At the beginning of the 21st century, your payment options were limited in terms of methods – let alone different monetary types. Now, however, that has changed, and a digital revolution is taking place.
In addition to traditional money, also known as fiat currency, cryptocurrencies are slowly becoming more popular at online casinos.
Despite the growing presence of cryptocurrencies in everyday life, not many people know how they work. How do crypto and fiat currencies differ? What are their advantages and disadvantages? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Fiat Currency?
Fiat currency is a currency issued by a government; those Euros in your bank account are an example of fiat currencies.
It’s important to note that money can’t be backed by a commodity to be a fiat currency.
Fiat currencies are primarily used to exchange goods or services, such as buying a new pair of shoes or doing your grocery shopping.
What is Cryptocurrency?
Compared to fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies are entirely digital. They are decentralised and usually not confined within the borders of a specific country or region. So, instead of being issued by a government, they are distributed and regulated using blockchain technology.
Some of the best-known cryptocurrency examples include:
While they have exploded in the last four or five years, cryptocurrencies have been around for a while. Bitcoin was invented in 2009 but took time to take off.
In addition to paying for goods, you can also buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
How Do Fiat and Cryptocurrencies Differ for Online Casinos?
Fiat and cryptocurrencies are wildly different when it comes to their offerings in real life. And when talking about online casinos, the same is true.
Below are some of the main differences between fiat and cryptocurrencies for online casino gaming.
Right now, arguably the most significant difference between fiat and cryptocurrencies for online casinos is their availability. You can play with fiat currencies on every primary casino website, apart from those exclusively dedicated to cryptocurrencies.
Some of the biggest online casinos in Ireland and beyond will facilitate cryptocurrency payments, too, but these are not widespread at the moment. With that said, there’s every likelihood that things will change in the coming years.
We all know that fiat currency exchange rates fluctuate regularly. If you’ve ever had the pain of taking a holiday somewhere and feeling your pursestrings tighten because of a poor exchange rate, you’ll know all too well about this.
Cryptocurrencies’ values are also known for fluctuating regularly, but they do so more significantly than their fiat counterparts.
Cryptocurrencies are often dubbed as the future of money and, as such, you won’t be surprised to hear that online casino deposits with these are instant. The same goes for withdrawals, following the online casino’s internal processing period.
Of course, many fiat currency payment methods also offer quick deposits and withdrawals these days. Sometimes, however, you’ll need to wait a little bit before these clear.
The Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrency for Online Casino Gaming
So, now you know a little bit more about how cryptocurrencies work. You’re also aware of how different they are from fiat currencies when it comes to online casinos in Ireland.
What are the pros and cons, though? We’ve outlined the main ones for each of these:
Cryptocurrencies are pretty much foolproof when it comes to security threats. Transactions are verified using encryption, and a hacker would need to go to extraordinary lengths if they wanted to get into the system.
Because cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology they use are so secure, players can deposit at an online casino with minimal concern about whether or not they’ll see their money again.
It’s also worth noting that, when using cryptocurrencies, you don’t part with sensitive information such as where you live or the number on your bank card.
Moving cryptocurrencies around online takes minimal effort on your part. Transactions take place instantly, including if you were to transfer money from one wallet to another.
Because no central bank is involved with cryptocurrencies, you can also guarantee that your funds won’t be held because of an issue with said institution.
Pro: No Banking Fees
Again, a cryptocurrency isn’t regulated by a central bank. As such, you won’t pay any banking fees when making transactions with the currency.
It’s worth noting that you might need to pay specific fees when using the money across some parts of the internet. However, these are usually not very high.
Con: Not Widely Available for Online Casinos
As mentioned earlier in this article, cryptocurrencies have only been significant for a small amount of time. Therefore, not many casinos have adapted to the increase in demand so far.
Sure, you’ll find a few bitcoin-dedicated casinos and some mainstream ones accepting deposits and withdrawals via these means but, compared to sites exclusively offering payments via fiat currencies, you’ll have to dig a little deeper to find them.
Con: Cryptocurrency is Unregulated
Cryptocurrency’s decentralisation has a lot of pros, but not everything is sunshine and rainbows. The increased volatility of these currencies means that users’ value might drop significantly between depositing and withdrawing their money.
Another con of deregulation is that cryptocurrency users are prone to scams. So, while the technology itself is secure, you still need to be careful.
The Pros and Cons of Fiat Currency for Online Casinos
So, now you’ve got an idea of what cryptocurrencies can offer you for Ireland online casinos. And, just as importantly, you’re aware of what you need to look out for to ensure that your experience using them is positive.
Let’s now look at the pros and cons of using fiat currencies for online casinos.
Pro: Widely Available
When gambling with a regulated casino in Ireland, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to deposit in Euros. The same goes for any with a licence to operate within the Eurozone.
Just as importantly, everyone in Ireland has access to the Euro. You probably shop about using it every day and don’t need any education on how it works.
Pro: Tried and Tested Method
Fiat currencies are the go-to payment choice for many consumers. They’ve been around for our entire lifetimes, so we need no introduction when it comes to depositing and withdrawing using them at an online casino.
Pro: Plenty of Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
The vast majority of fintech solutions you see today were designed to make using fiat currencies easier for everyone. As such, you’ll find plenty of ways to deposit and withdraw at your favourite online casino in Ireland with them.
With fiat currencies, you can use your standard bank account, e-wallets, QR codes, and much more.
Con: A Central Body
When using fiat currencies, you’ll always have to go through a middle-man. That might be your bank, or it could be the payment solution you’re using.
Because of this, you might find that your payment is subject to delays. Another possibility is that it’s outright rejected.
Con: Transfer Times
Online casino payments with fiat currencies are usually instant. However, you might have to wait for lengthy periods when moving money around online. To minimise inconvenience, it’s a good idea to check with your payment service provider to gain transparency on waiting times.
Fiat vs. Cryptocurrencies for Online Casinos: Which Should You Choose?
Cryptocurrencies have transformed the way we look at money. And slowly, they’re also changing the way players deposit and withdraw at Irish online casinos.
While fiat currencies are still the go-to for many players, this might not remain the case forever. If you don’t know anything about crypto or your casino of choice doesn’t offer this method, sticking with fiat for now is a good idea.
On the flip side, cryptocurrencies are a good choice if you’ve got prior knowledge and are looking for a secure and fast payment method.