The problem is that banks and traditional financial institutions have always been uncomfortable with the concept of online gaming. So, while payment solutions like PayPal and Apple Pay were perfected for the rest of the internet, online poker has largely been ignored. Fortunately, crypto was born and allows a greater degree of freedom on where you want to spend your money.
When it comes to online poker, the freedom that crypto offers are unmatched. There are many reasons to use crypto for online poker but today we’re looking at the top three in our estimation:
Top 3 Best Things About Crypto for Online Poker
1. Crypto Doesn’t Involve Banks, Can’t Be Blocked
I’ve been in the game long enough to know that dealing with banks or credit card companies rejecting my attempts to transfer money to an online poker site is a common headache. Some banks outright ban online poker, while others can be unpredictable, approving some transactions and canceling others without any clear explanation.
But here’s the game-changer: Crypto transactions are immune to these roadblocks, plain and simple. While there are some drawbacks to using crypto (we’ll discuss those shortly), you’ll never have to put up with a third-party dictating where you can or cannot send your money.
You can’t beat the ultimate freedom of crypto when it comes to online poker.
2. It’s Fast and Cheap
Crypto is arguably the most transferrable asset in the world. You need exactly one thing to send crypto to another person or entity: A crypto address.
A crypto address is simply a string of numbers and letters that’s generated by a wallet. It can be a personal wallet or a company.
Once you have an address you can send crypto anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes. It removes the need for banks or payment processors like PayPal or Venmo.
Generally, the transfer fees are quite low on cryptocurrency networks and far cheaper than traditional wire transfers.
It’s worth noting that crypto fees can vary depending on how busy the network is for that particular coin. However, you can wait for lower fees during quieter times. While you might expect to pay a few dollars for popular cryptos like Bitcoin or Ethereum, there are other cryptocurrencies with even lower transaction fees.
3. It’s Historically an Appreciating Asset
It’s your choice whether you want to actually hold crypto long-term but Bitcoin has arguably been the single best asset to hold over the last decade.
To put things in perspective, if you bought $1,000 worth of Bitcoin in 2014 and held it all the way to the time this article was published (2023), you’d have over $30,000. That beats gold, silver and every stock.
It’s unlikely those gains will ever be seen again but Bitcoin has always been a winner over the long-term.
Of course, that legendary volatility also has some downsides, which lead us to our next segment on the 3 worst things about crypto for online poker.
Top 3 Worst Things About Crypto for Online Poker
While crypto is incredibly useful for playing online poker there are also some negatives you should understand before charging headlong into crypto.
Here’s the three worst things about using crypto for online poker:
1. Crypto is Somewhat Difficult to Acquire
This might seem like an obvious one but if you want to use cryptocurrency for online poker, you need to have some cryptocurrency in the first place.
But here’s where it gets tricky: Getting cryptocurrency can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you live in a place where crypto exchanges aren’t easy to find. Some countries and states don’t have exchanges readily available.
To start, you’ll probably have to sign up for an account with a crypto exchange. This involves a process where you verify your identity by providing things like your address, driver’s license, or government ID. It can take a few days, and there’s a bit of a learning curve to figure out how to set up your account and send crypto.
On the other hand, if you have a friend or family member who already has cryptocurrency, they might be able to send some your way, skipping the exchange step. But there’s a catch: If you ever want to turn that cryptocurrency back into cash, you’ll still need that crypto exchange account.
2. It’s Highly Volatile
Remember how we said Bitcoin is one of the fastest-appreciating assets of the last decade? Well, it hasn’t all occurred in a straight line.
Bitcoin is one of the most volatile asset classes in the world. It’s not uncommon for BTC to gain or lose 10-20% in a single day. That means you might lose a significant chunk of your poker winnings while waiting for a crypto exchange to convert your Bitcoin to cash. Of course, you could also gain that much as well.
On the positive side, all online poker sites will convert your crypto to fiat currency like USD so that you can avoid that volatility while you’re playing online poker.
3. You Can’t Spend It Like Cash
Although there are a few places that do accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, it’s important to recognize that this is more of a rarity than the norm.
While you can use crypto to send money to others and, in some cases, pay for specific services, it’s relatively uncommon to find retailers or businesses that readily embrace cryptocurrency as a direct method of payment.
There are a few solutions for this issue. You can use crypto to buy gift cards. You could also apply for a credit card that works with crypto. But most of the time you’re going to be taking an extra step of sending crypto to your exchange of choice, converting it back to cash and then getting it send to your bank account. That will likely take a few days at best and it’s an extra step that you just won’t experience with cash.
In the world of online poker, cryptocurrency is your winning ticket, offering unparalleled freedom, speed, and potential for growth. However, it’s not without its challenges, from acquiring crypto to navigating its volatility and limited acceptance. As you step into this exciting game, remember that knowledge is your greatest asset. Embrace the advantages of crypto while keeping an eye on the risks, and you’ll play your hand wisely, enjoying all that this innovative technology brings to the table.