How safe is it to use cryptocurrency for online gaming?

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Pairing together a high-tech, anonymous digital currency with the online casino world sounds like a match made in heaven. But before signing up to any form of online gambling platform though, it’s important to explore the safety of using cryptocurrencies at online casinos. Here are a few points worth considering when using cryptocurrency to gamble online.

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Anonymity

The importance of privacy became paramount for most of us when the dealings of the NSA were exposed back in 2013. We can use VPNs and browse in private mode during most of our time on the internet, but wherever there are monetary transactions, anonymity hardly ever an option. Credit cards must have the cardholder name, and payment sites such as PayPal have become very identity-focused.

The anonymity that cryptocurrency affords its users is part of its appeal. However, real crypto aficionados know that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t anonymous in that all transactions are stored publicly, so there is a chance of identifying you based on your internet and spending patterns. Still, there are several online casinos that accept cryptocurrency as payment in an attempt to protect user identities. Using crypto at an online casino means that your name will be far less clearly affiliated with an online casino, and prevents online gambling transactions from appearing on your bank statements.

 

Casino security

Hacks and cyber threats are common among cryptocurrency exchanges, but not less so on casinos that accept cryptocurrencies. On paper (and so far, empirically) Bitcoin casinos are less likely to be hacked and stolen from. All BTC transactions are encrypted and verified many times on the network. The private keys are boringly long and difficult to decode.

The downside of these extra security precautions is that Crypto withdrawals might take longer than ordinary credit/debit card withdrawals — but only when casinos take extra security measures. This is contrary to popular belief that crypto withdrawals are always faster.

 

Safety for international customers

The biggest obstacle when using crypto casinos is finding the legitimate ones. The anonymous nature – along with accepting crypto instead of highly-regulated Mastercard for example- means that it’s easier and faster to set up a fraudulent crypto casino. The nature of casinos that accept cryptocurrencies makes them difficult to license. When they do have a license, information about it can be buried deeply on the site, or not visible at all.. Yet, a reputable license is the single most important thing to look out for when choosing a crypto casino.

Gambling laws vary between jurisdictions, and it can cause great confusion. Canadian players for example can gamble at online casinos based outside of Canada, but operating an online casino from Canada is illegal. The “borderless” nature of online crypto casinos means that they might present customers with irrelevant licenses from different countries. For example, in the UK, casinos are licensed under the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), and any casino without one is strictly prohibited from offering such services to UK players.

It’s also important to read the withdrawal and funding terms, as well as the wagering requirements. Some crypto casinos ask for a high amount of playtime before the user can cash out. After all, the more you play, the more chance they have of getting your winnings back. Ignore the fine print at your own risk.

 

Price fluctuations

This isn’t a specific issue to cryptocurrencies in the sense that all fiat currencies fluctuate in price. However, Crypto, and particularly Altcoins, are prone to huge devaluations in a short period of time. You may find yourself in a situation where you’ve spent a week increasing your online casino bankroll by 15%, but upon withdrawing, your crypto is worth 15% less than the beginning of the week and you’re back to square 1. Then again, if you’re already using crypto, you’re already aware of these risks. Plus, who’s to say the price change won’t favor you?

 

Conclusion

Crypto can be a valuable tool for the online gamer, notably due to its relative privacy. With a growing number of casinos now accepting cryptocurrency payments, the key to staying safe when using online crypto casinos is to assess several reviews on them online, and forensically check their licensing. If everyone else has confirmed they’re legitimate and have fair withdrawal terms, your chances of being defrauded decreases dramatically. Also, check for what the consensus is on a casino’s customer support, as this is what you’ll depend on if something goes wrong.

 

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