For most online gamblers in the United States, deposits to and withdrawals from the top betting sites has gotten considerably easier over the years.
In the late 2000s, the UIGEA reared its ugly head and made online bet funding a difficult, tedious process, but the advent of cryptocurrencies and other financial workarounds have largely obviated the law.
While your credit or debit deposit might still get rejected 5-10 percent of the time, most payment options go off without a hitch.
Of course, crypto – despite being the fastest and best way to handle transfers to and from your favorite betting sites – comes with its own challenges.
First, there’s the innate learning curve.
Many potential users find the “technical” aspects of the crypto market to be intimidating, while others tend to hold off because they don’t fully understand “how it works.”
That is, they don’t see where its value comes from.
But it often helps to ask such people how the US dollar works and how it derives its value. This is sometimes enough to get them to reconsider their biases and jump in.
At any rate, that’s all philosophical.
At the end of the day, you’ll either be excited by and embrace crypto, or you’ll ignore it.
We opted for the former long ago, and we think you will to.
But that leads to the second big issue:
How to get cryptocurrency.
For investors or “hodlers,” this isn’t really difficult, because time is rarely of the essence when getting started.
As soon as a particular asset – say, Bitcoin or Ethereum – is trending at a price you like, it’s trivial to set up a Coinbase or Coinbase Pro account and buy in.
You won’t get access to your crypto immediately, but the price will be locked in at the moment you submit your buy order.
Most exchanges make new customers wait 5-10 days before they can send their crypto off-platform (i.e. to an external wallet address, such as that for a legal prepaid online casino or trusted prepaid sports betting site), but on-platform trading is typically allowed immediately.
Exchanges also utilize KYC – or “Know Your Customer” – protocols to ensure you are who you say you are.
This verification process is part of what adds to that initial delay for first-time buyers.
But again, for those interested in crypto investing and day trading, those activities are usually allowed for immediately since they require no off-platform transfers.
It’s an easy, functional model.
But for online gamblers – most especially online sports bettors who want to wager on tonight’s big game or poker players who need to buy their seat at a big online poker tournament starting this weekend – the process is simply too slow.
There are workarounds, of course, but they’re limited.
The Zelle-to-Bitcoin process allows players to make P2P instant transfers via the Zelle platform to privately buy Bitcoin through the LocalBitcoins exchange.
However, this takes a few hours on average and requires buyers and sellers to coordinate sales, which can be tedious.
If you’re a verified Cash App member, you can use that platform to buy Bitcoin quickly, and the Cash App-Bitcoin process is faster than the Zelle-Bitcoin process.
But both of these methods only work with Bitcoin.
So, what if you want to deposit in something else?
What if you’d rather get started with a different crypto coin?
Bitcoin is a great investment to be sure, but it has among the slowest blockchain transfer times and highest blockchain transfer fees of any cryptocurrency out there.
Plus, it won’t necessarily always be the Big Coin on Campus, and perhaps you’re looking for something with a little more immediate growth potential, besides.
That’s where Coinify comes in.
Coinify was founded in Denmark in 2014, and it’s slowly grown into a compelling “instant-buy” crypto option.
In early August 2021, Coinify was purchased by the US-based Voyager Digital trading platform for some $85 million in a stock and cash deal, which should only strengthen its position in the marketplace.
At any rate – and this is the key point – Coinify is a great option for first-time crypto users who want to make immediate cryptocurrency betting deposits at prepaid gambling sites.
User verification takes two minutes or less (as opposed to several days at major exchanges), and you can get started using several of the most popular crypto coins instantly.
Of course, there are a few caveats.
For one, Coinify supports only a handful of cryptos.
Many of the biggest exchanges (Coinbase Pro, Binance US, Bittrex, Kraken, etc.) support hundreds of different cryptocurrencies, but Coinify is currently limited to the following, with those assets accepted by the sites we recommend listed in bold:
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Bitcoin SV (BSV)*
- Celsius (CEL)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Compound (COMP)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Maker (MKR)
- Nano (NANO)
- OKB (OKB)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Qtum (QTUM)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Tether (USDT)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- USD Coin (USDC)
*Bitcoin SV has been largely delisted by American exchanges, which makes Coinify one of the only convenient US-facing platforms for users to buy in. Currently, Bovada is the only major gambling operator that accepts BSV, and it’s exclusively offered to established VIP members.
Another major caveat with Coinify is that the platform is not available to all US residents.
Currently, residents of the states listed below in green are eligible to use Coinify, while those living in states listed in red italics are not:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
- Washington DC
The final caveat is that buying crypto on Coinify comes at a premium.
The trading prices of the various coins the service offers are slightly higher than the prices you’ll get at typical exchanges.
However, they’re not appreciably higher, so most members will be satisfied with such slight increases in exchange for the sheer convenience the platform provides.
As with all legal bet funding options, no method is perfect for every user, and Coinify is no different in that regard.
However, if you want to gamble in crypto and haven’t ever purchased any before – and if you live in one of the states served by Coinify – it’s a great option for all players aged 18 and up.