Friday, 3 January 2014

Bitcoin Casinos and Online Security


The entire digital currency network is founded on principles of safety and anonymity. However, this doesn't mean that players are free to be reckless with their wallets. A simple slip of the tongue can cause players to lose access to their casino bankrolls, which aren't recoverable given the very limited amount of recovery options available to players and few casinos and even Bitcoin itself won't intervene in cases of negligence when it comes to online safety. So, how can players go about ensuring they remain safe while using their digital currencies in casinos. Let's review some of the leading ways:

Minimize Bankrolls Wherever Possible

Generally speaking, the majority of us wouldn't choose to hold significant amounts of cash on us while we're out and about in our daily lives. This very same level of consideration should also be applied to a Bitcoin wallet. This doesn't mean players should restrict the amount they're holding in a bankroll to unrealistic levels, but it does mean that winnings should be held in a more secure place, such as offline and encrypted elsewhere.

Choose Online Casinos Carefully

While the majority of online casinos will have a professionally appearing wallet or bankroll area, it's of the utmost importance that players don't go on the visual impression that what they're playing on is something worth trusting. Players must do their own research regarding online casinos and find out how trustworthy they actually are in the grand scheme of things. The majority of digital currency casinos will be, but it will only take one rotten experience to have a generally bad impression of the idea as a whole.

Make Wallet Backups Whenever Possible

A backup can mean the difference between a recoverable wallet and one that's gone forever. Because the Bitcoin network doesn't provide many means of wallet recovery due to the anonymous nature of the currency, it's very difficult to prove ownership of Bitcoins should something go wrong. This is why backups are of the utmost importance.

Backups hold the public and private keys associated with Bitcoin transactions in an encrypted file. When playing on any Bitcoin casino, these keys will quickly accumulate themselves to prove wins and losses as coins are swapped around the network on a near continuous basis. This is why it's important to make a backup of the entire wallet, which will ensure that every transaction is documented in a recoverable file.

Store Wallet Backups on Multiple Platforms

Backups shouldn't be stored in just one area. What if that area is inaccessible? Users should take the time to store their backups in multiple locations, such as across several discs, flash drives, password protected online storage sites, and other secure locations as identified by the user. Again, this is all because Bitcoin wallets are notoriously difficult to prove ownership of and losses are extremely difficult to trace back to any particular user. When a loss happens, it's important for users to have readily accessible backups wherever possible. The frequency of the backups themselves, though, are up to the individual user.

Withdrawing from a Digital Currency Casino


Much has been said about getting digital currencies onto a casino, but what about the other way around? How does one actually withdraw their winnings from a digital currency casino? There's unfortunately no easy way to answer this question because it requires third party measures. It's not just a matter of clicking the withdraw button and watching a conversation take place where Bitcoins are made into cash, then loaded onto a debit card or transferred into a bank account. Why isn't this the case?

Many Banks Restrict Digital Currency Usage

There have been active attempts by banks to restrict digital currency usage, since it evades the use of fiat currencies and the benefits they provide to governments. When banks become aware of a user's digital currency use, they'll often red flag the account to monitor incoming and outgoing transactions. Needless to say, something coming in from a digital currency casino wouldn't be the most favourable thing for banks to be made aware of. Not only will banks be aware that gambling was taking place without the use of fiat currency, they'll also know that a particular player might have attempted to evade taxation by doing so. This is why there are so many stories popping up nowadays where bank account users have had their accounts frozen simply because of their suspected involvement with digital currencies.

PayPal and credit card withdrawals are likely to be difficult to non-existent, too. This is because both platforms provide a verifiable paper trail that will alert governments as to a user's activities, which will affect them similarly to a compromised bank account. Don't let yourself become a statistic in this regard!

Withdrawing Winnings from Casinos

For the most part, withdrawals on any Bitcoin casino will occur through third party payment processors. This effectively makes a user an exchange, where coins are sold for a fiat currency. It's also generally possible to make use of these exchanges by selling in bulk to the exchange for a fiat currency. However, the rate players receive is generally much lower than the actual sale when players come into contact with an interested buyer. That being said, there is a risk for exchanges who stockpile digital currencies. After all, the market may crash and not be here tomorrow, but there are no signs of that happening anytime soon.

Players may also want to explore the option of Satoshi Squares. These are public gatherings of digital currency users; both buyers and sellers. In a square, players who have accumulated quite a few coins will be able to sell them on the spot for cash to another user. All of the information associated with the transaction remains private and agreed between the parties. This cash can then, if desired, be transferred into a bank account without the bank becoming aware of its source.

Players needn't even find a Satoshi Square. Sometimes, players will be able to find an interested user in their local community through message boards or other forms of online communication, so can arrange their own particulars of a meetup point. However, meetups require the use of an Internet connection to facilitate the trade, so public points like Wifi-enabled coffee shops tend to be used. This ensures both parties are protected by the presence of the general public. Home meetings generally aren't recommended: other than when the parties have traded with each other in the past and are comfortable with one another. They could lead to safety issues along the way!

The Rising Popularity of Digital Currency Casinos


Bitcoin has become a common household name in many areas. Long gone are the days when transactions were completed by PayPal or credit card. That isn't to say that these methods have disappeared, far from it actually, but they're beginning to give way to digital currencies and their ever-rising popularity on the open market. There are many reasons for why digital currencies have become so popular, but fewer successes can be attributed to them than the presence of digital currency casinos. Why exactly are these types of casinos so popular? Let's find out.

The American Gaming Market is Tinged With Worry and Concern

It's no secret that American gamblers are a bit afraid of what's to come when it comes to playing casino games on the Internet. What was once a stable, thriving market has now been tightly regulated and was even brought to its knees during the Black Friday raid of online poker communities. It's these sorts of things that are leaving a lasting impact on the gaming community at large.

Know Your Customer policies in the Untied States are another reason Americans have a lot to worry about when it comes to using digital currency casinos (or any casino for that matter). KYC affects players by requiring them to submit quite a bit of their personal, sensitive information that's logged in a large federal database. This ensures the government is able to calculate gambling winnings and losses, but more importantly it gives the government free reign to stop a player's experience should there by any worry of tax evasion, money laundering, or terrorism. However, there are greater issues that go beyond this. This sort of “snooping” defeats the very purpose that the digital currency networks were founded on.

Digital Currency Casinos Provide Anonymity

Any Bitcoin casino is there for American players and are regularly chosen by those in the States simply because they're seen as an anonymous way to play their favorite games. This is largely the truth. As with anything on the Bitcoin or other digital currency network, there is an active group of miners. Miners release the currency into circulation and receive a share of the distribution by providing their computers as a sort of virtual proxy. This prevents tapping from external sources, so activities that go on within the network remain almost completely private.

This is especially important for casinos, where players want their information to remain anonymous and private. Digital currency casinos provide exactly that, but players must look for those that aren't based in the United States, since Know Your Customer policies will apply. Fortunately, the global nature of the Internet means players won't be too strapped to find something that suits their needs well. There are several digital currency casinos around the world that cater to various needs and have varying sign up requirements. Some only ask for an e-mail address!

Cryptocurrency Casinos Provide Low-Stakes Alternatives

When playing for digital currencies, it's not unusual for services to cater to the lowest figure possible: one hundred millionths of a coin. These sorts of figures are much lower than when playing for a penny, which is usually the lowest stake available at a fiat casino. This makes playing with cryptocurrency a great option for those who are just learning how to play a particular game, since it limits the amount of financial input required of a player. When losses occur, they don't tend to be substantial and this makes this sort of platform an excellent learning tool for progressing onto larger, more involved stakes.

How Know Your Customer Policies Affect Digital Currency Casinos


One of the key concerns that many casino gamblers have when playing on digital currency casinos are KYC regulations and policies. Know Your Customer is something that affects American players primarily, since federal law requires businesses concerned in financial dealings like casinos to keep detailed databases of their customers. This is in order to combat federal tax evasion and help prevent money laundering across borders. These policies also affect digital currencies, too. Sure, things like Bitcoins are meant to be private, but Know Your Customer often trumps these private measures and completely defeats the purpose of anonymity on the Internet. Does this mean players aren't going to have any layer of protection given to them when it comes to playing using digital currencies? Not necessarily.

Anonymity Still Exists Using Digital Currencies

The digital currency platform itself is still anonymous and secure. This is thanks to the miners who actively “work” on the network to ensure its safety. Miners are those who are harvesting the digital currency and releasing it into the supply, with the share being actively distributed in even amounts amongst those who are actively mining at that particular point. In doing so, they're offering their own systems as a sort of proxy that filters the transactions taking place across the network. This prevents any forcible spying and tracking by government officials.

So, what is it that's making Know Your Customer such a burden? Well, because governments are requiring casinos to keep tabs on their customers, they'll still be in the know when it comes to a player's activities on a casino. Fortunately, this only affects American-based casinos and players aren't confined to playing just on services based on their own country.

Choosing a Safe Casino

Digital currency casinos aren't that uncommon on a global scale. This means those based in the United States, where Know Your Customer policies are wreaking havoc on a player's ability to play privately, aren't confined to playing within the area they reside in. Of course, it's up to players to check with their local laws and regulations as some states actively enforce and require players to gamble using state-regulated casinos and online services, so it's certainly within their interest to do so in order to avoid any run-ins with the law.

When players are in a freer position to choose their own casino, then they should likely seek one outside of the United States. There are many reputable casinos held within countries where Know Your Customer type policies don't exist. Some casinos require as little as an e-mail address for newsletters and updates to sign up. This is certainly a fry cry from the name, address, telephone number, and various pieces of banking information that players need to submit when playing inside any American Bitcoin casino.

Recognizing a Safe Casino

There are many licenses that casinos tout in order to prove their safety, but these should be second to word of mouth opinions. Digital currency communities are quite close knit, so players can easily find information from other players with regards to the safest casinos on the market today. Of course, players need to go out of their way to independently verify the information they're receiving from other players, but largely it's safe to go on word of mouth reviews from other players. Website reviews aren't as trustworthy, unless the source itself is trustworthy. That being said, those floating around on random blog sites aren't all that useful! Chances are, they were written by a marketing team.

Why Bitcoin Casinos Are Replacing Fiat Currency Casinos


There's been a lot of talk in the casino gaming community as of late. It seems that players aren't very interested in playing for “real money” as it stands nowadays. Instead, there's a growing importance placed on anonymity so the experience itself can just be enjoyed. This all stems from the Black Friday event that caused so much disruption in the online gaming community. Nowadays, players in the States are finding it increasingly difficult to find the best deals when playing casino games on hte Internet. This needn't be the case any longer. Digital currency casinos are here to patch the void that so many players have commented on. What exactly are they doing to replace fiat currency casinos? Let's find out.

Safety is a Key Issue For Players on Digital Currency Casinos

It's not unusual for players to play their favourite casino games in fear because of all of what went down on Black Friday. Poker communities were shaken to their very foundations when government officials seized key domains in the gaming community and disallowed any access by residents in order to curb what the federal government believed was an issue of tax evasion, money laundering, and other criminal activities taking place on these services.

However, players who take to digital currency casinos don't experience this. This is because miners, or those who actively release digital currencies into the network by offering their systems as a proxy layer against tracking and spying, offer online casinos a sort of protection that just isn't available through more conventional means. Both casino operators and players can rest assured that what they're doing won't cause them to end up on the six-o-clock news, but what's more is that players are taking back gaming communities for themselves by self-regulating them using “their own” currencies.

That's not to say digital currencies like Bitcoins can't be converted back into cash, but the process is a bit of an ordeal to some users. This is because there are no direct withdrawal methods. Again, this is largely seen as being due to the events of Black Friday. Banks are now regularly imposing restrictions on accounts of Bitcoin users, so those who choose to play on casinos are at a bit of a loss for how to reclaim their deposits. Fortunately, digital currencies are meant to be spent and many e-retailers accept them. Players shouldn't be too far stretched to find something they're interested in when it comes to using their digital currency winnings.

Anonymity Is Also Important to Players

As previously touched on, it's important for players to remain anonymous in their dealings. This is actually quite difficult to achieve on American-based casinos, since Know Your Customer regulations require casino operators and other businesses concerned with financial transactions to keep detailed databases of their clients' sensitive information. This is seen as a way to help combat tax evasion, but does mean players are openly admitting to their activities on the Internet, which completely defeats the purpose of digital currencies to begin with.

However, because of the global nature of the Internet, players aren't necessarily restricted to playing within their own countries. If most Bitcoin casino sites accept it, players are more than welcome to gamble across borders and participate in games with other players from other countries. Of course, this is dependent on players doing their own research since not all vendors are honourable ones, but the use of digital currencies largely eliminates scrupulous vendors from setting up shop on the Internet. 

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