With the spread of online scams and ease of faking incidents on the Internet, Bitcoin gamblers are a wary breed. A recent thread on BitcoinTalk illustrates this hesitance to just believe in claims made by online sites.
Fun-Casino posted an announcement this week about a player winning over 20 BTC. Considering that 1 BTC is worth around $450 as of writing, 20 BTC is a jackpot worth around $8,000.
Instead of automatically believing this claim, quite a few forum members responded with skepticism. An anonymous responder then chimed in claiming to be the winner. This was met with even more skepticism and demands of proof.
The skeptic’s mindset
This incident showcases the current Bitcoin gambler mindset of being skeptical. A lot of this stems from being wary of online scams. The prevalence of hoax sites and illegitimate gambling sites has made a lot of online gamblers taking everything with a pinch of salt.
Those who initially believe in these claims, like bonuses that sound too good to be true or sites that let people win easily, often end up losing their money. Smart gamblers, even offline players, are always on the look-out for someone trying to cheat them, and they are often vindicated in their belief.
Another reason for this mindset is the rise of the provably fair culture. Provably fair is the term often associated with the way many Bitcoin gaming sites prove that they are not manipulating the results of the Bitcoin games.
This is usually done by basing the result of a dice roll based on three factors: a server seed, which is provided by the gambling site, a client seed, which is provided by the player’s browser and adjusted by the player, and a nonce, which increases with each bet made. Players get a hash of the server seed before the roll is made. When the result is revealed, players can use a verifying tool, along with the hash code and other factors to determine if the roll was legitimate.
With provable fairness, players can be assured that they are not being cheated. This is important since online gaming sites can easily manipulate the odds to ensure that players have less chances of winning.
The burden of proof
Being able to prove that it operates honestly has now become a hallmark of how Bitcoin gaming sites operate. Players now want a solid proof instead of just assurances. This is why when claims are made by online casinos that sound too good to be true, the most common response is that proof should be shown. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
Using the Fun-Casino incident mentioned above, for instance—and not to imply that the casino is making false claims—the skeptics asked for specific transaction IDs. This is because they were doubtful of even screenshots, which could be faked or manipulated. Bitcoin transaction IDs are public and the Bitcoin protocol ensures that all transactions are recorded and cannot be tampered with, making it the ultimate proof of the claim being true. As of press time, though, no transactions IDs have been released.
As Bitcoin gamblers get savvier, they will want more assurances that Bitcoin gaming sites that they play in are on the up-and-up.