Bitcoins and poker - a match made in heaven
2015      May 5

We all know what poker is, but why is its marriage with Bitcoin such a great idea? Let’s give a brief background to what Bitcoin is and how it works first, and then you’ll see why its use with gambling sites is so neat.

Bitcoins? Aren’t they just play money?

Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies have gone beyond their initial experimentation phase and, whilst not a mature market, have managed to survive some exceptionally hard economic times. Although their bitcoin prices, they have remained entirely secure and are a genuine way to transfer monetary value around safely and quickly.

Bitcoins themselves have no real intrinsic value; they are really just numbers. However, because there is a limited supply and they are trusted, this means that they can be traded against traditional currencies and thus hold a very real, convertible value.

OK, but why are they a good match for poker sites?

Bitcoins are particularly useful in the online gaming world because of the following qualities:

  • Bitcoins can be moved around very quickly. Payments can be validated with a reasonably high assurance within a few seconds, and are pretty much guaranteed within 10 minutes.
  • Bitcoin transactions cannot be reversed and thus there are no chargebacks.
  • Bitcoins do not directly need any sort of tie in to any currency and thus any legal systems. This means that poker sites can have more flexibility as to where to locate their businesses.
  • Transactions fees to send and receive Bitcoins only costs a couple of cents which is much cheaper than any traditional transaction fees.

I’m sold! I don’t have Bitcoins yet so where can I get some?

Depending on the country you’re in and how you would like to pay, there are a few options you can use to get Bitcoins. Examples are:

  • Big exchanges like Bitstamp and Kraken (good if you are not in a rush and want to buy a lot).
  • Dealers like UK Bitcoins and QuickBitcoin (only in the UK).
  • Informal peer-to-peer marketplaces like LocalBitcoins (good if you are wanting to do an anonymous trade, need speed and are knowledgeable enough not to get scammed).

 

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