.
The differences in these sites are essentially minute (again, speaking in terms of the most well-known and proven), and the choice you make will be based on your level of comfortability and trust in the site in question.
The site recommendations that we have made were based on some of the universal standards that anyone should have when choosing a site, bitcoin capable or not, to gamble on.
Reliability and history – does this site have a lot of its current or former customers happy to return, or are its former customers more cautionary? If you’ve used the site in the past, do you remember how fast any issues you had were resolved? Are there payouts you remember having to chase down?
Usability – is the site clean and easy to navigate? Are their licenses, credentials, and contact information in an easily accessible area of the site?
Proven track record – does this site have a track record of at least a year’s worth of positive comments from former gamblers?
If you don’t already own bitcoin, stick to what you know. Bitcoin is a volatile, constantly-fluctuating currency, and if you can continue to make your transactions with static, regulated funds, you should.