Bitcoin sports betting has been a fixture in the online gaming industry for a long time now.
In fact, there are many offshore betting sites that have for a long time been exclusively accepting bitcoin for a number of years now.
Further, several of the well-known sportsbooks have included bitcoin in their list of payment and banking methods, and with good reason.
Granted, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the idea of bitcoin, seeing as it is a virtual currency.
It is a currency that is built on blockchain technology, with its control being beyond the purview of any single person, regulatory or government entity.
When used in the betting and gaming industry, though, bitcoin offers several advantages that bettors might want to take advantage of.
Bitcoin Sports Betting Advantages
Let's take a look at how Bitcoin sports betting helps the player.
The main selling point for bitcoin is the security measures around the use of the currency.
When using bitcoin, one can be assured of safety and security.
Bitcoin is a virtual cryptocurrency, a term that was coined from the idea of cryptography, which refers to the process of encrypting messages and ensuring that they cannot be accessed by any third party.
Bitcoin is therefore by definition one of the payment methods that are hardest to hack or crack, offering the kinds of security and encryption that many bettors crave, especially in the offshore gambling sites market.
Bitcoin is engineered with financial security in mind and has built-in protections that ensure it is free from fraud, theft, malice and any third-party infringement. It is also completely anonymous, and the only time one will ever be required to give out their identity will be when they buy bitcoin at an exchange.
When payment is sent to the sportsbook in the form of bitcoin, the sportsbook does not receive any personal information, financial or otherwise, related to the payment.
Bitcoin is perfect for those who would rather not provide any personally identifiable information to their sportsbook.
While other payment methods require some verification and ID to match bank accounts, all one has to provide when using bitcoin is the unique address and key.
The fact that it is an anonymous standalone currency also implies that it will be immune to currency fluctuations that are related to different countries and banks.
Every banking method attracts some fees when used for making payments.
For instance, using credit cards attracts credit card fees as well as a wide range of other hidden charges.
For Bitcoin sports betting, the costs are ridiculously low, and in some cases non-existent.
Bitcoin’s design is such that it is decentralized, and one typically does not have to pay for any third-party oversight.
Instead, the payment is for a one-time miner’s fee. To understand the miners fee, one will have to understand how blockchain works.
The blockchain confirms transactions on a public ledger or network.
The nodes within this network authenticate and verify the various bitcoin transactions being made on the ledger.
This process of verification and authentication takes a great deal of computing power, and the people who keep this system running are referred to as miners.
They are given a tiny portion of Bitcoin from every transaction in the form of a miner’s fee.
Even for the miners, there is still no transfer of public information.
The Bitcoin system simply divides the mining fees across the various different transactions to the various unrelated parties.
Further, it is important to note that the sender is the one who is responsible for the mining fee, and can even get to decide how much it is.
Generally, the higher the fees, the faster the transactions will get to be processed. This, therefore, means the sportsbook will be responsible for this miner’s fee when sending.
Given the lack of traditional banking costs and third-party involvement, the use of Bitcoin gives sportsbooks a little bit of flexibility when it comes to the higher maximums and lower end minimums.
On average, maximums are almost 100% higher with bitcoin, with the minimums about 50% lower.
The speed of transactions, especially payouts once a wager has won, is one of the factors people use to judge their sportsbooks when choosing a site to bet.
Whether you are withdrawing or making a deposit, using bitcoin will guarantee you the shortest wait times. Granted, it helps to have different banking options, but none stand up to bitcoin in terms of the speed of transactions.
For instance, if one requests for checks in the mail, the collective amount of processes it takes to have the check ready could lead to delays of several days.
The sportsbook has to make backups, and the bank has to perform extra due diligence tests. All of this can combine and end up taking up to two weeks.
All of these checks and processes are absolutely necessary, but the wait can be unbearable.
When using bitcoin for deposits, the average wait time can be as low as 6 minutes.
Further, many sportsbooks allow their bitcoin betting customers to start betting even before the transaction is officially cemented.
The longest wait time most people experience is about 40 minutes, which although relatively longer, is still a lot faster than other channels available.
It is important to note, though, that the rules with bitcoin are different when it comes to withdrawals, with the withdrawal time taking as long as 48 hours in some cases.
Most sportsbooks will, therefore, give the 48-hour timeline in case of anything, but most transactions will be completed within a few hours.
Given the advantages and ease of use for the bettors, it is safe to say bitcoin is just as advantageous for sportsbooks as it is for their customers.
For instance, the more their customers can stake, the more they stand to make.
Further, they do not want to deal with the delays from third party institutions as well as the complaints from customers any more than the customer does.
Naturally, it pays for the sportsbooks to encourage users to bet online using bitcoin.
This is one of the reasons why bitcoin betting often attracts large bonuses, especially for new bettors.
In some cases, bonuses for bitcoin deposits can be up to twice as huge.
Deposit bonuses can either be the initial deposit bonuses or bitcoin reload bonuses.
Initial deposit bonuses can be almost 100% higher when bitcoin is used than for other conventional methods like bank transfers, PayPal, or credit cards.
For reload bonuses, some sportsbooks offer bitcoin specific reload bonuses, many of which will always be available throughout.
Offshore sportsbooks almost always operate from jurisdictions that have lax laws in terms of taxation and gambling regulations.
However, despite the fact that many of these companies are legitimate, registered and licensed in their various countries of operations, they might not necessarily appear so from the perspective of the third parties in financial transactions.
This raises the likelihood of deposits or withdrawals being rejected. For instance, many credit card companies would prefer not to deal with sportsbooks they deem untrustworthy, especially when the base of operations and licensing is offshore.
It is natural and perhaps expected that there is a chance these deposits might end up being rejected because of the doubt.
Bitcoin does not have any third-party involvement, so the arbitrary restrictions that are often placed by credit card companies and banks do not apply here.
There is, therefore, a zero chance that the transactions will be rejected.
Bettors can therefore buy, hold or spend their bitcoin in whatever way they see fit without any fear of failure or transactions not going through.
What Risks are there with Bitcoin Sports Betting?
Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to mention that bitcoin is not without its risks.
Even though some of these risks are not inherent to the bitcoin system itself but could be dependent on the user’s habits and security measures, they are important to mention.
For instance, conventional wisdom calls for users of bitcoin to generally avoid the use of bitcoin exchanges, and instead use a bitcoin wallet to send funds.
Wallets are not susceptible to the anti-money laundering regulations that the bitcoin exchanges typically have to follow.
Further, there have been reports in the past of various online exchanges like Coinbase restricting transactions that involve sportsbooks.
This is a limitation that is not the doing of either the bettor or the sportsbook but might lead to the freezing of funds when they are found to have been sent to an online sports betting site.
While this does not mean the bitcoin would be lost forever, one will have to transfer their bitcoin to another wallet to be able to complete the transactions.
Bitcoin Sports Betting Verdict
For many players, the pros outweigh the cons, which in this case are only just worst-case scenario possibilities rather than actual regular events in the bitcoin world.
Ultimately, the speed, ease of operation and anonymity that bitcoin offers trumps the other options available.
Observers have even gone as far as suggesting that the use of bitcoin herald’s a new beginning in the world of sports betting, a return to the golden age if you may.