What is Bitcoin and how does it work?
If you've been on the Internet at all over the last few years, you've undoubtedly heard of Bitcoin - a cryptocurrency which can be used to purchase very real goods and services despite not being officially recognized by any government or most banks. Today, it can even be used in specialized crypto casinos in the UK and beyond!
First created in 2009 by an elusive programmer known only by his pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto (a deliberately selected common and ordinary Japanese name, the equivalent of something like Robert Johnson in the UK), Bitcoin was regarded as a joke for many years, with the only products you could spend your Bitcoin on being small items like a pizza from an Internet-savvy pizzeria which sold for 10,000 Bitcoin back in 2010.
However, these types of "joke" transactions gave Bitcoin some real value. That value, in turn, began to skyrocket to the point where only seven years later, one single Bitcoin sold for $20,000 (or about £16,000 in 2021, adjusted for inflation) - making that pizza, in retrospect, the most expensive one ever purchased.
Bitcoin's skyrocketing value only meant that more and more businesses began to accept is a valid payment method, especially regarding international transactions. After all, without government involvement in it Bitcoin is almost like the world's currency, and one Bitcoin is equally valuable whether you live in the UK or Australia. This, in turn, made them a perfect fit for the online casino business, as casinos already serve an audience spreading far beyond their own borders.
Pros vs Cons of Bitcoin Deposits
- Your deposit doesn't depend on world politics
- Fast and Secure
- Easy to buy
- No ID checks
- Not widely accepted
- Converting to and from BTC is a hassle
The Best Bitcoin Casinos
Since Bitcoin is a very new payment method (it only skyrocketed in 2017, after all), most online casinos have yet to implement bitcoin as one of their payment methods. Still, there are several great choices which we've listed below for your convenience.
5 Things You Should Know About Bitcoin
How to Use Bitcoin to Deposit at Online Casinos
Usually, there is no universal way to deposit at online casinos using a particular method, so we can only give you general directions.
- Estimated Time
- What You Will Need
- An account at a Bitcoin casino, a crypto wallet with Bitcoin in it
- Equipment Required
- A PC/mobile device, physical crypto wallet (optional)
Bitcoin Casino Safety - Is Depositing With Bitcoin Secure?
Sadly, Bitcoin casinos have developed a reputation for being rather shady. Many unlicensed bitcoin casinos will offer you a grand deposit bonus, lots of free spins, and a wide variety of casino games. And then won't pay a cent of your winnings, and there's nothing you can do about it. While there are ways to get your money back should you pay with payment methods like PayPal or Neteller, Bitcoin cash is essentially the wild west. You must ensure that the casino has provably fair games and is licensed when you deposit.
Luckily, it's easy to check for a licence - check the page's footer and ensure that the casino has been certified by the Gambling Commission. Our expert team reviews and adds only casinos that are provably fair and certified, and depositing there - whether with Bitcoin cash or another method - is always safe and reliable.
How to Open a Bitcoin Wallet
Opening a Bitcoin wallet can be intimidating even to those experienced with online payments. After all, major corporations like PayPal, Visa and MasterCard are provably fair and with hundreds of thousands of guides on how to open an account, but most Bitcoin wallet services are significantly smaller than that, and there are not nearly enough resources.
Bitcoin & Taxes - Do UK Players Need to Pay Taxes for Bitcoin Deposits?
Taxes are a weird thing, always cropping up when you least expect them - and unfortunately, that applies to Bitcoin just as much as it does to traditional payment methods. Sadly, income tax doesn't change just because you've made income using a different currency. In the last few years, the UK government has started paying close attention to bitcoin gambling (and all other related transactions) specifically to ensure it's not being cheated out of its rightfully owned taxes.
The good news is that you don't need to pay any taxes for simply purchasing bitcoin, nor for simply keeping them in your wallet. The only times you will be taxed is when you use them to make a payment (for example, a deposit) or, naturally, when you sell. So if you hit the jackpot and win 5 Bitcoin (or about £150,000), you won't be taxed just for winning it, but selling them and turning a profit from that sale (as opposed to the jackpot, which is tax-less) will certainly be taxed.
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Fees & Taxes for Making a Casino Deposit with Bitcoin
Sadly, it's impossible to give an exact estimate for what taxes you may need to pay, as that doesn't depend on the casinos - instead, it's your Bitcoin wallet that sets the fees. Unlike other payment methods, where there's just one company responsible (like Skrill/Neteller), several companies are willing to sell you Bitcoin cash and maintain your online wallet. Some of these will charge you a fee only when you buy/sell bitcoin, as that's where their profits lie. Others will charge you every time you issue a payment as a processing fee. Always do your research before signing up for a wallet!
But what about on the casino side? We're happy to report that the best Bitcoin casino sites will not charge you a penny for a Bitcoin deposit! Unlike something like PayPal, making a Bitcoin transaction from one wallet to another is generally free, so gambling sites have no real reason to charge you more than you've paid. So if you see a match deposit bonus as a Bitcoin casino's welcome bonus, that's all you need to pay - no taxes and fees involved!
How to Withdraw Your Casino Winnings Using Bitcoin
As always, withdrawing your casino winnings is different for all bitcoin casinos - at least the provably fair ones which will let you withdraw in the first place! As such, while we'd love to help you commemorate your victory over some tough casino games, we can't provide you with an exact 1:1 guide, but rather just the outline needed to withdraw your winnings from Bitcoin casinos in general.
3 Tips for Making the Most out of Bitcoin Casino Deposits
History of Bitcoin - How Bitcoin Came to Be
It's hard to talk about the history of Bitcoin with 100% accuracy, given its mysterious origins and legacy. Despite several clues, some of which turned out to be legitimate while others were not, nobody knows the truth behind Satoshi Nakamoto with any degree of certainty or whether he's even one man or a group with a pseudonym (such as Anonymous). It's worth noting that cryptocurrency isn't new, with the first ones (like b-money and BitGold) appearing back in the 90s. While a link to Bitcoin has yet to be established, it's hard to deny the possibility.
We know that in 2008, a paper by Nakamoto titled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" began spreading through cryptography circles detailing the concept. Only a few months later, in early 2009, the first open-source Bitcoin client was released, allowing users to farm and trade Bitcoin with each other. For a few years, the Bitcoin scene was modest and mostly reserved to technology enthusiasts who saw it as little more than an interesting experiment.
Its growth, however, was undeniable, even if mostly concealed by the public. Coinbase, a popular payment processor which allowed the purchase and sale of Bitcoin, reported making over $1 million a month from their distribution. A year later, companies like Zynga (creators of the popular Farmville series) started accepting Bitcoin payments. Then, in 2017, Japan and Russia officially legalized payments issued with Bitcoin following a massive surge in popularity - and the rest, as they say, is history.
Alternate Deposit Methods - Bitcoin Alternatives
For better or worse, Bitcoin is the newcomer in online casino games, with many other methods already established and widely accepted. More often than not, even online crypto casinos accept alternative deposit methods - even if the best bitcoin casinos will always give you a deposit bonus for using that method. If you'd rather deposit with an alternative for one reason or another, no worries - there's plenty to choose from!
Debit cards are the most common way to deposit in an online casino - in fact, chances are you've used them at least once to claim a first deposit bonus or manage your deposits and withdrawals. Depositing is as simple as inputting your card details into the respective form and allowing the casino to withdraw the necessary funds directly from your bank account. While not a flawless method, especially regarding security, debit cards remain one of the leading payment methods in online bitcoin casinos.
PayPal is, without a doubt, the single most popular e-wallet service available on the market, and also one of the first, being founded back in 1998. It's a bit funny to think that while once people reacted to it the same way that they react to Bitcoin now (claiming it's not "real money" if it's not cash or in a bank), today, millions of people use PayPal for both online gambling and regular, everyday shopping!
Much like PayPal, Neteller is another e-wallet service which was started around the same time - but make no mistake, despite their obvious similarities, there are plenty of differences between them. The most important one is that most online bitcoin casinos don't accept PayPal, as the company has a policy against accepting payments for adult activities (like gambling) and only makes exceptions for the biggest brands. Neteller, meanwhile, is significantly more widespread, and on top of that, its deposit fees are slightly lower than PayPal's. In exchange, it's less secure and less common outside the realm of online casino.
Skrill is, in many ways, very similar to Neteller - which makes perfect sense, as both are owned by the same company after Skrill was purchased by Neteller in 2015. While Neteller is undoubtedly the more popular and successful of the two, Skrill's advantages in online gambling are undeniable. Many casinos will not charge you transfer fees if you deposit internationally using Skrill, but more importantly, for our purposes, you can deposit into your Skrill wallet using bitcoin. This makes it a great workaround - if you want to play with bitcoin but a particular casino doesn't accept them, use Skrill as an intermediary!
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Bitcoin VS PayPal - Which to Use?
Regarding online casino games, it's important to remember that different establishments accept different payment methods. Crypto casinos will naturally accept bitcoin without any real issues. After all, bitcoin casino sites pride themselves on being progressive and affording players the chance to deposit using the payment method they like most.
With that said, it's important to remember that provably fair bitcoin casinos are few and far between, making this question moot for the most part. While international casino sites are happy to take your bitcoin cash, in the UK, progress has been slow, and PayPal is the clear favourite among the two.
With that said, however, let's pretend that we live in a futuristic utopia where every casino accepts both bitcoin and PayPal - which one should you choose? Well, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. PayPal, for example, charges deposit fees from both the player and the casino (unlike other payment methods, which only charge from the seller, meaning that if you want to get a deposit bonus of £20, then £20 is all you'd need to pay). On the other hand, while Bitcoin has no fees, it's a highly volatile currency requiring you always to ensure its value hasn't shifted too much.
Alternative Cryptocurrency - Can You Use Crypto Besides Bitcoin at Online Casinos?
Bitcoin gambling is the most popular method of using crypto at provably fair casino sites. As such, many of the UK's top bitcoin online casinos will only accept Bitcoin. However, foreign crypto casinos accept all kinds of different currencies, so long as they have real-life value. Since we firmly believe that the UK market will follow suit, let's take a moment to evaluate the alternative to Bitcoin so you can know what the future crypto casino will look like!
Depending on who you ask, in many ways, Ethereum is even better than Bitcoin, as its decentralized applications practically eliminate any risk of fraud, downtime, and artificial inflation. This makes it a fantastic currency for online casino games, with many crypto casinos overseas even offering an exclusive first deposit bonus for depositing using Ethereum. Despite its advantages, Ethereum's market cap is only 10% of that of Bitcoin, so it might be a while before we see a UK Bitcoin casino implement it.
Most people would probably take "this crypto is worse than Bitcoin" as an insult, but Litecoin is the exception - as it was created to be the silver to Bitcoin's gold. This currency prides itself on a faster block generation rate, which means that any transactions done with it will be processed and confirmed much faster, but on the flipside, Litecoin can also be mined faster, meaning that it has inherently less value than Bitcoin. Despite this, the best Bitcoin casinos will accept it as one of their payment methods, so it's worth looking into before you make your first deposit!
Most cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, as they depend on themselves (such as their number and demand). Instead, Tether was designed to, as the name suggests, attach its value to something outside itself, being one of the first so-called "stablecoins" whose value doesn't crash or skyrocket the way Bitcoin does. No one is entirely sure what determines Tether's value, as claims that it's tied to the US dollar have been disputed recently, but one thing's for sure - said value has remained consistent, making it one of the most provably fair payment methods among all cryptocurrencies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bitcoin Deposits
How long does it take to receive winnings withdrawn via Bitcoin?
Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that withdrawals made using Bitcoin are instant. If you're used to withdrawing with a card, where it takes 3-5 days for your winnings to appear in your account, this might sound pretty great. Unfortunately, unless you're planning on using your winnings only on bitcoin casinos and other businesses that accept BTC, you might need to wait a day or two to sell them and acquire pounds sterling. It all depends on the service you use.
What is the minimum deposit amount required to deposit via Bitcoin?
No probably fair Bitcoin casino will have a set deposit amount for Bitcoin, as the price of it is completely shifting. 1 Bitcoin in 2015 was only about 200 quid, while today it would cost almost £27,000 - so you can see why having a set minimum deposit can be.
Is it free to open a Bitcoin wallet?
That depends entirely on where you open it. Some places will let you open a new wallet completely for free, without any tax - as they make their profits from buying and selling bitcoin to consumers. Others might charge a small processing fee or a regular monthly fee. Always do your research before opening a Bitcoin wallet!
How long does it take for a Bitcoin deposit to appear in my account?
Bitcoin deposits are instant! Barring potential issues with the bitcoin casino or your wallet, your balance should be updated instantly, allowing you to claim your first deposit bonus or enjoy some bitcoin gambling without interruptions!
In which countries can I use Bitcoin online casino deposits?
Because Bitcoin is one of the rare payment methods not tied to any government, Bitcoin gambling can be enjoyed anywhere in the world. As long as the crypto casinos you're depositing at accept players from your country (and gambling isn't banned or restricted in general where you live), you'll be able to deposit using Bitcoin.
How to check if an online casino accepts Bitcoin?
It's simple - go to the payment methods page and check the available deposit methods. Make sure that Bitcoin is included, and you'll be able to use it when you make your first deposit. Remember that Bitcoin casino sites are rare, and many advertise themselves with banners or exclusive crypto casino deposit bonuses.
Do I need to fund my Bitcoin wallet or can I deposit straight with my bank account?
Bitcoin can only ever be stored in a Bitcoin wallet, so make sure you have one before you try to claim your first deposit bonus! Having a bank account with Bitcoin is impossible, so you can't use it to make a deposit. We fear that not even the best Bitcoin casino can change the rules on that one!
Is it possible to play live casino games using Bitcoin deposits and free spins?
Yes, it is! While it's true that some features of online bitcoin casinos (most notably free spins and other first-deposit bonus offerings) may not be available depending on the method you choose to deposit with, live casino games aren't one of them! As long as you can make the deposit, you can enjoy live Bitcoin gambling!
Can I deposit via Bitcoin from an iOS device?
The answer to that question is, sadly, complicated. All deposits depend on two parties - the bank (which can be your real bank or a service like PayPal, Neteller, etc.) and the casino. And while it's easy to point to PayPal, a single institution, and say Yes, iOS deposits are no issue, there are plenty of e-wallets that can be used on crypto casinos. Whether you can deposit or not depends on them.
Can I use Bitcoin at Traditional Online Casinos?
Yes. Most traditional online casinos offer a variety of payment methods, including PayPal, bank transfers, credit card payments, and Bitcoin (but you must first review the casino's terms and conditions).