Bitcoin is a relatively new form of currency that is just beginning to hit the mainstream, but most people still don't understand why they should make the effort to use it. Here are a few good reasons sports bettors should start using Bitcoin exclusively to fund and withdraw winnings from their sportsbooks.
It's Cheap: What’s that you say? Your credit card transactions are instantaneous too? Well, that’s true. But your merchant (and possibly you) pay for that privilege. Some merchants will charge a fee for debit card transactions too, as they have to pay a ‘swipe fee’ for fulfilling them. Bitcoin transaction fees are minimal, or in some cases free.
Central governments can't take it away: Remember what happened in Cyprus in March 2013? The Central Bank wanted to take back uninsured deposits larger than $100,000 to help recapitalize itself, causing huge unrest in the local population. It originally wanted to take a percentage of deposits below that figure, eating directly into family savings. That can’t happen with bitcoin. Because the currency is decentralized, you own it. No central authority has control, and so a bank can’t take it away from you. For those who find their trust in the traditional banking system unraveling, that’s a big benefit.
It's Private: Sometimes, we don’t want people knowing what we have purchased. Bitcoin is a relatively private currency. On the one hand, it is transparent – thanks to the blockchain, everyone knows how much a particular bitcoin address holds in transactions. They know where those transactions came from, and where they’re sent. On the other hand, unlike conventional bank accounts, no one knows who holds a particular bitcoin address. It’s like having a clear plastic wallet with no visible owner. Everyone can look inside it, but no one knows whose it is. However, it’s worth pointing out that people who use bitcoin unwisely (such as always using the same bitcoin address, or combining coins from multiple addresses into a single address) risk making it easier to identify them online.
You Don't Need to Trust Anyone Else: In a conventional banking system, you have to trust people to handle your money properly along the way. You have to trust the bank, for example. You might have to trust a third-party payment processor. You’ll often have to trust the merchant too. These organizations demand important, sensitive pieces of information from you. Because bitcoin is entirely decentralized, you need trust no one when using it. When you send a transaction, it is digitally signed, and secure. An unknown miner will verify it, and then the transaction is completed. The merchant need not even know who you are, unless you’ve arranged to tell them.
You Own It: There is no other electronic cash system in which your account isn't owned by someone else. Take PayPal, for example: if the company decides for some reason that your account has been misused, it has the power to freeze all of the assets held in the account, without consulting you. It is then up to you to jump through whatever hoops are necessary to get it cleared, so that you can access your funds. With bitcoin, you own the private key and the corresponding public key that makes up a bitcoin address. No one can take that away from you (unless you lose it yourself, or host it with a web-based wallet service that loses it for you).
The Bottom Line: By most accounts, gambling represents between 50 and 60 percent of all Bitcoin transactions. Transaction costs are extremely low, meaning it doesn’t cost a lot to send and receive coins. Transactions are also irreversible. Once you send Bitcoins to someone else, you can’t request them back in exchange for returning the service or good you purchased. For gambling operators, this irreversibly eliminates the risk of charge back fraud.
Bettors like Bitcoin because they receive their winnings right away. There are no bank wires or deposits to wait on because Bitcoin is itself a payment processor. “This is absolutely revolutionary, and isn’t being done by any billion dollar casino in Vegas,” And in the same way the Internet breaks down international boundaries, the uniformity of Bitcoin enables international gambling without the hassles of currency exchanges.
Central to Bitcoin’s success is this apparent contradiction: all transactions are at once anonymous and transparent. Every transaction and its size is listed in a public ledger, while the parties involved remain anonymous. When it comes to gaming, that transparency allows all players to verify that each bet is fair. Because of Bitcoin’s mathematical algorithm, there’s no way for the house to cheat, he explained.
But with all gambling, players have to trust that the operators won’t steal the money they put down, which seems particularly risky with anonymously run sites. The immediacy of transacting Bitcoins minimizes that risk. And for the gambling operators, not holding players’ money for long periods of time allows them to more easily skirt gambling laws that crack down on payment processing.
If you don't have a Bitcoin account open we suggest you open one with Coinbase immediately.