The online gambling industry is worried because Bitcoin is at a year-long low. Where Bitcoin sat above $19,000 per bitcoin a year ago, it now sits around $4,300. Gamblers who use Bitcoin payments thus have lost 75% of their bankroll even if they have not lodged a wager in the past year.

The high-water mark for Bitcoin was on December 17, 2017, when the price hit $19,783.21. As of November 20, 2018, the price now sits at a meager $4,338.87. In only 11 months, the price has dropped between 75% to 80%.

Many online poker players and casino gamblers using cryptocurrencies to fund their gaming, because they are fast, secure, and private. Crypto-currency is the best way to move gambling winnings around on the Internet, and Bitcoin is the most popular crypto-currency.

Can Bitcoin Be Trusted for Online Poker?

The many arguments for using blockchain payments dissolves when the virtual currency’s value dissipates. What does it matter that you double your poker bankroll, if the value of your bankroll is only worth a mere one-fourth its former value?

In that case, it is like a player lost half their bankroll at the poker table.

Just as dangerous is the fact other crypto-currencies have taken a hit. Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ripple (XRP) each have taken an 8% to 13% decline recently. A loss of confidence in Bitcoin seems to have affected the entire crypto-currency trade — which is predictable.

US Poker Sites That Use Bitcoin

The U.S. poker market has taken a hit with the decline in crypto-currencies. US-friendly online card rooms like America’s Cardroom began accepting Bitcoin payments in the past few years. Such iPoker sites have encouraged the use of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum payment methods.

Since the US poker market is unregulated in 46 states, many cardplayers chose Bitcoin as their preferred payment method. Blockchain technology meant that Bitcoin is at once safe from identity thieves, anonymous to all but the most dedicated investigators, and at the same time transparent from the perspective of the user.

Because blockchain technology is next to impossible for identity thieves to hack (unless they break into your home and steal your passwords), Bitcoin payments are much faster than other banking methods. The verification process isn’t required, so for the past few years, Bitcoin has grown in popular — especially with American poker players and online casino gamblers.

The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin

Those players are paying for their investment in Bitcoin payments now, though. Doug Polk, the three-time WSOP bracelet winner and YouTube commentator who found CoinCentral to take advantage of the Bitcoin hype, posted on Twitter this week about the demise of Bitcoin payments.

When the purveyors of Bitcoin are joking about its demise, that is a sign that players should beware.

Why Bitcoin Poker Isn’t Going Away

Blockchain payments continue to be a major topic of discussion on poker forums and message boards. The payment method still has built-in advantages, so do not expect Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum to just go away.

In fact, online poker attracts people with a gambler’s mentality. Bitcoin payments can be seen as a game-within-a-game. Enough users will take the chance that Bitcoin and the other crypto-currencies are going to rise that it will remain a preferred payment method — despite the risk.

It’s just that gamblers will have to learn how to use Bitcoin during a bear market.

About the Author
April Bergman avatar
April Bergman

April Bergman was a longtime news blogger for BOC. She wrote gaming news posts from January 2013 until September 2018. April also wrote slot reviews, strategy articles, and online casino reviews for the site.

April Bergman began in the online gaming industry in August 2010. From 2010 to 2013, she managed evergreen content for several top online casino. Her duties included developing and maintaining multiple websites in the gaming space. When not writing about online gambling, April loves horse racing, travel, photography, and gardening. She's began in the business as a devoted poker players and spent several years as a card game editor on the now-defunct DMOZ. These days, she lives with her husband and two children in the Toronto metropolitan area.

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April Bergman was a longtime news blogger for BOC. She wrote gaming news posts from January 2013 until September 2018. April also wrote slot reviews, strategy articles, and online casino reviews for the site.

April Bergman began in the online gaming industry in August 2010. From 2010 to 2013, she managed evergreen content for several top online casino. Her duties included developing and maintaining multiple websites in the gaming space. When not writing about online gambling, April loves horse racing, travel, photography, and gardening. She's began in the business as a devoted poker players and spent several years as a card game editor on the now-defunct DMOZ. These days, she lives with her husband and two children in the Toronto metropolitan area.

READ MORE
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