You may have heard about cryptocurrency before, or perhaps Bitcoin, one of the leading brands in digital currencies. Cryptocurrency has revolutionised the idea of digital currency, which before Bitcoin’s invention, seemed a faraway dream that was not to be achieved any time soon. The idea of digital currency has been around for decades, but nobody could figure out how to get around the problem of ‘double spending’ which is ultimately when the same digital token can be spent more than once by duplication or falsification.
For physical currency, a central server keeps records and balances of all currency spent, but the idea of digital currency is a decentralised network, meaning it has no server to keep track of this – so how could it work? Satoshi Nakamoto who is the creator of Bitcoin revolutionised digital currency by creating a peer-to-peer network, meaning that every single entity in the network has a list of all transactions to check if any future transactions are valid or if they are an attempt to double spend.
In simple terms, cryptocurrency is a database full of limited entries which nobody can change without fulfilling very specific conditions. Cryptocurrency is not secured by people or by trust, it works solely on mathematical algorithms. So how does this affect our well-beloved casinos?
There are two different ways in with cryptocurrency is being used in the gambling world, some gambling sites only deal with cryptocurrencies and some established sites have added cryptocurrency as a payment method.
Cryptocurrency only sites
These sites tend to be new without an established record, this is due to the nature of the new currency. Crypto-only sites don’t accept any form of traditional currency, in the form of deposits, bets and winnings – everything is in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency, however, can be quite unstable in its worth, one minute it can go up, the next it can all come crashing down, forcing the site to close with all your winnings worth next to nothing.
Using a cryptocurrency-only site means you need to know exactly what you’re dealing with and that you are prepared to put in the time and effort to research the market to ensure the safety of your money. There are some pros for crypto-only sites in that they’re fast, if you’re very familiar with gambling in cryptocurrency, then these sites make the process much faster and simpler for you, although the cons of these sites still outweigh the pros.
Established sites with cryptocurrency payment options
There is much more reassurance when gambling with a well-established betting site. Having cryptocurrency as an optional payment method is similar to using PayPal, although the types of cryptocurrency might be restricted and only accept big names such as Bitcoin so you may have to buy into a specific digital currency.
Although there is no guarantee that these well-established sites won’t go bust in any second, because the value of cryptocurrency is volatile whereas traditional currency is fairly secure, the back-up funds to keep the site going tend to secure its future better than what cryptocurrency could do on its own.
Ultimately the pros of using cryptocurrency are that your personal information is secured via the blockchain, all transactions are streamlined and the cons are the value fluctuations of cryptocurrency and that you might struggle to find one site that provides all the games you love with cryptocurrency – although the ones that do offer cryptocurrencies may offer an online casino bonus for using them. Where does the future lie with cryptocurrency in the industry? Casinos have been highly anticipated to make the move to cryptocurrencies but ultimately this will take a long time.