With decades of experience in the online gambling industry, we have seen some incredible changes and innovations. Experiencing the evolution from simple table games to stunning video slots, the rise of live casino gaming and, eventually, the transition to blockchain gaming has been mindblowing.
We even remember when the most significant decision you had to make was whether to make your first deposit when claiming a welcome bonus via a credit card or this crazy new development called a web wallet.
One of the most impactful human creations since the internet is the blockchain. Without it, we would not have cryptocurrencies and the doors they have opened for new business opportunities and restriction-free international online gambling. Despite an increasing understanding and adoption of the blockchain and cryptocurrency, one sticking point for many ‘hodlers’ is the difference between decentralised cryptos and stablecoins.
Join us as we explain the differences, discuss what separates them and lay out a guide for choosing the best option for your crypto-gambling needs.
What is a Decentralised Token?
When Satoshi Nakamoto first created the Bitcoin (BTC) concept, he aimed to give people back economic sovereignty.
The idea was to create a new form of currency that existed solely on the blockchain. Any single government, corporation, or individual could not control this new cryptocurrency. Instead, those who chose crypto would determine its value, how it was used, and how it would be stored. It was the financial version of democracy where the idea of “for the people, by the people” would finally ring true.
Holistically the concept he created is called Decentralised Finance (DeFi), of which decentralised tokens like Bitcoin are its units of measure. As anyone who has watched BTC's market fluctuations will know, the cornerstone of this type of coin is that its market value depends solely on the community's perception and its willingness to invest.
This does, however, mean that Bitcoin prices are prone to wild spikes and drops as investors respond to scarcity scares, FOMO (fear of missing out – significantly when prices increase) and general market bias (interest rate hikes in the US cause BTC prices to rise as investors shift their cash from the dollar to crypto looking for a safe haven from rising costs).
What is a Stablecoin?
While a stablecoin also exists on the blockchain and is therefore defined as a cryptocurrency, it is the antithesis of Nakamoto’s plan for a self-governed economic system. Following fiat currencies’ footsteps, stablecoins have their market value linked to a real-world currency, precious minerals, or another tangible asset.
One of the most well-known stablecoins is Tether (USDT) which has its value linked closely to the US dollar. When transacting online with USDT, you are guaranteed that 1 USDT will be worth $1, making it a far safer digital coin for day-to-day business than a decentralised token like BTC, which can change its value by hundreds of dollars in a few minutes.
February 2023 also saw the first Euro-backed stablecoin hit the market. The European-facing stablecoin named Euro Coin (EUROC) aims to offer continental online businesses a functional digital currency that allows them to do business without concern for conversions between USD and EUR.
Countries looking to create central bank digital currency (CBDC) versions of their fiat currency are using stablecoin technology. The plan is for many countries to introduce digital versions of their local currency to reduce the costs associated with minting, allow more opportunities for the unbanked, and improve overall transaction and processing speeds.
How Do the Two Differ in Practical Terms?
When determining which form of cryptocurrency is best suited for your needs, it is helpful to understand their polarising points. Here is how decentralised tokens and stablecoins differ from one another:
Volatility: Bitcoin and other DeFi tokens are prone to significant swings in their values. This can make them challenging to use for gambling when looking to practice responsible, budget-driven gambling.
Cost of Transacting: While DeFi and stablecoins are processed on the blockchain, current evaluations show stablecoin transactions are cheaper. According to a NASDAQ review: “Transactions using stablecoins can cost as little as a fraction of a penny, regardless of value, and are typically processed in a matter of seconds.”
Transaction Speed: Given their limited scope, stablecoin transactions are faster than decentralised tokens. The faster speeds and lower costs make them an excellent starting point for new crypto gamblers.
Token Liquidity: Decentralised tokens are traded far more frequently and, therefore, have higher liquidity. This makes them easier to convert into other cryptos or fiat currencies.
Privacy and Anonymity: Nakamoto’s vision for a self-governed global crypto economy had user anonymity baked into its foundation, whereas stablecoins are run by corporations and banks and require full user identity disclosure when signing up.
Financial Risk: Stablecoins are risk-averse due to their pegged values. It is the digital equivalent of putting money under your mattress.
Freedom: At its core, Bitcoin is about freedom from government oversight and market manipulation. Decentralised currencies allow users to determine how they use their wealth.
Market Adoption: Decentralised tokens have been available longer than stablecoins, so there is more opportunity to use them for entertainment and business.
Secure Value: As the name suggests, Stablecoins provide users access to a digital currency with relatively stable market value, making it easy to manage and use for daily online transactions.
Existing Ecosystems: Given the time invested in understanding, monetising, and protecting valuable coins like Bitcoin, the DeFi space offers an extensive suite of tools, wallets, services, and infrastructure aimed at making its use as easy and safe as possible.
Once you have a clear picture of which coins offer you the tools and infrastructure you want, the next step is understanding your personal crypto needs.
Choosing the Best Crypto for Your Needs
To simplify everything we have covered so far, all digital financial tokens on the blockchain are cryptocurrencies. What separates decentralised tokens from stablecoins is whether a single entity owns them.
When it comes to choosing the best crypto for online gambling, it comes to:
Your appetite for risk – playing a decentralised coin like BTC comes with the risk of major market fluctuations. Cashing out crypto wins as the value per token increases is a bonus, but the opposite is also true.
The size of your gambling budget – players with budget constraints might find stablecoins more appealing as the association with a fiat currency makes it easy to manage.
How you want to use crypto – if gambling online is only one part of how you use crypto, you will be more likely to wager with DeFi. However, stablecoins might be best if you only buy tokens to play online.
How tech-savvy you are – securing precious decentralised tokens means using multiple non-custodial wallets like Exodus or even investing in cold wallets (USB-type devices that store crypto offline). On the contrary, small amounts of stablecoin can be left in your casino account with little concern for their security.
Your local regulations – many countries are still defining their online gambling and cryptocurrency laws. Choosing the right crypto-type and online gambling platform is essential when navigating these real-world regulations.
We recommend reviewing these factors before choosing which type of token to invest in, as it will have a financial impact and require you to become familiar with new concepts and technologies.
How to Choose the Best Crypto Casino!
To help you get started in your crypto casino journey, we have handpicked three gambling sites that we recommend reading up on and joining if you like what you see.
✓Bitcoin Games Casino (5-star rated)
Bitcoin Games is the official online casino of the marketing leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Signing up with this highly-rated crypto casino will give you access to over 2300 casino games, which you can enjoy on your desktop pc or mobile device. You will also be eligible for a welcome bonus of up to 1 BTC!
DeFi Currencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, XRP Ripple, Litecoin, XLM Stellar
Stablecoins: Tether, BNB Binance Coin
Visit the Bitcoin Games Casino page to read the full review and learn more about the bonus offer.
✓1xBit Casino (5-star rated)
This Curacao-licensed crypto casino is incredibly popular with the GamblersPick community, garnering it a five-star review. The site features more than 2000 high-quality casino games, a total of 30 DeFi and stablecoins, and an incredible bonus of up to 7 BTC!
DeFi Currencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Dash and many more.
Stablecoins: Tether, TrueUSD, USDCoin and more.
Visit the 1xBit Casino page to read the full review and learn more about the bonus offer.
✓Kosmonaut Casino (5-star rated)
Established in 2020, this beloved crypto gambling site offers players more than 2000 casino games, 6 crypto banking options and a lucrative bonus which comes with an additional 100 Free Spins.
DeFi Currencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin
Visit the Kosmonaut Casino page to read the full review and learn more about the bonus offer.
We take great pride in reviewing the best online casinos in the world and highlighting those that would make a great starting point for selecting where to join next. For more options, feel free to browse our full list of cryptocurrency casinos.