Blockchain gambling is becoming extremely popular nowadays, and Ethereum (ETH) casinos are picking up steam. And it does appear that by this point, some cryptocurrencies are no longer able to keep up with the pace and satisfy their users. This tendency started with Bitcoin (BTC). There were actually many Bitcoin Dice and other gambling apps, but now you probably don’t want to play them; since the transaction fee has skyrocketed, and the transaction time is really unbearable. You can still use BTC for gambling directly, but it takes up a considerable portion of your time to do so. Instant transactions and low fees were initially the cornerstones of cryptocurrency gambling, and Bitcoin has actually lost them.
Ethereum still has these advantages and offers them to everyone who likes to gamble; alongside with another exclusive advantage, called smart contracts. This concept is revolutionary, and may well change the nature of crypto-gambling like many provably fair games have already done. They can be used for playing every kind of casino game; and we’ll only need to wait for a little longer until all the best casino software developers start developing blockchain-based online games.
There are two ways to use Ethereum for gambling purposes: the smart way and not too smart way. We’re joking! Of course, both methods are actually smart enough. But what we really meant is that you can play with ETH directly, or exchange it in a casino, play with their established currency, and then exchange back and withdraw your funds. The first option leaves you with not much of a choice because you won’t see fancy top-notch games for cryptocurrency casinos. There are dice games, roulette, a few card games, and a few slots; but new games are being developed every day. The second option kind of kills the purpose of crypto gambling, which is to play anonymously, get paid out instantly, and pay fewer fees. You’ll probably have to pay more than you would if you were using a regular payment system because you will lose a lot of money due to the double exchange.
We’ll probably pass on those exchanges; no fools here, thank you very much! The direct payments with Ethereum are more interesting, mainly because of a new advantage they offer: smart contracts.
Let’s figure out what a smart contract is, what its advantages are, and how you may use it. It’s an in-built service of Ethereum that allows you to bet on pretty much anything. It is written down into the very code of Ethereum, and each bet you make becomes part of a block, and can’t be altered in any way. It’s the if/then sequence, where if you bet on a particular event to happen and it occurs, then you get paid out by Ethereum automatically. Here are the advantages of this system:
This feature means gamblers don’t have to rely on anyone; not even the casino they’re playing at! It’s like turning your bank account into a casino account, and yet the bank account still maintains its primary purpose. Each bet gets deducted directly from your account, and all your payments are instantly transferred to it. No matter how much you win, you get paid, and a casino is simply never able to withhold your winnings at all.
If you’ve ever had a dispute with a casino, then you know how it goes! They can say that you’ve made a slightly larger bet than T&Cs permit. Of course, they could simply stop you from placing such a bet in the first place; but they generally don’t, as it’s much more fun to withhold the winnings! They will also say that you’ve used irregular betting patterns, or that you were playing under a VPN, or that they’ve spotted a suspicious activity from your IP-address. If you don’t agree on that, you can take your complaint to a mediation portal and wait for weeks until it gets resolved, or go even further and place it on a site of the regulatory body that issued the casino with their license. Even if a player wins a dispute, it takes a lot of time and effort to finally resolve such disagreements. But with smart contracts, you only have to place the bet, and it instantly becomes carved in stone, or rather in the code of Ethereum.
It leaves us with the only possibility of losing your money: if Ethereum itself ceases to operate.
None of this would seem very convincing without giving an account of the disadvantages, so here they are. It’s actually one single drawback we’re going to talk about here: and it’s speed. We’ve already said that each bet is being saved in a blockchain, which means that when you place a bet, it has to be confirmed by at least one block. Currently, one Ethereum block takes about 15 seconds to be created, which means that each bet needs up to fifteen seconds for confirmation. All bets exceeding 1 ETH need more than one block confirmation, which leads us to a longer waiting time. While playing at regular casinos you can bet instantly, but your problems might start when you actually try and withdraw your winnings, and find the process to be slower than you might like.
Ethereum might be the best thing that had ever happened to gambling, because of non-stop innovations and complete transparency that it’s bringing to casinos. We can see where our money goes, we can make sure that we will get back as much as we should be getting back, and nobody is going to interrupt the process, or trick us in any way. There are many exciting and successful Ethereum gambling projects in the gambling business, including edgeless casinos (yes, they have no house edge!) and digital currency schemes that appear to be fraud, but actually aren’t exactly fraud after all. And the best thing is that during the process of betting, the casino site will not hold your funds at any point; because each transaction is ensured by the blockchain technology itself, and leaves your funds protected at all times. Many blockchain users have moved their savings into cryptocurrency because they don’t trust banks and the financial system in general, so why would they trust an online gambling site either?
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