Advantages of gaming with cryptocurrencies
It's no surprise that as smartphones and mobile devices have become ubiquitous and more sophisticated, online gambling using the devices has really taken off. In addition, new ways of doing things are constantly emerging and various tech solutions are converging that make playing online trouble free, secure and thoroughly enjoyable.
A perfect mix of online gaming, casinos and 24/7 everywhere access has more recently been joined by another major element, that of using cryptocurrencies to make deposits and withdrawals from gaming accounts. Japanese online casino players are always at the cutting edge so many will already know all about using cryptocurrencies to their best advantage, but others may still be a little wary of what is still, quite wrongly, seen as a risky area by many mainstream observers.
In fact, there are many advantages that gaming with cryptocurrencies offer and safety and security is high on the list due to the very nature of the various digital coins themselves. In fact, there is so much choice now that it can be difficult to know where to start, but here are some simple and straightforward pointers to help you get up to speed.
Crypto betting is rapidly building an enthusiastic fanbase because it provides a secure way to transfer funds and also adds levels of anonymity. Because bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, online casinos and gaming sites that accept digital payments are often generically called 'bitcoin casinos'.
There are now many other reputable digital coins that you can use, but at the moment some online casinos exclusively use bitcoins for their transactions and others add it as an additional currency option. Bitcoin casinos operate all over the world and in Japan they are becoming increasingly popular.
Japanese crypto connection
Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with the invention of bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency. However, things aren't quite straightforward. On a gaming profile Nakamoto claimed to be male, a Japanese national and living in Japan, with a birthdate of 5th April 1975. The bitcointalk forum was founded in 2009 and the first message was posted under the pseudonym satoshi.
However, speculation about his true identity has grown over the years, to the degree that it is a popular idea that the name might simply be made up by a group of people that were actually responsible for bitcoin's development.
Based on its founder's murky history it is perhaps fitting that one of the big advantages for many users of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is that it offers a great degree of anonymity. The fact that a digital coin can be used without being tied to a traditional bank account or credit card means that personal details and other individual financial data is not needed for the transactions.
As online casino users often like to hold back on sharing too much personal information, the use of a cryptocurrency can be a real bonus. The legal implications are somewhat blurred as using cryptocurrencies is still cutting edge behaviour and authorities are finding it difficult to apply existing laws, rules and regulations to the rapidly evolving crypto betting landscape.
The lack of information available to the authorities about users of anonymity-based currency and casinos means it is presenting difficulties for them. Paradoxically, from a user standpoint, cryptocurrencies actually offer greater levels of security because they use a blockchain.
A blockchain is a list of data in blocks that makes up a record that continues to grow, whilst being linked together with secure cryptography. As these so called 'ledgers' are usually in the public domain on a shared basis the whole process is transparent. Also, as there are limitless copies of the record out there, it is impossible to change or cheat transactions. This makes it a perfect tool for casinos and gaming for both operators and users alike.
Most crypto casino sites offer zero transaction fees and have other advantages such as offering unlimited free daily transactions. This is in stark contrast to older more traditional rivals using traditional currencies which usually set limits and levy fees on transactions.
Another big selling point that many bitcoin gambling sites have over their old style competitors is that they are often beyond the control of gambling authorities, so they are able to use customised tweaks to the rules of various games, making it more exciting for the players.
As a cryptocurrency is basically a digital asset that takes the place of old style money it can be used in any transaction or exchange. It therefore stands to reason that there will be competing variations on the theme. Bitcoin has become the most famous cryptocurrency in part because it was the first. It has also hit headlines around the world because some early adopters have made considerable fortunes just from trading in the currency itself.
However, as with most innovations that are successful, bitcoin actually kickstarted a new trend of its own and essentially created a parallel economy. It was released as open source software in 2009 and that opened the floodgates for rivals and competitors to enter the fray. In fact, more than 4,000 various cryptocurrencies have been created since the emergence of bitcoin, and some have proved to be more popular than others and could even challenge the original in terms of popularity and use in the coming years.
At the moment the leading crypto games sites are mostly using bitcoin, but there are some notable rivals looking to take the crown of the most popular gaming cryptocurrency.
Litecoin was one of the first to follow in the footsteps of bitcoin as it was launched in 2011. Charlie Lee, former Google engineer and graduate of MIT is its founder, and his open source global payment network is not under the control of a central authority. One of the big advantages offered by litecoin over bitcoin is a faster block generation rate which means it can give faster confirmations of a transaction.
Ethereum was only launched in 2015 but it has picked up fans very quickly. The decentralised software uses a platform-specific cryptographic token and its makers claim that it can be used to “codify, decentralise, secure and trade just about anything,” including of course making deposits and withdrawals for blackjack, poker and other online games.
Ripple appeared on the scene in 2012 and is traded on the world's markets with a value exceeding a billion U.S. dollars market capitalisation. The global network operates in real-time and one of the biggest differences it has from bitcoin is that the consensus ledger it uses for confirmations doesn't require
Lower costs can make a big difference to an online gaming experience and everyone is always looking for an advantage, however small it might be. Using cryptocurrencies can make things cheaper simply because it is more cost effective for the casino itself allowing it to pass on the benefits to its customers.
Traditional financial transactions conducted through a bank or other financial institution will often incur costs for operators. Those costs are then offset by giving the players higher charges and fees. If an online casino is making savings it can also offer higher payout percentages, and reduced overheads mean they can offer casino bonus incentives.
Benefits for users
With all the benefits for users becoming far plainer to see as time goes on, is there anything stopping the rise of cryptocurrencies in online gaming?
Gamers and gamblers juggle the twin concepts of risk and reward and know that the odds are balanced in favour of the house, simply by the way that various games are set up. For instance, playing roulette never gives a 50/50 chance of hitting red or black as the green number '0' always tips things towards the house, even though it is a relatively small advantage.
The development of cryptocurrencies has been an important innovation in society as a whole and many different areas of life can and will take advantage of faster withdrawals, increased transparency, better security and lower or non-existent costs and fees. When it comes to gamers all of these advantages apply, but they also reap the benefits that the casino operators gain when they pass on savings in the form of no deposit bonus codes and similar promotions.
Banks and all other major financial institutions work under the regulation of a centralised authority of some kind. Each authority will have a national set of rules and regulations that can differ greatly from country to country, or sometimes financial institutions can be working under a regime that covers international transactions.
However, using a cryptocurrency means that no permission is needed and the result for users is that waiting times for withdrawals are far lower for casinos which utilise crypto-based transactions. Keeping a large bankroll online has inherent risks that many players are keen to avoid, and it is often inconvenient to do so. Players using cryptocurrencies can move their funds around far more easily and quickly as managing your own crypto wallet means you know exactly where you stand at any time.
No double conversion
Double conversion is something that has plagued online casinos that appeal to international audiences. That is because moving between different currencies can incur charges and losses due to conversion rates that move and adapt to the whims of the forex money markets. That doesn’t happen when transactions are made using cryptocurrency.
This element also emphasises security once again as someone's cryptocurrency wallet is within their own control at all times. When it is secured properly hackers cannot steal from you and no one can charge you anything for using your own money.
Will there be any legacy casinos left soon?
With all of the advantages of gaming with cryptocurrencies clearly laid out, it begs the question of whether or not any online roulette casino or any other type of gambling site will continue to use legacy currencies in the future. With forex markets seeing large losses and gains sometimes on a daily basis, using major legacy currencies can mean that online players leave themselves open to losses that are totally beyond their control. Not only does that make it in the players' interest to use cryptocurrencies, it also means that the casinos themselves need to keep one step ahead of their rivals and embrace the new paradigms.
With ever more new digital coins coming onto the market, the speed of new developments shows no signs of slowing. In fact, it's quite the opposite - major banks and other financial institutions have long been looking into ways to incorporate blockchain tech into their own systems, and more recently large managed funds and investors have been making moves to buy into their own stake in the cryptocurrency boom.
One thing is for sure - anyone who really understands how bitcoin and the legion of followers in its wake have changed the online gaming landscape will already be taking advantage of the benefits that cryptocurrencies bring to online gaming.