With the surge in popularity of Bitcoin, the number of online bookies offering cryptocurrency payments is reciprocally growing. And the number of punters pondering Bitcoin betting has followed suit. What should you know about betting in Bitcoins? Is it legal? Or safe? Will is influence your winnings in any way? What are its advantages over regular payment methods? Today, we will take an extensive look at how Bitcoin affects the global sportsbook market and provide you with some tips if you decide to wager on your favourite markets by using your own cryptocurrency.
Betting on Markets with Bitcoin
The principle of using Bitcoin as a wagering medium is no different than using any other currency. What is different, is the displayed format of your stake. One thing that Bitcoin punters need to remember, is that 1BTC is divisible by 8 decimal places (if 1 BTC is the highest denomination, then 0.00000001 is the lowest). The smallest BTC unit, is also referred to as a “Satoshi”. Let’s say that for example you would like to make a $5 wager on the outcome of a match – in Bitcoin, this would be designated as 0.00061 Satoshi’s (by most recent prices).
Important Sports Betting Information Punters Should Know
Every sportsbook advises its punters to properly acquaint themselves with the new currency formats, especially if they don’t have experience in betting in cryptocurrency denominations. This doesn’t come as a surprise considering the relatively confusing way a smaller than “1” unit looks, and this is why punters need to often check their betslip, especially if they are placing multiple, combination or other types of bets.
Why Licensing and Legal Recognition is Important to Cryptocurrency Bookmakers
A Bitcoin sportsbook in the UK is usually licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. This part here is quite important, as this legal administration has added a variety of digital currencies to its list of recognized payment methods. With this being said, the virtual currency is viewed as a cash equivalent in every bookie that holds the UKGC license. But what about other license-issuing organizations such as the Curacao GC and Gibraltar GC? Both of them have also created regulatory conditions that acknowledge Bitcoin as a cash equivalent.
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The Bitcoin Bonus In any Sportsbook May Be Different
As a punter, by now you’re probably well aware that the most popular type of online bookie bonus is the welcome offer that is usually a match-up percentage of your first deposit or a free bet. Normally, using a different banking method from the ubiquitous credit / debit cards won’t affect whether you get a bonus or its amount. Some sportsbooks, however, may impose restrictions on selected payment methods such as e-wallets or cryptocurrencies. That’s why, it’s advisable that you check specifically whether making your first deposit in Bitcoin will qualify you for the promotion of your choice.
On the plus side, certain bookies, especially in the US market, will incentivize punters to deposit in a digital currency and will grant a significantly higher welcome bonus to their customers making payments in Bitcoin. Always read the T&C of the promotional offer, check with customer care, or read online reviews of top online bookmakers before making your deposit.
Although betting sites organise a host of other ongoing promotions in addition to the welcome offer, special crypto bonuses are not as widespread as the other more popular deals. If, and when, a more substantial promotion for cryptocurrency betting is released, it will probably have a very limited window of opportunity, so it is best to regularly follow the newsfeed of your preferred bookie. Still, as you come back to make deposits and place bets in Bitcoin, you will be able to enter loyalty programmes and use all the added perks they provide to your advantage.
Sportsbook Bitcoin Deposits and Withdrawal – How Does it Work?
Although the number of venues that start to offer cryptocurrency gambling is rising, every single one of them has their own specifications and requirements. This includes the way Bitcoin is wagered at a particular sportsbook. While in some bookies you can deposit and use the digital money as a wagering medium, in others you will have to exchange your crypto for actual currency. The same principle more or less applies for the withdrawal of any winnings – the payouts will be done either in Bitcoin or the value they represent in a specific currency.
The most recognized way of performing any deposit or withdrawal of Bitcoins is through cryptocurrency wallets. There are many crypto-wallet brands available online, where everyone can register their account for free. Depending on their platform, some bookmakers may even offer both a normal account for real money, and a separate one where users can deposit their cryptocurrency. Creating a cryptocurrency wallet for your betting needs is as easy as opening a new e-mail account.
What Are the Transaction Costs and Speed?
In the beginning, transfer costs between two cryptocurrency addresses had minimal to no fees. Today, however, things are much different. With the growing value of Bitcoin and the constantly expanding community interest, online wallet service providers have started to tax cryptocurrency transactions at an increasing rate. But this isn’t the only fee that awaits you. If the establishment you’re betting in requires Bitcoin to be converted into another currency, the wallet provider will tax that service as well, often at semi-high rates.
Bitcoin is not only hailed in high regard for its anonymity, but for its fast transaction speeds as well. Usually, gambling houses that operate directly with the most popular cryptocurrency process transactions in 10-20 mins. A few years back when Bitcoin had not yet reached the peak of its value, transaction times were even faster. Whatever the case is today, cryptocurrency transactions are still faster than the majority of the provided banking services.
There are Exchange Rates
Converting currency to Bitcoin and vice versa, is no different than with any other currency. Naturally, the fee percentages will be different depending on the country and method used for the buying/selling. A popular wallet online provides a fixed rate of 3.99% for credit/debit card purchases in all countries. It is very important to mention here that those rates can change very quickly, depending on the prices shown in the foreign exchange market, and this is why cryptocurrency owners are always advised to stay informed on current financial events.
The cryptocurrency market is infamous for its ups and downs. While Bitcoin is the most famous and expensive crypto, it isn’t immune to market fluctuations. In the cases where crypto units are exchanged for real currency, operators often set their own rates which is one of the major concerns for players everywhere. The way to be sure about fair exchange rates is to always examine the licensing and certification of a betting shop in question.
Withdrawing Your Winnings in Bitcoin Form
Although there are some sportsbooks that perform payouts in Bitcoin directly, they are quite few in number. This is attributed to the current usage of the virtual currency, which is still limited. Another factor that makes cryptocurrency payouts more challenging, is the fact that in some jurisdictions the legal status of crypto currencies is yet to be established.
Major Bitcoin Betting Benefits
There are quite a few countries around the world that prohibit online gambling. Those restrictions are usually enforced by preventing any banking service providers to process finances, and this is how one of Bitcoin’s major benefits comes to be – the nature of cryptocurrency allows the bypassing of any bank systems, which would be restricted by any government laws. This fact alone, reveals Bitcoin’s potential for profitable investment.
Bitcoin has an incredibly large community that cannot simply disappear overnight. In fact, the only way for cryptocurrency to disappear, is if the Internet in the entire world stopped. This brings us to the next advantage of decentralized currencies – it can be sent globally without relying on any Bank. The only thing a user would need is an Internet connection. Last but not least, is the secure nature of every single transfer.
No matter how good a specific system might be, it will still have its flaws and drawbacks. In chronological order, we start with the public’s mistrust. Even today, not all betting sites are accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. The difficulty of accepting new digital currency as a viable payment method isn’t something new, and even today the majority of businesses are reluctant in doing so. However, slowly but surely, this is changing.
While some drawbacks start to disappear, others arise – as mentioned earlier, the popularity of Bitcoin has resulted in slower transfer periods, growing transfer fees, and unfavourable currency rates. And while this next one isn’t exactly a drawback for cryptocurrency in general, it does concern Bitcoin – other digital coin types grow both in popularity and price with each day, which can affect the value of Bitcoin itself.
Complete Anonymity – So it Seems
The global commercialization campaign of cryptocurrency painted Bitcoin as the perfect payment and purchase method that possessed the ultimate anonymity. While this type of currency is indeed very secure in terms of transactions and many other factors, it isn’t completely impervious. However, crypto-holders won’t have to worry about that, because cracking such a protected system would take the resources of a significantly-sized government.
A Finite Resource – The Essence of Cryptocurrency
Many people don’t know this, but there is a fixed number of 21,000,000 Bitcoins that can exist. Its limited nature makes it a rare resource, which is why its price continues to remain high to this day. Procuring cryptocurrency happens through an event known as mining, where users all around the world utilize their computers to process complex mathematical equations.
Once solved, the result of such an equation is confirmed, recorded, and stored online in a constantly circulating Internet environment known as the “Blockchain”. That “confirmed and stored” record, is represented in a unit or a part of a single unit – which is what cryptocurrency is. The speed and difficulty at which those equations are found and processed are increased with every user who decides to start mining. This, in turn, has a profound effect on determining the value of all cryptocurrency.
An official report from last year released by the UK Gambling Commission, states that the sportsbooks revenue for that period was a staggering £1.9 billion. When converted into Bitcoin according to today’s rate, this would make approximately 389,076 units BTC. After Bitcoin crossed the border of costing hundreds to thousands, the gambling sector started to take this new type of currency quite seriously. The first websites of accepting Bitcoin wagers date as early as 2012. Only 3 years later, the Internet exploded with gaming operators that started accepting the famous digital currency. Today, punters that have Bitcoin can place their wagers on their favourite markets using a variety of platforms, including their mobile devices!
The Next Step of Currency Evolution
In 1999, Milton Friedman (a Nobel prize winning economist) said in an interview “I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that’s missing that will soon be developed, is a reliable E-cash, a method whereby the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B, without A knowing B or B knowing A.” This was 19 years ago, and today Bitcoin has become a reality true to the prediction given by Milton Friedman.
It didn’t come as a surprise that after Bitcoin, other types of cryptocurrency started to appear online. While not that high in value as Bitcoin, those currencies still hold a significant price, which is why some sportsbooks and casinos accept them as well. As of 2018, more than 1500 cryptocurrencies have been registered online, and a few select ones continue to dominate the market with Bitcoin still at the top.
Bitcoin betting started out shy, but it has grown so much that right now even popular online gambling venues are trying to introduce it into their platforms as a form of payment. While some naysayers in the global financial industry try to paint Bitcoin as a “financial bubble” that is ready to pop and cost people millions, there is one important detail that dismisses those claims – its decentralized nature. While still being a topic for debate, Bitcoin is here and will continue to be a popular method among punters and gamblers everywhere.
Crypto betting – FAQ:
Q: Can I use different type of cryptocurrency for sports betting?
A: In principle – yes. However, there are only a handful of sportsbooks online that accept cryptocurrency (usually Ethereum, Litecoin or Ripple) other than Bitcoin.
Q: Can I convert my Bitcoin winnings in real cash?
A: Of course! If you’re collecting your sportsbook winnings in Bitcoin, it is usually transferred to your wallet. If you’re using the services of a crypto-wallet provider, you will be able to exchange any Bitcoins in the currency they support.
Q: Is Bitcoin sports betting safe?
A: Without a doubt. The nature of this digital currency makes it fraud and hack-proof, and since there is no 3rd party transfer service between the punter and the sportsbook, it makes it perfect for any type of electronic payments.
Q: o I need a Bitcoin wallet when I bet on markets?
A: Yes. The only way you will be able to store and transfer Bitcoin, is if you have a wallet. These days, there are a lot of websites where you can make a secure wallet for free.
Q: Do I get a bonus when depositing Bitcoin in my sportsbook account?
A: Yes and no! While some sportsbooks offer sizeable bonuses for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, others don’t have any.
Q: Are there any advantages to betting Bitcoin in general?
A: The advantages of betting with cryptocurrency are valid only if you win. Should the global financial trade market show rise in the price of Bitcoin, even the smallest amount you’ve won would bring you real, monetary profit.
Q: Should I change my betting strategy when betting with Bitcoin?
A: It all depends on your personal preference, calculation of risk and your betting strategy. While betting on a market using cryptocurrency won’t change the odds in any way, you should always be mindful of the quantity and size of the wagers you’ve made.