For those with an ear to the ground in the tech world, the word "Bitcoin" will be one that rings a familiar bell. First created in 2009, Bitcoin is an online currency that's created, valued and spent in the virtual world.
Although it's possible to pay for physical goods using the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin doesn't have a physical form like a pound coin or dollar bill. Through a complex process of mathematical problem solving and virtual verification methods, Bitcoin has been hailed as the "future" of global currency and iGaming is now part of this revolution.
Although Bitcoin betting sites have been popping up in online casino markets around the world recently, NetBet is the first operator with a UK license to offer a cryptocurrency service. Announced in mid-October, NetBet's new payment option will allow customers to fund their accounts using Bitcoin with the help of Bitpay.
Naturally, when you make a historic move and become the first ever UK-licensed online casino to offer a Bitcoin payment option, the question on most people's lips will be: is it safe? Sceptical souls are often quick to question the validity of a payment option, but Bitcoin has one thing on its side: blockchain technology.
In a nutshell, the blockchain is an ever-growing database of information that's secured from revisions or tampering. When a Bitcoin is created, it's added to the blockchain and through a process of timestamping and linking back to the previous blocks, each Bitcoin is kept secure.
Indeed, every time someone sends a Bitcoin to someone else, a network of computers will verify and log it in the blockchain. This basically means that everything is traceable and, therefore, secure.
In fact, such is the power of the blockchain that major banks are now starting to utilise the technology to make their own processes more secure. So, if blockchain is good enough for the likes of Barclays, then it's good enough for NetBet Casino.
In an announcement on its website, NetBet announced that its Bitcoin deposit option will be available to all real money customers and offer a new level of security:
"In addition to the transaction speed, using Bitcoin will reduce the risk of fraudulent activity and players will be able to preserve their anonymity, considering just an email address is required to process a Bitcoin payment."
NetBet's decision to include Bitcoin payment options comes just two months after the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) gave its seal of approval to the digital currency. Updating Licence condition 5.1.1, the UKGC added digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, to its list of cash equivalents, which currently includes banker's draft, cheques and debit/credit cards.
Although Bitcoin now has the backing of multiple organisations, non-tech savvy players may still have some reservations when it comes to testing out the latest deposit option. To those players, NetBet spokesman Alexandre Mangaud has explained that this is something the site has taken extremely seriously in a bid to ensure a safe, secure and efficient system:
"We have been looking at digital currencies for some time now. Since Bitcoin is new to the regulated gambling industry in Europe, we've worked closely with our payment processing partners to ensure that the addition of this new payment method meets the UK Gambling Commission regulatory requirements."
UK players who visit NetBet Casino will now see Bitcoin on the site's list of deposit options. NETELLER customers can use the processor's Bitcoin provisions to fund their NetBet account, while those wanting to keep their cryptocurrency separate can setup a Bitpay account and make a deposit that way.
Whichever option you choose, the transactions will be processed within 30 minutes and won't have any fees attached to them. Additionally, depending on the method you select, minimum deposits will start at £10 (which is equivalent to 0.02 BTC) and max out at £10,000 (18.87 BTC). Visit NetBet Casino today to enjoy the new payment options!