How to Bet with Bitcoin
It’s no secret that Bitcoin, and many other cryptocurrencies, are on the rise right now. Many predict that these digital forms of currency will supplant our current ones in the near future. As the virtual currency continues to take over the marketplace, consumers are finding innovative ways to spend their money. As more and more institutions begin to accept Bitcoin as legitimate tender, one industry to most certainly integrate this new wave of financial technology is the sports betting industry. As part of our efforts here at Sports Analytics Simulator, we want to help guide you into the future of sports betting. So let’s get into the whats, whys, and hows of Bitcoin betting.
Why Use Bitcoin for Sports Betting?
Perhaps the greatest upside and appeal of Bitcoin is its open source, anonymous nature. Much like peer to peer platforms and VPNs, Bitcoin offers consumers the ability to conduct investment transactions without revealing their personal identity. In a world in which the majority of sports betting takes place illegally, this should come as an attractive feature to bettors wanting to protect their anonymity.
Due to the restrictive nature of federal sports gambling laws, specifically the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) of 1992, sports bettors in the US have little recourse when it comes to legal betting. As it stands, only Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon can legally offer sports betting services. Worse yet for bettors, Nevada is the only state of the four that’s legally allowed to host full sportsbooks offering single-game wagers.
Bitcoin Means No Third Party Oversight
Even with the existence of offshore online betting books like Bovada and Pinnacle, the banking institutions are the ones that make things truly difficult for bettors. Attempts to fund these online accounts are often obstructed or blocked. Until recently, the workaround was using third parties to place bets.
According to Oddshark.com, “The involvement of a trusted third party typically results in deposits being blocked by the bank. Whether they’ve tagged the payee as an offshore gambling entity violating the provisions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Asct (UIGEA) of 2006, or they simply consider the dealing to constitute “suspicious account activity,” banks and lending institutions tend to impose strict limitations on both deposits to, and withdrawals from, online sportsbooks.”
With Bitcoin, however, you get to cut out the middle man, thereby avoiding the possibility of third party oversight.
No Third Party Means No Transaction Fees
With online sports betting, you can deposit money for free but withdrawing is a different story altogether. Whenever someone withdraws their winnings from an offshore online sportsbook, the book charges a large fee to pay for bank-related transactions. These fees cover overhead costs the books incur from initiating speedy withdrawals.
With Bitcoin’s blockchain design, the absence of a third party financial entity means almost no transactional fee. We say ‘almost’ because the average fee for a Bitcoin transaction is $0.04.
Click here to find out more about blockchain technology.
Cryptocurrency Ensures Speedy Transaction Completions
Another appealing feature for Bitcoin betting is the speed at which funds reach bettors’ accounts. With traditional banking related wiring methods, withdrawals can take anywhere from 2 days to a month. By using Bitcoin, you cut out the potential for fraud investigations, account suspensions due to suspicious activity. Whatever the case, Bitcoin ensures that funds reach bettors’ accounts within minutes.
With the added benefit of identity protection, using cryptocurrency for online sports betting becomes a no-brainer. So if you aren’t sold yet, let’s get into the how of Bitcoin betting.
How to Buy Bitcoin
There are two ways you can acquire Bitcoin: Either someone pays you with it for services or products rendered. Or you trade standard currency (dollars) for it via cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
Of the two, the simplest way to acquire Bitcoin is to work with a payment processor that accepts the cryptocurrency for standard transactions. In doing so, you can begin to generate Bitcoin by attracting crypto consumers.
A quick consult of Bitcoin.com will give you a handful of different outlets that accept Bitcoin as payment. Here are some of those
- BitPay Atlanta GA, payment processor and merchant service API
- Blockchain, a very simple, bitcoin only, merchant app that gets you started in a few seconds.
- Coinbase San Francisco CA, wallet, cryptocurrency payment processor and API
- Blockonomics, enables Bitcoin acceptance without an account. Permissionless invoicing and API with immediate, guided setup.
- CoinGate, Vilnius, Lithuania, Accept Bitcoin payments and receive payouts in Euros, U.S. Dollars or bitcoins. E-commerce plugins, API, Point of Sale app for Android / iOS / web, payment buttons.
BitPay, for example, allows you to conduct up to 30 transactions at a daily limit of $1000 without having to pay any fees. They offer different tier plans depending on your business needs. You can check out theirs and all the other processors’ websites for more information.
But the big thing to know is this: as Bitcoin becomes a more prevalent and accepted form of currency, more and more individuals will seek to buy goods and services using their Bitcoin wallet. Whichever way you choose to use the cryptocurrency, you’ll very quickly discover how easy it is to generate it for yourself.
Where To Store Your Bitcoin?
The best way to store your Bitcoin is in a wallet. Establishing a wallet, with a payment processor such as BitPay, will allow you to buy and sell with regular dollars.
The point of this is to protect crypto investors against Bitcoin’s inherently fluid value, which tends to fluctuate by the day, or even the hour. With a wallet, and a daily settlement plan, you can sell your Bitcoin by converting it into standard currency. So if the market swings upward, you can sell before it falls again, thereby ensuring that the value of your money will not change.
Others, however, take a different approach to investing. These are the people who buy into Bitcoin hoping its value will gradually grow over time. For those who got into Bitcoin on the ground floor this was certainly a solid approach. These days, not so much. If you’re looking to approach cryptocurrency from this angle, you might want to consider some of the other nascent cryptos out there.
In any case, in order to store Bitcoin for these or other purposes, you’ll have to open a Bitcoin wallet. Obviously you won’t have an actual leather-bound wallet. Bitcoin wallets are just computer programs built to interpret the massive chains of encoded numbers and letters known as Bitcoin Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).
There are two types of wallets consumers can open:
Software wallets are very self explanatory. They function like any other software in that you can download them directly to your computer or phone. Aside from the fact that many of these softwares are still in development, software wallets are generally considered more secure than the other option because private keys are required to send or receive Bitcoin.
Then there’s web wallets. These function similarly to Paypal, Venmo, or CashApp in that they’re hosted by third-party platforms. They are accessed, as the name suggests, via web platform. Accordingly, users must place their trust in the third-party’s security controls to safely ensure their investments. Of course, you’ll want to do some research before settling on any one provider.
If you’re wondering which is the better option you can check out this informative article from the blog, CryptoPay.
Going Forward with Bitcoin
If you’re wondering why we’re spending so much time on the basics of cryptocurrency in this article, it is because there is clearly a future in Bitcoin sports betting. As a developing technology, as an alternative to the traditional modes of currency that dominate the marketplace, as an accessible channel for amateur and veteran investors, Bitcoin is clearly emerging as a currency standard in its own right.
Here are some facts to further illustrate the digital currency’s growth:
- In 2017, Bitcoin climbed from below $1,000 to a record above $5,800, showing how quickly investor interest in the digital currency has increased.
- The number of digital currency storage “wallets” from Blockchain.info nearly doubled from 2016, while the lack of a selloff in other digital currencies indicates that new money is flowing into bitcoin.
Whether or not this constitutes a potential bubble remains to be seen. Many digital currency watchers believe it does, and we’re just waiting for the bubble to pop. Others say digital currency is here to stay. It’s merely a matter of this new technology finding its true legs in the financial world. With other cryptos like Ripple on the rise, the potential for growth seems almost endless as corporations and individuals find new ways to integrate this budding technology into society.
A big part of that lies with the future of sports betting. It’s inevitable that at some point, the United States will revisit the federal ban on gambling. When it does, bitcoin will present itself as a viable option for widespread digital sports betting interfaces.
Anyways, that’s it for now. Be sure to check back at SAS as we provide further information on Bitcoin betting!