Thanks to certain states and countries working to outlaw online gambling transactions using traditional currency, bettors have had to examine other means with which to fund their accounts. Thanks to its largely anonymous nature and the fact that it isn’t subject to nearly as many restrictions, bitcoin gambling has become one of the most popular ways for players to enjoy all of the fun of online wagering without all of the scrutinies that came with using their banking information and the currency of their country.
Choosing A Wallet
The first step to online bitcoin gambling is to choose a wallet, which will act as the hub from which you will fund your account, withdraw funds from your account, and make withdrawals from bitcoin to your local fiat. Some wallets behave differently than others, and you may need to sign-up for multiple wallets depending on what you are looking to accomplish.
Wallets such as Coinbase or Xapo function as bitcoin banks, so to speak, where users can buy bitcoin, sell it back for other currencies, along with sending and receiving bitcoin to other bitcoin addresses. These types of wallets control your private keys and can monitor what you are doing with your bitcoin. Bitcoin wallets like Coinbase are very convenient because they integrate with bank accounts in the U.S. and dozens of other countries. However, Coinbase will close your account if you use it to make transactions with bitcoin gambling sites, so it’s recommended that you set-up a second wallet where you control the private keys that you can use as a middle man between Coinbase and your bitcoin betting site of choice.
Worth considering to use as your intermediary wallet are bitcoin wallets such as Blockchain.info, Mycelium, BreadWallet or Airbitz where you control your own private keys and can freely send your bitcoin to and from bitcoin gambling sites. If you are not looking to exchange your bitcoins, you can use these sites as standalone wallets, without the need for Coinbase’s exchange capabilities. And with Blockchain.info working toward adding the ability to buy bitcoin directly from their wallet platform, things could be getting more convenient for bitcoin sports bettors.
Buy Your Bitcoin
Now that you’ve set up your wallet (or wallets), it is time to buy yourself some bitcoin if you do not already have some. There are a few different ways to do this. [pullquote]First is at a bitcoin ATM, which is a physical machine in which you deposit cash, provide a bitcoin address in which for funds to be deposited, and then receive your bitcoin at that address.[/pullquote] Another way to buy bitcoin is to do so at a bitcoin exchange, such as Coinbase, Kraken or Bitstamp, where you can use your credit card to easily purchase bitcoin. Finally, you can use Localbitcoins.com, a site that enables person-to-person bitcoin buying and selling, either via in-person transactions or bank deposits.
Remember, if you choose to use a bitcoin exchange site, they may shut your account down for interacting with bitcoin gambling sites directly so it’s important to set-up a bitcoin wallet elsewhere to act as a middleman between your exchange site and your betting site.
Choose A Bitcoin Gambling Site
Once you have your bitcoin, it’s time to choose a bitcoin gambling site. There are many options here, as more traditional betting sites have opened their doors to bitcoin transactions. And while these sites are bitcoin-friendly, it is important to note that your funds will be converted from bitcoin to your country’s currency while they are in play at those sites. You also may be subjected to deposit and withdrawal fees from those sites, so it is important to look into each site’s rules regarding bitcoin prior to making your deposit.
There are also sites that are bitcoin-exclusive, such as Cloudbet, BetCoin and Nitrogen Sports. These sites will not convert your currency from bitcoin and do not subject your funds to deposit or withdrawal fees. One negative to these sites is that they have the potential to offer fewer markets in the way of live betting or futures betting, but their lower juice on spreads and totals could make it worthwhile if those are the things you like to wager on.
Bitcoin casinos have proven to be very popular because the house edge is much lower than it is at traditional online casinos. Bitcoin casino games are also “Provably Fair” which means that online gamblers can independently verify that the games they are playing are fair.