Cryptocurrency and gambling have a well-established relationship. Back in 2009, the first bitcoin investors were labelled ‘gamblers’ for jumping into the world of virtual currency, which was then relatively unknown. Today, 11 years later, a wealth of crypto casinos have sprung up all over the web, enabling anyone with virtual assets to gamble for real.
Roulette, blackjack, bingo, slot games – these new sites bring an authentic casino experience to those of us who would prefer to bet with bitcoin (or altcoins such as Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Monero). Although cryptocurrency gambling was once considered a niche, it’s undoubtedly on the up.
In fact, 2017 even saw the launch of Tron Coin, a cryptocurrency which mainly caters to the entertainment industry, for particular use in mobile apps and online casinos. So why are increasing numbers of cryptocurrency investors using their assets for gambling?
What are the benefits of gambling with cryptocurrency?
Perhaps the biggest benefit to gambling with cryptocurrency is the fact that many countries still don’t recognise assets such as bitcoin as valid currency. While this can be annoying in other contexts, it means you’re able to gamble without the fear of losing ‘real’ money – but still gain valuable assets if you win!
As a result, gambling legislation doesn’t apply to crypto casinos, making it a much freer industry than conventional gambling. Even if you live in a country which heavily polices online betting like South Africa, you’re legally allowed to use any site, in any jurisdiction, as long as you’re wagering virtual currency.
Another factor which is a strong incentive for people to gamble with cryptocurrency, as opposed to conventional money, is the speed. If you win a bet having gambled with dollars or pounds, it can take days or even weeks for you to receive your winnings via bank transfer or check, as these have to be cleared.
Transactions in cryptocurrency, on the other hand, can be completed almost instantly. This means there’s no ‘waiting around’ process between making that winning bet and seeing it reflected in your balance – which also means it’s practically impossible to lose your money before you’ve even received it.
What does the future hold for cryptocurrency gambling?
As gambling with cryptocurrency becomes ever more mainstream, we’re likely to see some industry changes. Currently, a post about bitcoin alone is uploaded to social media every three seconds – and with this increasing interest, it’s likely that more and more casinos are going to realise the benefits of accepting cryptocurrency.
While cryptocurrency gambling was once seen as a risky business, a new principle is set to change that reputation. ‘Provably fair odds’ is a term that’s been coined – no pun intended – by the bitcoin gambling community, in order to describe the process by which players can verify the fairness of an online game. Using random number generators and cryptography, it’s possible to prove that the outcome of a game hasn’t been pre-determined, which can happen if the casino has modified an algorithm to strengthen its house edge.
Thanks to regulations and the principle of ‘provably fair odds’, cryptocurrency gambling is often lower risk than betting with conventional assets – and we’re likely to see more people embrace its potential in the future.