Depositing in a BTC Casino
So you have perused our different pages (or someone else’s) extolling the virtues of bitcoin in general and bitcoin gambling products in particular, and you are now ready to take the plunge and chech out a bitcoin casino, sportsbook or poker product. Well, you are either extremely lucky, a very discerning site navigator or an excellent google searcher, because you have landed on our step-by-step guide to making your first bitcoin casino deposit. Read on, trailblazer!
How do I go about Depositing with Bitcoin?
We’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that buying bitcoin can take a bit of commitment the first time around, perhaps the equivalent of opening an online stock trading account (well, a bit easier than that). However, the good news is that it is free, everything can be done directly from your computer in about 20 minutes, and after the initial pain you will never have to worry about it again (sort of like a vasectomy). No identification is needed – though you will need access to your bank account – if you do not have a bank account, please check out our review of localbitcoins for an alternative process. This step-by-step guide is focused on US players due to the need that bitcoin casinos fill in that market, but the same process is applicable elsewhere. Certain aspects – like ACH transfers – are available only to US customers.
Step 1: Open and fund a Coinbase Account
Opening a Coinbase account requires verifying your email and telephone number, and connecting your bank account. This is done simply by signing in to your chosen bank account directly from within a coinbase interface with your bank username and password – after which coinbase will instantly verify that the bank account does, indeed, belong to you.
While sticking your banking information into a third party interface might give pause, no bank information is stored and Coinbase is a reputable group, having raised some $105 million in venture capital from some of the biggest names out there. However, if you are uncomfortable with the process, there is an alternative deposit verification procedure that doesn’t require inputting your user and pass. Similar to how it works at paypal, Coinbase will make two small deposits in your account over the course of a few days. Simply confirm the deposit amounts, which will provide verification that the bank account does, indeed, belong to you.
Linking your account also allows for free ACH wire transfers to your new bitcoin account. This takes like 3 days – however, you can keep cash in Coinbase’s FDIC insured cash wallet, so you should feel comfortable to store a nice amount there for future use, if needed. If you are in desperate need of bitcoin immediately, Coinbase will advance a good amount of your ACH transfer provided input your credit card details. This is used as a sort of guarantee that you will not cancel the ACH transfer and run off with their bitcoin.
Step 2: Buy Bitcoin
Once you’ve got cash in the account, you can instantly buy bitcoin from the dashboard, but this is done on a broker basis, and thus is more expensive (1% conversion fee, and sometimes a bit higher price).
Much preferred but a bit more involved is to simply scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “exchange”, which is the second hyperlink under “products” located in the website footer.
This launches the coinbase exchange in a new window. Select “sign in with coinbase”, located in the upper right hand corner of the site, and then select “deposit” from the left-hand side of the exchange. You are then given the option to deposit from your coinbase wallet.
Once you’ve funded the exchange, determine the amount of bitcoin you’d like to purchase (or the amount of dollars you’d like to spend), and select a limit or market order.
Though perhaps it looks a bit complicated to a novice trader, if you simply choose “market” and “buy” you’ll get the best price available. Once the order has been completed, click on “withdraw”, and the bitcoin will be sent back to your main coinbase account.
Step Three: Transfer the bitcoin to a wallet.
Now. Coinbase is a regulated and insured bitcoin exchange in the US, which means they have an interest not to support the transfer of bitcoin to gambling operators. Thus, it is necessary to open up a third party wallet, such as Mycelium, to avoid any uncomfortable conversations with Coinbase. Mycelium is an open-source mobile wallet application, and thus, like bitcoin itself, is not coercible by any third party. (if you’d prefer a desktop wallet, check out blockchain.info which is probably the simplest to use.) Download mycelium on your smartphone and follow the step-by-step instructions. Don’t be surprised when they require you to jot down a 16 word phrase, which is used to replicate your wallet in the very unlikely event mycelium crashes, and you need to restore the wallet elsewhere from this mnemonic backup.
Once the wallet has been generated, you’ll be provided a bitcoin address. This is the address to which you should transfer the funds from Coinbase, from the “send funds” interface.
Simply input the address and amount you’d like to transfer, and hit send. The bitcoin should be in your wallet within 10 minutes or so.
Step Four: Transfer the bitcoin from the wallet to the casino, and back again.
Once the bitcoin is in the wallet, you can deposit directly into any casino account you’ve opened. Most casinos offer a QR code that can be scanned directly from your wallet’s “send” interface. See, for example, Mycelium below:
Once scanned, your casino wallet address will automatically populate – just type in the amount to be transferred, and hit send. Usually, the amount will show up within your casino account instantly.
When you have decided to withdraw, simply input the wallet address in the casino’s withdrawal page – more or less the same process as described above in reverse – designate the amount, and click send. Theoretically, your funds should be with you within a few minutes, but depending on the casino this can take from an hour to a day.
Once you’ve transferred the bitcoin back to your wallet, you can either leave it there for future use or transfer it back to coinbase, to exchange into dollars and withdraw.
OK, so that is basically how you would go about depositing in a bitcoin casino. While it perhaps seems a bit complicated – it really is not, and you will get the hang of it in no time. And once you have made the initial purchase of bitcoin, the entire process with the casinos is much, much simpler. Now the only thing left to do is visit our review section, have a look at our listings of the best bitcoin casinos out there, and give one a spin.