Getting Started With Bitcoin

Getting Started With Bitcoin

There are plenty of resources explaining what Bitcoin is, how great it is, and how big of an asset it is for online gaming, but there seems to be almost no resources to help walk you through the steps to get started and begin using Bitcoin to play online today. Never fear, though, because we're going to give you the important things you need to know about Bitcoin and then walk you through the entire process step by step.

To make things easier on those that already know they want to use Bitcoin, we're going to start with the steps to get started and then follow up with any additional information including benefits, how they work, and anything else we feel you should know to be a more informed consumer.

The overall process is broken down into three easy steps for depositing onto your favorite online casino or sportsbook.

  • 1Open a Bitcoin Wallet Account
  • 2Fund your Bitcoin Wallet Account
  • 3Use your Bitcoin Wallet Account to deposit onto your favorite site.

Step 1 - Open a Bitcoin Wallet

A Bitcoin wallet is an online hub for buying and selling Bitcoins. While there are some types of Bitcoin wallets called software wallets, we are only going to be concerned with hosted wallets. A hosted wallet is a way to store your Bitcoins with a third party, much like you would do with a bank. A perfect analogy would be if we kept all of our money in a shoebox in our room that would be like a software wallet. If we kept all of our money with a trusted bank, that would be like a hosted wallet. It basically means that we are using another company to handle the security and storage of our money (in Bitcoin forms).

A Bitcoin wallet is going to feel exactly like using something like PayPal. You will use your bank or credit/debit card to load money onto the wallet and then you can use that wallet to make purchases or deposit into an online gaming site the same way you would with PayPal. The only difference is that when you load the money onto the wallet, you will be able to convert it into Bitcoins so that you can make your transactions.

To open a Bitcoin wallet account, it is again the same procedure as if you were opening a PayPal account or something like that. Find a provider, follow the instructions and you're all set.

Here are a few popular ones we see used a lot.

Step 2 - Deposit Money Into Your Bitcoin Wallet

Once you've got your account all set up, the next step is to deposit some money and purchase some Bitcoin. Remember, just like with any currency the rate of Bitcoin will fluctuate so make sure you look at the rate you are getting when you purchase. Don't get too worked up on this as it will always be fluctuating some in each direction.

You can deposit into your Bitcoin account through a debit or credit card or by directly linking your bank account to your Bitcoin wallet. All of these methods will work the same so just choose the one that you prefer the most. Some Bitcoin wallets may also allow you to deposit through PayPal or some other payment methods if you prefer.

Step 3 - Deposit Your Bitcoins Into the Casino or Sportsbook

Once you've got your money on your Bitcoin wallet, you're ready to make your deposit onto the online casino or sportsbook and get to playing. All you need to do is navigate to the deposits page of the casino or sportsbook you want to play at and click on the Bitcoin option. They will give you specific instructions on how to make your deposit, and that's it! It shouldn't take more than a few minutes from when the transaction is approved for you to have your money on the site and be playing or betting.

If you haven't found a Bitcoin casino or sportsbook to play at yet, here are a few of our favorite options. The depositing and withdrawal methods are extremely straightforward and easy on all of these sites listed.

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Step 4 - Withdrawing Your Winnings

After you've played and won, it's time to withdraw your winnings. All you need to do is process a withdrawal through the online sportsbook or casino you are playing at, and they will transfer your Bitcoins back into your Bitcoin wallet for you. Once you receive your Bitcoins, you can then convert them back into your usual currency and send back to your bank account or use to purchase things online from other sites that accept Bitcoin.

That's all there is to it. One of the perks of Bitcoin is its simplicity and ability to be used all over the world through the exact same process. For those of you wanting to learn more about Bitcoin or for those of you still with questions, we've included a considerable amount of additional information below to help out.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of digital crypto-currency. In simpler terms, it's a new form of currency (money) that is set up to be used over the internet. Transactions using Bitcoin are completely anonymous, free, and use no banks to complete transactions.

Contrary to what you might think, it's not an actual physical coin but a data block that is created through an intensive computer process. Basically, you can't hold a Bitcoin in your hand, but you can certainly use it to make purchases and transactions worldwide online. We won't bore you with the technical details, but in short,

Bitcoins are made through a data mining process that takes a lot of time and massive amounts of computing power.
With each Bitcoin made, the next one becomes more and more difficult to create to where eventually it will be impossible to make any more. This means a finite supply which allows the coins to have value.

You can imagine these are kind of like a precious metal that takes a lot of effort and manpower to dig out of the earth. Each time more is dug out, the next piece is further down and requires much more manpower until there eventually aren't any more left.

Why Are Bitcoins Valuable?

Any form of currency is only valuable for two main reasons. One, there needs to be a finite supply of the currency and two, people need to agree that the currency will be used to trade for goods and services. Look at paper money. The paper itself isn't worth the value we give it, but because there is a limited supply of it and we have all decided that we are willing to use it for goods and services, it has value.

Here's a great analogy. Imagine the prison ecosystem where they don't have traditional forms of currency. In a lot of jails and prisons, cigarettes have become their form of currency. Why? There is a limited supply of them, and the prisoners have all decided that they will accept them for goods and services. An actual cigarette might only be worth $0.50, but since it is being used as a form of currency, it can be exchanged for things of much higher value.

Bitcoin has its value because people have begun accepting it as a form of currency and for trade for goods and services. The more companies and organizations that begin recognizing and accepting the currency, the more valuable it is going to become. Here are just a few examples of some major corporations and companies that accept and acknowledge Bitcoin as a form of currency.

  • Amazon
  • CVS
  • Dell
  • Home Depot
  • Microsoft
  • Sears
  • Subway
  • Target
  • Victoria's Secret
  • Whole Foods
  • Zappos
  • Zynga

These are just a few examples of thousands of major companies coming onboard. The more of these companies that get on board, the higher the value of Bitcoin is going to soar.

Pros and Cons of Bitcoin


Pros
  • Safe and Secure
  • A lot of people are scared to use their credit cards or banking information with online gaming sites. While there is no real concern for this, we can understand the concern some people have and the want to keep them separate. Bitcoin wallets act as a middle man that allow you to deposit and withdraw completely anonymously without ever exposing your personal information to the sites. This safety and security extend for those that do a lot of shopping and online transacting. Instead of sending your personal information to tons of different sites, you only have to use it for the wallet, and then you are hidden and protected everywhere you go online. In the day and age of digital crime, this is a big security plus.

  • Cost
  • Using more traditional methods of moving around money will carry significant costs and fees. Due to the completely digital nature of Bitcoin and no need for banks, transactions are either free or have a negligible fee for making a transaction. This can save you tons of money especially if you are moving around larger sums of money or are making lots of deposits and online purchases. Many online gambling sites will give you additional bonuses for using Bitcoin because it saves them a ton of money in the fees that they usually cover for you on deposits.

  • Speed and Flexibility
  • Due to the nature of how Bitcoin works, transactions (both withdrawals and deposits) are infinitely faster than other traditional methods. Usually, other methods are processed and sent in a few days where most sites process Bitcoin in a few hours. Not only are the transactions faster, but the limits are usually considerably higher on both deposits and withdrawals.

  • Transparency
  • This one confuses people sometimes but is actually a huge benefit. They're confused how something can be completely anonymous, yet still be completely transparent. This is what we mean. All transactions done through Bitcoin are publicly listed for everyone to see. However, there is absolutely no personal data attached to each transaction. There is only a transaction code that is ONLY known by the sender and the receiver of the Bitcoin. This means that the sender and receiver have a very transparent way of checking on their transactions and making sure things are done. This prevents a lot of scams and makes things a lot clearer for every party involved.

    This transaction code is not known or handled by a bank or some sort of Bitcoin middle man. It is only known by the sender and receiver and never anyone else. This is how it can be transparent to the right parties and hidden from everyone else who has no business knowing what you are doing with your money.

Cons
  • Changing Rate
  • All currencies are going to fluctuate up and down every single day. As Bitcoin is also a form of currency, this is to be expected. The important thing to note, though, is that due to the face Bitcoin is a newer currency, the fluctuations have the potential to be slightly bigger than with other more mainstream currencies. The good news is the historical trend up until now has been with this moving up. We can't say which direction the trend is going to go in the future, but there are definitely a lot of positives on the horizon for Bitcoin.

  • Learning Curve
  • Sometimes it can take people a few minutes to understand Bitcoin which could be viewed as a negative. Frankly, though, after reading this article we would hope you have a pretty good idea of how the currency works and how you can get started taking advantage of all the positives it brings to the table, not only for online gaming but also for everything else you do online.

FAQ

What if I don't want to buy a full Bitcoin?

While Bitcoins are technically full units, you can buy them in extremely small pieces, basically for any dollar amount you want. A lot of people assume that a Bitcoin is like a bar of gold and can't be split up. It's better to imagine a Bitcoin like a jar of sand, where you can purchase the whole jar or just part of the sand if you want to.

How much can the exchange rate fluctuate?

Just like with any currency, it's impossible to say how much up or down something can fluctuate. The more established that the currency becomes (which is the current trend), the more stabilized it will become and the smaller the potential fluctuations will become.

Can I make money if the exchange rate changes?

Yup! For some reason, people only look at the fact that they could lose money if the exchange rate fluctuates. What they forget to realize is that if Bitcoins become more valuable during the time they purchase and the time they cash out, they're actually going to make additional profit.

Which wallet is the best?

All of the wallets we listed above have a few small differences that make for pros and cons. The biggest thing we recommend is going with a reputable and established wallet. Honestly, as long as the wallet is reputable, you should be fine to use any of them.

Is Bitcoin really safer than using traditional methods?

It definitely is. With all of the cybercrime and identity theft, the less you can put your information out on the internet, the better. Bitcoin wallets allow you only to have to supply your information to one site and then you can complete all of your transactions 100% anonymously without ever having to submit your name or any banking information to the other sites. It acts as a cyber security buffer for you.

Can I only use my Bitcoins for online gaming?

Nope! There are hundreds and hundreds of sites and companies that are starting to take Bitcoins as forms of compensation. We listed a few of them above but here's a more complete list of larger companies using Bitcoin. This list is a few years old so you can expect that a more current list would be significantly larger than this one now!

Is it hard to convert my Bitcoin back to "real money?"

Nope. While your Bitcoin can be used as real currency at a lot of places, we definitely understand that there will be times you want to convert it back to your country's standard currency to make other purchases or move it into savings or something like that. This is just as easy as it is to purchase the Bitcoins and can be done directly from all of these wallets.

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