Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Bitcoin Hits New Low in 2018 After Plunging Almost 30% in One Week

Bitcoin LogoThe price of Bitcoin has hit a new low this year after plunging 30% in the last week.

The value of the well-known cryptocurrency dropped 7% on Tuesday (November 20), leaving the cryptocurrency at its lowest level since October last year, valued at just above $4,300 (Around £3,342).

Just last year, in December 2017, Bitcoin hit its high of $19,783 but has been on a downward spiral since, dropping around 75% in price throughout the year since then. Meanwhile, other cryptocurrencies also took a hit including Ethereum’s Ether which dropped 10% and Ripple’s XRP which dropped 13% on the same day.

Neil Wilson, the Chief Market Analyst at Markets.com, called the huge drop a “crypto bloodbath” before adding: “Things look like they only get worse from here. Where is the incentive to buy? It does rather look like the bottom is coming out of this market.”

Bitcoin at Online Casinos

As seen over the last few months, Bitcoin is a highly volatile currency, meaning that the exchange rate can increase or decrease quickly. If it moves positively against the currency you play in, it works in your favour but if it moves negatively, it works against you. This is the reason why many online casinos have chosen not to use Bitcoin as a payment method, it’s completely unpredictable.

However, there are numerous advantages to using Bitcoin at an online casino. For example, no third party is given access to your personal or financial information because, unlike traditional currencies, there is no central bank. Bitcoin operates through a peer-to-peer marketplace and can only be transferred between users through Bitcoin addresses, a series of numbers and letters that range between 27-34 characters.

In addition, Bitcoin transactions are processed immediately. While most online casinos process payments within 24 hours, users are still required to wait several days before the funds actually reach them. With Bitcoin, however, the funds would reach players almost instantly.

Bitcoin Casinos and the UKGC

Logo UK Gambling CommissionWhile Bitcoin casinos do exist, many of them do not hold a valid license from the UK Gambling Commission. Just like other casinos, sites that offer Bitcoin as a payment method must possess a valid license in order to offer services to players located in the United Kingdom.

One casino that does possess a UK Gambling Commission license and offers Bitcoin as a payment is WestCasino, which launched in 2017 and has become hugely popular for accepting the cryptocurrency. The casino offers games by popular providers including NetEnt, Play’n Go, Quickspin, Nyx Interactive and Pragmatic Play.

Another casino that possesses a UK Gambling Commission license and offers Bitcoin as a payment is TonyBet, which launched way back in 2009. It offers games from providers such as NetEnt, Nyx, Evolution Gaming, Quickspin and Quickfire. It also accepts common payment options such as Skrill, PayPal, VISA, Neteller and more.

Fun Casino, which launded in 2014, also accepts Bitcoin as a payment method. According to Fun Casino’s website, a transaction made with Bitcoin is processed immediately, though there is a service fee of 2.50%with a minimum amount of £10.

Finally, a customer support member from Mansion Casino informed us that the casino does accept Bitcoin as a payment method. Sadly, we were unable to spot the option when attempting to make a deposit. Strangely enough, we were also told that Bitcoin can take up to a week to completely process.

As mentioned, a majority of the casinos that do accept Bitcoin do not possess a valid UKGC license and instead hold a licence from Curacao. Some of the most popular Bitcoin casinos without a UKGC licence include:

  • Raging Bill: An online casino that accepts Bitcoin, Skrill, VISA and other payment methods.
  • Fortune Jack: A Curacao-based online casino that accepts Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrency payments
  •  Oshi: A Malta-based online casino that possesses a valid Curacao license and offers bitcoin as a payment

Most of these can be played across Europe or in specific countries. Many are also regulated and tested by other organisations to ensure safety and fairness.

The History of Bitcoin

Before Bitcoin officially launched there were attempts at creating online currencies. Two of the most well-known were B-Money and Bit Gold which were sadly never fully developed. Shortly before Bitcoin officially launched in 2009, a paper called Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System was posted to a mailing list discussion on cryptography by a man or company named Satoshi Nakamoto, their identity remains a mystery to this day.

Bitcoin officially launched in 2009 and mining (The process in which new Bitcoins are created and transactions recorded and verified) began. A year later, in 2010, Bitcoin was valued for the first time ever. In May of the same year, Flordia-based programmer Laszlo Hanyecz sent 10,000 BTC to a man in London in exchange for two pizzas valued at $25.

As Bitcoin blew up in popularity, several competitors launched their own cryptocurrencies including Namecoin and Litecoin. Sadly, Bitcoin experienced its first crash in 2013, shortly after the price of one Bitcoin hit $1,000. The price dropped to around $300 and it took several years for Bitcoin to rise again. During this time, many people who invested money into the cryptocurrency suffered heavy losses.

Over the next few years, a cryptocurrency called Ethereum came close to overtaking Bitcoin as the leading cryptocurrency, but it failed. Then, 2017 became the biggest year for Bitcoin as it reached and passed the $1,000 mark and continued to rise. By June, Bitcoin was worth over $3,000. By October, Bitcoin was worth $6,000 and hit a peak of $19,783 in December.

Sadly, it all came crashing down in 2018 and has continued to drop throughout the year, with this week’s plunge being the most recent decrease seen in over a year.