Not Many But There Are Some Bitcoin Online Casinos
This may be a little hard to believe but there are online casinos that accept Bitcoin. ‘No, really?’ I hear you say. Yes really. Admittedly a very small number but it looks like that may be changing. The attractive part about Bitcoin for casinos is the lack of fees they would have to pay. Any fees incurred are charged to the user. It doesn’t seem possible that a currency that is less than a decade old with no central banks backing actually being taken seriously. But it is. Bitcoins are not play money they are exchanged for hard currency and look set to be around for a while to come. But what on earth are they? Bitcoins are what is known as a crypto-currency. Basically a form of currency that is exclusively digital. There is no physical money, just data. The concept of a crypto-currency has been floating around for quite a while and has been a subject of discussion for the super smart for years. Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to Bitcoin in 2008 and it took off. The idea is to create currencies without the need of a central bank and major regulation. Run and governed by the people using it. Known as a peer to peer network it uses a branch of mathematics called cryptography to generate the currency. With no central authority and infrastructure there is no need for transaction fees to keep the whole thing moving.
Where Do They Come From Then? And How Do They Keep Track Off Them?
This is the painful bit. Bitcoin are generated in a process called ‘mining’ this is the work done by those with some sophisticated hardware that verify and record all of the transactions into the public ledger. These ‘miners’ receive transaction fees and newly ‘minted’ Bitcoin as reward for the processing work done by them. The ‘ledger is called a block chain which is a distributed database linked via nodes that run the Bitcoin software which is a free open source commodity for any to use. I could go into the whys and wherefores but it is a complicated and quite frankly boring process to explain. The gist of it is that the peer to peer process uses some very high end computing power and means that it isn’t something that can be done with your PC at home. The network that monitors and creates Bitcoins is huge and the processing power of the hardware used is pretty impressive.
Are Bitcoins Worth Anything? And Where Can You Get Your Hands On Them?
This is probably the hardest bit to swallow. Bitcoins are actually worth a lot. There has been some crazy fluctuations in the value of Bitcoins of late at the moment one Bitcoin is worth around $420 US. The trading of Bitcoin since its birth has created a lot of very rich people. Buying Bitcoin is a relatively simple process there are a number of marketplaces online where you can purchase them. Payment methods range from the old school debit/credit card, wire transfer etc. up to modern digital e-Wallets and some exchanges even take other crypto-currencies. Yep there’s more than one folks. Once you have bought your Bitcoin storing them is again a little highbrow. Addresses, mathematical keys and a lot of other geek speak surround this area but in essence you have choices. You can download an app that acts as a digital safe. Available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux for your desktop and mobile versions for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. There are online versions you can use where your virtual currency is virtually stored and the safest of all is a USB flash drive system.
Is It Safe?
This all brings us to the biggest issue surrounding Bitcoins. Is your money safe? Well once it’s in your online casino account it’s as safe as any other currency. The issue is the transaction and storage. There have been some very disturbing thefts of large sums of Bitcoins since its birth. The fact is because there is no regulatory authority or laws surrounding crytocurrency, it has left the whole thing wide open to cybercrime. Once a Bitcoin transaction takes place there is no going back. The currency is gone. Addresses can be hacked so the Bitcoins get diverted. Exchanges have been robbed and there are countless malware, spyware and other ways to abuse the system. So it begs the question why use it? Bitcoin has grown very quickly and a lot of money has been made along the way. Not all of it legitimately. Bitcoin is seen by some government institutions as nothing but a black market tool for criminal activity such as money laundering and the purchasing of illicit items online. The jury is out at the moment only time will tell if crypto currencies can stand tall.
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