Bitcoin was the first of a growing number of digital currencies, also called cryptocurrencies. It was officially launched in 2008 when its creator, under the pseudonym Satoshi, published a paper on the idea of the currency . Since then the currency’s market cap has risen dramatically, in 2009 it held an exchange to the USD of $1 to 1309 BTC. A $25 pizza in 2010 was purchased for 10,000 BTC . However, the currency is currently trading around $500 per 1 BTC, meaning that 10,000 BTC from 2010 would now be worth $5 million dollars or roughly Rs 30 crore. However, in late 2013, it was trading for over $1000 per BTC. Coindesk offers the latest exchange rate for BTC in USD.
As you can see, it has experienced a fair amount of volatility in the short time since its inception. Many see it as the currency of the future with potential valuations of $10,000+ per BTC, while many others see it doomed to failure.
However, no matter what the long term future holds for the currency, it is a perfect fit as a payment method for online betting. This is because of the unique properties of cryptocurrencies. We will explain more below.
What is Bitcoin?
Essentially, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are each made up of their own peer to peer ledger. This ledger is updated through the process called ‘mining’, which is the crowd-sourced system of transaction validation. All users receive this updated ledger each time they login to their wallet. However, while the transaction history is shared among the cryptocurrency network, personal identities can remain anonymous. This allows for both transparency of the currency, but also privacy of the users.
For a quick and simple explanation of bitcoin, check out this video.
Why Use Bitcoin for Betting?
In some parts of the world, depositing onto betting sites can be difficult due to banking restrictions. However, bitcoin operates independent of traditional banking systems. For this reason, there is little to no restriction on who you can send them to. Once purchased, bitcoin can be sent to anyone accepting the currency, including bitcoin betting sites. You can exchange bitcoin back into Indian Rupees using a bitcoin exchange, or you can keep any winnings you have in bitcoin an spend them at an increasing number of online retailers. Although using bitcoin requires a few steps to set up, the process for sending and receiving bitcoin is fast and easy.
Because of the nature of bitcoin, Many betting sites that specialize in accepting cryptocurrency require no personal information beyond an email address. Of course, you can always set up a devoted email address only for this purpose if you don’t want to use your primary email account. This is only used to assign your account and balance to a specific user. Beyond that, no names, physical addresses, phone numbers, etc are required to create and use an account.
Setting up your bitcoin wallet, takes a little bit of time. However, once you have bitcoin, deposits and withdraws are fast and seamless. Because transactions cannot be canceled, bitcoin betting sites do not have to worry about charge backs and fraud that is typical of traditional payment systems. For that reason, they can allow fast deposits and withdrawals. There is no 2 week waiting period that can be seen with some other withdrawal methods. Deposits occur often within the first verification of transaction.
Do Any Sites Accept BTC in India?
We are currently looking for sites to recommend. However, we have not found any that we are comfortable with. Check back for updates.
Key Bitcoin Terms and Concepts
Ledger: This is a digital record of all bitcoin transactions that have ever occurred. When you download a bitcoin wallet, your computer will download all transactions of bitcoin all the way back to the very first one. As you can imagine, this can take several hours, but it only has to do it once. However, this is how the system verifies the ownership status of all outstanding bitcoin. Each time a new transactions occurs, a new entry is made in the shared ledger, and all participants are made aware. It isn’t anything you have to worry about, your wallet software will do it for you.
Mining: Bitcoin in particular has a set amount of units that will ever be released, it is not a physical coin that many often see it represented as, it is strictly a digital currency that is ‘unlocked’ via the mining process. Mining is the validation system that is used to verify each transaction. Without going into too much detail, the process is crowd sourced among individuals all over the internet who devote processing power to solve complex mathematical problems that once solved, provide verification of each transaction. This has to occur several times for each transaction to be considered validated. In this process, a small amount of bitcoin is given to the individual whose computer solved the problem. This process becomes increasingly difficult by design as more and more processing power is used to solve these problems.
Digital Wallet: This is where most choose to keep their bitcoin. A digital wallet is essentially software that updates the ledger. It can also be used to authorize a transaction, which at your request, will generate a transaction to send to a particular receiving address. As you can imagine, it is extremely important to keep all passwords and keys very safe from others, including hackers. Thankfully, there are some good solutions to making sure you keep your wallet safe.
Sending/Receiving Address: This is simply an ‘address’ designated to either send out or receive BTC. It consists of a string of letters and numbers 26-35 characters in length. It is also a part of the Public Key, which is a pair used to verify a digital transaction.
Key: Sometimes referred to as a Private Key, is a unique identifier used by concurrency wallets that authorizes for a bitcoin to be used. Most keys are 256-bit number, however, wallets use anything from 128 to 512 bits.
 article.gmane.org, Cryptocurrency Paper by Satoshi, 2008
 en.bitcoin.it, Bitcoin History, 2016