Bitcoin Value Fluctuations Leave Online Gamblers Unsure How Much They’re Wagering

Posted on: May 30, 2017, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: May 30, 2017, 01:37h.

The value of Bitcoin is on a tear in recent weeks, due to Japan’s legalization of the decentralized cryptocurrency.

At the end of March, one Bitcoin was trading for about $1,000. Today, the price is over $2,200, a staggering increase that is far and away outpacing any other currency in the world.

Bitcoin currency online gambling
Bitcoin is unlike common currencies for multiple reasons, and its ever-changing value, which has been varying greatly from one day to the next, is making its use for online gaming challenging. (Image: Thomas Trutsche/Getty Images)

But Bitcoin’s present price is actually 19 percent lower than what it was going for just last week. On May 24, the digital currency hit an all-time high of $2,791.69, before investors took profits. The selloff represented about $4 billion in US currency.

For online gamblers who enjoy the anonymous nature of the intangible asset, Bitcoin’s rapid fluctuations make determining what each internet casino slot spin or poker bet is actually worth nearly impossible.

For example, many online Bitcoin casinos offer slot spins as low as 0.05 mBTC (millibitcoin, or one millionth of a full Bitcoin). Today, that minimum 0.05 mBTC spin is a bet of about 11 cents. In March, it was less than five cents.

Bitcoin Surges, Bets Increase

The rapid ascension of Bitcoin’s value means internet gamblers using the digital currency are risking massively more money on each play. Some sites have lowered their minimum bets in the face of the increase, but to the unsuspecting Bitcoin holder who isn’t monitoring their asset’s worth, the quick climb poses serious hazards.

Seals with Clubs (SwC), a leading Bitcoin-only poker site, recently announced it was reducing its rake due to the rising value. Other platforms, however, are doing no such thing., for example, tweeted there’s “never been a better time” to enjoy its poker, sportsbook, and casino. That’s certainly true for gamblers who hit a progressive jackpot, but also a matter of fact for the operator, as the house always wins.

Analysts Remain Bullish

Investing in Bitcoin has been risky ever since the open-source software became mainstream news in 2013. The price went from just $15 in January of that year, to eclipsing $1,000 by Thanksgiving.

Fast forward to January of 2015, and a Bitcoin lost 80 percent of its value. It’s slowly regained its worth over the last two years, leading up to this spring’s massive jump.

After Japan formally recognized Bitcoin as legal tender in April, the price of the currency went through the roof. But then the WannaCry ransomware hack that attacked vulnerable Microsoft systems and demanded Bitcoin payment put the currency once again back into a negative light.

Regardless, financial experts are labeling the recent selloff as simply a correction for Bitcoin, and remain confident that the price will stabilize. The value of all coins currently in circulation is now around $37 billion.

“There is a lot of fresh liquidity flowing into Bitcoin, thanks to a surge in interest among investors in Asia,” digital currency expert Aurelien Menant told CNBC this week. “I would not be surprised to see the Bitcoin price doubling again to around $6,000 by the end of the year.”

A bold prediction, it’s worth mentioning Menant’s company Gatecoin trades Bitcoin.