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The anonymity cryptocurrencies offer, along with the high speed of transactions has long made them a great match for online gambling. The operators of the industry-recognized this early on and put great effort into incorporating crypto into their system. But among some 4,000 digital coins in circulation, not all of them share the same popularity and practicality in the gambling industry. So what are the actual options that gamblers go for and why?
It’s not a strange thing for the king of crypto gambling to be the king of cryptocurrencies themselves. Love or hate Bitcoin, you can’t deny that it’s the face of crypto. This is most likely due to the fact that Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency that paved the way for others and that its trading value leaves the rest in the dust.
Bitcoin, of course, offers great anonymity for players: since you don’t need to provide personal information in a Bitcoin transaction, it significantly lessens the chance of identity theft. But at the same time, the payments are transparent—anyone can look up any account’s balance/transactions. The speed and fee of transactions themselves are also more desirable than when you get a middleman like banks involved.
These characteristics are not mind-blowing by any means for a typical cryptocurrency, but Bitcoin’s immense popularity really sets it apart when it comes to crypto gambling. Not only does a big chunk of online casinos accept Bitcoin as a payment option, there are Bitcoin-only casinos offering exclusive games. The same certainly cannot be said for a lesser-known crypto.
However, everything has 2 sides: not everyone can just jump into gambling with Bitcoin without thinking. To own Bitcoin, you have to be prepared to navigate its highly volatile market. The Bitcoin you have today may have a completely different value tomorrow. What’s more, a crypto beginner would have to spend time familiarizing with the ins and outs of Bitcoin wallets, how to buy/sell/exchange Bitcoin…
Ethereum is not a currency but a platform powered by Ether (ETH). Ethereum has made way for recent phenomena such as NFTs, blockchain games and dapps (decentralized apps). In general, Ethereum is usually crowned to be the new oil and in crypto gambling, it very much has the potential to revolutionize the game.
An example of the blockchain games built on the Ethereum blockchain is Decentraland: a game where players can buy land and build all kinds of things on it resembling the real world. One such thing are NFT casinos, which even hired real humans to play as casino staff. Innovations like this take the concept of ‘online gambling’ to a super meta level.
In addition, games run on Ethereum are open-source, which means everyone can check if the result of a poker hand they play is in fact, fair and random. Decentraland also lets players participate in the governance of the game to empower democracy and prevent corruption. This standard of transparency is unprecedented and it might put shady casinos away for good.
As mentioned before, market volatility is a major concern that keeps many gamblers away from crypto gambling. This is where stablecoins come into play. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that are made to combat market fluctuation by pegging the coin to another crypto, fiat or commodities.
Tether is the most famous stablecoin, which offers gamblers the best of both worlds: the privacy of crypto and the stability of fiat. It does this by backing every Tether (USDt) with a reserve asset in USD. Therefore, the value of 1 USDt will always revolve around 1 USD.
Aside from the obvious stability, gamblers choose Tether because it is convenient and familiar, qualities most cryptocurrencies don’t have to those not in the crypto circle. There’s no need for doing maths, people can just pretend they are playing with good old dollars.
Besides, it is much better to manage your money when it’s not presented in tiny fractions. The human brain automatically assumes 0.02 as ‘low’ and ‘insignificant’, but if you lose 0.02 BTC in a roulette session you might want to look that up.