Bitcoins used to gamble illegally in Asia
Unless you have recently been living in Siberia, you’ve probably heard of Bitcoins. There what’s known as a “digital currency”, meaning that they only exist online in cyberspace. The biggest difference between Bitcoins and traditional money is that, where world currencies are normally controlled by a country’s central bank, Bitcoins are not. In fact, they have no central monetary authority at all and, because of this fact, are not backed by any government or legal authority as well.
The currency has been in the news of late for various reasons, some positive and some negative. (Frankly, recently it’s been mostly negative.) One of the more interesting stories comes, of all places, from China.
The reason is that China has prohibitions not only against gambling but also against the movement of money out of their country, either off-line in the “real world” or online. Since Bitcoins aren’t backed by a specific government or institution, they can be moved from country to country online with incredible speed and almost a complete lack of regulation, something that online gambling websites in China have taken to like a duck to water.
One needs to look no further than the fact that Bitcoins are being downloaded in China at a much faster pace than in the United States, something that has been happening since May 2013. Indeed, China is the #2 country in the world for Bitcoin downloads.
Experts believe that the vast majority of the Bitcoins being used in China are going towards online gambling websites such as M88 or Sbobet. The same can be said for a number of other Asian countries including even Japan but also in many countries where gambling is not only illegal but also harshly punished including Iran, North Korea and Singapore.
The simple fact is that, since Bitcoins aren’t regulated by any country and can easily be transferred from one country to another, they make the perfect currency for online gambling transactions. They are exceedingly hard to trace, making them the preferred currency of choice for underworld operations that fund many illegal online gambling sites in Asia.
Bitcoins may be easy to transfer from 1 country to another but they are also just as easy to steal and, since they aren’t backed by your government, the chance of getting them back is slim to none.
All of which simply means that, if you enjoy online gambling and want to protect yourself and any money that you invest into your hobby, you would do well to steer clear of any Asian country where online gambling is illegal or where they are using Bitcoins on their websites.