The online gambling industry is worth an estimated $53.7 billion every year. From virtual cards and online sports betting to bingo and video slots, there are thousands of ways to wager cash through digital casinos.

And now some are offering crypto gaming to their customers.

What is crypto gaming?

Crypto gaming blends online casino games and betting with cryptocurrency. This means you can wager using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin rather than traditional fiat currency (US dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling etc).

Aside from the currency used to top up your account, there are very little differences between crypto gaming and a normal online casino. Most casinos run in a web browser but some also offer mobile apps so you can gamble on the move too.

Why would I want to try crypto gaming?

Crypto gaming makes most sense for people who are already trading with cryptocurrencies. It may be that you want to gamble anonymously, or that you want to hide your trades from your bank (or the government).

Until cryptocurrencies are more widely adopted, crypto gaming will probably remain a relatively niche hobby.

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What do I need for crypto gaming?

Getting started with crypto gaming is quite easy. All you need is:

  • A cryptocurrency wallet
  • An account with a gambling site that offers crypto gaming
  • A device – smartphone, tablet or computer – on which to play

Setting up the wallet and the gaming account is simple and straightforward for an experienced web user – and there are a lot of online tutorials to help. The only challenge may be in your choice of gaming device – some games will require high performance computing power to work properly. If your smartphone is more than a year or two old, your gaming experience may suffer.

What are the risks of crypto gaming?

Cryptocurrencies exist outside traditional banking systems which means that they are also exempt from many of the protections offered by banks. If a hacker breaks into your account, most banks offer some form of insurance to ensure your money is protected.

If a hacker breaks into your cryptocurrency wallet, there are no protections – or any way to get your money back. You will need to take great care to ensure your wallet, and your crypto gaming accounts, are properly protected against loss or theft. You also need to be aware that the protections offered by crypto gaming services providers may be quite limited. Check the terms of service very carefully to see if they offer any compensation in the event of their systems being compromised by hackers.

As always, your first line of defence is using a robust antivirus tool on your crypto gaming devices. If you are gambling on a PC or notebook, download a free trial of Panda Dome – it will protect you against the malware commonly used by hackers to steal your crypto currency wallet. And if you are crypto gaming on mobile, you can protect yourself with Antivirus for Android which available for free here.