5 ways to get your hands on some bitcoins to play Mega Moolah
It is one thing to talk about the many benefits of using Bitcoin or another form of cryptocurrency as a payment system. It is an entirely different matter to go out and get yourself some coins. After all, you're never going to use bitcoins to play Mega Moolah online if you don't acquire those coins first. The question is, how do you get your hands on them?
Cryptocurrency is such that it is not as easy to acquire as fiat. To begin with, most cryptocurrencies exist as investment tools rather than monetary systems. It's not like merchants are keeping tangible bitcoins in their cash registers. There are no tangible coins to store anyway. So you have to take some unorthodox steps to get your hands on some Bitcoin.
Below we describe five ways to acquire bitcoins. What you read here also applies to other cryptocurrencies as well. Note that the further you go down the list, the fewer opportunities you have to acquire coins. The most common way to get your hands on bitcoins is found in the very first method on our list.
1. Buy from an exchange
Perhaps the most common way to obtain bitcoins is to buy them on an exchange. An exchange in the cryptocurrency world is very similar to an exchange featuring stocks, bonds, and other securities. The big difference with crypto exchanges is that they are online only. There is no physical place for brokers to meet and trade coins.
Buying on an exchange is fairly simple. After signing up for an account, you place your order and fund it with your bank account, a credit card, a debit card, or a participating electronic payment system. Nearly instantly, the coins will appear in your digital wallet.
There are three kinds of exchanges you should know about:
- Centralised exchanges
A centralised exchange is one that is maintained and controlled by a limited group of individuals or organisations. Most centralised exchanges operate as companies owned by a single person or small group of investors. They are deemed to be centralised because their control is not left up to the community. They are completely controlled by the people or entities that own them. Some examples of centralised exchanges include: Binance, Kraken, Bitfinex and similar.
Centralised exchanges have had their share of issues with security flaws, hacks, and scams that have plagued the crypto-trading space for years. Here are just a few of the bigger hacks from 2018 that we know about:
- $500 million worth of NEM hacked and stolen from Coincheck , which is the second largest exchange in Japan.
- $195 million hacked and stolen from the Italian exchange BitGrail .
- $45 million hacked and stolen from Binance , which is one of the largest exchanges in the world based in Malta.
- $40 million hacked and stolen from Coinrail, a smaller exchange in South Korea.
- $60 million hacked and stolen from the Japanese exchange Zaif .
What makes these hacks even worse is that ID documents of exchange members were also most likely exposed - thanks to the obsession with anti-money laundering regulation in many countries. Keep in mind that centralised exchanges will demand full Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation to comply with anti-money laundering rules.
Note also that if you buy bitcoins from a centralised exchange it is wise to not keep a lot of coins on the exchange's so called "hot wallet" but rather in a wallet such as offered by Blockchain.com, or BTC.com and similar.
- Decentralised exchanges
As long as were talking about decentralised exchanges, they are the second kind of exchange to educate yourself about. A decentralised exchange is not owned or controlled by a single entity. It is owned and controlled by the community of users who transact business on it. The most well-known decentralised exchange is IDEX, an exchange that focuses solely on tokens traded via Ethereum's network.
The servers of decentralised exchanges are spread out across the globe and what this means is that decentralised exchanges are virtually immune to various hacks and attacks on their system. Decentralised exchanges provide more anonymity as well, which is an important part of keeping your personal information safe on the web.
The rent-seeking authorities do not like the idea of decentralised exchanges because they have no control over the users as they do in a centralised exchange. This is why some countries have launched massive efforts to stop the "decentralised revolution" and maintain their control. Decentralisation may be the future but currently decentralised exchanges are not that easy to use and do not offer fiat currency. However that is about to change soon with fiat-based gateways. Nash.io is one such decentralised exchange that I am quite excited about.
- Local, specialised and P2P exchanges
The third kind of exchange are those that can be either centralised or decentralised, and its main purpose is to facilitate trades among people who live in the same geographic region, or offer some specialised service such a offering users to trade Bitcoin with physical gold. Local exchanges are, by their nature, much smaller and more limited in volume. A good example of a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange is Localbitcoins.com, which allows members around the globe to buy and sell crypto.
2. Electronic payment system
A second way to obtain bitcoins is to go through an electronic payment system. Skrill.com is a good example. Although Skrill is not technically an exchange, it does offer exchange-like services to account holders. The service currently supports half-a-dozen cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
The beauty of working through a company like Skrill is that you can mix your cryptocurrency payments with your fiat payments. You can freely move money around among all supported fiat and digital currencies as you see fit. And anyone that accepts Skrill payments can be paid via your crypto assets.
The one thing to be wary of here is the fees associated with these kinds of services. In order to make it all work, Skrill does a lot of converting between fiat and crypto. Every conversion could lower the ultimate value of your account depending on how you are moving your money around. It is best to be judicious about converting. Read our article on How to use Skrill and crypto to play Mega Moolah.
3. Cryptocurrency ATMs
Cryptocurrency ATMs are popping up around the world. These ATMs work the same was as a fiat ATMs in principle. You can convert fiat to crypto or vice-versa. In order to use this method though, you have to already have a digital wallet set up with e.g. Blockchain.com.
Purchasing bitcoins at a crypto ATM is as simple as allowing the machine to scan your wallet's QR code, then inserting your cash. Once you have inserted your cash tap the screen to finalise your purchase. The machine then spits out a paper record of the transaction. Soon enough you'll have your bitcoins in your wallet and you are ready to play Mega Moolah.
The biggest challenge with ATMs is their limited availability. While they are starting to show up around the world, there are still only a few them by comparison to your standard ATMs. But if you are lucky there might be one near you and you probably didn't even know about it. You can google "bitcoin atm near me", or go to websites such as Coinatmradar.com to find the nearest Bitcoin ATM.
4. Getting paid in crypto
Employers offering to pay their workers in cryptocurrency was unheard of just a few years ago. But in the last 12 months, limited numbers of employers have begun embracing the concept. Note that getting paid in bitcoins is still a long way from being mainstream.
Among those employers who do offer crypto payments, some limit workers to just a portion of their salaries. In other words, they do not cover the entire amount in crypto. They might allow workers to take 25% as bitcoins and the remaining 75% as fiat.
Many employers are still wary of paying this way for the simple fact that cryptocurrency is not considered legal tender. They do not want to take the risk of being sued as a result of Bitcoin dropping in value, thus reducing the overall amount an employee is paid.
If you happen to practice online marketing you can earn commission in Bitcoin. More affiliate programs are starting to offer commission payments in Bitcoin. It's a good way to earn crypto on a regular basis.
5. Accept crypto at your business
Finally, you can begin accepting cryptocurrency payments yourself if you run your own business. You don't need to do anything special or formal for this to work. You can accept bitcoins without the need for bank interference or the help of a centralised payment processor. Bitcoin payments can be as simple as your customers pushing coins from their wallets to yours.
The downside of this method is that it comes with tax implications. You somehow have to track the value of the goods and services you sell in relation to the cryptocurrency you accept. And as the price of crypto fluctuates, so will the value of your payments. All of this has to be considered in order to report and pay your taxes accordingly.
It is important to point out that a lot of businesses that dabble in cryptocurrency payments automatically convert their crypto to fiat as soon as a transaction is complete. This requires utilising the services of a payment processor, but it's worth it to many merchants. Immediate conversion protects them from cryptocurrency's well-known price volatility.
Other ways to get crypto
There are a couple of other means of obtaining crypto not included on our list. The first is mining. Although mining is well known and quite popular, the reason we did not include it above is because it is expensive. Succeeding as a miner requires a considerable investment in computer hardware and software. That says nothing of the actual energy required to run your computers.
One last method is to receive crypto from a friend or family member via text messaging. Although this means of transfer is not widely known yet, we are just starting to see it emerge. In fact, Intuit was awarded a U.S. patent in 2018 for its system of transferring crypto payments via SMS texting.
Proceed with care
Now you know all of the most common ways to get your hands on some bitcoins. I recommend you open a bitcoin wallet with Blockchain.com and then find a Bitcoin ATM. This is really the easiest way to buy bitcoins. Of course if there are no Bitcoin ATMs near you, you'll have to rely on the internet. The second best option could be Localbitcoins.com, and if you must, the third option is to use an exchange.
However you obtain your bitcoins, proceed with care. The one thing about cryptocurrency you can never forget is that transactions are irreversible once they have been verified.
We also want to remind you that whatever you do, keep your private keys, addresses, and account passwords private. Never reveal them to anyone.
If you lose your coins due to carelessness, fraud, or theft, you are never getting them back. The irreversible nature of cryptocurrency transactions dictates that once your coins are gone, they are gone for good.
Where to play Mega Moolah using your newly acquired bitcoins?
You can play Mega Moolah with bitcoin at any of the casinos found on the Where to Play page. We do recommend signing up with the Bitcoin Casino as they do accept direct Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals.
Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.