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7 Reasons Why Online Casinos Are Embracing Bitcoin

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Online Casinos Are Embracing Bitcoin

For many years, online casinos have shied away from accepting bitcoin due to the digital currency’s perceived association with criminal activities. That has changed. Nowadays, more and more casinos are accepting the cryptocurrency for placing bets as they are waking up to the benefits of accepting bitcoin as a payment method. In this article, you will discover why online casinos are embracing bitcoin.

Ease of Integration as a Payment Method

Getting set up to accept bitcoin payments is very easy and does not take up much time. Online casinos can accept payments via customer bitcoin addresses linked to their accounts. The bitcoin amount deposited on the gambling site is then converted into fiat currency with which the user can then place his bets.

Low Transaction Costs

online casinoThe transaction fees involved when using bitcoin are lower than most other digital payment options such as credit card transactions, for example. Bitcoin’s low fees help both the players and the casinos as it gives gamblers more money to place their bets with and it reduces operational costs for online casinos.

Processing credit card payments can be an expensive endeavor for online casinos. Using bitcoin, instead, solves that problem since there are no intermediaries when it comes to deposits and withdrawals, making the process simpler and much cheaper for both involved parties.

Anonymous Transactions

Many online casino players prefer to use bitcoin as it provides them a level of privacy that traditional payment methods cannot match. The user does not have to rely upon an operator’s level of security or the bank’s for that matter. Since payments are made through a pseudo-anonymous bitcoin wallet address, players can choose to remain anonymous when gambling.

By using bitcoin, players lessen the risk of fraud through keeping their anonymity as no details are shared during transactions, which is the case for credit cards and other more traditional digital payment methods. With more users preferring to remain anonymous when gambling online, operators are now increasingly integrating bitcoin into their platforms.

Faster Transactions

Another reason why online gambling platforms such as Casino NetBet are accepting bitcoin payments is that it offers a quick and reliable way to manage deposits and withdrawals online. When using an e-wallet, a credit card or a direct bank transfer, players can expect processing for this payments to take a while. On the other hand, bitcoin payments from the customer to the online casino and vice versa usually take 20-30 minutes.

Payments Security

Las VegasThe rapid expansion of online casinos has increased the demand for online security for all players. The security umbrella must not only encompass user deposits and withdrawals but also ensure the feeling of fairness in the games. Casinos have in the past, collaborated with established online services such as Visa and MasterCard, who are renown for their security-centric business practices.

Having said that, bitcoin is now widely recognized in the online gaming industry as a secure method of payment. There are no middlemen involved in bitcoin money transfers as the digital currency uses a trustless peer-to-peer system that ensures that there is no double spending and no transaction reversals.

Enables users from countries where gambling is frowned upon to place bets

In a number of countries, gambling is frowned upon due to religious and cultural norms. However, individuals who still want to gamble in online casinos can do so if they use bitcoin as their preferred payment method to deposit and withdraw their funds. Given bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymous nature, it is very hard for authorities to link bitcoin wallet addresses to the individual owning them, which safeguards gamblers who want to place bets online in countries where gambling is frowned upon.

Bitcoiners are Gamblers in Nature 

Individuals who buy bitcoin as an investment are naturally risk takers due to the volatile nature of bitcoin as a currency and as an investment class. The price of bitcoin has rallied from $0.01 to over $2,000 in the last eight years but has not done so in a straight line. Daily moves up and down 10% have not been seldom, yet that has not deterred bitcoin holders from buying the currency and using it to make financial transactions. Risk-taking individuals are exactly the kind of client that online casinos want to attract as they are willing to gamble with high stakes.

By enabling bitcoin payments, online casinos are able to attract more risk loving customers to place their bets, which is another reason why more and more online casinos are embracing bitcoin.

Given the long list of reasons why it is beneficial for online casinos to accept bitcoin, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of online betting operators are opening their doors for the digital currency as a payment method. Not only are online casinos able to reach a wider customer base by accepting bitcoin but it also enables both players and casinos to reduce transaction costs while increasing payment security.

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Bitcoin Wallet Luno Adds SegWit Support to Lower Transaction Fees

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Luno Adds SegWit Support

Luno, one of the most popular bitcoin wallets in Africa, has announced full SegWit integration for bitcoin send and receive transactions. Previously, Luno customers could only receive BTC through a legacy wallet address, which was not integrated with the recent Bitcoin blockchain upgrade SegWit. Only send transactions were SegWit compatible.

With the full integration of SegWit, Luno users can now enjoy cheaper and faster bitcoin transactions.

“By implementing SegWit internally, Luno has managed to reduce the send fees paid by customers by over 25% already. As customers start switching over to new SegWit addresses, this will translate into a further reduction in sending fees in the coming weeks and months,” Werner van Rooyen, head of marketing and communications at Luno stated.

Luno currently operates in South Africa, Nigeria, Malaysia, UK, and in 35 other European countries.

What is SegWit?

Segregated Witness (SegWit) was an upgrade to the Bitcoin blockchain that is intended to address Bitcoin’s scalability challenges as well as fix the issue of transaction malleability. With SegWit, signature data is separated from transaction data in order to enable more transactions to fit into each block. The signature data is kept in an extended block called the witness. As a result, bitcoin transactions become faster and transaction fees become lower.

In theory, the Bitcoin network can handle seven transactions per second. However, in reality, it is around four transactions per second. With the number of bitcoin transactions increasing as bitcoin’s popularity grows, transactions take longer as the unconfirmed transactions pool increases. Therefore, bitcoin users who can afford it have been paying higher transaction fees to incentivise miners to prioritise their transactions and, thereby, increase the speed of their transactions. At the end of 2017, this has led to the average bitcoin transaction fee spiking to over 35 dollars.

However, when SegWit addresses are used, bitcoin transactions become faster and the required resources decrease as well. Consequently, the transaction fees reduce.

How Can You Add a SegWit Wallet Address on Luno?

To add a SegWit address on the Luno wallet you have to follow these steps:

  • Open your Luno account either on the mobile app or the web app
  • Choose “wallets” from the menu
  • Click on your “BTC wallet”
  • Choose “receive bitcoin”
  • Click “add address” and follow the prompt

To receive bitcoin, use your SegWit bitcoin receive address. Legacy bitcoin addresses begin with 1 while SegWit bitcoin addresses begin with 3. Even after adding a SegWit wallet address, bitcoins sent to your previous legacy bitcoin address will still work. In addition, you can still send bitcoin from a SegWit wallet to a legacy wallet and vice versa since the transactions are still taking place on the same blockchain. But if you are sending bitcoins to and from a SegWit wallet, you can benefit from reduced fees.

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Bitmart Opens Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware Store in South Africa

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Bitmart Opens Cryptocurrency Mining Hardware Store

Bitmart, South Africa’s leading supplier of mining hardware, has opened a cryptocurrency mining hardware store in South Africa. This makes Bitmart’s retail outlet the first cryptocurrency mining store in Africa.

Products and Services Offered by Bitmart

Bitmart was founded by CEO Jacques Serfontein in 2015 to offer cryptocurrency mining hardware to South Africans. Currently, Bitmart offers GPU rigs, ASIC miners, GPU rig mining software, graphics cards, international mining rig monitor app, cryptomatic watches, hardware wallets, and motherboards. Customers can find GPU mining rigs that mine cryptocurrencies such as zcash, monero, decred, bitcoin, and litecoin.

Additionally, Bitmart provides services such as bitcoin mining farm design and deployment, mining training, antminer repair tickets, mining farm management using Genesis Hive, and shepherd services.

Through its shepherd services, Bitmart helps owners of second-hand miners to find buyers. Therefore, both sellers and buyers are assured of safe and secure transactions through Bitmart’s SSL-secured online shop.

According to MyBroadband, Bitmart is an authorised distributor of Avalon Miners, Genesis Hive, Trezor, Ledger wallets, KeepKey, and UniSat (satellite mining solutions) in Africa.

The company also supplies mining hardware to countries such as Japan, Dubai, North America, Australia, and England.

What Does Bitmart Plan for the Future?

Bitmart will be holding seminars in Johannesburg and Mbombela. The seminars will focus on bitcoin basics and advanced cryptocurrency trading. In addition, Bitmart will be introducing a satellite mining connection in partnership with Uniwisp that will allow mining rigs to mine from any place in the world. Uniwisp is an Internet service provider based in Nelspruit, South Africa.

 

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Kenya’s BitPesa Acquires Spanish Money Transfer Platform TransferZero

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BitPesa Acquires TransferZero

On February 8, 2018, BitPesa announced that it has acquired TransferZero, a Madrid-based online money transfer platform, which operates in over 200 countries using more than 50 currencies.

Why Did BitPesa Acquire TransferZero?

BitPesa, which is already operating in Africa and Europe, will be able to “set deep roots to UK and European licensing, bank accounts, and integrations” through this acquisition, according to the company’s statement on its blog.

“Europe is a hub for global remittance and payments companies. Digital currencies and decentralized technology have hit critical mass in the financial services and payments space. It is no longer a question of whether this technology will have staying power [but] which specific technology and what product iteration will launch and scale first […],” Elizabeth Rosiello, founder and CEO BitPesa said.

“BitPesa has the support of top-tier, institutional investors and a network that will help to bring TransferZero’s technology to the next level. With this support, we will be able to provide even more efficient transfers and user experience,” Luis Cambronero, former TransferZero CEO and present Managing Director, BitPesa stated.

Setting Up Infrastructure Across Europe and Africa is a Priority

“Setting up infrastructure across Europe and Africa has always been a focus of ours. […] We’ve just doubled our bank accounts, our infrastructure, and it’s licensed by the Bank of Spain as a payment institution. So we are fully compliant with PSD2 regulations […],” Rosiello said.

“This is truly a partnership where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, allowing BitPesa to solidify our leadership in this space. By bringing our regional and technological expertise together, we will further accelerate our month-to-month growth,” Rossiello asserted.

TransferZero will neither change its name nor its headquarters. In addition, its employees will remain with Bitpesa.

This acquisition from an Africa-based bitcoin startup of a European fintech startup shows that leading African startups can make waves beyond the borders of the continent and create a positive impact on a global scale.

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