Funding an online poker account with Ethereum (or “Ether”) is little different from funding an online poker account with any eWallet. You simply enter the amount you want to deposit, transfer the funds, and start playing. However, there are advantages to funding your account with Ethereum.
Although Bitcoin remains the king of cryptocurrencies, the development of blockchain technology has given birth to hundreds of “altcoin” cryptocurrencies. The most successful of these is Ethereum due to the currency being supported by large corporations (including Microsoft, Intel, Mastercard and JP Morgan) wishing to use the technology for smart contract applications.
The involvement of large corporations in the “Enterprise Ethereum Alliance” is good news for investors. Like most currencies – both fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies – the dollar price of Ethereum can rise and fall; however, as Ethereum is always in demand to build and publish distributed applications, the rises and falls in dollar prices have not been as dramatic as those of Bitcoin.
Which Poker Sites Accept Ethereum Deposits
It is not necessary to understand the technology behind Ethereum in order to use it to fund an online poker account. Ethereum can be bought and sold via any number of online cryptocurrency exchanges just as easily as exchanging dollars for Sterling or Euros. The cryptocurrency is then stored in an online wallet similar to PayPal or Neteller to be used whenever you wish.
What it is important to understand is that when you make a deposit using Ethereum at a USA friendly online poker site, you are exchanging your cryptocurrency for US dollars to fund your online activity. There is effectively no such thing as Ethereum online poker – your online account will be maintained in dollars and the buy-ins for the games you play will also be charged in US dollars.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Ethereum Online Poker
The advantages of using Ethereum to fund an online poker account are that the transactions are quicker and less expensive to process than Bitcoin. Typically a request to transfer funds from an Ethereum eWallet into an online poker account will take seconds to complete, whereas Bitcoin transactions can take up to an hour – and you might also be charged a miner´s fee with a Bitcoin deposit.
The downside of Ethereum online poker is that not all USA friendly poker sites offer an Ethereum withdrawal option. If you enjoy a profitable session – or use your Ethereum deposit to clear an online poker bonus – you may find you are unable to withdraw your funds in Ethereum, and instead have to use an alternative withdrawal method such as check or wire transfer which attract withdrawal fees.
Ethereum Poker Sites: Q&A
Is Ethereum anonymous?
It depends how you buy and sell your cryptocurrencies. If you use a regulated exchange company such as Coinbase, your trades are recorded and could be disclosed to the IRS (this also applies to Bitcoin transactions). Using an unregulated exchange has it its risks and, regardless of how you buy and sell your cryptocurrencies, you will still be required to complete the poker site´s KYC verification procedures before being allowed to request a withdrawal of your funds.
If I can´t withdraw in Ethereum, do I have to have to withdraw in dollars?
Most online poker sites will insist you accept a check or wire transfer in US dollars. This is a nuisance for non-US players who maintain their bank accounts in Sterling or Euros (because of foreign exchange charges), or for any player that has a Bitcoin wallet and would rather keep their gambling funds in cryptocurrencies and separate from their day-to-day living expenses. Each online poker site has its own policy, and it is worth asking for an alternative to a dollar check or wire transfer.
Do you recommend one Ethereum eWallet over another?
Not really. Although I prefer desktop eWallets because of their higher security, they do limit you to conducting transactions from only your desktop. I am no fan of hardware eWallets personally, but understand their appeal, while software wallets are more convenient and can store multiple cryptocurrencies. What I do recommend is using an eWallet separate from that offered by your cryptocurrency exchange, as regulated exchanges do not support transfers to online gambling sites.