Online gamblers no longer have to rely on their credit cards or bank accounts to play their favorite games. They do not have to use electronic payment systems or prepaid cards, either. Thanks to cryptocurrency's continuing momentum around the world, gamblers can now deposit their favorite alt coins too.
Perhaps you have heard about Bitcoin gambling in passing. If so, what you have heard about is a reference to gambling with cryptocurrency. Doing so is no different from gambling with fiat currency in practice. Just make a cryptocurrency deposit and off you go. The key is finding an online casino that accepts your preferred coin.
We have made a point of discussing a variety of cryptocurrencies here at Surewinner.com. However, it recently dawned on us that we have never profiled the different alt coins gamblers are using these days. That's what this post is about. Below you will find information about the top five cryptocurrencies for online gambling.
We created this list by visiting a number of 'bitcoin casinos' to see what they were accepting. Note that this list does not constitute an endorsement of any of the coins profiled. We are simply relaying the fact that these coins are accepted by a growing number of online casinos.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Any discussion of gambling with cryptocurrency must start with Bitcoin. Regular readers of Surewinner.com posts are already aware of Bitcoin's position among cryptocurrencies. Not only is it the largest crypto platform in the world by both market capitalization and coin value, Bitcoin is also the original cryptocurrency that started it all.
The official history of Bitcoin goes back to August 2008. That's when the Bitcoin.org domain name was officially registered. However, it is a safe bet that the platform's creator had been working on Bitcoin for some time before the name was registered.
Less than two months after domain registration, a white paper authored by someone using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to peer-to-peer electronic payments via the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Two-and-a-half months later Satoshi released the open source code that was the Bitcoin blockchain. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Bitcoin is the dominant cryptocurrency platform the world over. As such, any casino owner planning to accept cryptocurrency deposits is going to accept bitcoins. It doesn't make sense not to. The Bitcoin name is recognized the world over by both cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors alike.
Converting others to Bitcoin
Bitcoin is so strong as a peer-to-peer payment system that some online casinos accepting deposits in other cryptocurrencies immediately convert those deposits into bitcoins. That says something. It says that merchants intrinsically trust Bitcoin as the standard for cryptocurrency trading.
Whether or not converting other crypto deposits into bitcoins is a smart idea is up for debate. There are some who frown on the practice given the volatility of cryptocurrencies in general. There are others who believe that, as long as you're going to hold cryptocurrency, it might just as well be BTC. So in the end, it is what it is.
2. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Second on our list of gambling cryptocurrencies is Bitcoin Cash. If you are thinking that the name implies some relationship between Bitcoin Cash and the original Bitcoin, you are correct. Bitcoin Cash is actually a fork of Bitcoin.
What is a fork? In the arena of computer coding, a fork occurs when someone takes an existing piece of code and continues developing it in a direction that strays from the original. All the code that existed prior to the fork is shared by both the original and new versions. But all the code implemented after the fork is unique to each separate version as it is developed.
Getting back to Bitcoin Cash, it was officially forked in July 2017 thanks to a disagreement between a number of decision-makers within the Bitcoin community. The disagreement began as a result of the Bitcoin blockchain growing so large that transactions were taking much too long to complete.
A growing blockchain
All cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology. A blockchain is a distributed ledger that records and stores information on every transaction occurring on the network. Each new transaction is added to a block of data. When a block reaches maximum size, it is added to the end of the chain. As such, the ledger never stops growing.
This wasn't a problem during the first few years of Bitcoin's existence. But the blockchain eventually got so large that it was proving difficult to manage. A number of people within the Bitcoin community proposed increasing block size in order to speed up transaction times. Others wanted to leave the size alone but make other modifications to address the speed problem.
As it turned out, those in the first camp felt that not increasing block size would make Bitcoin more advantageous to investors rather than consumers who wanted to use bitcoins for day-to-day transactions. They decided that the only way to ensure a level playing field for both investors and day-to-day users was to create a hard fork.
They named their hard fork Bitcoin Cash. As described earlier, all the data in the blockchain prior to the fork was carried over to the Bitcoin Cash ledger. So the fork automatically gave ownership of BCH to everyone who also owned BTC.
Today, Bitcoin Cash is every bit as attractive as a cryptocurrency. The fact that online casinos accept BCH for deposits says they are not at all concerned that it was birthed out of a disagreement resulting in a hard fork.
Ethereum is an interesting candidate for online gambling because it is not just a cryptocurrency. In fact, it wasn't originally developed as a crypto platform at all. Rather, it was developed as a blockchain-based distributed computing platform with characteristics of an operating system.
In short, Ethereum is a development platform on which all sorts of blockchain-based applications are built. It just so happens that the platform also supports cryptocurrency. And for the record, the coin associated with Ethereum is known as Ether (ETH).
Ethereum was first proposed in 2013 by a cryptocurrency researcher named Vitalik Buterin. In order to fund the development of the platform, Buterin turned to crowd funding. He quickly got the money he needed to move forward, and by mid-2015, he was ready to release his platform. Ethereum went live with 72 million ETH coins already mined and ready for purchase.
Unfortunately for Buterin, a flaw in the system's smart contracts allowed hackers to get in and steal US $50 million worth of ETH. Fixing the problem led to a fork that created two separate alt coins: a new Ether (ETH) and the original re-branded as Ethereum Classic (ETC).
This is important to know inasmuch as you are using the new coin if you are depositing ETH. That is the coin we are referencing in this post.
Among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, Litecoin is most frequently seen as the one best positioned to compete with Bitcoin. They are not anywhere close in terms of market capitalization or coin value, but Litecoin continues to hold his own in the cryptosphere.
Litecoin's history dates to October 2011 when its open source code was released on GitHub by Google employee Charlie Lee. Interestingly, Lee built the platform as a fork of the Bitcoin Core client. The client is essentially a bitcoin node that processes transactions on the Bitcoin network.
Despite Litecoin being a fork, it differs from Bitcoin in several ways. For starters, Lee's network design made for much faster transactions. A Litecoin transaction back then could be processed in 2.5 minutes as compared to more than 10 minutes for Bitcoin. The time disparity is not as great seven years later, but Litecoin is still faster.
The other difference is that Litecoin uses a proof-of-work algorithm built on a memory-hard function. As such, mining rigs require more memory and computing power. They are also more expensive to build.
Last on our list is Monero, a relative newcomer to the cryptocurrency space. It was released in April 2014 as an open-source cryptocurrency platform with a heavy emphasis on decentralization, privacy, and fungibility. But make no mistake, the most important characteristic that sets Monero apart is its security.
Monero is built around a proof-of-work mechanism designed to increase security with every newly mined coin. The mechanism incentivizes miners to make the network more secure as transactions are validated. So every time a new coin is issued, security is increased.
The strength of Monero is its biggest enemy, though. It is so secure that it has attracted the attention of bad actors willing to use it illicitly. It has been linked to the dark web and the sale of illegal substances. Nonetheless, investors and day-to-day users alike are drawn to it because of its security.
Evidence of Monero's security is observed in the fact that payments and account balances remain completely hidden within the blockchain. That is not true for most other cryptocurrencies. Payments and account balances may be encrypted in other platforms, but they are still visible. Not in Monero. That data remains hidden to all but those entrusted with the privilege of mining.
So there you have it: the top five cryptocurrencies for online gambling. If online gambling and cryptocurrency are two of your things, it would seem that you are enjoying a proverbial match made in heaven.