- August 17, 2016
- Posted by: Admin
- Category: Articles
Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows you to make transactions online much like you would from an electronic wallet. The main difference is that the currency itself is digital in nature, also known as a cryptocurrency, instead of being backed by other types of fiat currency like the US dollar, the euro or the British pound. There are plenty of features built into the bitcoin mechanism that make it perfect for use as a deposit and withdrawal method for bitcoin casinos, poker or sports betting.
However, there’s a bit of a learning curve as well. It can be very intimidating to want to get in on the bitcoin action without knowing where to get started. Our Bitcoin Learning Center here is designed to answer all of your questions about this cryptocurrency in a way that will allow you to use bitcoin to gamble in your favorite ways online while staying safe and secure.
A Quick Beginner’s Overview of Bitcoin
Let’s start with a quick overview of how the specific features of bitcoin affects people who gamble online with it. First off, bitcoin as a currency is not government-issued or government-controlled because it’s designed to be decentralized. The value of an individual bitcoin also cannot be changed by government-induced inflation because no government can create more. Along these lines, there can never be more than 21 million of them because of how the bitcoin system is set up.
Because this cryptocurrency is not subject to government control, you never have to worry about payments being blocked or counterfeited. You also don’t have to worry about your bitcoin wallet being frozen, unlike traditional bank accounts, for online gambling. The only way that bitcoin could be stopped is if the Internet itself was stopped, and this is the nature of the built-in security and privacy features that are an inherent part of the currency itself.
If this sounds good to you, then keep reading, and we’ll show you exactly what you need to know to make deposits and receive withdrawals from bitcoin poker sites, sports and online casinos.
What is the Best Bitcoin Wallet for Online Gambling?
To hold your bitcoin, you’ll first need something called a bitcoin wallet. There are a number of different kinds that can be used on your computer, on the web or on a mobile device. While there is no single best wallet that everyone will agree on, we can make some recommendations for new players who simply want to use it for deposits and withdrawals to bitcoin gambling sites.
One good option is GreenAddress, which is an online bitcoin wallet that operates online through a desktop computer or a mobile device running Android or iOS. This is a safe and secure option that’s really easy to learn how to use for new players, and it only takes a minimum amount of maintenance. If you’re familiar with electronic wallets like PayPal, Neteller or Skrill, then the GreenAddress wallet will be extremely intuitive.
While we recommend CoinBase for players who want to get started quickly because of its reputation and easy interface, two other similar options are Blackchain.info and GreenAddress. Any of these three will allow you to directly buy, sell, deposit and withdrawal for playing online, but CoinBase has the longest-running reputation and is the most popular online option.
What Other Types of Bitcoin Wallets Are Available?
If you want to become an advanced user, you can use hardware or pure desktop wallet programs. A hardware wallet is a device that you plug into a computer or Android-powered device (they don’t work with iOS) that physically holds the virtual currency on a protected hard drive, and it’s ideal for advanced users who plan on holding bitcoin for a long time for speculation or investment. This is most likely outside of the scope of anyone reading this because they’re not really designed for the frequent transactions that you would want for playing poker or casino games, or betting on sports, online.
Pure desktop wallet programs, however, actually just run on your computer as a program and a wallet file. These are intermediate options that are mostly for people who are really into bitcoin as a concept outside of the scope of just using it as a payment option for online gambling sites. This requires a higher level of security because if anyone gets a copy of your bitcoin wallet file with the pure desktop type of wallet, then they’ll have access to your funds. It also requires a very large amount of space on your hardware, often as much as 50-80 GB, so it’s not really set up for new users.
Both of these alternative options are more hassle than they are worth for players who only care about bitcoin as a banking option for online gambling, so we suggest players avoid them unless they’re into bitcoin as a concept outside of this purpose.
If you are intent on using a desktop wallet or similar, I personally recommend https://bitcointrezor.com/. It’s a simple USB device that provides cold storage for all your bitcoins. It’s about as secure as it gets to keeping your coins completely safe with no chance of your coins being stolen or your wallet being hacked.
How Do You Fund a Bitcoin Wallet?
Once you have an online bitcoin wallet set up like GreenAddress or CoinBase, you’ll be able to use its interface to purchase bitcoin directly to your account. We’re going to take a look at what’s probably the easiest way for players to get started in terms of using bitcoin as an online gambling payment option using CoinBase.
After you set up your CoinBase account and verify your identity, you’ll be able to use your checking account to fund your account directly through whatever the current bitcoin exchange rate happens to be. There is a waiting period of 4-5 days to verify the purchase, which will turn off some players initially. However, you can always keep a bitcoin balance to fund your account whenever you want, and you can cash out directly from this Coinbase account balance whenever you want as well.
Some people will be used to instant deposit times with many online casinos, so the 4-5 day waiting period might seem like a bit of a drag. However, you’ll get much lower fees on your transaction, which are largely because they verify every single purchase (thus the waiting period) of bitcoin to make sure that they aren’t scammed. This helps to keep costs down and security high for their users, and it’s one of the reasons why they are largely considered to be the most trustworthy and reputable online bitcoin wallet around.
How to Deposit to an Online Gambling Account With Bitcoin?
After you’ve purchased bitcoin through the interface above, it’s a very straightforward process to add it to your bitcoin sports betting, casino or poker account. You’ll log into your account as usual, go to the cashier section, choose the bitcoin deposit option and follow the instructions listed there. The bitcoin will be transferred to your gambling account in just a few moments, and it takes about as long as using a credit card or electronic wallet, which most players following this guide will already be familiar with. If you’re ready to move forward and signup an account with one of our recommended sites, you should read through our bitcoin gambling reviews section which reviews only the most reputable sites in the industry.
Why Do Some Gambling Sites Convert Bitcoin to USD?
Some sites, especially those for poker, will convert your bitcoin into US dollars for the purpose of holding your account balance. They’ll convert them back into bitcoin when you cash out, if you prefer, but there are two reasons why they want you to hold a balance in USD. The first is that, for games like poker, you need to have all of your players using the same currency for the purposes of betting. Second, some software packages used don’t have the capacity to allow you to place actual bets in bitcoin. Therefore, they use this conversion process to essentially allow you to use bitcoin as a banking method like any other.
How Do Bitcoin Withdrawals Work?
When you’re ready to cash out, you’ll go to the cashier section of your software and choose a withdrawal. Pick the bitcoin option and follow the instructions accordingly. Each site has a slightly different process, but it’ll mostly just involve setting it up to receive the payment at your online bitcoin wallet that we described above. This process only takes a few moments, and withdrawals via bitcoin can be almost instant with a minimal amount of fees.
From there, you’ll have the bitcoin available in your wallet, and you’ll have two options about what to do with it. You can deposit at another gambling site, or you can cash it out to your checking account from inside of the wallet interface. The exact time to receive your withdrawals to your checking account from your wallet will vary, but with CoinBase, it’s normally 2-4 business days.
What Else Do Players Need to Know About Using Bitcoin?
The only other thing you really need to know about bitcoin is that the value fluctuates some from day to day. What we mean by this is that one day, a bitcoin might cost $650, and the next, it might cost $640. You can buy any amount of bitcoin you want, so you could purchase $10 of it if you’d prefer. However, that might be worth $9.90 or $10.25 the next day due to minor fluctuation. If this happens to you, don’t be alarmed. In even the worst case scenario, even if the fluctuation causes you a small loss, it’s still less of a loss than you would have received from the fees normally associated with other payment methods on your deposit to begin with.