Created in the 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that takes the world by the storm. Since it was invented and introduced to the market, the popularity of this method of payment has also been growing in the gambling market. Even with the wide availability of other online payment methods such as MasterCard, bitcoin has successfully established itself as a real currency.
However, although it is increasingly used by gamblers on betting sites and online casinos, bitcoin still remains something that some people have never heard of. So, are you considering betting with blockchain tech? If so, read this article where we discuss everything you should know about betting with bitcoins.
Bitcoin? What’s That?
To simply put it, Bitcoin isn’t only a cryptocurrency but it’s also an entire online payment system (called the Blockchain) that allows you to make anonymous transactions using the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Unlike other such systems such as MasterCard or PayPal, this currency operates on a peer-to-peer basis. It’s worth noting, however, that bitcoin currency isn’t regulated by any centralised authorities. This is probably one of the reasons why bitcoin is so popular because people have the ability to make financial transactions on their own without the government’s interference.
This currency is stored in an e-Wallet, which makes bitcoin a kind of virtual currency or digital money because it exists only as a complicated code. Bitcoins can be stored on a website that specializes in managing wallets with this currency or on your own computer in a private location, allowing you to use them at will according to your preference. What’s more, you can have as many bitcoin email addresses or bitcoin wallets as you need and your data will remain anonymous anyway.
Another Big Market?
Since Bitcoin is not a regulated currency, it’s extremely difficult to give an accurate estimate of the value of this project. However, according to some experts, there are currently about 17.3 million units of bitcoins in circulation with a total market value estimated at 110.9 billion dollars, although there are also statistics that show that on average every day about 276 thousand transactions are made using bitcoins. It has to be admitted that this is a huge increase and in the case of such a young business it makes a really big impression!
Moreover, since it’s an irreversible and a fast payment method, it is expected that bitcoin will outperform other well-established online payment systems in the next few years. Indeed, bitcoin is very similar to other cashless payment methods, but it outperforms them providing better privacy, payment finality and instant payment. Besides, since such payment cannot be reversed, it makes it an ideal solution for casinos and betting sites.
The Benefits of using Bitcoin
Bitcoin has many advantages. In simple words, it’s digital money that solves at least some of the problems often associated with other forms of currency.
Normal currencies depend on national governments, which puts them at risk of a loss of value in various circumstances. Certain events can lead to a total collapse or to hyperinflation, making life long savings worthless in the blink of an eye. In the case of bitcoins, there are no government regulations. It’s a virtual global currency.
Low risk of inflation
The biggest problem with normal currencies, such as the dollar, is inflation. Over time, currencies lose a certain percentage of their value, mainly because governments continue to print money. However, when it comes to Bitcoins, you don’t have to worry about this problem, because the bitcoin release system has been programmed in such a way that it can spend a finite number of bitcoin units. No more than 21 million bitcoins will be released. Not to mention that the amount of bitcoins being released is constantly decreasing and the mining process will be finally completed in the next few decades.
Safe, cheap ‘n’ simple
From a merchant’s perspective, traditional online payment methods are problematic because online payment systems and credit cards allow the buyer to request a refund. Using escrow services can be slow and complicated. However, in the case of bitcoins, once you have received your payment, the money is yours and buyers have no way to withdraw it. On the other hand, from the buyer’s point of view, transferring money between bills and the payment infrastructure will be cheaper and simpler because it works on a peer-to-peer basis, without any intermediaries.
This is both a great advantage and a great risk associated with the use of the Bitcoin currency. You don’t have to worry that the government or other organizations can track down your funds. This means that you can freely manage your transactions according to your own preferences. As for the risks involved in bitcoin payments, we will discuss them in the next chapter.
IS THERE ANY RISK?
The main problem with Bitcoin is that it’s not regulated in any way. Moreover, bitcoin is still in the experimental phase. Rigorous level of anonymity also carries the risk of manipulation. Since payments are made without the participation of any intermediaries, it is not possible to verify the transaction and, as a result, users are in a situation where they cannot count on a return or a penny from what is taken from their account. This has led to the creation of more companies involved in the processing of payments in order to create some methods to try to solve this problem. However, we will only see how effective they are.
There are also reports that bitcoin currency can be linked to certain criminal activities such as the black market, malicious software, theft and money laundering. Due to the high level of anonymity, it is difficult to take legal action to apprehend those responsible for such acts.
Does Bitcoin have a future?
The unprecedented growth in popularity of bitcoin over the last few years indicates that this currency has a great potential for development as a regulated and recognised means of payment. However, even so, there are still few gambling institutions that decide to accept this form of currency and legal issues remain unregulated. At present, state authorities are not showing any interest in and are not taking action to regulate the legal status of bitcoin as a currency. However, they have recognised that bitcoin can have a positive impact on the gambling industry, provided that it is properly integrated into the market.
We can safely say that bitcoin is still in its early stages of development. Those who want to use this currency to gamble don’t have many options when it comes to spending money this way, as not that many casinos accept bitcoins as a recognised means of payment.
However, this is slowly changing. The attitude towards bitcoins prevailing in the gambling industry has recently been positive, and this brings hope to bitcoin users that in the future it will be a widely accepted currency, just as other regulated currencies are accepted in the gambling market.