With cryptocurrencies becoming ever more popular, many gamblers now have their favorite crypto casinos to play at. But, the popularity of Bitcoin has led to the blockchain becoming congested with slow transaction processing. This can affect the overall gaming experience, leaving players frustrated and wishing the process was faster. 

The good news is that many leading gambling platforms, including BC GAME, are now using the Lightning Network (LN) to support faster transaction speeds. But trying to find the best crypto casino may be much easier than the deep dive you may have to do to find lightning casinos.

In this guide to lightning casinos, we briefly explain what the lightning network is. Then, we highlight some of the platforms currently supporting the LN and the benefits they offer. 

What Is The Lightning Network?

Lightning Network is a layer 2 protocol created for the Bitcoin blockchain. It addresses the limitations of transacting with Bitcoin, intended to facilitate quick, secure, and cost-effective transactions.

Dynamics Of The LN

The Bitcoin network’s transaction processing speed averages around six transactions per second. This is far slower than other payment methods, like VISA, that process almost 1,700 transactions each second. 

Considering that over 460 million Bitcoin addresses exist globally, slow processing times on the Bitcoin network pose a grave challenge to Bitcoin’s ecosystem and users.

The reason for such slow processing times is Bitcoin’s scalability limitations. The network has a limited size of a block of transactions. Each block on the network is limited to 1 megabyte in size because of DDoS protection and security measures. 

While this approach to transaction security is admirable, it slows down processing times severely. It is the primary reason why it is so time-consuming to add new transactions to the blockchain.

Many altcoins have been created to facilitate quicker, more convenient, and cost-effective transactions in comparison to Bitcoin. This has not swayed Bitcoin’s ambitions, however, as the Lightning Network was established to speed up transaction processing times. 

Such is the popularity of the Lightning Network that many platforms and exchanges – such as lightning casinos – have implemented Bitcoin lightning payment options.

Dynamics Of The LN

How Does The Lightning Network Operate?

With regular Bitcoin transactions, the BTC network transfers BTC directly from one address to another. 

Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, however, has special channels to serve that purpose. It creates channels between two addresses and saves two transactions for each of those channels on the primary Bitcoin network. 

The first channel is an opening channel for two addresses, while the second is the closing channel for those addresses.

For players at a crypto casino, it’s not necessary to have a dedicated channel between themselves and the casino’s address. With lightning casinos, payments can go through multiple channels even though the two addresses don’t share a common channel. 

Payments at lightning casinos pass through a chain of intermediary nodes that each operate according to smart contracts. A key element of the Lightning Network is that BTC will only succeed through the nodes if each channel contains the equivalent of the transaction amount.

Lightning Network Channels

When the network creates a new channel, it sets the balance of that channel at the same time. This balance is determined by the first transaction stored in the Bitcoin blockchain. For this reason, the balance of the Lightning Network payment must not be more than the cryptocurrency total that both parties have on their addresses.

Transactions on the Lightning Network are flexible enough that either party can close their channel at any time. Should this be the case, a smart contract will be responsible for the closing transaction that will subsequently remain on the blockchain. 

By gathering the initial and final balance information of both parties, the transaction will combine all Lightning Network transactions into a single transfer on the Bitcoin Blockchain.

Lightning Network Transactions

A very important feature of Bitcoin is that it groups all transactions into blocks and saves these blocks to the blockchain at a later stage. 

The current blockchain will be the one that contains all the information about the transfers made in this network. Nobody can amend or falsify this information – a clear advantage over traditional payment systems.

Lightning Transactions

The majority of Lightning Network payments are conducted off-chain through smart contracts. The chain of blocks comprises specific transactions that open and close the Lightning Network channels. This mitigates delays in processing times as transactions take place inside the channels. 

In some lightning casino games, players do not even need to create any payment channels as some Lightning wallets provide users with their own dedicated channels. Essentially, the wallet provider stores the user’s funds while the user can send, receive and withdraw funds. 

With that being said, crypto casino players must exercise due diligence when choosing a wallet for Bitcoin casino Lightning Network payments.

Lightning Network Ease Of Use

As the LN grows with new members, the variety of channels also expands and interlinks. This means that it may not be necessary to create a new channel for payment at each instance. The system does all the hard work by automatically locating the quickest route through the network from the first sender to the final recipient.

When playing at a crypto casino, you can get caught up in the moment. Especially, when the machines are hot and you need funds quickly to maximize your gameplay. Payment delays and high transaction fees can distract gamblers from their strategy and cause them to lose focus. For this reason, Lightning Network payments are rapidly becoming the payment option of choice for crypto casino players.

Crypto Casinos That Offer Lightning Network Payments

Crypto casinos that offer their players Lightning Network payment options are commonly referred to as lightning casinos. There is an excellent selection of crypto lightning casinos that make it possible for Bitcoin gamblers to fund their accounts and withdraw through the Lightning Network. 

Here are a few of the established lightning casinos currently offering Lightning Network payments:

BC.Game

This brilliant lightning casino (of course, we can call it brilliant!) offers an incredible array of Bitcoin casino games. These include slots, table games, and live casino games to ensure that players get their fill during their gambling sessions. 

On top of that, our casino offers an incredible selection of exclusive games that they’ve developed in-house. This makes it perfect for those players who like to play unique casino games.

LN Payments

We also use several reputable casino game providers and ensure that all its games are provably fair. We have easy payment and withdrawal options, and players have been swaying towards the Lightning Network payment option here due to its seamless nature and cost-effectiveness. 

As an added bonus, we offer new and existing players rewards with amazing bonuses and promotions.

Betplay.io

Players at this casino can enjoy Lightning Network payments and withdrawals instantly without having to fork out for transaction fees. This lightning casino offers Bitcoin casino games from many different providers. 

Moreover, they offer a fantastic variety of games with video slots, table games, and live casino games to keep you entertained. All their games are provably fair. Players also have the option of using the casino’s app on their personal computers, iOS, and Android devices.

Thunderprick

This lightning casino is a crypto sportsbook where players can keep entertained with sports and e-sports betting by using their Bitcoin. 

There is a fantastic selection of Bitcoin sports betting as well as crypto casino games on offer. Its casino game offering includes slots, video poker, and other exclusive games to keep players glued to their screens. 

New players to the platform receive generous rewards offers. Existing players who refer new players qualify for incentives that amount to 40% of the revenue earned from those referrals. 

Advantages Of Lightning Casinos

While more players are switching over to crypto casinos, it is the lightning casinos that appear to be the most popular amongst them because of their added benefits.

Instant Deposits and Withdrawals

At lightning casinos, players have the luxury of depositing or withdrawing instantly in comparison to traditional crypto transactions. 

Payments travel through channels instantly which means that the recipients get their funds in a flash. All information related to that payment remains on Bitcoin’s blockchain when one of the parties closes that specific channel.

Savings On Miner Fees

On the primary Bitcoin network, miners receive payment from users for the confirmation and formation of transaction blocks. The Bitcoin mining process involves solving complex mathematical problems while consuming large amounts of electricity. As the number of transactions increases, the costs of transactions increase in proportion.

Miner Fees

Players who use LN payments save as their payments don’t get stored in the blockchain. This means that players do not have to pay miner fees. The payment only goes through when the channel is opened and closed. 

Keep in mind though that players may have to pay node fees if the payment goes through a chain of intermediary nodes. However, these fees are exceptionally low when compared to traditional Bitcoin transaction fees.

In essence, players who pay with the Lightning Network save on transfers. They also spend less on transaction fees, savings which can accumulate to a substantial amount over the long term.

No Transaction Tracking

A massive reason why crypto casinos are so popular is because of the anonymity they offer. Players who make use of the Lightning Network take privacy to a whole new level. Their payment transfers don’t remain in the blockchain. 

On the network, marketing companies are also unable to monitor your likes and preferences through the use of dedicated analytics software.

Small Betting

For those crypto gamblers who prefer to make small bets during their gambling session, using the Lightning Network option may be just the ticket. Making small transactions in the Bitcoin network is not practical due to the transaction fees. 

The Lightning Network, however, can facilitate small transactions without hurting the pockets of its users. This is mainly due to its very low commission fees. In some cases, users can circumvent these fees altogether if a player has a direct channel with that lightning casino.

Drawbacks Of Using Lightning Network Payments

Like all new technology, it is important to explore both the positives and negatives to make an informed decision. 

Although Lightning Network payments certainly have a lot of appeal, talk amongst crypto circles questions how beneficial Lightning Network payments really are for crypto casino gambling.

No Big Transactions

Earlier studies have indicated that transaction amounts of $5 and higher had an unusually high incompletion rate, approximately 50%. This completion rate plummets as the transaction amounts increase. 

This may come as a disappointment for those high-rollers who like to make big deposits and withdrawals at the casino. 

Drawbacks Of The LN

There has been some encouragement, however. More recent insights illustrate an improved average capacity of Lightning Network payment channels at around $330 – a much better figure.

Vulnerability

If the blockchain was overloaded, it may aid in stealing Bitcoins. This is a result of weaknesses in the mechanism that is responsible for correctly sending the payments along multiple Lightning Network channels. 

While specialists have identified this weakness, there has been no occasion where Bitcoin was stolen through the exploitation of this vulnerability.

Final Thoughts

Certainly, crypto casinos have certainly expanded their offering to cater to the increasing number of crypto users that flock to their platforms. However, it is the lightning casinos that provide the edge as they enable users to transact quickly and efficiently while saving on transaction fees. 

Although there are limited options when looking for a lightning casino, casinos that facilitate Lightning Network transactions are highly reputable and offer great variety to their players.

Do your research before registering at a specific lightning casino… Make sure to pick up some lightning and gaming strategies at BC Game’s blog before hitting the lightning casino. Good Luck!