Any blockchain enthusiast knows that this technology has innumerable real-life applications. One of the industries that can benefit the most from crypto integration is online gambling. There are many casinos where you can play classic games using digital coins. The most popular and best-rated Bitcoin casinos are Bitstarz, Fortune Jack, CloudBet, mBit, and BitCasino. The latter is the oldest — it was launched back in 2013, and currently offers over 1400 kinds of games.
This crypto/gambling marriage may seem very logical to those who believe that both have a lot in common — after all, investing in Bitcoin is widely seen by the mainstream user as a game of chance that appeals to players and other natural-born risk-takers.
As often, the role of crypto and blockchain is misunderstood — in fact, this innovation is able to make online gambling more respectable and user-friendly than ever before. Potentially, playing at a crypto casino has several important advantages over playing at a traditional fiat money-based casino.
Let’s see what they are.
It is private
The main advantage of gambling with crypto is the high level of anonymity that lets online gamblers keep things private. While those who rely on Bitcoin may be disappointed (we know that BTC transactions are not 100% untraceable), there are ‘top secret’ coins like Monero, one of the preferred online casino currencies. Crypto players using XMR can be sure that no third party will get access to their personal data and know about their gains and losses.
It is fair and transparent by default
The very nature of blockchain guarantees that the play is fair — every user can check if the outcome of the game was determined using random numbers, or if it was tampered with by the casino or other players. To get instant and independent verification of each bet placed, you just enter the bet ID number and some other details on the site and see if it’s ok. (It is possible to do it if you are using a regular online casino, too. But in this case, the process takes much more time and normally involves a hired third party testing lab).
Thus, you can be sure that the game is fair and the crypto casino has no control over the outcome of your bets. Actually, it is good for the house, too. The better its reputation, the more people are involved in gambling. On the contrary, every scandal associated with the unfair game is ruinous for the casino’s image — we all tend to be over-suspicious when our money is at stake. It is not completely unreasonable — a row of cheating incidents has been reported. For instance, in 2007 Absolute Poker online casino was accused of running a ‘superuser’ account allowing to read the cards of poker opponents. Finally, Absolute Poker accepted that employee cheating had taken place, and paid a hefty fine of $500,000. Say nothing about the reputational damages.
It offers players better odds
Any casino is a business in the first place, aiming to extract money from their customers. Despite what many people say, casinos don’t cheat you to do it. Instead, they have a fixed built-in profit on every bet a client makes. It’s called House Edge or Casino Advantage. This trick guarantees The House Always Wins in the long run, and makes gambling business profitable.
House edge ratio depends on the game you play, varying from 1 to 15% on regular online casinos. Bitcoin casinos offer the lowest level of house edge ever, varying between 0.5 and 3%. Normally, it is shown openly on the casino website, with proof provided. Thus you know what your chances to win are, exactly.
If it’s still too big for you, there are websites that offer 0% house edge, like the blockchain-based platform Zeroedge.bet that has recently launched its own cryptocurrency Zerocoin.
Zeroedge users not only have the best chances of winning against the house — they may also get richer if the Zerocoins they hold increase in value. Traditionally, the casino is expected to win, too, but in a different way — as the platform grows more popular due to this 0% zero house edge trick, the demand for their coin (and its price) will naturally increase.
No legal restrictions
In many countries, online gambling has not been legalized yet or is utterly prohibited. It means that your bank may refuse to proceed transactions to and from online casinos (say, American financial institutions won’t approve them).
Crypto-based gambling websites are the best option here. They cannot be prevented from accepting deposits and making payouts in Bitcoins and other digital currencies, and there are no legal consequences for them for doing so. Their transactions are not processed by a third party, meaning you don’t need to link your credit card to your player’s account and pay transaction fees to your bank. Speaking about the fees, they are very low in comparison to what a bank would charge you.
Additionally, as crypto is not recognized by many states as real money, it is not subject to taxation. Good news.
Are there any disadvantages?
Of course, there is a fly in any honey pot. Playing at an online crypto casino has some disadvantages that are worth considering, too. The first one is obvious — right now digital currencies tend to be very volatile, meaning their value is unstable. Winning Bitcoin jackpot might be even better than you expected if the currency is moving positively against the euro or dollar. But the opposite scenario is possible, too. Luckily, there is a lot of available options to choose from, including Litecoin, Monero, Dash, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and some others.
Another major problem that blockchain casinos face is low transaction processing speed. Though crypto transactions are supposed to be faster than regular ones, the users report it is not always so. In case of Bitcoin, you sometimes have to wait for up to 15 minutes before your funds become available because here you depend on miners’ work, and not on some automated system. Of course, you can always pay miners more money to boost their motivation, but it makes another BTC advantage — low transaction fees — less significant.
Blockchain technology is able to remove some major pain points that prevent players from fully enjoying gambling activities. Crypto-based online casinos have several important advantages over ‘normal’ ones. Some of those advantages are due to underregulation and may disappear or get reduced with time, while the others are built-in, and as such more valuable.
As everything, blockchain technology features some vulnerabilities at this early stage, but it is always the case with revolutionary innovations.
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