Bitcoin has certainly changed the face of online sports betting in recent years, but it can cause consternation among bettors unfamiliar with it. To help put any fears at ease and answer some pertinent questions, we have examined the pros and cons of using bitcoin for sports betting, bringing in examples of bitcoin sportsbooks and established sites that accept bitcoin.
There are several advantages to using bitcoin. It is a quick, efficient way to plays wagers online and it is possible to speed up your payout time when using cryptocurrency, which is always a massive plus. Bitcoin typically comes with no or few transaction fees, which is an advantage it has over other currencies. The transactions are safe because a sportsbook will only have the player’s transaction code, which eliminates the possibility of identity theft. It is a convenient and easy to use currency that crosses borders easily and can be used on a variety of platforms. It is unburdened by many of the restrictions and lengthy transaction times that come with fiat currency transactions. But it can also be converted into traditional currencies quickly and easily.
A really big advantage is the anonymity bitcoin offers. In various unregulated markets, like the USA, that anonymity is helpful to players. It has also been adopted by most of the leading sportsbooks, in addition to more niche bitcoin sportsbooks. Bovada, Bookmaker, BetOnline, Intertops and 5Dimes all accept bitcoin and with many it is the easiest way to bet. For instance, at Bovada, there is no handling charge for deposits or withdrawals, validation takes just a couple of minutes and the whole process is extremely smooth and painless.
Bitcoin is a new currency and it is not at all as stable as fiat. It is prone to pretty large fluctuations and is seen by many as a gamble in itself. Serious volatility saw it go up to $942.06 on January 8, 2017, and then decline to $752.11 by January 11, a huge shift in just a few days. It is exposed to the vagaries of the global market. The fluctuations in January were caused by uncertainty over regulatory developments in the Chinese market, for instance. That $752.11 by January 11 was a drop of 40% on the recent high of $1,153.02 seen on January 5.
That can be a scary prospect for bettors. If you bet in dollars, euros, sterling or another established fiat currency, you are guaranteed a degree of stability and can expect a good profit if your bet comes in. If you bet in bitcoin, by the time it pays off, the currency could have decreased so much that it totally negates your win. However, it could soar upwards too so you get a double win.
For many players the pros will definitely outweigh the cons. The speed, ease of use, versatility, safety and anonymity afforded by betting with bitcoin heralds a return to the golden days of online sports betting, and it is great to see leading sportsbooks really embrace it and make it central to their offerings. It really allows you to shift money around quickly and go for the sportsbooks offering the most attractive odds, the most interesting lines and the most enticing bonuses at the drop of a hat.
One thing to consider is that it is wise not to leave currency stored for long. Get in and out and transfer it back into a fiat currency, unless you have an expert knowledge of the bitcoin market and are playing a long game with the currency. Also, the same rules as always apply: make sure you choose a sportsbook with good liquidity, a lot of trust among players and an established reputation.
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