Recent decades have seen a startling and rapid advance in technology, from the internet to mobile communications. One of the areas of technological progress that has yet to fully unfold is that of blockchains and crypto, both of which are of increasing relevance to the world of new bitcoin casinos.
When the term ‘blockchain’ is mentioned, many people might automatically, perhaps even exclusively, associate that with cryptocurrencies. After all, that’s the most famous application of the technology and how many people have heard of it. But that’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the breadth of possibilities that blockchain presents.
Indeed, some have gone as far as to say that blockchain technology might one day end up being as transformative for the world as the internet has been. One intrinsic advantage that blockchains have is that the design makes them resistant to data modification (including meddling for nefarious purposes). Retroactive alteration of a block cannot occur without altering the following blocks, alerting others to the attempt. No system can ever be 100%, of course (someone losing their passcode would be in trouble) but compared to other systems blockchain has an inherently strong level of security.
Another pro is that the middleman is cut out. Necessarily, intermediary services need to make money (and can cause hiccups if there happens to be a problem, as has been seen with banks occasionally going down and preventing ATM withdrawals). Remove the middleman, whether that’s a bank or an e-wallet, and you’ve removed an agency needing to make a profit and another step in the transaction, enabling faster movement of money.
Blockchain and Casinos
How does this overlap with the needs and desires of online casinos? Such establishments have certain objectives. One of the most important is the security (and the reassuring reputation that accompanies robust security). A reputation for weak security can quickly hole a casino below the waterline.
It’s worth stressing that blockchain itself is still in its youth, and casino adoption of the technology is also in its early days. In July 2019, DAO.Casino, which is in the process of creating its own 3.0 blockchain solution, announced it was adding a blackjack game to the platform, the first game added to the blockchain. Using algorithms and entropic signals, a Merkle Tree is generated, with the root of this being sent to the player to prove the position of the cards and prevent fraud and cheating.
This is quite interesting as some players (the matter is hotly disputed) believe that certain games, such as some slots, are not truly random but have a higher chance of jackpots under certain conditions. From a crypto casino perspective, the usage of blockchain might help reduce such attempts, whilst at the same time reassuring players who feel they’re prone to get stuck in an unlucky glut. Randomness can be difficult to achieve, but doing so can be good for both players and casinos.
Cryptocurrencies and Casinos
When it comes to funding methods casinos can offer anything from a limited set of options (Visa and Mastercard plus the odd e-wallet and direct transfers) to literally dozens of different possibilities.
Cryptocurrencies currently fall into the middle ground, being neither ubiquitous like debit and credit cards, nor very unusual. There is an increasing number of casinos that offer cryptocurrency as a banking method, with bitcoin the most popular (although others, such as litecoin, might be available here and there).
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When it comes to shifting money into and out of casino accounts players have several main concerns. Speed, security, and convenience top the list. Provided one is already involved with cryptocurrency, it scores well on all counts. Security, given the anonymity afforded by cryptocurrency, is particularly strong and may (for some) make it a viable alternative to the bank wire. Bank wires are typically preferred by those shifting large sums. It’s highly secure, but also requires days of processing and a significant fee. Bitcoin, by contrast, can be moved far more quickly and either without a fee or a minimal cost (this may vary from one casino to the next).
There is an extra aspect of cryptocurrency that makes it fundamentally different from other means of gambling. All currencies rise and fall in value, but the shifts that happen with cryptocurrency can be far more dramatic than traditional currencies. This swings both ways, of course. If you double your money and bitcoin has risen in value 20% between deposit and withdrawal then you’re actually up by even more by virtue of a helpful currency shift. Likewise, if you’re ahead but the value of bitcoin declines precipitately then that either diminishes your profit or swallows it wholesale and puts you in the red.