Bitcoin exchanges allow you to switch real money such as USD, AUD and CAD into bitcoin or vice versa. This allows a person with a credit card or access to other payment methods an avenue to easily purchase cryptocurrency and in turn use it at one of the many gambling sites accepting this deposit method.
Depending on which exchange you use you will generally have to register and verify your account when you are paying with credit card or bank transfer. However there are some exchanges which hold local bank accounts and allow you to deposit money at brick and mortar banks or via services like Moneygram.
Depending on what country you are from there are different options to buy bitcoin. For instance the USA got its first local bitcoin exchange in early 2015. We have been buying bitcoin since 2010 and we implore you to be careful when dealing with unknown exchanges. Do your research and only use exchanges with positive track records.
Best bitcoin exchanges for gambling
LocalBitcoins.com: This service allows you to buy bitcoins with cash, debit & credit cards and bank transfers. Unlike some exchanges you are dealing with other people when you use localbitcoins.com. This decentralised system means your funds are held in an escrow account until you have received your bitcoin. The process of buying bitcoins is extremely simple at LocalBitcoins and requires minimal verification.
CoinBase.com: The bitcoin world reacted excitedly when San Francisco startup Coinbase announced it was starting an exchange, based out of America. Since their January 2015 launch these guys have proven to be one of the most popular exchanges in the world. You can make purchases with various methods including credit and debit card.
CoinMama.com: Accepts a variety of different payment methods including cash, bank transfers, credit and debit cards and e-wallets. This means there are options which facilitate an almost instant transaction. We have used CoinMama extensively and found them to be a very satisfactory service.
How to choose a bitcoin exchange
There are a number of factors you need to take into account when choosing a bitcoin exchange. These include what the track record of the company is. Are there people whingeing about the service on public forums or are there positive reviews?
It is also important to look at where the bitcoin exchange you are using is based. Determining which country they are in will allow you to work out what laws they must abide by. As more and more countries apply regulation to bitcoin it becomes more important to look at the country of origin.
Depending on which exchange you are using you will have to pay a fee. It’s common sense to look at the rate charged per transaction before using a service. Generally the peer to peer nature of bitcoin keeps the cost of fees down.
And of course, make sure you use exchanges dealing in large amounts of bitcoin. The more bitcoin coursing through an exchange the more liquidity they will have to ensure your funds.
Real money payment methods at bitcoin exchanges
When buying bitcoins via an exchange you will need to either pay fiat currency to make a purchase, or some exchanges will allow you to pay with another cryptocurrency such as litecoin.
These are some of the more popular payment methods at bitcoin exchanges:
Credit/Debit card: Most countries around the world have credit and debit cards which can be used to buy bitcoins. Be aware that when you are paying with a credit card you are required to prove your identity at most exchanges. Some exchanges have restrictions on certain countries, or may suit you because they are regulated in your country of origin. Once you have verified your exchange account it is an extremely simple process to purchase the bitcoin.
Bank transfers: Some bitcoin exchanges hold local bank accounts in countries where it is popular to buy bitcoins. This means you can transfer money from your bank account to the exchanges account. You need to be careful if you are transferring money to international bank accounts.
Cash: Services like Moneygram allow you to pay with cash. This type of service is commonly found in 7-11s around the world. You simply visit a terminal and send the money for a fee of around USD $1.
E-wallets: Some exchanges accept e-wallets. This means you can avoid giving your credit card details to your chosen bitcoin exchange. The only downside to using a web wallet such as Neteller or Skrill is transactions can be capped.
Bitcoin exchange regulation & safety
More and more countries around the globe are finding bitcoin exchanges in their midst. While there have been some well publicised security breaches at exchanges like Mt Gox, there are now several with impeccable records which have thousands of customers daily.
A good rule of thumb for people buying bitcoin via legal means is to use an exchange in your country. This allows you to be safe in the knowledge it is governed by your jurisdiction. For USA citizens this might be Coinbase, or for Australians it might one of several other companies.
While there is still risk associated with buying and selling bitcoin, the technology is developing all the time and is becoming safer and safer to use. One final time. Do you your research before using an exchange. Most of the time there will be reports of misdeeds by exchanges and this should sound the alarm bell.
Customer service at bitcoin exchanges
Depending on which bitcoin exchange you are using there should either be a live chat option on their website or an email address to contact. The bitcoin exchanges we recommend all excel in the customer service area and reply promptly to queries.