Once considered a novelty, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) is fast becoming the currency of choice for online casino fans around the world and in South Africa. This is because casino transactions in Bitcoin are faster, more cost-effective, discreet and secure than those of regular payment methods like credit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets or prepaid cards.
Plus, just as the number of SA online gamblers choosing to deposit, play and cash out in Bitcoin are on the rise, so too are the number of virtual casinos that accept Bitcoin. There are two types of Bitcoin casinos – those that only accept Bitcoin and those that accept Bitcoin alongside regular (FIAT) currencies like South African Rand, US dollars, GB pounds, Euros and others.
On the following Bitcoin casinos guide, we’ll take you through all aspects of Bitcoin as a safe and secure online gambling currency, as well as the benefits of playing at premier Rand online casino sites with Bitcoin. However, before exploring what Bitcoin is, how it works and its advantages, be sure to check out the best South African bitcoin online casinos below:
Best South African Bitcoin Online Casinos
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is an online virtual or digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services over the internet. Unlike regular currencies, Bitcoin is a mathematical rather than a physical currency which means it only exists virtually and is not available as bank notes or coins.
Bitcoin is created or generated by thousands of computer-savvy people around the world in a process called ‘mining.’ Miners use open source (freely available) software that uses state-of-the-art encryption techniques to generate, verify and regulate Bitcoin. As such, Bitcoin is a 100% independent decentralised peer-to-peer currency that is not owned or controlled by any central bank, financial institution or government.
This digital currency is processed on a private network of computers linked together via a shared program where every transaction is recorded on a ‘blockchain’ (a constantly growing ledger or record book) and updated across the network. These ‘blocks’ of Bitcoin are linked, verified and secured using the latest cryptography, hence the name cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin can be bought and sold at a variety of ‘Bitcoin Exchanges’ with payment methods like credit cards, debit cards and cash. But before you can buy and spend them, you’ll need a safe and secure place to store, send and receive them, which is where Bitcoin wallets come in. There are four main types you can choose from:
Types of Bitcoin Wallets
- Online Wallets – Arguably the quickest and easiest type of Bitcoin wallet, these comprise any 3rd party online wallet you can access from any computer or mobile device that has an internet connection. The main drawback is that online wallets are more susceptible to security breaches and hackers than most other wallet types.
- Software Wallets – These are wallets you can install on your desktop computer or mobile device (regardless of its make, platform or operating system), although they can require a lot of disk space. This type of wallet requires some computer know how to set up and is only as secure as the computer /device that it’s installed on.
- Hardware Wallets – These are wallets stored on regular USB devices such as flash or external drives that must be plugged into a computer whenever you transact. When unplugged, they’re protected from computer malware and viruses and act as a ‘back up’ of your wallet. Being portable, you can keep this wallet with you at all times.
- Paper Wallet – This type of wallet consists of your Bitcoin public and private keys printed or handwritten onto a piece of paper. As such they’re considered the most secure of all Bitcoin wallets as they’re 100% ‘off the grid.’ This means they cannot be accessed over the internet and can only ever be comprised if lost or stolen.
The type of Bitcoin wallet you choose may depend on many factors. For instance, if you’d like to use Bitcoin to fund your South African casino accounts with a few bucks once in a while, an online or software wallet is the way to go as they’re so easy and convenient.
If, however, you have a substantial amount of Bitcoin and are very concerned about keeping them safe, a hardware or software wallet is likely your best bet. Or, if you’d like to eradicate the possibility of having your Bitcoin hacked online, a paper wallet is recommended.
But whatever Bitcoin wallet you select, as with all banking methods, the more you protect and secure your particular devices, software, information, usernames and passwords, the safer your Bitcoin will be. Don’t ever leave your public and private keys lying around.
How Do You Use Bitcoin at South African Casinos?
Making deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoin at South African online casinos is surprisingly easy. To start you’ll need to sign up for and add funds to your Bitcoin wallet. Next, you’ll need to register for a real money online casino account (if you haven’t already).
How to Deposit with Bitcoin
To make a deposit, login to your South African online casino and head to the Banking or Cashier page and select Bitcoin from the payment methods on offer.
A new page should open with two fields for you to complete. The first is your Bitcoin wallet address (you’ll find this listed on your wallet dashboard) and the second is the amount you want to deposit. Bear in mind Bitcoin can be broken into many units, including the smallest Satoshi, which is one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC).
Once you click submit, your funds should instantly appear in your online casino account ready for you to use to play any real money casino game you choose.
How to Withdraw with Bitcoin?
Withdrawing funds from your online casino account is just as quick and easy as making a deposit. To cash out, simply visit your South African casino Cashier or Banking page and from the withdrawal methods on offer, choose Bitcoin.
Enter your Bitcoin wallet address and the amount you want to withdraw, and right after you click submit, your funds should already have arrived safely in your Bitcoin wallet.
What are the Advantages of Bitcoin?
There are many advantages of using Bitcoin as an alternative currency, particularly when it comes to funding online casino accounts for South Africans. For instance, it is one of the safest and most secure currencies and banking options currently available.
Here are a few other advantages:
Low Transaction Fees
Everybody loves to save money and South African online gambling fans are no different. As Bitcoin is a currency that is not owned by any individual or organisation, its fees are much lower than those of regular banking options, which range from zero to negligible.
Unlike traditional banking methods that charge a string of fees to boost their revenues and profitability, Bitcoin is unbeholden to any shareholders and/or directors, just the people around the world – including in South Africa – that mine it, buy it, sell it and use it.
The result is a payment method whose aim is not to ‘gouge’ its customers, but to give them a much more cost-effective alternative to e-wallets, prepaid cards, EFTs (bank transfers), debit cards and credit cards. This is why Bitcoin is accepted at so many SA online casinos.
Allows for Anonymity
Understandably, many South African online casino players prefer to keep their love of online gambling games private and discreet. However, this can be a tall order with regular payment options that require and record the name of all beneficiaries, in this case online casinos.
Using Bitcoin, however, there is a record of all transactions but none of their beneficiaries. In addition, because Bitcoin purchases are not associated or connected to a user’s personal identity, their casino deposits cannot be traced back to them, much like cash deposits.
This means Bitcoin allows for a level of anonymity unlike any other payment method, which is ideal for online casino players in South Africa who seek greater privacy. In addition, each Bitcoin address (which is already anonymous) is changed with every new transaction.
Instant Processing Times
Due to the nature of Bitcoin, its processing times are instant which means you never have to wait for your deposits or withdrawals to clear as you do with many traditional payment options. This gives you more freedom when it comes to paying or cashing out.
While many regular banking methods allow for instant deposits, when it comes to making withdrawals you may be required to supply various identification and other verification documents to prove that you are a legitimate player and not a money launderer.
This is not an issue with Bitcoin because your withdrawals are processed as quickly as your deposits. This is a tremendous advantage if you’re the type of player who likes to play at multiple casinos and doesn’t have the patience to wait days for your funds to clear.
Convert Bitcoin to Rand
If you’ve had a particularly lucrative session at your favourite South African online casino, and you’ve withdrawn all your winnings in Bitcoin and now you want to enjoy your winnings in cold, hard cash, you can. All you have to do is head over to a ZAR Bitcoin exchange.
On your chosen Bitcoin Exchange (you must be signed up and logged in to buy / sell Bitcoin), look for the current BTC / ZAR exchange rate and if you’re happy with, follow the respective instructions to sell your Bitcoin. Once you’ve done that, you’re free to cash out in ZAR.
Using your payment method of choice (like a credit card, bank transfer or e-wallet), cash out whatever your balance allows in South African Rand. But regardless of the method you pick, rest assured there will be no record of your funds having come from an online casino.