One of the hottest trends right now in the world of online casinos is gambling with Bitcoin. The popular cryptocurrency is preferred by many online gamblers because of its security and relative anonymity. When you factor in the ability of US players to bet with Bitcoin at many casinos online it is easy to see why more gambling sites are accepting the token.
But there is a lingering question in the minds of many bettors: is Bitcoin too volatile for gambling? There is no doubt that Bitcoin has seen some dramatic swings in value since it was introduced. At the end of 2017 the coin was quickly making its way toward a value of almost $20,000. Then, almost overnight, the token fell from the heavens and has dipped to low levels for most of 2018. The volatility of cryptocurrency is something every online gambler should be aware of.
Why are Cryptocurrencies so Volatile?
Anyone that has invested in cryptocurrencies can attest to their volatility. One need look no further than the Bitcoin bull run of late 2017 and subsequent crash for proof that digital assets can fluctuate wildly in value.
On December 28, 2017 the market value of one Bitcoin was $15,433.73. Today, that same Bitcoin is valued at between $6,000 and $9,000 depending on the time of day and market conditions. Swings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a single day are commonplace.
An article in Forbes magazine suggests that Bitcoin is volatile because of several factors that include manipulation of the cryptocurrency market. There is also the digital nature of the currency, and other propose that Bitcoin is too young to have fully established a solid resistance level or bottom where value is concerned. Some believe that the worst is yet to come while others predict another upswing at the end of 2018.
Regardless of the reason, Bitcoin volatility impacts how individuals can use the coin for online gambling. The news isn’t all negative, though. Some believe that Bitcoin is better for gambling than other forms of currency precisely because it is so prone to changes in market value.
Bitcoin and Online Gambling
Betting at online casinos with Bitcoin isn’t new. A few online casinos have made a name for themselves by accepting Bitcoin deposits. There are more casinos taking Bitcoin, however, and that seems to attract more individuals to the world of online gambling.
When one considers that trading cryptocurrencies and online gambling aren’t that different, betting with Bitcoin makes a certain kind of sense. Jim Cramer of CNBC once called Bitcoin Monopoly Money and told individuals that they would be better off gambling in Vegas than playing the cryptocurrency market. Cramer might have a point.
When one makes a trade on the cryptocurrency market, the individual is essentially making a bet on whether the token will rise or fall in value. It’s a gamble. Of course, there are tools which give the investor information on which they can base their bet. But sports handicappers and horse race bettors and even blackjack players also use information to make betting decisions.
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The difference between gambling with fiat and gambling with Bitcoin is that fiat currency will always have a fixed base value. A dollar will always be a dollar, and a Euro will always be a Euro. The only thing that changes is the value of the goods you can purchase with fiat, not the fiat itself.
Bitcoin is a different animal. It has no established base value. You could deposit one Bitcoin today in the online casino of your choice and receive the equivalent of $10,000 in wagering funds. Tomorrow, you could cash out one Bitcoin and have $6,000 in value. It’s a risk you take when you choose to wager with digital currency.
Reasons to Gamble Online with Bitcoin
Volatility aside, there are a few reasons you should consider playing at an online casino with Bitcoin. It can be a better option for many people than using real money.
- Bitcoin is more secure. When you use the proper measures to protect your Bitcoin stash, the risk of losing it to theft is almost zero.
- Bitcoin provides more privacy. Some people don’t want transactions to online casinos showing up on their credit card statements. You can avoid all of that when using Bitcoin, and you can also gamble online in some jurisdictions that restrict credit card deposits to online casinos.
- Bitcoin fees are cheaper. Most online casinos can charge a lot of money to withdraw traditional currency. The fees for withdrawing Bitcoin can be very low, and some casinos don’t even charge a fee.
Online Sports Betting With Bitcoin
There is one area where we would advise caution when it comes to betting with Bitcoin. Those who like to bet sports online should be aware that the length of time to process a bet can pose some risks.
When you bet at an online casino, you can get an instant win. Let’s say you deposit a Bitcoin and make your way to the online blackjack table. An hour later you have amassed a $500 profit. You can request a cashout right then and the chance that your Bitcoin value has fluctuated is reduced.
Not so with sports betting. The reason is the length of time you have to wait on the results of an event. You make a Bitcoin deposit today and bet on a football match tonight. It will take a few hours for the outcome of the game to be determined. In addition, some online sports books will only settle bets at the end of the business day. So, you may not be able to withdraw your winnings in Bitcoin until the next morning, and by then the market value could have changed.
On the other hand, you might boost your winnings if the market value goes up. It’s all a part of playing online gambling games with Bitcoin. You have to be willing to take a few risks if you want to make money in the long run.
Bitcoin is volatile, but so is gambling online for money. You can have success if you are diligent in the way you wager with your digital tokens. Keep an eye on the markets, and only deposit as much Bitcoin as you need to make your wagers. Don’t use the online casino as a storage vault. That’s what cryptocurrency wallets are for.