Bitcoin has been touted by many as a revolutionary financial innovation. The digital currency is already disrupting many industries. For the first time in the history of finance there is a completely permission-less, universally accessible payment system. No central body can halt transactions, confiscate funds, or even issue it. This also means that no one can print more of it to lower its purchasing power.
One of the first industries to take advantage of the Bitcoin currency is online casinos.
What is a Bitcoin Casino?
A Bitcoin casino is an online casino that accepts payments using the digital currency Bitcoin. Some exclusively take Bitcoin deposits, others also support traditional funding methods such as VISA or MasterCard. Meanwhile, some Bitcoin casinos will allow players to make deposits using a variety of different digital currencies. These might include Monero, Litecoin, and Ether (the native currency on the Ethereum network).
Some Bitcoin casinos use the same technology as Bitcoin itself to ensure that their games can be vetted by the players using the software. These blockchain-based casinos offer games that are referred to as provably fair. It’s a little complicated to explain here but it’s the digital equivalent of being able to verify that a deck of cards you’re playing blackjack with does indeed have all 13 values in all four suits.
Blockchain casinos can also use smart contract technology to offer an even more fair package to the customer. A smart contract is essentially being able to programme your money. For example, in a game of blackjack, the player and the casino would both enter into a smart contract for each bet made. Player bets $1, casino matches it. These $2 enter into a contract that is unbreakable (even the casino itself cannot change the outcomes). If the player wins the hand, the code automatically funds the player’s account. If the casino wins, the code automatically credits the casino with the cash.
Almost all blockchain casinos accept some type of cryptocurrency (since it was Bitcoin’s technology that inspired their creation in the first place.) However, since they often run on a blockchain with smart contract capabilities, it’s more common for them to use Ether or a created token on the Ethereum (or alternative smart contract platform) blockchain.
Why Use a Bitcoin or Blockchain casino?
Bitcoin casinos offer a different set of advantages to a typical online casino. These include:
- Lower overheads for the casino operator – this can translate in higher return-to-player ratings and juicier bonuses.
- Provably fair games enforced by smart contracts.
- Easy to fund and withdraw from.
- No need for frequent players to leave large bankrolls online at a certain casino – balances are much more liquid.
What to Look for in a Bitcoin Casino
There are a fair few factors to think about when picking a Bitcoin casino. These include:
- Game selection.
- Different currency options.
- Bonuses and return-to-player ratings.
- Quality website/software.
- Provably fair/smart contract technology.
Of course, the most important thing to consider when choosing a Bitcoin casino is the game selection. It’s no good finding a great looking website if it doesn’t host the game or slot you want to play!
Just like at a traditional online casino, different Bitcoin casinos will host their own selection of games. Many more advanced games aren’t available yet using full provably fair and smart contract tech. Developers are hard at work on it though!
Just like with any casino, it’s important to pick a Bitcoin casino with a legitimate license to operate. Playing with real money at some unregulated, shady Bitcoin casino isn’t a great idea. Even though they’re relatively new, many Bitcoin casinos have licenses with established gambling regulators such as the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority.
Different Currency Options
Do you want to play with strictly Bitcoin or do you have a sizable stash of altcoins you’d like to gamble away? Many Bitcoin casinos will often accept other cryptocurrency deposits as well as the daddy of the cryptocurrency space. These might include Monero, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash.
Alternatively, you might want to play at a Bitcoin casino that also accepts traditional deposit options. Just don’t think you’ll be able to use a casino to turn your crypto into dollars whilst avoiding cryptocurrency exchange rates! Most licensed casinos must abide by “know your customer” and “anti-money laundering” legislation. This means, they’ll require you to withdraw back to your original funding method.
Bonuses and Return to Player Ratings
As mentioned, cryptocurrency reduces the overall running costs of an online casino. These savings are often passed on to the customers in the form of bonuses, free spins, and increases return-to-player ratings.
Add to this the fact that Bitcoin casinos are so new and there isn’t really a set of clear market leaders in the space yet and you’ll be surprised just how juicy the welcome packages and return-to-player ratings can be. After all, these companies must stand out from the crowd somehow!
Quality Website or Software
This one’s possibly less important than the other factors mentioned so far. However, a quality user experience really can make or break a product. If the software is laggy, prone to crashing, or the website is just nauseating to navigate around, you’re not going to want to spend any serious amount of time at a Bitcoin casino. Shop around if that’s the case and compare them and choose from a plethora of no deposit casinos that offer Bitcoin deposits.
Provably Fair and Smart Contract Driven
For now, true blockchain-based, decentralised casinos are less common than centralised offerings. However, since the implications of blockchain technology are only just getting recognised, this is likely to change soon.
There’s a tremendous amount of work being done by developers on networks such as Ethereum, NEO, WAVES, and others to create a completely fair, trustless casino. A few examples of games here and there exist for now. As time goes on this will only increase and provide players with a transparent, fair, enjoyable, and potentially more lucrative gaming experience than a traditional, centralised online casino is capable of today.
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