Bitcoin is uncharted territory for many people due its complexity but cryptocurrency is rapidly becoming one of the premier tools for online gamblers, sports bettors and poker players alike. The reality is it’s actually fairly straightforward when you get down to it: Bitcoin is digital currency that helps people make online transactions. It’s natural to have questions or concerns when it comes to converting hard-earned real-life currency into Bitcoin but crypto is becoming more widely accepted every single day. We answered a few questions that we see every day and hope it helps with your Bitcoin Experience.
Why Bitcoin Instead of Debit Or Credit?
The key word in that common query is “usually,” because even the most well-established online betting platforms occasionally have issues with player deposits.
The problem isn’t even the websites, but rather the bank or lending institution backing your debit or credit card. Even though online gaming is on a major rebound in terms of regulation and legalization on the statewide level, many banks still block or hold transactions they believe to be funding an online betting account.
The overwhelming majority of online betting enthusiasts living in the United States have had deposits rejected or investigated over the last few years. For some, the problem is a regular occurrence, one which can interfere with their hobby or profession.
What’s worse is that credit card rejections or blocks seem to becoming more common as time goes on.
Fortunately, Bitcoin needs no third-party transaction facilitator like a bank or PayPal so it’s a godsend for online players.
Who Facilitates My Bitcoin Transaction?
You do of course.
The core construct of Bitcoin transactions is based on the blockchain ledger system, so depositing to an online betting site requires no third-party payment system to move your money.
Instead, you simply obtain a deposit address for your favorite site, which will be easily found on the Deposit - Bitcoin page. Depending on your wallet of choice, you may also scan a QR code using your smartphone camera to obtain the deposit address. From there, the transaction works like any other privately conducted Bitcoin transaction, as you’ll open your own wallet, input the address you obtained from the betting platform, and select a deposit amount.
At that point, the transaction will be validated by the Bitcoin blockchain and added to a block. That block will be added to the blockchain, and your funds will be available for use.
Are There Long Wait Times?
Not really, although they may not always be instantaneous.
Due to the strict requirements of the blockchain validation and additional system described above – which involves high-powered supercomputers conducting billions of calculations per second to solve intricately encoded equations – the usual wait time for a transaction block to be verified and added to the blockchain is 10 minutes.
But even if you are forced wait for your transaction to be validated, it’s a relatively faster than other alternatives. With a Bitcoin deposit, a little time spent waiting also ensures that the deposit will be completed.
What About Fees?
Not to worry, the fees mentioned above aren’t the traditional transaction fees you’re used to paying for the “privilege” of using a debit or credit card.
Instead, the word fee in this case simply refers to an additional sum tacked on to Bitcoin purchases at the sender’s discretion. These fees provide miners with the incentive to validate transactions and add them to the blockchain. In fact, the entire cryptocurrency model depends on senders including fractional fees (usually 0.0001 BTC) to incentivize Bitcoin mining.
For you, the bettor, nearly every major online betting shops out there offers completely free Bitcoin deposits with zero fees whatsoever. This is true for both deposits and withdrawals. But remember, you still pay a fee to the Bitcoin network when depositing Bitcoin to the betting shop.
Do I Still Get Deposit Bonuses?
Most definitely, and as you’ll discover, the deposit bonuses attached to Bitcoin deposits are attractive and rewarding. Online betting platforms are saving considerable sums by accepting Bitcoin transactions, because they don’t have to pay any middlemen in the form of a bank or payment processor.
So, they have plenty of incentive to market the relatively new addition of Bitcoin functionality. Online betting companies have every reason to convert regular depositors to Bitcoin, and offering generous bonuses is a tried and true method of motivating consumers.
If you’re reading this page, you’ve probably already noticed that the major online betting brands have rolled out full-fledged marketing campaigns to advertise Bitcoin deposit as a safe, secure, and reliable option. Those selling points are all true of course, but the average consumer needs something tangible to consider changing their purchasing habits. That’s where the big bonuses come in, giving rookies and regulars alike an added reward for changing to Bitcoin.
Where Can I Get Started?
Like we said, almost every established online betting site out there has jumped aboard the Bitcoin bandwagon, so you won’t lack for options by any means.
Check out our page on betting sites that accept Bitcoin, where you’ll find a full rundown of the most reputable and respected companies now offering Bitcoin as a regular transaction method.
Can I Buy Bitcoin with My Credit Card?
Yes, although methods for purchasing vary from country to country.
Credit card is one of the most common methods although you’ll usually be limited to a max of $100-$200 per transaction. It varies from site to site.
Most Bitcoins are purchased through an online exchange (we’ll get to those below) but technically you’re really just converting an amount of your local currency into Bitcoin.
There are also Bitcoin ATMs in certain countries where you can purchase Bitcoin in person (it will give you a code for sending Bitcoin to your wallet).
Do I Need to Buy a Whole Bitcoin?
Absolutely not and most people don’t. Instead you just purchase a fraction of a Bitcoin.
In theory you could purchase one penny of Bitcoin if you wanted but usually purchase fees make at least $3-$10 the reasonable minimum amount.
Online gambling sites generally require a minimum deposit of $20 so you’ll probably want to start at that number.
How Do I Keep My Bitcoin Secure?
The first step to keeping your Bitcoin secure is understanding the technology. You’ve no doubt heard horror stories about people losing millions of dollars of Bitcoin on hard drives, but if you utilize safe practices you should be fine.
The first step to keeping your Bitcoin safe is finding a good wallet. Bitcoin wallets are unusual in that they can take many forms ranging from somewhat secure to ultra-secure. If you’re just quickly making an online deposit you may not need the most iron-clad wallet. We’ll get to the best wallets below.
Once you have a Bitcoin wallet you should do everything to keep it secure. If you’ve got a physical wallet that means keeping it in a safe place. If you’ve got an online wallet then try to never check your balance when you’re on unfamiliar Wi-Fi.
Remember that with Bitcoin you are your own bank. It some ways it’s similar to holding a physical asset like gold.
How Do I Get Bitcoin?
There are a number of different ways to acquire Bitcoin with different methods available in different countries.
The most popular way to get Bitcoin is to use an online exchange to convert currency into cryptocurrency.
Here are the most common methods of acquiring Bitcoin ranked by popularity:
What Are the Best Bitcoin Wallets?
There are a ton of different wallets available for Bitcoin. Much like exchanges, their availability will vary from country to country but the most common types of Bitcoin wallets include the following:
This is the easiest way to keep Bitcoin but also the riskiest because several exchanges have gone broke, or have been hacked, resulting in people’s money being lost.
This is a wallet that’s separate from an exchange but still online so it’s potentially a target for online hackers. This may be a good option if you won’t carry a large balance and are just looking for a quick deposit.
This is a wallet that you install on your computer. It’s safer than an online exchange but it’s risky if you lose your computer or the hard drive crashes.
Same thing as above but for mobile devices.
Usually a flash drive that has encryption for keeping your Bitcoin safe. Considered one of the safest ways to hold Bitcoin but there is a cost in purchasing the device.
Not sure where to begin? We’ve had good experiences with the following wallets:
Which Exchange Should I Use?
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what Bitcoin exchange you want to use but the biggest factor is finding one that’s safe.
There have been plenty of instances where cryptocurrency exchanges have run afoul of the law and been shut down or even become financially insolvent leaving their customers in the lurch.
Fortunately, the newer exchanges are much more reliable and there are some very good options for Bitcoin adopters. It’s worth doing some research to see what’s available but we currently recommend the following exchanges:
The inception and development of Bitcoin sounds like something straight out of a Science Fiction novel so you’ll have to bear with us for a minute.
Bitcoin was invented by someone using the online alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Interestingly that person has never revealed him/herself despite having plenty of financial incentive to do so.
In Nakamoto’s original white paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System stated the following: “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
So how would a Peer-to-Peer cash system work without relying on banks or other financial institutions? The short answer is math.
Nakamoto invented the blockchain, which is essentially a list of records that verifies every transaction that occurs using Bitcoin. Powerful computers around the world verify the math behind the blockchain and receive Bitcoin as a reward.
The reality is you don’t need to know about the history of Bitcoin or the blockchain if you’re just looking to make a deposit using cryptocurrency. In that situation all you need to know is this: Bitcoin is digital money that allows you to make safe, cheap, anonymous transactions.