Gambling has come a long way since starting a line of credit with Jimmy the Fish in a shady back alley. Over the years we've been able to fund our online accounts with paper checks, e-checks, Western Union, Neteller, Skrill, and a number of other online payment options. Mostly, the industry has had to 'survive and advance' so to speak as different jurisdictions impose penalties on banks or industries such as Paypal for processing payments to offshore casinos.
There's an opening on the horizon though thanks to the increased capabilities of Bitcoin.
No Federal Regulations
One of the reasons that bitcoin is popular in modern online casinos is because the currency allows you to play at a modern US online casino. The same can't be said for the US dollar and other currencies which are regulated by banks and the government. Ever since the UIGEA Act of 2006 it's been illegal for US banks to process payments and withdrawals to offshore casinos.
Bitcoin changes that. You'll still have to purchase bitcoins from one of the trusted exchanges online but once you do so you're free to do with the currency what you want – including gamble. The advent of bitcoins have been nostalgic of sorts for many users who used to supplement their income nicely betting on sports or playing poker.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer currency which means not only no regulations, but also fewer fees associated with exchange. In the gambling industry for instance there were processing deductions that reached up to 16% and higher. With bitcoin casinos the average rate of exchange is a lowly 2%. This means you get more of your deposit to wager with – a big hit with gamblers.
Transactions are Quicker
One of the biggest pitfalls even with the 'legal' sites of old was the sometimes excruciating wait to both send and receive your money. With bitcoins there is no check hold or furlough period for verifying identification or once a month cutting of checks for payout. Instead bitcoin transactions are instant or up to 10 minutes to await confirmation. Plus, once the bitcoins have cleared the transaction is complete. No chargebacks or NSF warnings days or weeks later.
It is Virtually Anonymous
Bitcoins are deposited and withdrawn to a virtual wallet identified by a string of numbers instead of a name. There is no log of your deposits such as in a bank statement which helps keep the financials under wraps for both tax reasons and hiding from a spouse purpose. Changing the receive address every time you send or receive an address will make you very hard to track. It's almost like having a new Paypal account for each purchase or sale.
More Casino Options
With anonymity and a lack of federal regulations, bitcoins can be used at virtually any legitimate site on the Internet regardless of location. Those opens up the betting choices for the entire bitcoin population. Another thing to remember is that since bitcoin is peer-to-peer, you can bet individual people online in market to market betting.
Bitcoin is Evolving
Bitcoin being federally unregulated is a good thing. Unregulated as a whole not so much. The technologies and developers behind the bitcoin revolution are constantly striving to make the currency more legitimate with monitoring and the implementation of regulations. This effort is assisting with a crackdown on nefarious scammers and those who use software that is far from random for casino sites. The community of users are also outing these unscrupulous users so make sure to do plenty of online research before making a transaction.
Bitcoin is here, it's time to welcome it with open arms (full of virtual casino chips).