Best bitcoin Betting Sites: a Full Analysis of Gambling with the Cryptocurrency

bitcoin logoUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you will have witnessed the recent surge in bitcoin value and popularity. The development of cryptocurrencies and integration into modern society has been unprecedented – e-commerce, ICO (initial coin offering) investment, online donations and gambling, there are endless ways in which to spend. Perhaps the most interesting and disruptive of these uses is in fact betting with bitcoin, as of 2014, it has volatility seven times greater than gold, eight times greater than the S&P 500, and 18 times greater than the U.S. dollar. According to Forbes, there are uses where volatility does not matter, such as online gambling, tipping, and international remittances. Gambling with bitcoin is unique in many ways and this article will explore the best bitcoin betting sites you can use!

United Kingdom's Top Bitcoin Betting Sites
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For bitcoin sportsbook betting, there is only one destination for fully licensed gaming for UK punters. NetBet currently hold the status as the UK’s only fully licensed operator supporting bitcoin deposits to their website. There are alternatives, but these operators carry a certain level of risk to the customer as they are un-regulated. NetBet is a highly regarded operator in the UK, in 2016 they were crowned the best overall operator at the CEEGA awards. Testament to their high-quality betting platform, they have become one of the most popular sportsbooks amongst young gambling companies. Attracting the new generation of player with their disruptive technological innovation, especially in the live betting arena, this is an exciting time to be a NetBet customer.

The Rise of Cryptocurrency Gambling

Satoshi Nakamoto, an alias for the founder/s of the currency, launched the technology back in 2009, and after a brief period of going relatively unnoticed – the online gambling websites world is quickly realising how disruptive and ground-breaking this proposition will be. Interestingly, bitcoin seems to have found a perfect match for online gambling, despite the uncertainty and controversy that surrounds the cryptocurrency. It may be argued that this controversy may be fuelled by the inescapable product of its unique nature, of course, specifically being the ability to form instantaneous global transactions in a highly-secure and anonymous way. It is these unique attributes that can be accredited to the growing popularity of bitcoin gambling. This cannot be understated, the industry for bitcoin gamblers is highly lucrative and since 2014 it is estimated that over $4.5 billion has been wagered through bitcoin sports betting arenas. Punters seemingly enjoy the anonymity and the ability to separate accounts from existing banking and e-wallet platforms, allowing easier P/L analysis and limiting betting habits amongst other advantages. By the same token, the advanced technological capability of blockchain ensures the transactions to and from the bookmaker are completed with integrity, reliability and speed.

How Do I Use bitcoin for Gambling

Unlike native currency, it is not a physical asset, in a sense that there is not a piece of data or code you can identify as ‘the bitcoin’. Account balances are calculated on a public ledger that records every single transaction on the blockchain. In order to gamble effectively with it, you need to set-up a wallet that is both secure and reliable. There are several different ways to do this and the below information boxes will give a more detailed overview. Buying bitcoin from an exchange is the simplest method to fund your betting and then you simply have to store your reserves securely and privately. Take a look below for a detailed step by step guide into the world of bitcoin sports betting.

Setting up a bitcoin Wallet

An inside view of the bitcoin betting walletA “bitcoin wallet” is the equivalent of a bank account – it allows you to receive, send and store your bitcoin and there are several different types. A software wallet is one that you install on your computer or mobile device, Electrum being the most popular and highly regarded, allowing you to store them offline in a highly-secure fashion. Software wallets can be difficult to install and maintain if you are new to cryptocurrency. An alternative and perhaps simpler method of storing them is through a web wallet, or hosted wallet. There are many great companies providing this service, the most prominent being Coinbase, and BitPanda. These wallets are often much simpler, the drawback being you’re essentially entrusting the provider to maintain high security protocol to protect your coins from theft. Other options include the ultra-secure Armory and the original bitcoin-Qt client is trustworthy and worth familiarising yourself with.

Best Buying bitcoin Methods

The buying bitcoin portal where transactions are verifiedWhen it comes to the purchase of bitcoin there are a number of viable options. As an individual investor, there is no easier way to do this than with an online digital asset exchange like Coinbase, BitPanda or An exchange provides a digital marketplace platform where traders can buy and sell bitcoin using different fiat currencies or an alternative cryptocurrency. The main drawbacks to using an exchange remain the fees attached to every transaction, but the advantages of using this purchase method are plentiful and there is no quicker and simpler solution when it comes to buying bitcoin. An interesting alternative for users more interested to pay for bitcoin in cash – Local bitcoin – a service that connects you with local vendors where you can meet and exchange it for cash, or pay using wire transfer, Skrill, Money Bookers and more. Buying off the grid and keeping the level of anonymity is also a great concern of some traders, there are a number of ways you can do this but none more fail-proof than paying for it in cash.

Storing bitcoin

The bitcoin wallet software where the records of your bitcoin transactions are stored, with the QR code offering quick access to your wallet addressThere is one simple rule you must follow when storing bitcoin, never share your private key, with anyone! For the storage of your bitcoin there are several options that can be split into two defining categories, online and offline or “hot” and “cold”. Online wallets are great for quick access, immediate ability to spend and transfer, but they are undeniably vulnerable, and it is not recommended to store large portions of your bitcoin in these sort of wallets. The other method is to find an equally if not more secure option offline for your reserve. Popular methods for this include on a USB stick, on a paper wallet, on a bearer item (such as a physical bitcoin) or with an external hardrive wallet. The most secure scheme to follow when spending is to create a bootable USB flash drive with permanent encrypted storage and a cold wallet, Electrum will serve you the best. These precautions will allow you to have “watch only” status on your wallet and not spend. When you wish to make a transaction it can be done securely offline.

Funding the Betting Wallet with bitcoin

When it comes to using your purchased coins to fund the betting wallet, there is a variety of different methods this can be achieved. However, as our team of researchers and reviewers only deal with fully-licensed UK gambling companies, we will discuss the Fiat Currency transaction process which is employed by NetBet. This method involves paying via Neteller Go which will take your native currency and convert into a bitcoin value. The second option is to deposit directly from your wallet through the Bitpay transaction window – this is one of the most popular methods as it will only require your log in details and some basic information. Have a look below at the steps you must take to deposit with bitcoin at NetBet.

As you can see the process is fully optimised for maximum simplicity and usability for the user. NetBet have successfully brought cryptocurrency to life with this technology and the precedent being set is only positive for UK punters interested in cryptocurrency. The process ensures gambling licensing laws are upheld as their is no anonymity or money laundering risk due to the comprehensive customer data that is required to complete the bitcoin deposit process at NetBet.

Three Methods Explained

Besides the NetBet deposit protocol, there are other methods that other bookmakers have utilised and we fully expect to be integrated industry wide as bitcoin excitement gathers more speed and hype. The Fiat Currency transfer utilises the services of an intermediary, such as Neteller to undertake the conversion. The un-licensed gambling operators do also offer direct wallet transfer to a destination wallet, that will be credited to your betting balance once received. Another alternative is the purchase of casino chips with bitcoin, where the bookmaker will credit your account with betting chips that can be exchanged for the equivalent value in bitcoin. Take a look below for a deeper explanation of each deposit route.

  • Deposit through Fiat Currency

    To comply with the Know Your Customer process (KYC), a licensed betting operator must have a detailed record of the person making the deposit with bitcoin. As bitcoin is a de-centralised anonymous currency, the bookmakers employ a Fiat Currency provided by Neteller in order to verify the transaction in a way that satisfy the licensing laws of UK bookmaking. This is the standard method of betting online with bitcoin at licensed operators.

  • Peer-to-peer Wallet Transfer

    Transferring bitcoin between wallets is a calculation that takes place on the Blockchain, a publicly available ledger detailing every bitcoin transaction since the beginning of its existence. To send some to another wallet the transaction requires three pieces of information. The input – this is an address that is being used to send the bitcoin. An amount – the input quantity of bitcoin that is being transferred. An output – the destination address of the bitcoin.

  • Purchase Sportsbook Currency

    A less common approach to betting through bitcoin is to exchange bitcoin for sportsbook currency i.e. betting chips. This approach ensures you are not betting with traditional currency, but making bets with the bookie’s chips which carry a monetary value in bitcoin. This method is less common and players from the UK will not encounter any licensed operators employing this route of depositing. Licensing requirements in the UK currently prevent this approach.

How to Withdraw Winnings with bitcoin

After making a successful deposit to NetBet via bitcoin and playing the sportsbook, you will need to strategise your withdrawal. There is only one route out of the bookmaker with your funds after using it to deposit and that is via Neteller. To familiarise yourself with the business, check out our full Neteller review. The funds you have on the NetBet betting wallet in the form of bitcoin will be converted into native currency when you request the withdrawal through Neteller. So, make sure you have an account with Neteller in order to complete successful deposits and withdrawals at the UK’s only licensed bitcoin operator. The table below gives you a visual guide to the steps involved throughout the withdrawal process.

The Withdrawal Process in Detail

Essentially when it comes to pulling bitcoin winnings from NetBet, there is a simple and step-by-step process you should follow. The most common method would be to request the funds at the bookmaker cashier hub, enter the amount you require to be withdrawn, confirm your password for security purposes and wait to receive the money. Take a look at our table below for the complete guide on how to do this.

A diagram representing the three steps to complete a withdrawal through bitcoin

From the steps outlined in the table above you can clearly see that this is not a standard withdrawal you expect when using a normal currency such as Pound Sterling. The first step is to request the withdrawal of a bitcoin value from your betting wallet, this can be achieved by visiting the banking portal of NetBet. The process from here is through Neteller GO, your bitcoin balance will be submitted to Neteller who will present a live value in a native currency conversion (including fees and commissions). There will be a time limit attached to the deposit confirmation because, of course, the value fluctuates rapidly. Following the confirmation of your Neteller log in details you will successfully submit the withdrawal request which will appear on your Neteller account within 48-hours.

Essential bitcoin Information: Things to Be Aware Of

When venturing into the world of cryptocurrency betting, there are several things topics you need to educate yourself upon. bitcoin has no central command, there is no safety net if it is lost or stolen astransactions are irreversible. As there is no authority you can complain to if things go wrong, be sure to maintain high-level security to protect your bitcoin reserves. When buying bitcoin be aware of the variation of price between the vast amount of online exchanges. If a particular exchange constantly has inconsistent pricing compared to other vendors, it is certainly a sign of trouble and that exchange should be avoided. Another common misconception of bitcoin is that it keeps a veil of anonymity, while this is somewhat true, there are ways that your identity can be uncovered. All transactions are stored on a public ledger known as the blockchain, investigators may be able to link your identity to a group of transactions. Read below for our explanation of some of the most critical talking points surrounding the bitcoin currency.

Cryptocurrency is Volatile and Fluctuates in Value

The volatility of bitcoin shown by a price index and a large golden coin representing the bitcoin currencyThe most interesting and unique thing about cryptocurrency gambling is the extra dimension of gamble taken on the fluctuating value of such a volatile currency. Like all currency, and commodities, its value is determined by supply and demand. As the supply is fixed at 21 million bitcoins gradually unloaded onto the blockchain, the supply is fixed; as more people use bitcoin the demand is increased, thus driving the price upward. The amount of people using bitcoin is relatively small compared to native currency around the world – however, it is worth mentioning that it is the least volatile of all cryptocurrency and the recent surge in price is expected to preclude a period of long-stability.

At the time of this author writing, it is currently valued at £5892.00 – based on the research conducted throughout the preparation of this article, we believe bitcoin and the technology that supports it is still vastly undervalued. Cryptography and blockchain programming are already seeing far-reaching implications for modern technology in AI, deep learning and machine learning/Robotics. The value of cryptocurrency can only rise if the popularity and buzz continue to intensify.

Fees and Processing Times

Fees from bitcoin transactions, showing a mobile phone folded in half atop a computer circuit board with coins spilling outAs bitcoin transactions as globally connected via the blockchain, making a wallet-to-wallet transfer a very quick process. On average it takes about 10 minutes for a miner to find a block. The average block time can actually vary and be slower or quicker depending on the total hash power of the bitcoin network – which fluctuates as the reward for bitcoin mining correlates. Ignoring these details though, the average confirmation time for 6 separate transactions is about 1 hour. The transaction fee acts as an incentive and a stability measure of the bitcoin network, the fee is taken by the miner who successfully places your transaction onto the block. However, with the increasing desire for lightning fast transactions, certain payment systems will “take a chance” and credit the bitcoin transaction to the target address immediately as they are anticipating your transaction to be confirmed by a miner within a short time-frame.

As for Fiat Currency transfer to and from NetBet, there are fees involved in this process that will be taken upon withdrawal by Neteller. The same principle applies when payments are made to a coin exchange, the coin broker will take a fee for the transaction each time you purchase and sell bitcoin. A typical purchase of £100 pounds of bitcoin at an exchange such as Coinbase, will incur a fee of roughly £1.99.

bitcoin Deposits: How Does It Differ from Traditional Payment Methods?

bitcoin depositing is completely unique as a way of funding the betting wallet. Not only is it an alternative way of placing bets on regular sports markets, it is an additional dimension of betting – as you are gambling on the value of bitcoin as well as your chosen market. It is attractive as a method of payment because it is de-centralised, trustworthy and relatively safe.

A comparison table highlighting the main differences between bitcoin and native currency gambling according to certain criteria

This method of betting, as we’ve already forewarned, can be particularly risky if you do not know what you’re doing. Unlike other currencies you do not have immediate access to spend your funds on anything you want – as there are only a select number of industries and vendors that accept bitcoin payments. Obviously, you are extremely limited for betting locations here, with the UK offering only one licensed operator for bitcoin sports betting, NetBet. There are many others, if you do a quick google search you will discover many unlicensed bitcoin betting sites– caution is advised here as customers are known to have bad experiences betting with such operators.

Important Security Tips for bitcoin Betting

Now we’re are going to discuss the most important security tips for betting with bitcoin. The below table will touch on five very unique and helpful solutions that will ensure your money is kept safe whilst venturing into the world of cryptocurrencies. Firstly, you want to make sure that you’re only investing a small percentage of your Net Worth into bitcoin – as it is a volatile currency and there is the possibility it could drastically depreciate in value at any un-given notice. Then, you want to be fully versed on storing it securely and how to transfer from your wallet to a third-party wallet – make sure the address is correct otherwise your transaction won’t reach a target and you will be “burning bitcoin”. Take a look at our table below for a more in-depth overview of the top security tips for using bitcoin betting sites.

A table detailing the different design features that ensure safety for users of bitcoin

Are There Any Other Cryptocurrencies I Can Bet With?

Regulated cryptocurrency betting has recently received a huge boost in Europe, with a swathe of licensed and fully-regulated bookmakers popping up around the continent. The major eSports platform Unikrn has launched the initiative to open up their betting arena to a form of crypto token betting via its UnikoinGold. This token, which is based upon the Ethereum standard, is currently being distributed via a token sale or ICO – acting as an alternative medium for licensed bookmakers to take real-money wagers from cryptocurrency payments. The interesting appeal of token betting is that participants, whether gamers or spectators, don’t necessarily need to wager in order to earn tokens. You can be rewarded tokens by participating in eSports matches or just by tuning into the live stream and watching the action un-fold. This has a particular attraction to the younger demographic who tend to be far more supportive of these betting experiences. For a complete overview of the world of eSports betting – head over to our full eSports betting review page.

A comparison table between bitcoin and Litecoin, subject to some specific criteria

This token form of betting that is beginning to become increasingly more popular with Ethereum’s ability to pool ICO’s from potential customers is inherently different to bitcoin betting. Yes, both are a form of real-money wagering – but the process is completely reversed and token betting is similar to buying casino chips whereas bitcoin is a transferable currency that can be used universally. Both methods will continue to grow as the popularity around this ecosystem explodes.

bitcoin: a Short History of Blockchain

bitcoin Currency Profile
The bitcoin currency represented as a gold coin mounted to a computer circuit board
Currency bitcoin
Code XBT or BTC
Founded 2009
Invented by Satoshi Nakamoto
Users 5.8m
bitcoin Limit 21 Million
bitcoin to £ See value here
Regulator De-centralised (un-regulated)

The idea of electronic money is nothing new, banks and governments have entertained the idea for many years before bitcoin emerged. The problem they faced was that computers don’t actually send data from one place to another – they make an exact copy of that data, send it to a destination and delete the original, all a lightning speeds. The danger and fear of potential inventors of this technology was that the system could be manipulated into making unlimited copies of money, or that the same money could be spent more than once, or that the transaction records tampered with long after the payment is made – potentially making a large luxury purchase now worth pittance, or a cup of coffee now worth millions. In short, the risk of total financial chaos has largely hindered the global uptake of electronic money.

The peer-to-peer electronic cash system proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto with bitcoin has completely alleviated these problems. No longer can currency value be dictated by inflation as a result of the irresponsible printing of bank notes, bitcoin quantity is fixed at 21 million. The technology has been incredibly disruptive, the implications of blockchain are quickly being realised by tech companies and developers across the world. The potential for secure validation and proof-of-work systems, combined with artificial intelligence are enormous; expanding into high-grade robotic weapon systems that can communicate with one another through the blockchain, to the more civil driverless cars communicating routes with each other. The built-in protections against error and fraud mean that it is a revolutionising approach to electronic money and may well demonstrate the future of world finance.

Betting with bitcoin: a Unique Approach to Gambling

Since the first “real world” purchase using bitcoin was made back in May 2010 by an individual called Laszlo, who regrettably paid 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas (worth about £60 million as of 17.11.17) there have been numerous astronomical spikes in the value of the currency. The currency now is used around the world, although the majority of businesses and individuals paying with it are located in North America. We expect the phenomenon to fully grip the gambling industry in the next month’s/years, with more licensed bookmakers following in the steps of NetBet and launching their own fully cryptocurrency integrated sportsbook. If you think it is for you, why don’t you start now. If not, learn more about betting by visiting our homepage now.

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What about bitcoin and taxes?

bitcoin is not a fiat currency with legal tender status in any jurisdiction, but often tax liability accrues regardless of the medium used. There is a wide variety of legislation in many different jurisdictions which could cause income, sales, payroll, capital gains, or some other form of tax liability to arise with bitcoin.