Almost a decade after Bitcoin‘s conception in 2009, cryptocurrencies are emerging from their infancy and becoming an increasingly popular means for the purchase and sale of things, from coffee to automobiles to yachts, as well as being able to support leisure activities such as sports betting.
In fact, the number of cryptocurrency users worldwide has surpassed the 100 million mark thanks to tech-savvy Millennials and Generation Z, who have joined the ranks of coding aficionados and speculators. In April of 2021, the price of Bitcoin soared to more than $60,000, with the total value of all Bitcoins in circulation over $1000 billion, a rise of more than 200% since early in the year 2020.
In sports betting, new start-ups have taken advantage of this popularity, and there is now a parallel industry with over 120 operators offering a Bitcoin payment solution outside of licensed markets in Europe or the United States, as well as over 25 operators offering an “end-to-end” service that only accepts cryptocurrency payments. If this crypto-sportsbook business expands, it might have a significant influence on the number of sports betting fraud.
Data collection and real-time transmission advancements have been the driver for increasing the offering to clients in recent years, with a wider selection of markets and events being accessible to bet on as a result of this. Moreover, although this upgraded offering has improved the consumer experience, it has also offered a new opportunity for the limited number of persons who are dedicated to manipulating athletic events for financial gain.
The speed of Bitcoin payments makes Bitcoin sportsbooks ideal for placing sports wagers. This means that after you’ve deposited money into your account, you may immediately begin betting. In most circumstances, withdrawals may be processed within 24 to 48 hours. Furthermore, since it does not need a bank account or credit card to make the transaction, Bitcoin is also very private. Anyone who wants to remain anonymous when wagering on sports using an offshore sportsbook is a significant advantage, and it enhances the safety of doing so. That being said players looking to use bitcoin to wager should check out the comprehensive guides available online that review the best bitcoin sportsbooks, covering everything you need to know to bet with Bitcoin. All of the sites reviewed use top-tier encryption and other measures to ensure payments are safe. The payments are also instantaneous. This means that when you’re funding your account, you can start betting right after making a deposit. When requesting a withdrawal, you can get paid out in 24-48 hours in most cases.
It is possible that large match-fixing networks will continue to exist in a form similar to that described, but it is more likely that a new method has developed and will continue to become increasingly prevalent alongside it, operating on a smaller scale, as a result of the newly discovered opportunity for athletes or officials to bet easily and directly on their own events with little to no risk of their identities being linked to the bets made.
The anonymity provided to bettors can be compared to that of an agent system, which is associated with the unregulated Asian sports betting market. However, the crypto-sportsbook market can act as a more accessible alternative to that market, providing not only anonymity but also the ease of direct, instant bet placement with an online operator rather than using an agent or online broker, who often require the use of a messaging service in order to place bets and provide wagering confirmations.
Indeed, while the crypto-sportsbook and the unregulated Asian market are treated separately in this article, the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a payment solution by online brokers before the regulated markets would increase the potential for betting-related fraud even further due to the additional layer of anonymity provided by cryptocurrencies.
A challenge for the regulated sports betting sector has arisen as a result of the increase in cryptocurrency usage and the corresponding demand for cryptocurrency-only sportsbooks. It is possible that the incorporation of a crypto-payment solution will be deemed necessary in order to retain and attract crypto-enthusiastic customers in the near future. Indeed, some regulators are in the process of developing a framework for how operators can integrate cryptocurrency payments into their products, with early indications that there will be an understandable, and seemingly unavoidable, the requirement for the customer to register their identity and link it to their crypto-wallet, albeit through the use of a third-party provider or a crypto-token mechanism, in order for the operator to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Despite the fact that this is a responsible activity taken in order to get to know their customers for the reasons of consumer protection as well as anti-money laundering, it underlines the predicament that the regulated sector is now experiencing. What demand will there be for cryptocurrencies in a sports betting market that has KYC requirements if the popularity of cryptocurrencies, as well as the demand for them and their usage in sports betting, is tied to the system’s ability to operate in relative anonymity?
Indeed, if crypto-bettors continue to operate outside of the regulated market, the potential for a new, mostly player-led technique of match-fixing opens the door to a slew of challenges for an infrastructure that has been created to identify and address integrity issues in sporting competition. And although the answers to these issues may be tough to come by, it is probable that solutions will be found in the regulation of the data supplied to crypto-sportsbooks.
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