Cryptocurrency bonuses are incentives online casinos use that cater specifically to players gambling with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, often offering huge deposit bonuses to players who choose this method to be wagered on games ranging from slots to blackjack and more.
Online Casino Gems has the sites with the absolute best cryptocurrency bonuses in the industry, so check out our guide to the ins and outs of cryptocurrency bonuses and where to find them!
Everything you need to know about Crypto Bonuses
A Guide to Bitcoin and Crypto Bonuses for Online Casinos
Bitcoin caught fire in 2018, and the world will never be the same again. From the mainstream press to the alternative press, from the open market to the darknet black market, everyone was talking about cryptocurrency. Would it be the next big thing? Were people really becoming overnight millionaires? Evading taxes? Were you stupid not to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon? Would Bitcoin help the wealthy tinfoil-hat class weather the zombie apocalypse?
Believe all the hype. Whether it’s a good investment or fool’s gold, Bitcoin is every bit as revolutionary as people say it is, and by its very nature, it’s practically indestructible—regardless of how much the powers-that-be wish it would go away. It’s built on a game-changing technology that stands to change not only how we make monetary transactions, but also how we execute contracts, keep medical records, and analyse data on a mass scale.
Now Bitcoin and its crypto brethren are making a very big splash in an industry that carries a similar outlaw flavour—the lucrative world of online gambling. Bitcoin trading is a kind of financial “wild West,” so it makes sense that it would appeal to enthusiasts of a “saloon-parlour” activity like gambling. But all that aside, the advantages of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency to the average online gambler are very real.
The Basics: Why Cryptocurrencies?
To understand how cryptocurrency and online gambling are a match made in heaven, it’s important to first understand what cryptocurrencies even are. Some of the advantages of crypto to online gambling are obvious; others are more subtle. Overall, however, you can see why online casinos in the know offer generous bonuses for the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on their platforms.
What is a Cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a unit of currency based on a technology called blockchain. It was introduced in 2009 in the Bitcoin Manifesto, which outlined the open-source parameters of a new currency called “Bitcoin.” The creator of the software and the manifesto itself was credited as “Satoshi Nakamoto,” but this is widely recognised as a pseudonym. The identity of the person or persons who created blockchain and Bitcoin are unknown, and the subject of rampant speculation.
How can someone “create” a currency? Isn’t that the government’s job? Governments have jealously guarded their coin-minting prerogative for thousands of years. William II of England sentenced coin-minters found guilty of currency debasement (mixing valuable silver with cheap tin) to castration to emphasise how he felt about this. These laws persist today—in the U.S. and UK, it is a Federal crime in the same category as treason to refuse to accept legal tender, thus denying the full faith and credit of the issuing government.
Currencies are actually just a trading unit that everyone “agrees” has value. In earlier times, this might have been a coin made of an actual valuable metal, like gold, silver, or copper. Over time, it evolved to include paper money or even metal coins worth less than their face value (how could a scrap of paper be worth £20 when you can buy a paperback book for £6?).
Instead, the value of the currency was backed by the “full faith and credit” of the government that issued it. In the past, the idea was that the government would have £1-worth of a valuable substance like gold or oil for each £1 it issued on paper. Over time, though, this system broke down as governments went off the gold standard. The tenuous system was held together only by the government’s promise to make good on its debts. Many speculators favour cryptocurrency because they think the conventional monetary system is unsustainable and headed for a crash.
So back to the original question—how does one create a currency?
Well, there are three ingredients:
- Scarcity. Everyone understands that it exists in limited supply.
- Agreement of value. Everyone agrees to treat it as valuable.
- Security. Everyone has faith that the currency is difficult or impossible to falsify, debase, defraud, or otherwise compromise.
Bitcoin and its successor cryptocurrencies accomplished all three of these benchmarks. It is scarce because a Bitcoin is “mined” by the solving of a complex equation by powerful supercomputers. Businesses have been founded on the mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Moreover, cryptocurrency manifestos and software dictate that only a certain amount of that cryptocurrency will ever be mined. After the last Bitcoin is mined, that’s it. The amount of Bitcoin in circulation is all the Bitcoin that will ever exist. Instant scarcity.
Cryptocurrencies achieve security through blockchain, which stores the record of all Bitcoin transactions in a decentralised public ledger of anonymised transactions. These transactions are uniquely identified and date-stamped, and stored across thousands of participating computer servers. This makes it nearly impossible to falsify—someone who tried to defraud a Bitcoin transaction would be exposed by thousands of other versions of the ledger. A key value of blockchain is that it is almost unhackable.
A significant portion of the population decided that cryptocurrency was valuable when they started exchanging government-issued currency (sometimes called fiat currency) for cryptocurrency. Because transactions are anonymous and hard to falsify, it was a favoured currency for transactions on darknet drug marketplaces like The Silk Road.
The currency caught fire in the latter half of the 2010s. Bitcoin started at $0.30 per Bitcoin in 2011, but soared to an all-time high of $19,783.06 per Bitcoin in December of 2017 before dropping 81% within the next year. Bitcoin’s reputation as an investment vehicle would best be described as “volatile.”
Why Do Gamblers Favour Cryptocurrency?
As the name would suggest, cryptocurrency is a currency first, not an investment vehicle. It is an accepted method of transaction for many classes of transaction. Online casinos are on the leading edge of Bitcoin acceptance, and players couldn’t be happier.
Why do online gamblers favour Bitcoin?
- It’s anonymous. While every blockchain currency transaction is recorded in a hard-to-falsify public ledger, every transaction is anonymised. In other words, you can tell how much was paid and when, but not who paid whom—not the identity of the player, not the identity of the casino. Players who prefer that their online gambling activity be impossible to track love Bitcoin for this reason.
- It’s hard to tax. The anonymity of crypto transactions also makes it hard to tax, because you can’t really tell who is making which transaction. Many taxing authorities regard gambling winnings as taxable income … but if you can’t tell who did the winning, how can you tax it? The income inherent in many Bitcoin transactions usually goes untaxed—especially if it remains Bitcoin and doesn’t get exchanged for fiat currency.
- It’s secure. The fidelity of the blockchain makes fraud and falsification impossible. You can point to the transaction in question from thousands of computer servers. Anyone who tries to tamper with the blockchain has the nearly-impossible task of falsifying the blockchain on every computer server that holds it. There are far easier ways to be a cybercriminal.
- It’s fail-safe. Because of the libertarian nature of the crypto revolution, online gamblers can be reasonably sure that the transaction will process. Bitcoin is decentralised. There’s no one to say “Tsk tsk, gambling is a no-no! Time out!” Not so with fiat currencies, or even the licensed third-parties that act as gatekeepers for the transactions. There was a time when Visa declined every online gambling transaction, even legal ones like gameplay on a New Jersey casino undertaken within the state of New Jersey. Many issuing banks of credit and debit cards refuse to process online gambling transactions. Oh, incidentally, paying for gambling with a credit card is also becoming illegal in the UK from April 2020… see what we mean? You just don’t have these problems with cryptocurrency.
- It carries low fees. Other forms of payment tend to have higher transaction fees. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, tend to have small fees or no fees at all.
- It’s incentivised. As we will discuss in the next section, many online casinos expressly incentivise the use of cryptocurrency with special bonuses available only to crypto depositors.
Bitcoin and Crypto Casino Bonuses
Why do crypto-friendly online casinos love and incentivise cryptocurrency deposits? Same reasons players love crypto—anonymity, hard to tax, hard to defraud, low fees, no central authority disapproval.
Unsurprisingly, online casinos that accept cryptocurrency will often incentivise its use with crypto-specific bonuses. These might take the form of:
The generic category of welcome bonuses is available to new players only. It may include a package of bonuses that include free spins, no-deposit bonuses, and even deposit-match bonuses. They tend to be very generous, since they are intended to entice new players. Usually, some type of identity check is performed to ensure that the player isn’t trying to claim a second welcome bonus.
Free Spins Bonuses
“Free spins” refers to free plays on one, several, or all of the casino’s many video slot offerings. Free spins may be included to sweeten the deal of a deposit-match or reload bonus, or they could be part or all of the no-deposit bonus--known as a free spins no-deposit bonus.
Deposit Match Bonuses
These tend to be the most generous bonuses, because they reward players who deposit currency into their casino bankroll (and the Terms & Conditions, as we will see, often make it tough to get that currency out again).
The casino will match a deposit with a certain percentage of it—perhaps 50%, 100%, even as much as 200% or more! Usually, there is a limit to how much the casino will match.
For example, they may match 50% up to 2 BTC, meaning the optimal deposit is 4 BTC to result in a total of 6 BTC in the bankroll.
Reload bonuses are deposit-match bonuses available on the second, third, fourth, even fifth deposit a new player makes. They usually scale up in generosity—for example, 25% on the second deposit, up to 150% on the fourth or fifth deposit. They are meant to encourage habitual gameplay from returning players.
No-deposit bonuses are available to players without even making a deposit. As such, they tend to be of low value—just a little extra something to sweeten the deal. In the case of crypto bonuses, no-deposit bonuses tend to take the form of free spins, not some crypto fraction.
Understanding the Rules around Bitcoin and Crypto Bonuses
Some players marvel that online casinos offer such generous bonuses in the form of cash and free gameplay. The reality is that online casinos have no trouble making a profit. They keep players’ money in their system through a maze of Terms & Conditions (T&C) that every savvy player must understand if they want to maximise the value they get from their cryptocurrency bonus.
Here are some things to look for in the T&C:
Deposit-match bonuses tend to be contingent on a minimum deposit. If you make too small of a deposit, no bonus crypto will be funded.
This is the big one. Online casinos keep you from withdrawing your crypto bonus scott-free by imposing “wagering requirements,” typically in the form of a “playthrough minimum.” You will have to gamble the value of your bonus—in the case of deposit-match bonuses, both the deposit AND the bonus cash. Sometimes, this might be as low as 5x the bonus, but you’re more likely to see 40x, 100x, or sometimes even more.
Proof of Identity
Welcome bonuses will require you to pass an identity check to confirm that you have never opened an account at this online casino before, exempting you from another welcome bonus.
Many online casinos impose a “withdrawal maximum,” which limits how much crypto you can pull out every day, week, or month. This may only affect high rollers, but it’s a bummer all the same.
Some crypto bonuses are restricted in the games they can be used for. Make sure the games you want to play are on the approved games list.
Some online casinos are restricted in the amount of bonus crypto they can offer to players from certain countries. Make sure players in your country can take advantage of the full bonus.
How Bitcoin Deposits and Withdrawals Work
To engage in transactions by Bitcoin, on online casinos or anywhere, you first need a Bitcoin wallet. A Bitcoin wallet is like a PayPal or Skrill account, but only for Bitcoin transactions. Many third-party websites exist where you can acquire a Bitcoin wallet for free. Each Bitcoin wallet has a unique address, like a bank account number, which you can use to start exchanging fiat currency for Bitcoin. These exchanges also take place on many third-party crypto-trading websites.
When you want to engage in Bitcoin transactions with your crypto-friendly online casino, you simply need to add your Bitcoin wallet as a payment method. This involves adding the wallet via the unique address and confirming the account. Once the Bitcoin wallet is linked, you can deposit Bitcoin directly to your online casino bankroll from the wallet, or withdraw Bitcoin from the casino directly to your wallet.
Some Recommended Online Casinos Accepting Bitcoin
Here are some of our top recommendations of casinos that accept Bitcoin ...
BitStarz Casino offers a 152% first-deposit bonus up to 2 BTC, with 180 free spins, plus a no-deposit bonus of twenty free spins. 40x wagering requirement.
Ignition Casino offers a Bitcoin-only 200% first-deposit match as a welcome bonus. Enter bonus code IGBITCOIN200. 25x wagering requirement.
They also offer a 25% deposit-match bonus on all Bitcoin deposits, with a 10x wagering requirement.
FortuneJack Casino offers a 155% first-deposit bonus up to 1.5 BTC, plus 200 free spins on Wolf Moon Rising. 25 exta free spins as a no-deposit bonus. 40x wagering requirement.
mBit Casino offers a 150% first-deposit bonus up to 2 BTC, plus 180 free spins. 50 exta free spins as a no-deposit bonus. 40x wagering requirement.
7Bit Casino offers a 157% first-deposit bonus up to 1.5 BTC, plus 250 free spins. 25 exta free spins as a no-deposit bonus. 40x wagering requirement.
CryptoWild Casino offers a 200% first-deposit bonus up to 1 BTC, plus 150 free spins. 20 exta free spins as a no-deposit bonus when you enter the bonus code 20FREE. 40x wagering requirement.
Is Bitcoin Gambling Fully Legal?
The legality of both Bitcoin and online gambling are very murky and vary wildly country by country. Some countries prosecute online gambling harshly, while some countries prosecute the use of Bitcoin harshly, seeing it as a threat to their authority to mint currency (historically a form of treason).
However, the digital nature of both online casinos and cryptocurrency make them hard to prosecute by authorities with limited resources and more pressing crimes to try. Cryptocurrency itself is noted for its anonymity. Its users tend to use other anonymisation technologies like onion routers (such as TOR browser) and virtual private networks.
That said, the legality of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is contentious in Russia, Iceland and much of Asia, including the world’s two most populous countries—India and China.
Cryptocurrency use is banned outright in the following countries:
- Dominican Republic
For countries where both Bitcoin and online gambling enjoy broad acceptance (or at least salutary neglect), there is no real legal disincentive to not marry the two technologies.
Are There Bitcoin Slots? What About Bitcoin Blackjack?
Yes. Nearly every online casino offers a host of video slot games. In fact, they are the most popular casino game, both online and in land-based casinos. When you see that a casino has hundreds of game titles in its portfolio, chances are most of them are slot titles, usually from reputable and prolific gaming software providers.
Additionally, nearly every online casino offers video blackjack. It is one of the most popular video table games and de rigueur for nearly every online casino.
This includes online casinos that accept and even incentivise Bitcoin. You should have no trouble finding a Bitcoin-friendly online casino that offers a plethora of video slots and blackjack options which you can bet on with Bitcoin.
Online gambling and cryptocurrency is one of the most fascinating marriages in the tech world. It represents the opening of a new frontier—one fraught with all the lawlessness of any new frontier, but also a whiff of democracy, of freedom from tyranny. And let’s be honest; who wouldn’t want a slice of that?
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