Bitcoin, the decentralized cryptocurrency notorious for its status as the currency of the dark web, seems to be shedding its shady past and is now enjoying soaring highs not seen since 2014. The highly volatile online commodity reached parity with an ounce of gold back in March amid speculation of a pending ETF approval from the Federal Trade Commission. Since then, Bitcoin has doubled in value and analysts predict a bitcoin could reach $100,000 in value in 10 years.
Created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, the cryptocurrency was meant as an alternative for fiat currency. Due to massive daily fluctuations of its value, bitcoin is rarely used for its intended purpose. Holding bitcoins for speculation is now the norm, with online gambling a major contributor that fuels its blockchain ledger.
Bitcoins are ideal for online gambling, because unlike fiat currency, they're incredibly easy to transfer from one account to another, usually within minutes, and for a very small fee. Unfortunately, there are many countries that prohibit online gambling, and sites that use bitcoins must comply or risk being shut down. While there are many states within the US that allow online gambling, most sites will blacklist by country as a whole and overlook legal regions within them. For them, it's generally better to be safe than sorry.
But, as is the case with most things related to technology, there are ways to get around such bans. So here's a quick guide for bypassing region restrictions, which will let you gamble on any site using bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
Please note that we are not lawyers, so this guide is for educational purposes only. There are some complicated issues involving the Federal Wire Act that make online gambling a bit of a legal gray area, even when the practice is not banned in your state. In addition to that, getting caught for skirting a jurisdiction lock can get you banned from some sites, causing you to forfeit any funds you have in that account. So be extra careful, don't get greedy, and stay under the radar if you choose to play.
Bottom line, the idea here is to trick the betting site into thinking that you're located in a region where online gambling is allowed, which would grant you full access to gamble to your heart's content.
To accomplish that, we're going to use the TunnelBear VPN app, which is available for both Android and iOS. The free version gives you a monthly allotment of 500 MB, but if you'd like unlimited service, you can pay $7.99 monthly or $49.99 for a full year. So to start, head on over to the App Store or Google Play to install TunnelBear.
Once you've got the app installed, go ahead and open it up, then create a new account when prompted. Be sure to use a legitimate email address, because the app will email you a verification link to activate your account.
From there, the set-up process will be slightly different depending on your device. With iOS, you'll be taken to a settings page and asked if you'd like to give the app permission to set up a VPN connection. Tap "Allow" on this message, scan your Touch ID, if prompted, and the rest will be taken care of automatically.
With Android, TunnelBear will simply ask for permission to establish a VPN right after you create an account. So tap "OK" to complete setup, then you'll now be able to access the app in full.
If you're willing to do some legwork, you can actually increase your monthly allowance from 500 MB of location-masked internet traffic all the way up to 2 GB.
To do that, open the side navigation menu, then tap on "Get Free Data." It'll ask you to either download and open the app on your computer, invite a friend, or tweet about TunnelBear. Each of these tasks will reward you 500 MB apiece, so do as many as you'd like to get extra spoofing power. But remember, you can always get a subscription if you need more time "abroad."
This final step is pretty straightforward. Open TunnelBear, then enable the toggle switch at the top of your screen. From there, choose a country that's known to have lax laws regarding online gambling. We chose Spain as an example, but you can choose any country as long as online gambling is legal there.
Next, head to a gambling site such as Primedice or BitSler using any browser. With the VPN running, the site will now think you're in a country where online gambling is legal, and respond by giving you full gambling privileges—including the ability to make Bitcoin deposits.
As I mentioned before, please enjoy this little hack responsibly and in moderation. If you want to share your thoughts about Bitcoin or online gambling laws, feel free to post in the comment section below!