We are used to having many deposit options at online casinos so that we can choose the method that is the most convenient for us. Apart from traditional debit/credit card deposits, bank transfers and third-party e-wallets, lately we have seen many casinos offering cryptocurrency deposits. But what are the advantages of paying with crypto and should you switch to it?
In this article, we are trying to give you answers to these questions with the help of a Swedish iGaming expert, Carlos Norberg, whom you can read more about him.
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency started with Bitcoin over ten years ago, and since then a whole range of digital currency appeared on the market such as Ethereum, Litecoin or Stellar. Cryptocurrency systems are decentralized and are strictly peer-to-peer, meaning that there is no intermediary, such as a bank or a government. The value of one Bitcoin (the most important cryptocurrency) in 2015 November was SEK 2,848 while in April 2021 it is worth SEK 507,308 so those early investors could easily become millionaires in a few years.
Is crypto gambling legal?
This is a complex issue as it totally depends on the country. Some countries don’t allow online gambling, some don’t allow cryptocurrency transactions and some prohibit crypto gambling.
As cryptocurrencies are decentralized, in a bunch of EU countries crypto gambling is prohibited. Sweden gives out Swedish licenses to casinos that accept players from Sweden but they will not license any nya casino that accepts Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Therefore if you are a resident of Sweden and are looking for a casino where you can pay with Bitcoin, you will have to find one with a foreign license.
Advantages of cryptocurrency gambling
Nowadays, many online casinos accept cryptocurrency deposits and will pay out your winnings in the same digital currency if you opt for it. Let see what are the advantages of a Bitcoin casino.
1. User autonomy
When you pay with Bitcoin there is no intermediary authority like a bank or government asking questions to comply with money laundering regulations. When you want to make a large bank transfer in a fiat currency, your bank might ask you a few questions. When you want to make a large deposit in SEK to your casino account, the casino will ask for a source of funds documents and similarly, you couldn’t buy a new car with cash without proving where the money came from. When you pay online with crypto no questions are asked.
When you buy something with cryptocurrency your identity is not revealed unless you reveal it yourself. It is similar to a cash transaction and it is very difficult to trace it back to you, unlike a credit card transaction or a bank transfer. In fact, a new address is generated for you with each transaction. Online casinos ask for a lot of personal data that concern many people. If you pay with crypto you won’t have to share this data with the casino so there is no possibility of a data leak.
In public opinion, gambling behaviour is not appreciated and many choose to hide their gambling by paying with crypto. Imagine, you want to apply for a loan or mortgage, but your bank can see regular transactions to online casinos. Using crypto is a great way of separating your finances from your gambling habits.
3. No banking fees
Cross-currency payments can come with bad exchange rates offered by banks and even in same currency payments there can be transaction fees for both paying and receiving refunds, transferring money or receiving transfers. Crytocurrency is peer-to-peer and does not come with any fees. Also, you can’t spend more of it than what is on your account, unlike with current accounts where you might be overdrawn and have to pay overdraft fees.
4. Instantaneous transactions
Crypto transactions are instant. In comparison, when you make a bank transfer, it might take 1-5 days, depending on the currency. Banks also take their time to process any card refunds on your account. However, when the online casino pays out your winnings you receive it instantly.
5. No location restrictions
This is not an issue for Swedish and other EU players, but as you know, some countries restrict online gambling altogether and casinos are not allowed to operate in these countries. However, Bitcoin casinos accept players from anywhere in the world as long as they have Bitcoin deposits to play with. When playing with crypto your identity, including your nationality and address are not revealed so they sort of bypass the rules on checking residency.
Providing financial information online is always scary as hackers could steal your information. Especially when paying with debit/credit cards you should be really careful as anyone could use this information for future transactions. Hacking into cryptocurrency is much more difficult. Bitcoin transactions use a private and a public key to ensure that transactions are authentic. However, the downside of this system is that if you lose your private key, you will lose access to your Bitcoins.
Playing at casinos that accept cryptocurrency can be very advantageous especially for those who are after more privacy and security or have gambling restrictions in place because of their location. Bitcoin is getting more and more popular though and we expect to see more of its regulations in Europe and therefore it should be widely accepted by casinos in the future.