If you’re an active member of the online gambling community, you may have noticed an increase in the number of bitcoin gamblers and casinos offering bitcoin of late. Why is bitcoin gambling suddenly all the rage, and will it continue to grow? Should you be involved in bitcoin gaming? You may have asked yourself those very questions. Fortunately, we have answers to those questions and the future of bitcoin gambling as a whole.
While trying to answer why online gamblers are suddenly moving to bitcoin technology, we’re going to have to look at several different aspects of bitcoin gambling. We need to see how it has improved since it debuted, what makes it appealing, and where it is going. To begin with, let’s start by looking at bitcoin accessibility.
Bitcoin gambling was initially a niche field. Why? Well, bitcoins were niche themselves. Initially, people heard the words “blockchain” and “mining” and realised that they were way out of their depth. Few of us had any idea how to obtain bitcoins, and nobody we knew had access to them. That has all changed now, though.
Bitcoin exchanges are currently all the rage and present players with a simple and easy way to get hold of bitcoins. Since you no longer need to mine bitcoins to possess them, more and more of us are starting to get involved in the bitcoin craze. Buying cryptocurrencies from marketplaces has triggered a frenzy with many players now snapping up bitcoins left, right and centre. The more accessible bitcoins become via markets, the more people are going to acquire them. With more people purchasing bitcoins, they are going to need something to invest them on, and many online casinos have locked on to that idea and are now starting to offer bitcoin gaming, with some even developing in-site exchanges.
Geographical Restrictions Become Null and Void
The gambling world is not as free and liberal as you might like to think. In fact, people in many countries are still not entitled to gamble online. Because of harsh gambling laws, many gamblers must play at dodgy, often blacklisted casino sites which are not adequately regulated (if at all), as they are the only online casinos which accept them.
Bitcoin casinos provide a certain degree of anonymity, and this itself allows players to find ways around geographical restrictions and national gambling laws. Since there is that degree of anonymity, most major bitcoin casinos and betting sites will accept players irrespective of where they reside. As you can imagine, this has turned many players in countries where geographical gambling restrictions are in place to lean towards bitcoin sites.
What happens if the authorities start blacklisting bitcoin sites, so you can’t access them? A handy VPN (virtual private network) should bypass those blacklists, ensuring that you will continue to be able to play at any bitcoin site and that there is precious little any authority can do to stop you.
Changing the Way Deposits and Withdrawals Work
Online casinos offering instant deposit times is not a new concept. In fact, most deposit options at an online casino provide instantaneous deposit times. It is the withdrawal times that tend to be a pain for many players. Fortunately, bitcoin transactions have found a way around that, and that makes bitcoin betting very agreeable to players.
You can often skip verification processes (bitcoin casino gaming can be anonymous, remember) and since that pending period is not required, and KYC (know your customer) protocols are practically non-existent, your withdrawals will be instant. Allowing for a time margin of a few hours to land in your bitcoin wallet, these represent the quickest ways to get hold of your winnings, further boosting the appeal of bitcoin gambling.
Improved Security and Fair Play
When they first started, bitcoin betting sites were unlicensed and not entirely secure. The list of complaints about rigged games was seemingly endless. In a little over two years, we’ve seen a radical turnaround. Surprisingly, many bitcoin sites are not only regulated, but some carry a seal of approval. This seal of approval is known as “Provably Fair”.
This Provably Fair “organisation” for lack of a better word, keeps track on bitcoin casinos and ensures that they are adhering to a predefined set of rules and regulations. In short, they essentially promise that any bitcoin betting site bearing this seal of approval offers transparent and fair gaming. They achieve this by examining the games, and how they work in a process known as cryptography. Analysing the blockchain for transaction histories also allows experts to gauge whether anybody wins and whether betting sites process many withdrawal transactions.
It may not be the same as a bona fide license, but the Provably Fair mark reassures players that the bitcoin betting site they are choosing is safe, secure and adheres to fair play.
Licensed Bitcoin Casinos May Become a Reality
The holy grail for bitcoin betting is to find a bitcoin casino which carries a proper gambling license from a world-renowned and internationally recognised licensing jurisdiction. That is becoming closer to reality. Over the last year, the Maltese Government has been considering making digital currencies legal. As you can imagine, this potentially opens a realm of possibilities for casinos licensed by the MGA (Maltese Gaming Authority).
If this does indeed happen, it will create a whole new angle for bitcoin casino gaming from a legal perspective. We would likely see many more established online casinos with Maltese gambling licenses start to offer bitcoin currency options, provided there were no national restrictions in their operational countries to prohibit this. More importantly, we would see legitimate and well-supported bitcoin betting sites obtain one of the internet world’s most respected licenses to add to their Provably Fair mark. Such a move would undoubtedly convince many gamblers who were sitting on the fence that bitcoin betting is the real deal.
Bitcoin Gambling is More Accessible for Start-Ups
Bitcoin gambling is certainly not limited to the big boys. In the online casino world, most of the more popular betting sites are those casinos and sportsbooks which have high-street outlets, television advertisement campaigns, billboards or a long history. They are the sites which carry the best games from the most prominent names.
The bitcoin betting world doesn’t have to be that way, though. In fact, many bitcoin casino sites are small-scale operations, started by private individuals. Yes, you always run the risk that these are going to turn out to be “shifty”, but many authentic start-up casinos can appear, especially since, at present, they do not need to pay vast sums of money to obtain gambling licenses. This flurry of small-scale bitcoin betting sites has tweaked the interest of many casino enthusiasts and represents something new for the industry. Many players are growing tired of the same old games at the same sites, and the originality that small start-up bitcoin casinos (and their homebrew games) offer has proven very appealing.
If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them
When threatened by an emerging market such as the bitcoin gambling world, many of the internet’s top software providers and casinos have panicked. We’ve already seen several online casinos ditch their conventional currency options and setup, opting to thoroughly and radically transform into bitcoin casinos instead. By becoming a bitcoin site, doing away with licenses drops their expenses, and with companies such as BetSoft offering quality bitcoin-friendly games to those sites, some of the most prominent casinos have jumped ship and made the transition rather quickly.
By doing this, these casinos have enhanced the competition, giving potential bitcoin gamblers more choice. What began as a niche concept has now spread, and the more casinos with big reputations which make the change, the quicker online casino players will follow. Don’t be surprised if this trend continues, as we see more and more casinos swayed into offering bitcoin gambling to stave off the threat of this emerging market. As the old saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them”.
Bitcoin Promotions are on the Rise
The very first bitcoin casinos couldn’t offer players promotions and bonuses like non-cryptocurrency casinos could. Gradually, those that did couldn’t offer players much mileage with their promos, either. That, too, has started to change.
The introduction of “faucet systems” has undoubtedly helped. These promos provide a minimal sum of cryptocurrency cash for players at bitcoin betting sites on a daily basis. More importantly, they often come free of any entanglements, such as wagering requirements and playthrough rates. That has been a significant selling point to anybody thinking of joining bitcoin sites.
If that wasn’t enough, the advent of proper welcome bonuses has pushed the bitcoin casino agenda further. Considering that sizeable new player deals are often one of the main reasons why people choose one casino over another, being able to bag a welcome bonus encourages players to join bitcoin gambling sites.
Other Cryptocurrencies Create Competition
Bitcoin is just one cryptocurrency. If you were a user of another form of cryptocurrency (and there are many), it is unlikely that you’re going to be considering shifting over to bitcoin just to bet at a particular site. Most likely, players would continue to use USD, EUR, GBP or other currencies at standard online casinos. Bitcoin gambling sites have got around this issue by starting to add other cryptocurrencies to their list of accepted payment methods. It is not uncommon to find newer bitcoin casinos and betting sites which also accept:
– Bitcoin Cash
– and others
There aren’t too many casinos dedicated explicitly to those other less popular cryptocurrencies. However, by not forcing players to choose one cryptocurrency method over another, it is entirely possible that bitcoin gambling sites have encouraged more players to play with them instead of regular online casino sites.
Kinks That Require Ironing Out
Bitcoin betting sites still aren’t perfect, and they don’t have everything their way right now. There are a few kinks which need ironing out if bitcoin gambling sites are to blossom.
Firstly, there is the possibility of delays with withdrawal transactions. If you want your withdrawal processed rapidly, you’ll often need to pay a fee to a miner (his cut, if you will) to get the transaction going. Cashouts which offer little or nothing for a miner will often just end up pending, possibly indefinitely. Most bitcoin casinos get around this by taking a cut of your withdrawal (a withdrawal fee) and having their team process the transaction. If they don’t, you may end up losing a sizeable chunk of your winnings to pay miners to handle your cashout.
Bitcoin is also a volatile currency. The market fluctuated substantially in the latter part of 2017. We saw bitcoin’s value soar before it dropped rapidly around Christmas. When this happens, the bitcoin betting industry suffers just like any other industry. However, with so many countries fiercely opposed to bitcoin, if the market crashes, the entire industry goes down with it. When it soars, more and more players are tempted to get involved in bitcoin betting.
Lastly, there are no player protection policies at casinos or with bitcoin in general. If your wallet becomes hijacked or you “misplace” your bitcoins, then you’ve lost the lot. No bitcoin casinos guarantee players their purse, so, errors can prove costly. At least with online casinos, the sites can safeguard your wallet.
Bitcoin Gambling Will Continue to Grow
Will the bottom fall out of the bitcoin gambling industry? That seems most unlikely. Bitcoin gambling is rapidly on the rise, as you can see from all the points mentioned above. Many are likening bitcoin gambling to the growth of the mobile gaming industry. Sure, it took ten years for mobile gaming to cement its spot, but it is now on-par with online gaming. Some even believe it has already surpassed it. Do not be surprised if bitcoin gambling continues to grow and outpace them both. Better yet, based on the growth of both bitcoin and mobile gaming, we could be faced with the prospect of mobile bitcoin gambling reigning supreme in the future. Now, wouldn’t that be something?
As you can see, cryptocurrency gambling is at an all-time high. Long gone are the days of minuscule, untrustworthy, private websites offering you nothing but a few lacklustre dice games. Major software developers, licensing jurisdictions and casinos are now looking at bitcoin gambling as their future. For all the reasons we’ve mentioned above, you might very well decide to get involved, too.