Bitcoin has brought the world a new form of currency, a “crypto-currency” much different than the US dollar, the Euro or any other currency in the world. It is meant to be a universal currency that is not printed by governments and cannot be manipulated.
While Bitcoin has been around since 2009, its price has since increased greatly and it seems as though the world is finally starting to accept the currency. Many online services are accepting it as legal tender. However, a recent turn of events has seen a new form of Bitcoin use: Casino purchases. Golden Gate Hotel and Casino and The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel have both begun accepting Bitcoin in their casinos as payment for hotel rooms, gift shop purchases and related expenses (though not gambling).
There are a plethora of concerns within the Bitcoin community. Among these is that the currency is not ready for the mainstream just yet. The biggest concerns are:
- Acceptance: Not only have many outlets not opened up to Bitcoin just yet, it looks like many countries too are not open to the idea of Bitcoin as a currency. Without the ability to regulate it, many countries simply have refused to accept it. This has led to major price fluctuations and even caused Bitcoin to lose 50 percent of its value overnight when China refused to accept the currency.
- Fraud: Without regulation, it is impossible to know the source of a person’s Bitcoins. There are concerns that the currency may be manipulated and laundered without an acceptor knowing.
- Creator: A pseudonym was used to create Bitcoin. The creator has yet to step forward. This raises a shroud of doubt over Bitcoin because no one is certain who truly created the currency – or of their reasoning for creating it.
Casinos, though, need to take in as much money as possible. After all, business is business. There are some great advantages for them in accepting Bitcoin.
- Casinos that accept Bitcoin now will be ready if the currency truly becomes prominent.
- Publicity: The two casinos already accepting the currency have gained a great deal of media attention.
- The demand from customers to use Bitcoin must have been prevalent enough for it to become accepted at the two casinos in the first place. This means that there is a market for the crypto-currency.
The are disadvantages for the casinos, too. While accepting as many currencies as possible is usually a good idea, an unregulated currency can be a problem.
- If a country outlaws the currency, the casino may find that its Bitcoins have become worthless.
- With unregulated currency, a major decline can be more likely, which would result in millions of dollars’ worth of Bitcoins losing their value at any time.
- Without regulation, it can be difficult to be sure of the source of the money you have accepted.
I would love for the world to accept a currency that is not centrally tied to a government. While the currency may be manipulated, it would open up new opportunities and a market where banks do not have full control. With the introduction of casinos accepting Bitcoin, it is all but inevitable that the crypto-currency will continue to grow in popularity in the coming years.