Steven Gleiser - December 1, 2019
The lightning network is a solution to Bitcoin’s scaling challenges. In the pursuit of scalability, it was designed to process micropayments quickly, which makes it attractive for gambling and gaming. Here is an overview of how gambling on the Lightning Network looks like now and what are the advantages of playing games using this exciting new payment layer.
The Lightning Network – LN – allows for smaller transactions (aka micropayments) to be carried out on separate channels which only register on the blockchain once one of the parties decides to settle. Two parties can open a multi-sig wallet (a wallet that requires both private keys to sign on each of the transactions that take place), allowing them to carry out transactions between them outside of the Bitcoin blockchain (off the chain transactions). The final balance is then recorded onto the blockchain, which takes the load off the main network by having only the initial and final balances recorded on it and the rest of the transactions taking place off-chain.
The possibility of faster transactions means, for starters, quicker and cheaper deposits and withdrawals (especially if you are playing with small amounts of money). Instead of transferring from wallets to casino wallets, players will be able to move Bitcoin in a lightning channel almost instantly and for smaller fees. The lighting network also gives users another layer of privacy. Transactions between lighting channels do not get recorded on the blockchain (only the initial and final balances), so players can avoid blockchain analytics software that allows certain companies to track where their BTC is going (Andreas Antonopoulos has even spoken about Lightning Network’s incompatibility with KYC).
Despite the positives of gambling on the lightning network, it is still in its early stages. For gambling, there are a few options including roulette, slot machines, and some other casino games. Players can also find a site that will allow them to bet on the outcome of sports with as little as hundreds of Satoshis (0.00000100 BTC, pretty micro).
If you go back to how Bitcoin gambling originated, lightning network gambling is certainly a much welcome solution. With it, there is no way any type of casino can ever be accused of trying to DDoS Bitcoin’s blockchain. This should help Bitcoin casinos and games propagate on LN at a much higher rate and pace than they have been up until today.
For users that want to get familiar with LN and its applications there are also a number of non-betting games. Satoshi Games has put out around ten games (some claim to let players earn BTC by playing) including titles like Super Bro, BCraft, and The Legend of Satoshi. Meanwhile over at Satoshi’s Place users can pay to paint at the cost of 1 Satoshi per pixel.
These micropayments also allow players to try out as many different casinos as they would like. Minimum wagers and deposits will be much lower than the usual amounts. Therefore, if you want to find out if you like a particular game or a casino, you will be able to do so knowing that:
With that, you must consider that bonuses and jackpots will be significantly smaller than they are on regular Bitcoin casino games or at the brands you are used to playing. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth a try. So, just go ahead, start gambling on the lightning network and see how casinos and games there compare to the ones you already know!