Chances are that if you’ve been keeping up with recent developments concerning the online gambling industry, you’ll have at least heard of bitcoins. Having come out of nowhere to become the world’s first completely digital currency with genuine viability, the once humble bitcoin has become something of a global phenomenon. Initially, the idea of a currency that doesn’t exist physically of course comes across as a little unusual. Nevertheless, not only do many experts completely believe in this kind of innovative currency, but the bitcoin has already made quite a few people incredibly rich.
In terms of investments and long-term potential however, that’s not what we’re going to be looking at for the time being. Instead, we’re simply focusing on whether or not the average everyday individual should give the bitcoin currency a try for online betting and gambling. Given the fact that a growing number of casinos are accepting bitcoins – sometimes exclusively – does this mean that the time has come to get on-board with it all?
Well, the first and most appealing thing about the bitcoin is the way in which its value has skyrocketed over recent years. For example, take things back just a decade or so and you would be looking at somewhere in the region of 5,000 bitcoins to have a couple of pizzas delivered to your home. Today, the same 5,000 bitcoins could buy you a luxury Central London mansion worth more than £14 million. Suffice to say therefore – those who invested in bitcoins at the right time are right now finding themselves cashing in to a pretty spectacular extent.
On the downside, this doesn’t necessarily mean that anything even remotely similar can be expected to happen going forwards. In fact, many believe that the bitcoin bubble is 100% guaranteed to burst soon enough, meaning that those who start investing now could see things go in the exact opposite direction. But then again, plenty of economists said exactly the same 10 years ago. Still, plenty of casinos and online gaming sites in general seem to have plenty of fate in bitcoin, having started to accept this curious currency.
Contrary to popular belief, bitcoins are not nearly as niche in terms of their current user-audience as most seem to think. In fact, it is estimated that there are somewhere in the region of 13 million bitcoin users all over the world – a figure that is growing all the time. Which would seem to suggest that bitcoin does bring at least something of interest to the table.
As for what, its potential as an investment prospect of course currently tops the table. What’s more, it is considered to be an extremely secure alternative to standard currency, which from start to finish leaves something of a ‘paper trail’ documenting every transaction and those involved. And along with being able to use bitcoins online, it is also possible and pretty simple to have them converted into real cash and withdraw them. Many analysts believe that bitcoin represents the very first example of the kind of virtual currency which will one day replace conventional cash on a global basis. Not that this is expected to happen anytime soon, but is definitely the kind of long-term transition we can expect to see eventually.
The Downsides of Bitcoin
So the whole thing definitely comes across as appealing, but there are nonetheless two distinct downsides to bitcoin that need to be taken into account. The first of which being its volatility – precisely what has to date made bitcoin so appealing to investors. While the current value of bitcoin may be exponentially higher than it was at the time of its launch, this doesn’t mean that it hasn’t seen any number of spectacular plummets creeping into the equation along the way. In fact, just as many people have lost various sums of money by getting into bitcoin use and investments as have profited.
On top of this, there’s also the fact that comparatively few businesses are willing to accept bitcoin for the time being. While the number of online retailers, casinos, betting sites and so on that accept bitcoin is growing all the time, it still represents just a tiny fraction of the total industry/market. Which means that if you do decide to go ahead and get started with bitcoin, you are technically limiting your options with regard to where you can spend them. For the time being, at least.
Worth a Shot?
So going back to that all important question – is now the time to dive into the world’s first true cryptocurrency and get on the bitcoin bandwagon?
The answer…well, it’s a bit like deciding if and how much you should bet on the flip a coin.
Opinion as to the potential, the value and importance of bitcoin differs so wildly that it is impossible to make any kind of generalisation. Just as some would call you foolish not to get on board as quickly as possible, others would say that doing so represents a fundamentally risky course of action. As is the case with most things, the truth actually lies somewhere in the middle.
The simple fact of the matter is that bitcoin hasn’t been around for long enough for anyone to really know where its place lies in the future. Or even if it has a place in the future at all. It is simply a case of speculation, rather than predictions built on hard evidence and fact.
That said, there’s a big difference between investing in bitcoins worth a small fortune and simply buying enough of the cryptocurrency to see what it’s all about. After all, it’s not to say that you have to spend £5,000 at a time on bitcoins – you could always invest in £50-worth and see how it works for yourself.
So in the case of this common-sense approach to bitcoins, the answer is yes – it’s worth giving it a shot. But if you are planning on approaching bitcoins as a quick and easy way of earning a fortune, you might want to exercise caution and take the hype with a little pinch of salt.