You’ve probably seen and heard a lot about the wonders of the blockchain and how much money can be made from cryptocurrencies and token sales. But, have you ever wondered what all the buzz is about with regards to sports betting and gaming?
In the same way that blockchain and cryptocurrencies are disrupting traditional industries, sports betting and gaming are also being transformed by the underlying technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. That technology, called “distributed ledger technology” or “DLT”, allows for complete transparency of transactions, prevents counterfeiting, and provides instant notification if there’s been any attempt at fraud. For a more detailed explanation, be sure to check out our other detailed article on how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies work.
The Benefits Of Using Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies
One of the biggest attractions of using cryptocurrencies in sports betting is the ease of doing business. Since there’s no middleman involved, you don’t have to go through any kind of financial institution to exchange bitcoins or any other cryptocurrencies for physical cash. This makes it much faster and more convenient to conduct business.
In addition, in countries where gambling is against the law, using cryptocurrencies to make wagers is considered a way to operate outside of the law. This could open the doors to a whole new market of gamblers who want to hide their identities while getting the benefits of cryptocurrency.
Increased Security And Confidentiality
With the rise of online casinos and gambling apps, as well as the boom in initial coin offerings (ICOs), more and more people are turning to the security and confidentiality that blockchain and cryptocurrencies provide. You no longer have to be wary of entering your personal information on a possibly unsecure or untrustworthy website. Instead, all the information is safely stored on a mobile device that you control and manage yourself.
Because blockchain keeps a permanent, unalterable record of everything that happens in the network (not to mention the fact that it’s publicly viewable), your personal information is much less likely to be compromised. It’s also much harder for someone to steal your identity thanks to the growing use of biometric security and the fact that most blockchains are now connected to a reliable and trusted source of identity, such as a decentralized identity network called uPort.
Faster Transactions & Lower Costs
If you’re used to spending lots of money on hidden fees, inflated exchange rates, and long hold times when using traditional methods of payment, you’ll be happy to know that all of that is largely a thing of the past when using cryptocurrencies. On average, purchasing bitcoins with a credit card costs around 10% more than buying them with fiat currency (e.g., USD, EUR, or GBP).
Speaking of costs, blockchains allow for much more efficient and cost-effective transactions because there’s no middleman (like a bank) taking a cut. The cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, for example, has a whole team of experts who analyze and review transactions to ensure that they’re as efficient and secure as possible. In some instances, the cost of a transaction can be nearly nullified by using the right software or methods (i.e., tumblers, stealth addresses, and encrypted wallets).
While it’s beneficial to use cryptocurrencies in most situations, it’s still not advisable to do so if you’re trying to conceal your identity. In that case, using a mix of cryptocurrencies to obscure your identity is preferable because there are many more ways to track and identify the source of a cryptocurrency than there are to track and identify the source of a fiat currency. For example, cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Dash, and Zcash are extremely hard to trace because they’re almost impossible to pinpoint the source of the currency (e.g., via blockchain analysis).
More Flexibility For The User
With traditional payment methods, the options for making a purchase are mostly limited to fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies which have a fixed exchange rate. This can make it difficult to make the right buy if the rate fluctuates or if you want to make a better deal. In addition, if you decide to cash out your position after the race has ended, you could lose money if the rate of the chosen currency drops at the time of payout!
With cryptocurrencies, however, the options for making a purchase are practically limitless since you can use whatever currency you want, as long as you have the digital equivalent of it available. For example, if I wanted to purchase a pair of running shoes with Bitcoin, I could do so using the MTGO (Matching Token Generating Offer) method which enables users to get Bitcoins by contributing resources to a useful project (e.g., contributing computing power to mine Bitcoins).
The benefits of cryptocurrency don’t stop there, either. If I wanted to purchase a physical good or service (e.g., a vacation package for a luxury resort or a high-quality bottle of wine), I could do so with the help of an exchange which pairs Bitcoin with a fiat currency (e.g., USD) so that I can use my Bitcoins to make the purchase.
A Whole New World Of Opportunities
Thanks to the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain by mainstream companies (e.g., online casinos, crypto exchanges, and blockchain technology providers), more and more people are realizing the wide array of opportunities that this technology can offer. Since most major corporations are now testing the waters of blockchain and cryptocurrency, a growing number of employment opportunities await those who are skilled in this area.
In particular, a surprising number of jobs have opened up in the travel industry. Due to the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies and the expanding usage of blockchain technology, a large number of online travel agencies have had to rewrite their code to accommodate for the extra load. As a result, many good, reliable developers have found employment within the travel industry.
Additionally, a whole new world of business opportunities has opened up with regards to betting and gaming. For example, many betting platforms now allow for the use of cryptocurrencies, which means that you no longer have to rely on a single company to provide your services. Instead, you can choose which online betting platform you want to use and get the benefits of cheaper transactions and faster delivery of winnings.
Use Cases For And Against Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies
Let’s say you’re keen on purchasing a luxury item using bitcoins. If so, where do you spend your coins?
One of the primary uses for bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies is to purchase items from online merchants who accept them as payment (e.g., online casinos, betting agencies, and gaming platforms).
In theory, the advantages of using Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies to make these purchases are many. First and foremost, there’s no middleman taking a cut. In most situations, the fees for purchasing items using cryptocurrencies are either waived or heavily discounted. In addition, you no longer need to worry about your personal information being compromised since the entire transaction takes place behind the scenes (i.e., between you and the vendor).
On the other hand, if you’re trying to conceal your identity, using cryptocurrencies for these kind of transactions is probably not a good idea. Not only does the digital world make it very easy to trace back the source of the currency used for an online purchase, it also makes it much easier for others to do so as well.
Considering all the advantages that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology provide, it’s no wonder that a lot of people are getting into the industry. However, due to the emerging nature and increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, it’s crucial to remain aware of the risks involved. With that in mind, here’s a short list of things you should consider before investing in or using cryptocurrencies.
Legal & Regulatory Aspects
One of the major concerns for most investors and consumers is legal and regulatory aspects. In the United States, for example, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has specific regulations and laws that control the use of cryptocurrencies and the trading of various virtual currencies (e.g., Bitcoin).
The CFTC has classified cryptocurrencies as Commodities rather than Securities, which means that they don’t have to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Nevertheless, the CFTC requires that all financial advisors, equity researchers, and anyone else offering advice on investment decisions register with the agency. In addition to registering with the CFTC, advisors must also be licensed by the state they reside in.
In some countries, like the United Kingdom, individuals are still struggling with defining and regulating the new industry. Though the government has taken a generally hands-off approach, a regulatory body, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), was established to help with oversight and regulate the industry.