If there’s one thing that unites (almost) all games, it’s currencies. From simoleons and gil to bottle caps and scrap, there’s as much creativity involved in digital economics as in level and monster design. Bitcoin, while only becoming a fixture of Android games after its inception, is nevertheless, a virtual currency too (unlike dollars, it has no physical token), albeit one that a technological Geppetto brought to life back in 2008.

In the ensuing years, bitcoin became the babe of the gaming industry. There’s not much you can’t already buy with Satoshi Nakamoto’s seminal cryptocurrency. You can even coax Sir Richard Branson into taking you into space with a sack of bitcoins.It’s just a question of finding the right websites or stores. So, here’s a quick rundown of how to spend your bitcoin on casino games, Xbox, and PC titles.

Casino

There’s an expansive niche of bitcoin-only casino sites online for players interested to ante up with the cryptocurrency. For example, the website Vegas Casino has casino games and slot machines available to play including Cinco de Mayo, Sushi Cuties, and Satoshi’s Secret, a unique hacking-themed game. If you’ve never played slots before, Vegas Casino recently published an article that talks the beginner through the basics of playing bitcoin slots, arguably the most newbie-friendly game the virtual casino has to offer. You can click here for full article or simply head over to their homepage; there are tutorials posted all over the site.

PC

As one of the more “open” platforms, PC is a paradise as far as buying games with bitcoin is concerned. Gabe Newell’s Steam accepts bitcoin as of April 2016 via payment handler BitPay, a development that omits only a handful of franchises and developers from the bitcoin-friendly world. The biggest disappointment involves EA – if it’s confined to the Origin storefront, the developer’s official stance is that it can’t be bought with bitcoin. EA recommends buying official Game Cards in stores that accept the cryptocurrency instead. However, bitcoin-accepting site Humble Bundle provides an alternative in the US, given that it sometimes hosts Origin sales.

Xbox

The fact that Microsoft accepts bitcoin makes buying Xbox games with the token easy. With the exception of hardware and gift cards, you can purchase just about every piece of software Bill Gates’ company makes, including apps for Windows Phone and games, music, and video for Xbox devices. Microsoft also supports bitcoin payments to a store wallet via mobile. On a related topic, Microsoft’s latest initiative, the Universal Windows Platform, means that Xbox and PC share some of the same games. For example, you can now play one of Xbox’s flagship game franchises, Gears of War, on PC (let’s ignore the janky port of the original) – another boon for PC gamers with bitcoin to spend.

Finally, to answer an obvious question: Officially, Sony and Nintendo don’t have much to say about bitcoin, meaning that anybody interested in purchasing The Last of Us or Breath of the Wild with cryptocurrency has to go independent. For example, eGifter sells time cards for PlayStation Plus memberships and for the Nintendo eShop. Again, Humble Bundle also ran a PlayStation-only pack of THQ Nordic games (Darksiders, Red Faction) during April.

/Patrick Waters
Passionate about anything digital with a specific interest in virtual reality.

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