The online gambling world offers a wide variety of betting options. You can enjoy casino games, esports betting, poker, sports wagering, and more over the internet.
But you can’t enjoy them without having a way to deposit online. Unfortunately, placing internet gambling deposits is easier said than done for some countries.
The US government, for example, has made it very tough for Americans to make deposits. However, cryptocurrencies have become a popular way to work around the draconian laws in the US and beyond.
They allow you to fund a gambling account just like credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. That said, you may be interested in using crypto to place deposits.
The only problem is that you might have no idea where to begin, because over 2,000 cryptocurrency projects exist right now. This massive number makes depositing a confusing matter.
But you can cut down on this confusion by reading as I cover some of the most popular cryptocurrencies in gambling today. I’ll also discuss more on how these payment solutions work and why they’re so popular.
Why Are Cryptocurrencies Widely Used in Online Gambling?
The problem with using traditional payment options at gambling sites is that third parties are involved. If you use PayPal for online gambling, then you’re at the mercy of those working for the company. If you want to do a bank transfer, you must deal with a bank rep.
You may be fine with this situation as long as your deposit doesn’t get rejected. But sometimes, gambling related transactions to get canceled for no good reason.
Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, don’t suffer from this problem. Most of these projects are thoroughly decentralized. They’re not controlled by a bank board, e-wallet management, or central government.
The lack of government control is key to cryptocurrencies working in a variety of situations. Americans who struggle to place deposits because of the UIGEA can lean on crypto to fund their accounts.
Another benefit of crypto is that you don’t need to go anywhere to use it. You can do everything from your smartphone or PC.
Meanwhile, miners approve your deposits by solving computational puzzles. You never have to meet these miners, email them, or answer to them about certain charges.
Other advantages to crypto can be inconsistent, depending on network usage. By and large, though, you can expect quick deposits, low (miner) fees, and a hassle-free process.
One more major reason why cryptocurrencies are popular among gamblers is their borderless nature. Governments can’t shut down a decentralized crypto project or confine it to specific uses.
Instead, crypto can be used across the world. This borderless aspect allows gambling sites to better connect with their customers. Casinos themselves like cryptocurrencies because they don’t have to cover processing fees. The gamblers handle these fees, which I’ll cover later.
How Do Cryptocurrencies Work?
Trust is a big part of the financial world. You need to trust the bank or e-wallet that you’re using to avoid losing your money.
Unfortunately, trust also means handing over some control of your funds to unknown third parties. For instance, you just have to trust that a banker won’t botch your deposit or steal your money.
Once a transaction is initiated, a network’s miners decide whether to take on a transaction based on the fees involved. The higher the fees, the quicker miners get to the task.
In most cases, though, you can expect reasonable transaction fees for a very low percentage of your deposit. Furthermore, your transaction won’t be tied up for days, like with a bank transfer.
Which Cryptocurrencies Are Used the Most at Gambling Sites?
Most crypto-friendly online gambling sites only accept Bitcoin. However, operators are beginning to expand their horizons and accept more cryptocurrencies. Below, you can see the most used crypto at the time of this writing.
1 – Bitcoin
Bitcoin started the cryptocurrency movement in 2009. Its anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto (alias), wanted to give financial power back to the people after the American banking crisis.
Bitcoin (BTC) has since become a household name, albeit partly for the wrong reasons. Unfortunately for Bitcoin, many still associate it with the illegal drug trade and money laundering.
While BTC can be abused for these purposes, it also brings quality benefits to the table. It features a fixed supply (21 million) to prevent entities from creating a larger supply and deflating the value.
It also offers a very secure network. Bitcoin may not be the fastest payment method, but it does promise safe transactions. This quality is quite impressive when considering that the network governs itself.
The greatest asset from a gambling perspective is decentralization. Players from all over the world can look forward to placing deposits while cutting out the middleman and government intervention.
Taking everything into account, gambling sites favor BTC over any cryptocurrency. This trend should continue into the foreseeable future.
2 – Ethereum
Ethereum (ETH) isn’t known as a cryptocurrency first. Instead, it’s a network that allows for smart contracts and decentralized applications (Dapps).
ETH also became a hotspot for initial coin offerings (ICOs) in 2018. Many projects used the network for ICOs, essentially like an IPO without government regulation, to raise funds.
Despites its more common uses, Ethereum can also be used as a payment method. Ether, which is the network’s native token, is very popular among those who make purchases in crypto.
Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency among online gamblers. Some casinos and poker sites exclusively accept ETH as a result.
One main benefit to Ethereum is that it offers faster deposits than Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies. It has lower fees than BTC on average, too.
The downside, though, is that the Ethereum network isn’t as secure as Bitcoin. Following a major attack, the ETH foundation pushed for a hard fork to save those affected.
Nevertheless, it still remains a viable option for gambling deposits. This is especially true if you want faster and cheaper transactions.
3 – Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the result of a hard fork from Bitcoin in August 2018. It has since gone on to become fairly popular thanks to its close relationship with BTC.
The latter sometime suffers from high miner fees and slow transactions when the network is congested. A segment of the Bitcoin community proposed that they hard fork to increase the block size.
In crypto, block size refers to the max limit of transactions each block can hold. Roger Ver, an early crypto entrepreneur, favored this move and led the fork from BTC.
Bitcoin Cash was created in its wake. Its block size (32MB) is much larger than what Bitcoin offers (1MB) and promises faster transactions.
A number of crypto-focused gambling sites accept BCH alongside BTC. Bitcoin Cash offers many of the same benefits as Bitcoin along with the aforementioned larger block size.
4 – Litecoin
Litecoin (LTC) was developed in 2013 as a proposed improvement on Bitcoin. It features much of the same coding as BTC, but with faster speed.
LTC also has a larger maximum supply at 84 million. The increased number of units is key to Litecoin’s faster speed.
However, this cryptocurrency has dealt with its share of controversy. The founder, Charlie Lee, admittedly sold his LTC during the bull run of 2017.
Some have speculated that Lee didn’t see enough value in Litecoin’s future to resist selling at exploding prices. Regardless, LTC remains one the most used cryptocurrencies at internet casinos.
5 – Monero
One oft-cited advantage of Bitcoin is that it allows for completely anonymous transactions. However, the 2013 bust of Silk Road dashed such delusions.
BTC is still relatively anonymous, especially when compared to other crypto. But entities can often tie an identity to a wallet address when they put enough effort into the matter.
Monero (XMR) was developed as a solution to the privacy concerns regarding Bitcoin and other crypto. Its technology allows for transactions that are nearly impossible to trace.
As a result, Monero has become very popular among criminal organizations. You may not be operating a drug cartel, but you might find its anonymity to be useful for gambling with real money purposes.
This is especially true if you’re from a country where internet betting is illegal. With XMR and a virtual private network (VPN), you can gamble online with little fear of being caught.
6 – Dash
Dash was originally developed as “Xcoin” in 2014. Following rumors about a pump-and-dump scheme, the project rebranded to “Darkcoin.”
This name change didn’t help matters, as Darkcoin quickly became associated with the dark net. So, in 2015, the founders finally settled on Dash.
This crypto utilizes “masternodes” to power the network. The end result is a decentralized network that offers fast and nearly untraceable transactions.
Like Monero, Dash gives you the ability to gamble illegally with little chance of being caught. The only drawback is that it’s not as widely accepted as Monero.
7 – Ripple
Ripple (XRP) is similar to Ethereum in that it’s not known as a payment option first. Instead, it was developed in 2012 as a global, gross settlement system.
Anything from fiat currency (e.g. USD, GBP) to commodities can be exchanged on the Ripple network. This project promises secure and instant settlements with no chargebacks.
XRP is the native token of the network. It can be used across the aforementioned network to settle payments.
More recently, XRP has been popping up at more online casinos. It allows for quick and secure deposits, just like several other cryptos on this list.
Cryptocurrencies won’t supplant credit cards, debit cards, or e-wallets as the dominant gambling deposit method any time soon. But they definitely have some viability in the gambling world.
Their decentralization allows for deposits without a third party being involved. Instead, it’s just you and the casino in these situations.
What’s nice is that you don’t need to visit anywhere to use crypto. You can fund your gambling account from a smartphone or PC/Mac in minutes.
But what crypto should you use to play at casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks?
Bitcoin is definitely the most popular option. It was the very first cryptocurrency and continues to hold a prominent place in gambling and beyond.
Ethereum is also pretty popular among gamblers. Usually, it offers lower fees and quicker transactions than Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are suitable alternatives to BTC. They both work like Bitcoin, but with quicker deposit speeds.
Monero and Dash are perfect if you’re gambling from a country where it’s illegal to do so. They both allow for nearly anonymous transactions.
Ripple offers yet one more good option for depositing with crypto. It’s more about settling payments, but it also comes in handy for gambling deposits.