The internet has always been a catalyst for change. You needn’t look past any industry to see the effect it has had in bringing change about. Television has been revolutionised by web-based players, the music industry has had a complete overhaul to deal with downloads and now we are starting to see the emergence of bitcoins.
So what is a bitcoin? A bitcoin is a virtual currency used to procure products and services online via a peer-to-peer marketplace – effectively circumnavigating a centralised bank. This direct marketplace between producer and client helps to diminish financial costs that going through a bank would incur. For example, transactions are usually 2-3 per cent cheaper as there are no credit card fees.
Kevin Dowd of the University of Durham has stated that bitcoins are not the first example of private money but the first that government have not been able to shut down. The long and the short of it is bitcoins are here to stay.
Bitcoins are enveloping all sectors of the economy and bitcoin betting is quickly becoming more relevant. So is bitcoin betting advantageous?
The answer: yes. If we use Betcoin as an example it becomes clear that there are numerous benefits to using bitcoins to gamble.
Speed has always been the calling card of bitcoins. Without having to go through a bank, money can past freely between client and provider. This is also true with bitcoin betting. For example, say you have won on Betcoin, getting your hands on your winnings will be a lot quicker than using “real” currency to bet. Whereas sites like William Hill you have to wait for your money to be processed from your betting account into your bank account, bitcoins go into your wallet (virtual bank account) in a much shorter space of time. The clear advantage here is that you have your money much faster whilst a knock-on effect of that is: by having your money quicker there is less chance of you being able to lose it via gambling, as it will be out of your betting account and into your wallet.
Safety is quite rightly a big factor for anyone wanting to gamble online and it doesn’t come much safer than bitcoin transactions. You can back up and encrypt your wallet, therefore making it harder for hackers to gain access, whilst payment services, especially betting companies, should all be extremely secure and reliable.
However, there is a certain volatility to the bitcoin currency as a whole, as witnessed October 2013. The Silk Road, a drug marketplace centred around bitcoins, was busted by the FBI last October, who seized 144,000 bitcoins ($28.5million), a time where a single bitcoin valued $1135 – the current value is less than half. It is an unstable currency and one that is affected by external factors, but, if used right in can lead to huge economic success.
In all, bitcoin is starting to revolutionise the way we see currency and its foray into the gambling world should come as no surprise. Thus far it is proving to be no economic bubble so expect to see more companies allow people to wager with bitcoins. They are a safe and quick way to move money around and therefore of benefit to both gamblers and the sites they gamble with.