One of the newest financial technologies to hit the virtual world is Bitcoin. As it brings about a whole slew of new benefits, Bitcoin was quickly picked up and adapted into the world of online sports betting. The benefits are not just for serious or professional players, but for recreational and occasional sports bettors as well.
If you’ve never heard of Bitcoin before, are looking to learn more about it, or are interested in how it relates to sports betting, you’re in luck. We’re going to cover all of these topics today and more.
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The biggest question people have about Bitcoins and sports betting is simply, what are Bitcoins?
As it is a new and emerging financial technology, it’s not uncommon for it to be brand new to even some of the most technologically savvy.The most basic definition of Bitcoin is it is a new form of virtual currency. It’s basically a web-based form of money that you can use just like “real” money to pay for goods and services or to place sports bets.
The new currency comes with a lot of advantages that lend well to sports betting and other monetary transactions. We’ll go into this further along in this article, specifically how it helps create easier transactions, transaction transparency, and encryption capabilities.
Even though they sound like actual metal coins, Bitcoins are in fact not actually something that you can hold in your hand. They are 100% digital and are basically highly technical computer creations that are created through a process known as mining. (We keep saying ‘basically’ because these are somewhat simplified explanations as the actual technology requires some intense knowledge of computers and their inner workings.) Mining refers to using massive amounts of computing power to create the piece of technology known as a Bitcoin.
Every Bitcoin that is created makes the next one harder to make with a need for more massive computing power. This process can continue until eventually, it will be impossible to create anymore Bitcoins. These Bitcoins can then be transferred between people, usually for money. The fact that there is a finite supply of these digital coins is what gives them the ability to hold value. If anyone could make as many as they wanted, they would be pointless. Imagine the ability for every person to print as much paper money as they wanted to. It would instantly lose its value.
A Bitcoin itself isn’t actually worth any money as it really doesn’t serve any purpose. It gets its value from the fact that it is in limited supply and people have decided to recognize it as having value.
If this sounds crazy, think about any country’s normal currency. The paper itself is pretty much worthless unless you wanted to use it to build a fire. The only reason that it has value is that we choose to recognize it as such and there is a limited supply of it.
Bitcoins can be purchased through a Bitcoin wallet with real money. A Bitcoin wallet is just like using something like Paypal where you load money onto it. The only difference here is that the money is not kept in its original currency but is converted into Bitcoins, the new digital currency. You can then use this currency anywhere on the web that Bitcoins are accepted. When you’re ready to take your money offline, you simply convert it back to your preferred currency, and you’re all set.
You can imagine this a lot like going on vacation. You have to convert your current money into a new currency that works in the country you are going to. Once you get done using the money in that country, you convert whatever you have left back into your original currency. If you’re asking yourself why not just use your normal currency as it is accepted in most places on the internet, we will get into that. There are a lot of benefits that come with using a cryptocurrency that we will cover in the next section.
As sports betting on the internet continues to evolve, new technologies continually emerge that help to make the experience much better for bettors. Whether you’re a professional betting to make a living or just a casual fan that likes some added sweat, Bitcoins bring a lot of great benefits to the table.
Something important we want to point out before we get into the benefits of Bitcoins for sports bettors is that using this method to fund your accounts and make your bets in no way, shape, or form changes the way your bets work. Everything is the exact same as if you funded your account with cash or a debit card. Some players get worried that the rules might change, or they might get worse lines or odds if they use a different depositing and withdrawal method. This is definitely not the case. The sportsbooks actually like this new method of transactions and prefer players use them as it makes things easier for everyone.
Bitcoin transactions are significantly faster than traditional forms of depositing and withdrawals. As everything is digital, there is no need to work through third party vendors or banks to process transactions. This creates a quick deposit process that will have you making bets in time for tonight’s game. Not only does this help with deposits, but it significantly speeds up the withdrawal process at most sites. Anytime you’re able to get your winnings quicker is a great thing. Also, it’s important to note that due to the simplicity of these transactions, most sportsbooks are able to offer much lower fees on withdrawals which are another win for the player.
Most sportsbooks are forced to put caps and limits on how much money you are able to deposit and withdraw at one time. A lot of times this is due to the expected issues with your bank or credit card company when it comes to deposits. With Bitcoin, you are in the driver seat of your funds and can make transactions of any size that you want without having to go through 20 different layers of approval. If you are a bigger player, this can be a big deal when it comes to deposits. You don’t want to have to make 10 different transactions and call your bank 10 times just to get enough money online to make your wagers with.
For all players, this becomes a big deal when it comes to withdrawals. Some sports betting sites have limits on how much you can withdraw at a time and have higher fees on traditional forms of withdrawals. With Bitcoin transactions, these limits are typically through the roof or non-existent at all, and the fees are small or also non-existent. It’s your money, and you should be free to do as you wish with it.
When you make a transaction with a more traditional method, you have no way of tracking the success or failure of the transaction. Your statements are usually not updated instantly, and the deposit or withdrawal systems might not update you right away. This can create confusion and headaches when you are waiting for something to go through. With Bitcoin, all transactions are able to be instantly viewed in real-time with a unique transaction ID number. This allows you to know as soon as your deposit or withdrawal has been taken care of. These transactions can also be viewed from anywhere and are not dependent on the sender or receiver to see.
All transactions that are done with Bitcoin are completely anonymous. No one will ever be able to detect who the sender and who the receiver of a transaction are. This is great as it gives you an added layer of protection when playing online. A lot of people are skeptical about using their actual debit or credit cards with online gaming, and this offers a solution. Only the sender and the receiver will ever know where the money came from and where it went. This offers you levels of protection that go way beyond even our technological knowledge base.
Players are usually curious how they actually get paid out and what that process looks like when they are using Bitcoins. It’s actually quite similar to traditional cashouts except for a lot faster and cheaper with one added step. When you are ready to cash your winnings out of the site, they are transferred back to you into your Bitcoin wallet. You can keep the coins there and use them online at any retailer or service provider that accepts Bitcoin transactions, or you can convert them back into your preferred currency.
As we discussed earlier, this is a lot like when you buy another currency to go on vacation. When you return and are ready to get your money back to your preferred currency, you simply trade it in for your currency at whatever the current exchange rate.
The Bitcoin currency is subject to fluctuations that could be in your favor or not. This again is the exact same as when you go on vacation. Most of the time the difference will be negligible. If you aren’t satisfied with the current exchange rate, you can just keep your Bitcoins in your e-wallet and exchange them whenever you feel like it.
If you’re curious about how the rate for Bitcoins works, here is a great site that has up to date statistics and information.
Since the method is a lot easier on the sportsbook, they are able to do much larger amounts with much lower fees than your traditional methods. This is true with deposits and more importantly on your withdrawals. Not only are they cheaper and larger amounts, but they are also going to be faster almost always than the other traditional methods.
The bottom line is that the cashout process is simpler and more in your favor than most traditional methods.
While the deposit and withdrawal methods are extremely important, you also have to have them on a site that knows what sports bettors want. It is great to be able to move your money around much easier and more quickly, but it’s pointless if the site you are moving it to and from is a worthless site. For that reason, we have done some extensive research to find the best sports betting websites that are offering Bitcoin transaction options to players.
These sites have been vetted and selected based on security, user-interface, their industry reputation, and of course their amenities for sports bettors. These sites have fantastic varieties of bets as well as some of the best and most competitive lines in the industry. We’re confident you’ll quickly find a new favorite sports betting home in no time.
A smart question to always ask before you try something new is the legality of what you’re looking to do.
The currency is completely deregulated, anonymous, and under no regulations to our knowledge. Regarding online sports betting, you will have to check with the laws and rules of where you live as they vary by location. Most places it is completely legal to sports bet online.
In Europe, most countries allow their residents to bet on sports legally. If you feel the need to check on your country specifically, we recommend contacting support of the site you are looking to play at, and they will be happy to help. The sites we recommended above have great customer service and will provide all the information you need.
For our United States readers, using Bitcoin is also 100% legal. As per sports betting online, you will have to check your state or federal rules in regards to that. They are a fairly gray area and are open to a lot of interpretation. We can say that we know plenty of players from the states that have been betting on sports online safely for years. Again, it is a bit of a gray area, but the general interpretation is that any legislation is aimed at the companies and never at the player placing bets.
We will continually update this section if anything changes regarding legislation, but for now, it looks like most players in most areas worldwide should have no problems or concerns about placing sports bets online through Bitcoin.
We are not lawyers and should not be received as such. If you want a more in-depth answer into the legality, we recommend doing your own research or contacting one of the sites above and speaking with their customer service about your location. They will be happy to help.