Bitcoin has been around for a more than a decade. Since its release, more than 21 million coins have been released. Although still somewhat elusive and mysterious, more and more online retailers have started to accept Bitcoin as a valid currency. This also applies to iGaming.
New online casinos in Canada are actually being created that cater only to players who want to make deposits via Bitcoin. Even when not going to this extreme, several casinos offer special deposit bonuses for customers depositing using Bitcoin.
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What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of virtual money. It has no physical form and exists solely in digital form. Bitcoin is essentially a line of code stored in a “digital wallet”.
You may have heard the term “blockchain” when talking about cryptocurrencies. So, what is it? A blockchain is the public list where all Bitcoin transactions are recorded. Every transaction includes information such as the timestamp and amount. But not any personal details. This makes Bitcoin pseudo-anonymous. All transactions are fully visible, but at the same time Bitcoin can’t be linked to an individual.
Bitcoin can be traded for real goods or services or it can be mined. Bitcoin mining uses your computers processors to create Bitcoin. Keep in mind that this can take years. There are also theories that the electricity used to mine for Bitcoin could actually end up costing more than the amount Bitcoin is worth.
Other forms of money are linked to a central entity, usually a bank or government. This sort of money is known as fiat currency. Fiat currency includes most physical money such as dollars, pounds, yen and euros.
Bitcoin is different. It is completely decentralised and not linked to any bank, organisation or government.
The History of Bitcoin
In the past, paper money and coins represented gold and other physical commodities. Later this money was backed by the government that issued it. This is Fiat money. Almost all currencies are Fiat money including the Canadian and US dollars, Euros, Pounds and Yen.
Bitcoin shook things up. Since the start, it has had quite a tumultuous past. It landed on the scene in October 2008 when a mysterious white paper was released entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” The author, Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to be a pseudonym for either an individual or a group of people.
The first Bitcoin was mined on January 3, 2009, using an autonomous software program.
Legend has it that the first purchase made via Bitcoin was for a couple of pizzas. The value of that transaction today is worth over US$100 million.
In terms of its nefarious past, Bitcoin was strongly associated with Silkroad. Silkroad was a unique online marketplace used to sell illegal goods such as drugs, weapons and other illegal goods. The anonymity of Silk Road was perfect for the early days of Bitcoin. A match made in rock ‘n roll heaven.
Bitcoin had still had a long way to go to be known as a respectable currency. Perhaps one of the most important milestones was the move from trying to deny any connection to Bitcoin to several players trying to throw their hat in the ring as the true creators or the first cryptocurrency. Dorian S. Nakamoto, Australian Craig Wright and American Nick Szabo have all taken credit (and then later denied involvement) for the decentralised currency movement.
Being a mysterious entity Bitcoin has had lot of groups take ownership of the first cryptocurrency, and just as quickly disputed their own claims. Players have included South African tech billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. There are a number of reasons to both reject and protect a decentralised currency.
Cryptocurrencies can only function when related to a wallet. A wallet stores your private key, a sequence of numbers (between 0 and 9) and letters (running A to F) that identify you as the owner of the Bitcoin. The key is a 256-bit number made up of 64 characters.
There are four types of Bitcoin wallets:
Considered the safest wallet. This wallet is stored on a physical electronic device such as a USB drive. This is usually the type of wallet used to for very large amounts of Bitcoin. Being housed on a tangible device means that it cannot be hacked.
Although the most secure, it isn’t really viable for making deposits at online casinos, since you still specialised software to make your deposit.
This wallet is installed onto your computer. It’s really important to keep it up to date as this type of wallet is susceptible to viruses and other electronic failures.
This wallet stores your Bitcoin in a secure cloud server. This is the ideal wallet for casino deposits.
Whereas a software wallet stores your Bitcoin on your computer, a mobile wallet stores it on your phone. You can access it via a mobile app. Another good wallet for making casino deposits.
Although Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency kid on the block, over the last few years several new Cryptocurrencies have entered the market. Although not as well-known as Bitcoin, plenty of the better-known cryptocurrencies are accepted by prominent online casinos.
Cryptocurrencies that might be included at online casinos include:
Bitcoin is often seen as more of a digital investment. Bitcoin Cash was created in July 2017 to overcome this, creating a more transactional currency. Bitcoin Cash increased the number of transactions the ledger can process.
Most casinos that offer Bitcoin will also accept Bitcoin cash.
The best known after Bitcoin, Ethereum was created in July 2015. Ethereum allows developers to build decentralised applications on its ledger.
Litcoin’s best feature is that it can process transactions quicker than Bitcoin. In about a quarter of the time to be exact. It was developed in 2011 by an MIT engineer who based it on BTC technology.
Ripple is the third largest cryptocurrency, but it also represents other currencies including traditional fiat currencies, commodities, frequent flyer miles and mobile minutes.
Monero is another cryptocurrency that provides untraceable transactions. Created back in 2014 the public ledger goes even further to obfuscate its public ledger by scrambling transactions.
Guide to using Bitcoin
One of the best aspects of Bitcoin is that it is completely decentralised. It is not affiliated with any government’s currency. No political affiliations or government control have any affect on the value of a Bitcoin. It truly represents a free market.
If you want to use Bitcoin at an online casino one of the first things you will need to take into consideration is if the casino in question actually allows payments made by Bitcoin. Old school casinos may want to keep to the old guard, but any casino that wants to prove itself truly contemporary will try to keep with the crew.
The trend recently is not only to offer something extra, but for casinos to offer something special to players using this innovative payment method.
Bitcoin Casinos Canada
The George Orwell adage “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Is true for most casinos. Once a casino accepts cryptocurrency they tend to move up a big step in our estimations.
Online Bitcoin Casinos in Canada tend to take into account the whole casino experience. But it is important to note that that isn’t always the case.
Not every quality casino will offer you the option of making payments based on your chosen method. Some casinos might accept Bitcoin or other currencies, others might prefer eVouchers. If all else fails almost every online casino accepts direct bank transfers.
Here at Bonusninja we have come across several great casinos that offer Bitcoin as a payment. Here are the basics:
The first licenced Bitcoin casino was Bitcasino.io. Launched in 2017, the casino offers a wide array of slot games, progressive jackpots and table games. You’ll also find a respectable Live Casino to keep things interesting.
Games on offer come from a number of developers including NetEnt, BetSoft, Ezugi, Booming games and Endorphina. Bitcasino.io has become the industry standard for Bitcoin casinos and it is the casino that many others are mirrored on.
When it launched in 2014, BitStarz only accepted Bitcoin. Since then it has grown to accept fiat currencies, but it still offers special benefits to players who deposit using Bitcoin.
BitStarz is licenced in Curacao and has collected a number of awards over the years.
In their gaming suite you will find over 2,000 different slot games, table games and a Live Casino. The games are brought to BitStarz via NetEnt, BetSoft and a number of other game studios.
Bodog Casino wasn’t started as a Bitcoin casino. In fact, Bodog has been around for much longer than Bitcoin, opening its doors in 1994. With years of experience they offer outstanding service, game variety and payment options.
Slots.LV accepts Bitcoin, Direct Bank Transfer, Interac, credit cards and debit cards. It has become very well known as one of the biggest Bitcoin casinos. However, we should note that they do not hold a licence from any governing body. Games at slot.lv mostly come from NetEnt and Real Time Gaming.
We’ll also highlight the bonuses available at these casinos below.
Using Bitcoin at casinos in Canada
There are several reasons you may decide to use Bitcoin to fund your casino account. Quick payments, security, privacy and special bonuses are probably the main reasons players choose this method.
The use of cryptocurrency is no longer something dreamt up by sci-fi enthusiasts. In fact the online casino industry is one of the biggest users of Bitcoin. Although plenty of casino and sportsbook players have made the move to using Bitcoin. But no betting enthusiasts has embraced this trend more than poker players.
Provably Fair gaming technology
Provably Fair gaming technology grew along with cryptocurrencies. It’s a sort of stamp of approval for a casino (and other gaming sites accepting Bitcoin as payments). A game is considered Provably Fair if there is a mechanism in place that confirms the fairness of a game. The odds and outcome of a Provably Fair game can’t be faked or manipulated. Because everything on a blockchain is completely visible, RTPs can’t be faked.
This is the reason that the best Bitcoin casinos in Canada are more fair than regular online casinos. There is absolutely no possibility for casinos to cheat their players.
Making a deposit
The first thing you’ll need to do is to actually sign up for your chosen casino. Make sure they accept Bitcoin and then fill out the sign-up form. Most casinos will only ask a few basic questions. Casinos that accept Bitcoin usually realise that privacy is of utmost importance to their customers.
You’ll then be given the option to make a deposit. When making a deposit, choose Bitcoin as your payment method. At this point you might also need to click a box stating that would like to accept the welcome bonus.
You’ll need to use your Bitcoin Wallet to scan the provided QR code, or alternatively you can send your Bitcoin to the address provided.
The Bitcoin should be available in your account almost immediately.
For making a deposit via Bitcoin you may receive an additional bonus. All that’s left to do is to choose your favourite game and start playing.
Casinos offer bonuses to encourage new players to join and to keep players coming back to the casino. There are a number of bonuses available to players. One of the newer types of bonuses are special bonuses offered to players who make deposits using Bitcoin.
Why do Casinos offer special Bitcoin deposit bonuses?
The point of any welcome bonus is to get customers to do something that the Casino wants you to do. For example: a ‘no deposit bonus’ ensures that you register an account and provide your personal details, such as your e-mail address or a telephone number. Even if you don’t make a deposit to start with, despite the Casino giving you a bonus, they still have your details so they can contact you in the future. Maybe with an incentive to actually make a deposit this time.
Similarly, a regular deposit bonus rewards you for actually making a deposit. You keep to your part of the deal – make a deposit – and the Casino keeps to theirs: they give you a bonus such as extra money or free spins. Another example of giving you something for doing something the Casino wants you to.
A Bitcoin bonus is just another example. Some Casinos will decide that it’s very much in their interest for you to get into the habit of using Bitcoin to get your money in and out of your account (see pros of Bitcoin Casinos in Canada, below), so will reward you for doing so. In some cases, you’ll be able to benefit from two welcome bonuses: one for using whatever payment method you like such as VISA or PayPal, and yet another just because you used Bitcoin. Of course, you don’t have to, but the option is there if you want it.
At Bitcasino.io you can get 100% Free up to 1 Bitcoin.
The bonus at BitStarz in up to $2,000 or 5 Bitcoins and 180 Free Spins.
When you join Bodog you can enjoy a special welcome bonus for making a deposit with Bitcoin. You’ll receive a 150% Reload Bonus up to $900 worth of Bitcoin.
At Slots.LV you can enjoy a special welcome bonus split over your first nine deposits. This reward is only valid for players who make deposits using Bitcoin. You’ll get a 150% reload bonus up to $1,500 on your first deposit and a 150% match up to $750 on your next eight deposits.
Pros and cons of Crypto Casinos in Canada
The pros definitely out-weigh the cons, but like with all things, there are a couple of things to be aware of before making your choice to use Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies at online casinos.
Pros of Bitcoin casinos
- Low fees: Fees for depositing and withdrawals from online casinos are lower than any other payment method. Very often there is no fee.
- Transaction speed: Payments made with cryptocurrency are very quick, usually immediate.
- Extra bonuses: Casino often offer special bonuses and extra free spins to players who make deposits using Bitcoin.
- Anonymity: Not everyone wants their personal info associated with gambling. For whatever reason some prefer to remain anonymous. Using cryptocurrency assures this.
- Security: using cryptocurrency means that your personal and financial information is not shared with the casino.
Cons of Bitcoin casinos
- Unlicensed casinos: Some casinos may use cryptocurrency as a payment method to circumvent the need to get a valid casino licence.
- Value fluctuations: Bitcoin is very volatile, meaning that the value of any possible winnings may greatly differ from day to day.
Most frequently asked questions
Q1 – Is Bitcoin gambling legal?
If it is licenced, then yes. One of the biggest benefits for many players making payments with Bitcoin is the anonymity aspect. This can also be problematic as players don’t need to even verify their age. In other words, it is harder to enforce legality at Bitcoin casinos in Canada.
Q2 – What is the difference between BTC, mBTC and uBTC?
BTC represents one Bitcoin. Unlike other currencies it is possible to split one Bitcoin an infinite number of times. Most currencies can only be split into a hundredth (usually a cent). There is no limit when it comes to Bitcoin.
mBTC and uBTC are common dividers of Bitcoin. mBTC is a Milli Bitcoin and equals one thousandth of a Bitcoin. An mBTC represents a millionth of a Bitcoin. Going down even further and named as a tribute of the anonymous founder, a Satoshi represents a hundred millionth of a Bitcoin.
Q3 – Will bets made with Bitcoin be shown on the blockchain?
Yes, they will. The fact that this movement is seen on the blockchain is one of the reasons that casinos can’t fake the fairness of their games when players use cryptocurrencies.
Q4 – Are Bitcoin casinos secure?
Yes. In fact, there is an argument that Bitcoin casinos are actually safer than traditional online casino. That’s because by the very nature of cryptocurrencies your financial information is kept private and secure. Usually when you make a deposit to an online casino using Bitcoin, most online casinos won’t require extra security processes proving that you are who you say you are.
Q5 – Are there any Bitcoin casinos offering Live Casino games?
There are a number of online casinos that offer both payments made via Bitcoin and a Live Casinos. Examples in Canada include Bitcasino.io, Casoo and BitStar.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are still in its infancy. It’s only really been in use for about a decade. What sets Bitcoin apart from other forms or currency is that it is completely decentralised and not linked to any government or bank. It is also completely anonymous. All transactions are clearly visible, yet can’t be tied to any individual.
Bitcoin casinos are beneficial to players for a number of reasons. Again, anonymity is a big plus for a lot of players. Customers also benefit from quicker transaction speeds, lower fees and better bonuses.
At Bonusninja we research online casinos in Canada to write detailed casino reviews. We find out what’s on offer, what bonuses you can benefit for and what payment methods different casinos accept.