You may have discovered that we are big fans of Bitcoin as an alternative banking option for online gambling. But what if you don't share our enthusiasm about Bitcoin? Are there other cryptocurrencies you can use for online gambling?
In a word, absolutely. Bitcoin may be seen as the standard cryptocurrency for online transactions, but it is by no means the only one. At last count there were thousands of cryptocurrencies in circulation around the world. As online gambling sites are slowly coming to realize the benefits of cryptocurrency, they are looking at numerous options in addition to Bitcoin.
For the record, Bitcoin was the first commercially available cryptocurrency. It also continues to be the largest in terms of market capitalization. At the time of this writing, Bitcoin's total market cap was in excess of US$114.2 billion. A single coin was worth $6,609.85.
Rounding out the best of the rest:
- Ethereum - $22.8 billion market cap; $233.37 per coin.
- XRP - $20.8 billion market cap; 52.3 cents per coin.
- Bitcoin Cash - $8.1 billion market cap; $466.65 per coin.
- EOS - $5.1 billion market cap; $5.67 per coin.
Unless you have a lot of experience with cryptocurrency, you may not recognize any of the other names outside of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. However, do not let that dissuade you from looking for a suitable cryptocurrency to use for gambling online. They are out there.
The rest of this post offers descriptions of a number of cryptocurrencies now being accepted by online gambling sites. Please note that websites such as MegaMoolah.com do not specifically endorse any particular cryptocurrency. Also note that cryptocurrencies are a lot like securities. Treat them the same way you would stocks in terms of risk and how much you invest.
Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency that was birthed from the original Bitcoin. To understand how this is possible, we first have to understand how Bitcoin came to be. Bitcoin is a digital currency represented as tokens on a worldwide computer network. The cryptocurrency's developers arbitrarily created a set number of coins to begin with, building those coins into the computer code that makes up the platform.
Those coins, and all the transactions related to them, are tracked in Bitcoin's blockchain ledger. The blockchain is a decentralized record that keeps track of who owns Bitcoin tokens, when they are transferred between buyers and sellers, how they are being mined, etc.
In 2017, a group of developers concerned about the growing size of Bitcoin's blockchain wanted to implement a code change that would make it more scalable. Unfortunately, not all the decision-makers behind Bitcoin could agree that the code change was a wise idea. Those developers in favor of the code change created a fork they called Bitcoin Cash.
A fork is a scenario in which a group of developers takes existing code, separates it from the project to which it is attached, and then continues development in a different direction. When Bitcoin Cash was forked, the developers behind the new platform started with the same underlying base. That meant Bitcoin owners were also instant owners of Bitcoin Cash.
Today, Bitcoin Cash trades on most of the major cryptocurrency exchanges. Transaction processors like BitPay, Coinify, and GoCoin all deal in Bitcoin Cash. The cryptocurrency is viewed favorably by people who want in on cryptocurrency but cannot afford the price of Bitcoin.
Litecoin is somewhat unique in that it is both a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and an open source electronic transaction platform. Even its cryptographic protocol is open source. It is not controlled by any central authority as are Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
In most other respects, Litecoin is functionally identical to Bitcoin. That's not surprising given the fact that it was one of the earliest spin-off cryptocurrencies to hit the market following Bitcoin's success. Litecoin was released in October 2011 by a former Coinbase engineer who used the Bitcoin Core client as the basis for his new platform.
The biggest difference Litecoin offers is its speed. Back when Litecoin was introduced, its network could process a new block of the chain every 2.5 minutes. Bitcoin took 10 minutes or longer. Another significant difference between the two is Litecoin's processing algorithm. It uses a sequential memory-hard function as opposed to Bitcoin's algorithm which is not memory-hard.
Litecoin is among the more popular alternatives to Bitcoin for online gambling sites. It enjoys a fairly wide appeal and is accessible on most cryptocurrency exchanges. At the time of this writing, Litecoin enjoyed a market capitalization of $3.3 billion and a coin price of $57.84.
Also known more simply as 'Ether', Ethereum was released during the summer of 2015. Ethereum itself is a blockchain technology rather than a cryptocurrency, which is why the digital coins associated with it are referred to as Ether. In the end though, that may be nothing more than semantics.
When Ethereum was first proposed in 2013, there was talk of Bitcoin's blockchain being used for applications other than trading cryptocurrency. There was some disagreement over whether applications built on the blockchain could truly be decentralized. Further disagreement over how to proceed resulted in some of the developers turning their attention to developing Ethereum.
What makes Ethereum so different is the fact that the blockchain was developed from the ground up to accommodate all sorts of applications. It is not a blockchain just for cryptocurrency trading. It can be, and is, used to develop all sorts of applications that have a heavy dependence on ledgers.
Ethereum is available on all the major cryptocurrency exchanges. Although it is not as widely accepted by online gambling sites, it is gaining more traction. It certainly has the market capitalization to continue making noise in the cryptocurrency space.
XRP is a cryptocurrency related to the Ripple real-time gross settlement system. Ripple is more of an electronic payment system than anything else, and it deals in more than just XRP. Merchants and customers alike can use the network for transactions representing both fiat and cryptocurrency. Customers can also use it to deal in commodities.
The underlying system for XRP is known as the XRP Ledger. It is a shared public ledger that relies on consensus processing to verify and validate transactions. The most unique aspect of the ledger is that it does not require the Ripple network, or organization for that matter, to operate. The Ripple company could go under and it would have no effect on the XRP ledger or cryptocurrency.
XRP continues to rank among the top five cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization. With that kind of strength, companies willing to accept cryptocurrency as an online banking solution are being forced to take notice of XRP. We are beginning to see it pop up more and more at online casinos.
Last on our list is a cryptocurrency known as EOS. It is part of the EOS.IO blockchain protocol, a protocol that is systemically different than many other cryptocurrencies in one key aspect: its operation emulates most of the attributes of a hard-computing system. In other words, EOS.IO emulates CPUs, GPUs, RAM, and even hard disk storage in its operation. All its resources are evenly distributed across coin holders.
A good way to look at the protocol is to compare it to a web server built for shared hosting. All the customers who have space on the shared server are allocated a certain percentage of the server's resources. In theory, each customer's resources are identical.
The EOS.IO protocol works much the same way. There is a certain volume of resources within the virtualized environment that are then distributed across all coin holders. This makes for consistent transaction speeds and a completely decentralized, autonomous model capable of processing millions of transactions per second.
EOS was born from a white paper published back in 2017. The cryptocurrency itself wasn't released until June 2018, making EOS one of the newest cryptos on the market. It is remarkable that EOS has achieved market capitalization in excess of $5 billion in such a short time.
Much of the strength of this cryptocurrency is found in the fact that its ledger has capabilities that go way beyond cryptocurrency. It is a highly scalable ledger that is ideal for all sorts of applications covering everything from banking to software development.
The various cryptocurrencies discussed in this post are the most commonly offered as banking solutions by online gambling sites. But the list is by no means exhaustive. There are certainly other cryptocurrencies that some online casinos find attractive. Your best bet is to spend some time searching 'casinos that accept cryptocurrency' or some other similar phrase using your favorite search engine.
It has been said that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are going to change online gambling forever. Whether or not that truly is the case remains to be seen. However, we cannot deny that cryptocurrency is already having a considerable influence. Increasingly more casinos are accepting Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, etc. There is no reason to believe they will stop doing so for the foreseeable future.