Few people took notice of the digital currency when it was first introduced in 2008. A decade later, Bitcoin (BTC) is all the world can talk about. But some of us remain baffled by its sudden surge in popularity and value.

Bitcoin differs to traditional currencies like the US dollar, euro and sterling. It is a peer-to-peer digital currency which enables users to transfer money to anyone else in the world within minutes, without having to go through a bank or intermediary. It was created by a person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. In fact, 1BTC is made up of 100 million Satoshi, or units, which is the lowest sum in Bitcoin.

The ability to make financial transactions via the virtual currency may affect a customer’s choice of a gambling facility. After hitting the mainstream market in 2011, a number of online operators have quickly caught on to the latest payment trend by offering players the option to make deposits using the cryptocurrency.

What is a Bitcoin Casino?

The majority of gambling sites don’t yet offer this payment option, however more and more Bitcoin casinos are popping up all over the net. These gambling sites allow players to carry out deposit and withdrawal transactions using digital coins.

It might all sound a bit intimidating at first, in reality, it’s not. To get started on making purchases or online gaming deposits using the peer-to-peer currency, you will first need to set up a digital wallet. Coinbase and Circle are two popular sites which you could use to manage your crypto as well as buy and sell coins. The next step is to find a casino which dabbles in Bitcoin.

After signing up at the casino of your dreams, depositing some BTC couldn’t be easier. Like any other transaction, you’ll need to transfer the money you wish to wager into your player account. The payment is practically instantaneous – your transaction just needs to be confirmed by the blockchain which will only take a couple of minutes – one-hour max.

In the cashier section of any betting site, you’ll find Bitcoin listed as a deposit method. Once you click on it, you’ll be given the site’s wallet address. Just a simple copy and paste later into your digital wallet, and you can start playing for real money within minutes of your deposit being processed.

Benefits of Bitcoin

Playing slots or table games with virtual money might be an alien concept for some, but it can be quite beneficial, for gamblers and casino operators alike.

Players who frequently face high transactions fees or blocks on credit card transactions, in the case of US players, will find Bitcoin particularly useful. With no bank or credit card intermediaries there to snap up their cut of the transaction, Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals to and from gambling sites cannot be blocked by anyone. Another plus is the process is usually charge-free, apart from the standard Bitcoin transaction fees, which typically won’t cost more than a couple of cents.

Casino operators can let out a sigh of relief as there’s no “chargeback” when making payments with a digital currency – it’s the same as paying with cash. This happens when a credit card holder disputes the charges on their card and gets a refund. With crypto, it’s not possible.

Bitcoin has become players’ preferred payment method for many reasons, mainly due to the anonymity it brings to the user. The allure of the currency is the decentralised nature of how it processes transactions. Due to its semi-anonymous status, players who don’t wish to share their financial details online are not required to do so in Bitcoin casino deposits. Individual transactions from the sender and receiver don’t have a name attached to them, only cryptographically generated addresses. However, the blockchain resembles a digital ledger which keeps track of all Bitcoin transactions that can be traced back to the origin of the funds.

Probably the currency’s biggest asset is the speed with which the payment is processed. As already mentioned, the money will reach the casino’s wallet, and vice-versa, almost instantly. Although players may come across such a thing as “confirmations” on the casino’s part, which could affect the transaction by slowing it down. The delay may take between ten minutes to an hour. This is a precaution taken by the casino to ensure that the same Bitcoins aren’t being spent anywhere else. The receiver has the option to wait until the network confirms the payment a certain number of times before crediting your casino’s account.

It might be a good idea to take a look at the casino’s policy before committing to a deposit. And if you’re in a rush to get started, the best thing to do is to contact customer support to ask how many confirmations are required to accept your payment

Bitcoin Casino Bonuses

Not only are there minimal transaction fees, there are also plenty of offers available to players who choose to deposit using crypto. A Bitcoin casino bonus can add hours to your game time and increase the likelihood of triggering a jackpot.

Users who want to create a new account with a casino will generally receive a welcome or sign-up bonus, in the form of a percentage match bonus which is the most popular type of promotion offered by betting sites. The higher the percentage, the bigger the returns, for example, a 200% match bonus on a deposit of 1BTC will give you back 2BTC to play with.

Then there are loyalty rewards for returning customers. Being a long-term member of a Bitcoin casino, you automatically possess a higher level of seniority which comes with a lot of pretty perks, such as additional bonuses and higher percentage rates to help you get more bang for your Bitcoin.

Players who already have an account are encouraged to play more, and so deposit more virtual coins. Casinos frequently offer reload bonuses which give the bettor the chance to claim a percentage, normally between 50% and 150% of their initial deposit. Sometimes they are accompanied with a load of free spins which are activated once the payment is made.

Gambling sites also like to treat the big spenders. High rollers at Bitcoin casinos can benefit from bonuses ranging between 10% and 125% depending on the amount of digital coins you put in.

Bitcoin Casino No Deposit Bonus

Several sites are now offering no deposit bonuses with Bitcoin transactions. These are the best types of bonuses you can find online. Once you register at the official casino website, you’ll receive a number of free spins, real money or Bitcoins, without having to part with any of your digital cash. There will usually be some wagering requirements attached to the promotion so be sure to read the terms carefully before hitting the ‘Accept’ button. That said, all bonuses in the world of online casinos are subject to these rules, and Bitcoin bonuses are no exception.

To be able to withdraw your winnings from a game using your bonus, you first need to complete the wagering requirements. Each casino sets its own wager rate, which usually ranges between 30x and 45x. What does this mean? Let’s say you registered an account in a Bitcoin casino and got a no deposit bonus of 100mBTC with a wagering of 30x. To withdraw the 100mBTC and any winnings from the money, you’ll need to stake at least 3BTC (100 mBTCx30) in total.

Players should always check whether certain games, particularly casino games like blackjack and roulette, for instance, are excluded from counting towards these requirements – which could very often be the case. There may also be some maximum and minimum withdrawal restrictions, time limits within which to make use of the promotion, or the bonus may only be applied to specific games. So, a quick read of the terms and conditions will be beneficial in the long run.

Privacy and Safety

The most common question sparked by Bitcoin is whether or not it is safe to use at online casinos. Nowadays, with so much fraud occurring around us, safety when making transactions is a major concern. Bitcoin is one of the most secure payment procedures available to gamblers.

It stands out from other deposit methods like Neteller, Visa and Paysafecard, due to its ability to send money from one Bitcoin address to another without the involvement of a third party. The process eliminates the need for a middleman, such as an e-wallet, credit card, bank and so on, which often request players’ personal and financial information.

Data theft is far from possible as all Bitcoins are isolated in a segregated offline system with no internet connection whatsoever. Every Bitcoin wallet making use of this offline desktop system is encrypted with the latest technology, one that is utilised by banks, governments and financial institutions.

To Go Bitcoin or Not?

To sum up, players who gamble at sites accepting Bitcoin will reap many great benefits including lower house edges, usually around 1-2% less than the standard online casino, faster transactions than normal banking methods, and moreover, complete anonymity in deposits, withdrawals and play. If that hasn’t piqued your interest, then we don’t know what will.

The only downside to using virtual coins is the majority of betting sites still don’t offer this payment method. However, we’ll point you in the direction of those that do – check out the table above for our favourite BTC sites.