Bitcoin gambling was one of the very first use cases for the internet’s first-ever native currency, and it remains a consistent driver of traffic in the bitcoin ecosystem. When it comes comes to adopting new technology, the gambling industry is historically one of the most innovative industries in the world. And with bitcoin, it couldn’t have been any different.
The same way the internet was quickly embraced by bookmakers and bettors alike, due to the many advantages if offered over traditional wagering channels, so is bitcoin betting bringing a number of advances that make gambling with crypto an even more streamlined and seamless experience.
Over the years, betting has quickly changed by technology, moving from the exclusive domain of local, back-street shops, and into a global, professional industry of mass entertainment for people from all walks of life and all across the planet.
However, the transition from the physical into the digital realm was only the first step towards offering all the excitement of betting in the comfort of players’ sofas and mobile phones. Even if the gambling platforms were available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, players were still subject to traditional payment processors’ timelines - measured in working days, sometimes weeks. And worse yet, the inevitable high fees accrued by many intermediaries that would stand in between players and their bets.
Much like the first automobiles had to endure the uneven, dust-ridden roads made for horses, the nascent online gambling industry had to ride the financial infrastructure built to the 20th century, which has not aged well into the internet era. Thus, payment processing has remained one of the main bottlenecks for online transactions across the board, fraught with delays, high fees, fraud and frustration for customers.
The advent of Fintechs and online payment platforms such as PayPal has helped streamline the speed of transactions, but at the expense of adding yet another intermediate to the mix.
That was the only option up until January 2009, when the individual(s) by the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto released the bitcoin network unto the world. Bitcoin would go on to open up completely new possibilities and fundamentally change we understand money.
Bitcoin was quickly adopted by innovative gambling operators such as Cloudbet as a way of solving some of the biggest problems of the industry - payment processing. The cryptocurrency allowed, for the first time, a disintermediated channel between players and bookies, removing intermediaries and allowing for faster, frictionless transactions. And thus bitcoin gambling was born, with Cloudbet being one of the earliest operators, and the online gambling industry took another step into the future.
Bitcoin gambling requires no middlemen. Being a peer-to-peer network, the coins go straight from a wallet and into the other, with the only fee being a low transaction fee collected by the miners. No more parasitic percentages eating out your profits, no more waiting for banking hours to send money, and no more waiting for days for the money to clear. Bitcoin transactions are instantly available for everyone to see, and take only a few minutes to clear as they are added to the blockchain.
No more lost transactions - each and every one of them is transparently added to the blockchain, an immutable ledger of all transactions that is open for anyone to audit in real time, at any time.
More importantly, no more having all your transactions tracked and recorded by countless intermediaries, who could sell, lose or be coerced to disclose your whole financial life without your authorisation or knowledge. And no more third parties telling you how you can or can’t spend your own money. Much like with cash, gambling with bitcoin means you are free from this type of control.
Cloudbet require your name, email address and date of birth to create an account, and funding a bitcoin betting account requires only a bitcoin wallet address - which is a string of characters that is not directly connected to any particular identity.
In many ways, bitcoin is helping solve some of the biggest problems in online gambling. It is perhaps more surprising that more people haven’t switched to crypto yet, but the landscape is changing. As bitcoin gains momentum, with a helping hand from the bitcoin gambling industry, traditional financial institutions are feeling an increasing pressure to adapt and enhance their services, or risk becoming obsolete. In a new crypto economy, everyone wins.
The elegant way that bitcoin and blockchain achieve decentralised consensus cuts out the middleman, but with great power comes great responsibility; this means there is no Bitcoin Core live chat or handy ‘forgot private key’ link and of course there is no guarantee that the price will continue to rise. A shift in mindset is required in order to move into bitcoin gambling, but the leap isn’t as big as it seems.
Bitcoin is a community currency, a global network of peers, and you may find the shift into a community-driven economy a breath of fresh air when compared with our current top-down, closed-door financial system. There is a hugely supportive community on places like Bitcointalk and Reddit where questions will get answered and help provided. And of course our blog's Bitcoin 101 section, which offers great material if you're only just starting with bitcoin.
When the time comes to bet with your bitcoin, you’ll get to choose when, how much and what are you wagering it in - and it will be your decision, and yours alone.