This page contains the answers to your Bitcoin-related gambling questions – from the basics through to specifics.
Bitcoin is a digital currency, it can only be created and stored online, and does not have a physical version. This currency is created by ‘mining’, which involves computers solving mathematical equations which take an ever-increasing amount of processing power. There is a limited supply of 21 Million Bitcoins that will ever be created. The value of this currency in Dollars is entirely driven by supply and demand.
Bitcoin has the following properties which make it a great medium for both gambling transactions and other online purchases.
You’ll find 2 units of this currency, a single Bitcoin is usually known as BTC. Since this is large for most transactions, you can also exchange micro-Bitcoins, which are known as mBTC. These are 1/1000th of a Bitcoin. All trades are recorded on a public ledger, which ensures that the ownership of each coin can be verified. Most casinos such as VegasCasino.io use mBtc to display account balances.
Before you can buy Bitcoin, you need to set up a wallet to keep it in. There are two kinds, an online ‘cloud’ wallet or one that you can download and hold on your own machine. For smaller amounts, the cloud versions are perfectly fine. If you have several thousand Dollars’ worth of coins, then you should look into the more secure download versions. You can get a wallet through any of the big exchanges, including CoinBase and BTC-E.
Next you can buy some coins to add to your wallet. To prevent fraud, it is hard to buy coins with payment methods which could be reversed later – for example credit cards or PayPal type services. Bank Wires are the preferred method, though there are several other options.
When you are new, the easiest way is to buy through the exchange where you set up your wallet. As you gain experience, you can discover the many websites which allow you to buy BTC, and scout for the best deals.
The anonymous nature of Bitcoin means that you can register at BTC casinos with only an e-mail address. Once you have an account the deposit process is very easy. You’ll be given a 33 character string of letters and numbers, which is the receiver Id of the casino for your casino account. You go into your Wallet, select ‘Send Bitcoin’ and enter this string as the recipient. Next you click ‘Send’ and the transaction will take place instantly. The casino will reconcile the deposit within a few minutes, and you’ll be ready to head to the tables.
Some casinos, especially the single-game sites, have automated payment systems. These mean you’ll need a desktop wallet, or one from named exchanges to ensure you get your payment. Make sure you check the rules of each casino before you start to play.
This is very easy, and has the advantage that you will not be asked to provide backup documents like you do at many regular casinos.
Go to the cashier and hit withdraw. You’ll be asked to fill in 2 fields; one is your Bitcoin Wallet id which is a long string of letters and numbers. The other is the amount you wish to withdraw. This can be as low as a few mBTC. Once you click ‘Withdraw’ the transaction will kick off immediately.
You should keep in mind that many Bitcoin casinos are small operations compared to their fiat equivalents. This means that at some sites big wins will need to be staggered. Typical payout limits are 5 BTC per week, or sometimes every 2 weeks.
There are such a wide range of Bitcoin casinos that it would be impossible to unequivocally state that every single one is fair. What you will find with Bitcoin is a greater emphasis on game fairness and overall integrity. Many games come with information which technically minded players can use to prove the game is truly random. This is known as ‘Provably Fair’ gaming.
You’ll also find a lot of Bitcoin casinos are now starting to get licensed in known jurisdictions – such as the Netherlands Antilles.
While the majority of Bitcoin casinos are completely legitimate and have fair games, it can be worth checking with the Bitcoin community that no major issues have occurred with payments before you go ahead and play.
A big selling point of Bitcoin Casino games is that they are ‘Provably Fair’. This means that you can check that the deal was fair after you complete a hand. This works by the casino giving you a string which represents a shuffled deck which is encrypted. This string is combined with a random number supplied by your own device for a final shuffle. You’ll see your own device’s ‘key’ after the hand, and can then unencrypt the server string to check that the deck dealt randomly.
The value of Bitcoins does depend on more people buying the currency, and many people are simply holding the coins and waiting for their ‘investment’ to grow. From this perspective, Bitcoin has similarities to a Ponzi scheme. At the same time, this digital currency has many features which add real benefits to users, and is decentralized enough that no individual benefits from perpetuating the scheme.
Bitcoin has inspired a lot of new digital currencies, which are collectively known as altcoins. There are well over 100 available, ranging from simple clones of the Bitcoin idea – though to innovative twists on the core technology.
The main coins you can gamble with are Litecoin, which has improvements to the anonymity of transactions compared to the original – and Dogecoin – which started off as a fun alternative, and has managed to gain significant traction in the market. Namecoin has found a niche within DNS registration, though Iceland’s Aurora Coin has unfortunately not succeeded.