What is Cryptocurrency?

min read
cryptocurrency coins coming out of a brown leather wallet
BetMGM Sep 06, 2023, 12:15 PM

What is cryptocurrency? It is, in fact, nothing more than digital money. Introduced back in 2010 the first commercial transaction was the purchase of two pizzas its origins can be traced back as far as the mid-1980s. The idea was to create a currency that was safe and secure but that wasn’t regulated by any central bank and, therefore, not subject to the vagaries of fluctuating gold prices or foreign exchange rates. 

That’s not to say that crypto isn’t also subject to a certain volatility, but its value is based simply on supply and demand. Its wholesale adoption is possibly still years away, but the more businesses, traders, retail, and e-commerce sites accept crypto, the more commonly we’ll see various cryptocurrency symbols on online casino games, menus, swing tags, and other price points. If you know what you’re looking for, you will see that a number of places already accept this form of currency. So, where exactly can you use your crypto?

Getting Started

First, you will need to buy some crypto, set up your wallet (which isn’t actually a wallet at all; it’s more like the keys to the safe where your money is kept,) and then you’re ready to trade. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that, so be sure to do your research on the types of cryptocurrency and the kind of wallet that suits your needs. There are “hot” and “cold” wallets (essentially linked online or offline) and custodial and non-custodial wallets (managed by a third party with additional protection against fraud and hackers, or not.) 

All your future transactions on the blockchain, which is like a ledger, are recorded using an encrypted ID that gets added as a “block” to the “chain” — hence the name. Unlike traditional banking, credit cards, and other online financial transactions, crypto transactions are completely anonymous and secure, making them attractive to many people, among whom are those who choose to keep their playing of online casino games private.

Shopping and Crypto

Online shopping and even some in-store shopping are possible with just a virtual crypto wallet that doesn’t take up space in your back pocket, gets left at home, or can be stolen. For online shopping and e-commerce sites, offering cryptocurrencies as a means of payment reduces exchange rate losses, making cross-border purchases more attractive. In addition, transaction fees on blockchain are negligible. A number of global businesses that accept cryptocurrencies include PayPal, Microsoft, AT&T, and Starbucks. And talking of coffee, sometimes at the end of a blog, you’ll see the content creators soliciting financial support and donations via a “buy me a coffee” platform — now you can use crypto to tip your favorite content creator.

 Investing and Crypto

There are a number of ways to invest using crypto, including trading in non-fungible tokens or NFTs. These have included entire NFT art series (which is digital art,) some of which have been traded in the millions of dollars and made some people very rich, very fast (and some very poor, just as quickly.) Buying and holding crypto and watching its value is a passive way to invest and requires little speculation, except when to sell or when to hold. It’s a little like spinning the reels or holding in online slots.

Sending Money Overseas and Crypto

The speed and low costs of sending cryptocurrency overseas make it a popular choice for families regularly sending funds to members living and studying abroad. 

Online Casinos and Crypto

It’s possible that due to the fast, secure, and private nature of cryptocurrencies, they will eventually become the future of online gambling. They are already accepted by a number of online casino chains — Bitcoin is by far the most common — but watch this space for when casinos launch their own casino cryptocurrency.

When you make a deposit with an online casino using traditional banking and currency, transactions are traceable, have to be verified, and sometimes there is a delay while funds clear. Similarly, withdrawing your money is subject to a number of steps and processes that can slow things down. This is not the case with crypto, where deposits and withdrawals are pretty much instantaneous, and because of the level of security when operating via blockchain, your money is not subject to all the casino’s checks and balances that your greenback is.

Since the cost to you and the casinos is lower when using crypto, often the sign-up bonuses are more generous than regular sign-ups, so it’s worth investigating where your crypto goes further.

It’s possible that due to the similarities between online gaming and crypto (high risk, high security,) casinos and gamers alike choose to work via the highly secure blockchain. Using crypto means that gamers can also use the blockchain to authenticate payout histories and verify that games are fair, with no interference in results or payouts by casinos.

Pros and Cons

Using crypto for buying items, investing, and playing online casino games has its advantages. It’s safe and secure, confidential, fast, and cost-effective, but what are the downsides? Crypto requires quite a bit of research and a good understanding of the technology, the jargon, and the mechanics of using it. Gamers should proceed with caution before going all in with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, or any of the other popular cryptocurrencies and familiarize themselves with how to manage their accounts. 

Until crypto is more broadly understood and adopted, there will naturally be a lot of skepticism around its use in any scenario. It’s definitely worth monitoring what will be the inevitable rise and rise of crypto, but in the meantime, the world can only watch and wait.

 BetMGM: Safe and Secure

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.