Although its use is continuing to increase, there remains a lot of mystery around Cryptocurrency and on Bitcoin in particular. In reality, it is actually a very simple, logical and secure way to pay for goods and services across the net and it is just starting to gain a presence in the physical world as well as in the online gambling world where the number of Bitcoin betting sites are steadily increasing.
Its functionality makes it a perfect addition to the list of funding methods offered by bookmakers and although many have yet to fully embrace the concept, the number of operators accepting Bitcoin is starting to grow. That continued growth means that it’s worth looking into it a little further.
History of Bitcoin
Bitcoin (BTC) is attributed to ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ but we don’t actually know his real identity or even if he is one person or a group that devised the currency. What we do know is that ‘Nakamoto’ published his invention in October 2008 as a peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System. Earlier forms of cryptocurrency had been issued prior to this but this was by far the most exciting development and that’s why many mistakenly refer to BTC as the first of its kind.
From day one, users started to download the software and the ‘Blockchain’ was now in place. Payments started to be made but it would be some time before it started to make it into ‘mainstream’ retailing.
Things began to change in 2012 when WordPress adopted the cryptocurrency before other recognisable brands began to follow suit. Expedia, Microsoft and OKCupid were among those ground-breaking companies who paved the way for easier access to BTC.
By now, the gambling industry started to become interested and the first adopters began to add Bitcoin to their funding list alongside the more traditional bank methods and eWallets.
In the present day, it’s still relatively rare to find these sites but the demand is certainly growing. With Bitcoin ATMS now appearing and the currency being used in the real world to buy everything from holidays to gift vouchers, the list of participating sportsbooks will surely grow in the coming months and years.
What Is Bitcoin?
In the past few years, you’ve surely heard about Bitcoin and digital currencies in general. However, not many people are truly aware of what it is. A decentralized digital currency that works without a central bank or administrator, Bitcoin is the leading so-called cryptocurrency in the world. It became a global phenomenon that changed the way we think about money and opened up a whole new world of possibilities such as BTC gambling.
Bitcoin gambling works without a bank since it’s not printed as real money. As a digital currency, all transactions go through the blockchain. It’s a public distributed ledger that records all transactions and comes as a chain of blocks. As an open-source platform, the transactions are completed using readily available apps.
The term is often associated with mining. Data mining is the thing that keeps the blockchain consistent and ‘alive’. It utilizes pure PC processing power that ‘mines’ blocks to unearth Bitcoins and control the cryptocurrency’s price. That’s totally different from the way fiat currency (money) is made but it shouldn’t be surprising considering the fact that it’s a digital form of currency.
Released as open-source code in 2009 by a mysterious figure or figures known as Satoshi Nakamoto, the digital currency was created when Nakamoto mined the so-called genesis block. From the moment it saw the light of day, millions of people were intrigued by Bitcoin’s prospect, seeing as a currency that may put an end to bank-controlled currencies. Governments are still hesitant to adopt it, but many have legalized Bitcoin and are already seeing its benefits.
A wide range of industries have started using BTC payments including online gaming. US sportsbooks are widely adopting the idea of using BTC as a banking option to the delight of thousands of punters. Since there’s no bank behind it, Bitcoin allows you to make anonymous bets that are still recorded on the blockchain for safety & security. It is widely considered the safest banking option at bookies.
How It Works
One reason why some consumers and retailers tend to stay away from Bitcoin is the perception that it is very complicated to use. It’s true that you may need some technical knowledge but once you trial the process, you should quickly become proficient.
Firstly, you need to download and install a Bitcoin wallet on your phone or PC and this will generate a Bitcoin address which will allow you to access the BlockChain. The BlockChain is a shared public ledger which records all payments made using BTC.
Processing payments is called Mining: when you have Bitcoins in your account then you can send them to other registered users via the public ledger where they are recorded for posterity. Although the method has been slow to catch on, its security levels are high and this is one reason why the process is popular with some sportsbooks and casinos in the current climate.
Best Bitcoin Betting Sites
A premier US bookie, BetOnline.ag is also one of the first cryptocurrency betting sites on the market. A trusted bookie among punters, it was launched in 2004. The team behind the sportsbook worked hard to deliver a pitch-perfect product and it certainly jumped a level up when it added BTC payments to the mix.
BetOnline accepts players from all states and offers an almost endless list of sports and markets. It’s not a Bitcoin-exclusive sportsbook – if you want to bet with debit/credit cards, you have that option at your disposal. However, Bitcoin betting makes things much more exciting, not to mention the fact that you can run into a Bitcoin bonus frequently.
In terms of betting options, BetOnline has around 20 sports in its offer with fixed odds, live odds, props, and other markets on offer. The site has a clean and simple interface which is a breath of fresh air in a world of flashy bookies.
Using BTC at BetOnline (or any of the other listed altcoins) means instant and secure withdrawals along with higher max limits. The latter is one of the biggest reasons why UK punters choose to play with BTC rather than sticking with the regular options.
Calling itself the top spot in sports betting, SportsBetting.ag comes packed with a huge variety of sports and markets. You can bet with Bitcoin on the NFL, Super Bowl, college football, all the major football leagues, the NBA, horse racing, MMA/UFC, and more which puts it among the premier US bookie destinations online.
An all-in-one solution that offers a poker site, casino, and bingo as well, SportsBetting is truly one of the best bookies on the US market. You can earn plenty of great promos at the site that will keep your wallet full and give you dozens of chances to win.
With over 30 sports in its offer that span football, American football, ice hockey, basketball, and tennis among other sports, SportsBetting.ag is one of the best in business. To make things even more exciting, it has added a 100% 1st time crypto bonus for all novice players that love Bitcoin gambling. Crypto reload bonuses and other promotions are also available, so if you want to use Bitcoin to bet on sports, SportsBetting.ag is a perfect choice.
Another one-in-all BTC gambling solution, 22Bet grew up to become quite a successful bookie in recent years. The site has signed with famous ambassadors such as Nuno Gomes and Kevin Kuranyi so it’ll surely strike a chord with football fans.
22Bet has one of the longest lists of sports in the business offering top matches and events from a variety of sports. The list of sports is organized A-Z and you can bet on non-sports events as well. How does predicting the weather sound to you? You can bet with Bitcoin on weather conditions at 22Bet which is crazy and kind of genius as well. Live betting on popular events is available as well and with over 1,000 daily markets open and the best odds in the business, 22Bet is a massive hit with UK punters.
The bookie accepts an array of banking options including Bitcoin. If you own the cryptocurrency and you’re a sports betting enthusiast, look no further than this betting site.
One of the oldest sportsbooks online, Intertops boasts about having accepted the world’s first online sports bet. Since then, it became one of the leading sports betting sites with thousands of wagers placed on events every day. Intertops’ position was further reinforced when it added Bitcoin betting to its list of payment methods.
A safe and secure bookie with dozens of sports on its list, you can place bets on virtually any sport you can think of at Intertops. Major American sports lead the list with plenty of action for football fans as well. You can even bet with Bitcoin on the stock market – that’s something rarely any other bookie offers.
Established in 1983, Intertops grew side by side with online betting innovation and is one of the first betting sites to side with Bitcoin. Thanks to this and the excellent odds, it’s a great place to be for sports fans.
Bitcoin Betting FAQ
How do I Place a Bitcoin Bet?
Placing a wager doesn’t differ a lot from placing a bet with any other banking method. However, you do have to acquire Bitcoin before you enter the world of Bitcoin gambling. To do that, you must visit a regulated Bitcoin exchange and use your bank checking account to get BTC. Next, you’ll need to link it to an e-wallet that accepts cryptocurrencies – they’re free to get and easy to use.
Now that you’re an official user, you can easily bet with Bitcoin online by selecting it from the drop-down menu at your favourite sports betting site. It’s fast, it’s easy, and not associated with any fees.
How do I Acquire Bitcoin?
As mentioned, you’ll need to buy Bitcoin from a regulated crypto exchange with your checking account, debit/credit card or ACH. As soon as you see Bitcoins in your account, you should find a reliable betting site and bet on all your favourite sports.
Is it Safe and Legal to Use Bitcoin for Sports Betting?
If you bet at a licensed betting site, yes, you can use Bitcoin to place legal wagers online. The gambling sites we’ve listed above are all properly licensed and regulated and are great options for all punters.
Are there any Bitcoin Deposit and Withdrawal Fees?
Most online bookies in the USA don’t charge any fees for BTC deposits or withdrawals. However, some third parties might so make sure to read the fine print carefully.
How to Make Deposits and Withdrawals at Bitcoin Betting Sites?
Deposits and withdrawals are pretty easy to make. As mentioned, you’ll first need to buy Bitcoin from a regulated exchange and fund your wallet with BTC. Once this step is finished, you can safely make BTC deposits online. The process is easy to complete and nearly all online sportsbooks have guides or videos that will help you complete the process with ease.
Withdrawals are even easier to complete. They work just like deposits except this time, the process is reversed. All gambling sites that accept BTC deposits also allow withdrawals using the cryptocurrency so you shouldn’t experience any problems.
Is Bitcoin Good for BTC Bookmakers Bonuses?
Sure, crypto bonuses are always fun. With numerous sites still hesitant to accept Bitcoin payments, crypto gambling sites are already reaping the benefits of Bitcoin. To promote the cryptocurrency and reel in new crypto customers, Bitcoin gambling sites use BTC bonuses and promotions.
We’re not just talking about crypto welcome bonuses – those are common. Crypto reload promos and special Bitcoin bonuses are also available at the Bitcoin online sportsbooks so why not go ahead and take advantage of them all?
Are certain Countries Banned from Using Bitcoin with BTC Betting Sites?
Most countries around the world have some kind of regulation in regards to Bitcoin betting. However, only a few officially regulate it, the UK and Italy chief among them. In other countries, the cryptocurrency is not considered a legal payment method and it shouldn’t be used for gambling.
That is not to say that you can’t use it. In some countries, crypto regulation is pretty unclear so users are free to place Bitcoin bets without the fear of legal repercussions. Some gambling authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission advise users with a pop-up window to be cautious when they use BTC due to associated risks.
Despite the legal and technical challenges online casinos face when they decide to adopt Bitcoin, the online gaming industry is becoming more and more dependent on the leading cryptocurrency in the world.
Can Bitcoin be used in the UK?
If you come from the UK and you’re playing at a licensed betting site by the UKGC, then there’s no obstacle for you to bet with Bitcoin. When playing with BTC, you might need to send additional documents that will need to be verified, but other than that, you’re free to bet with it.
Even better, it is one of the best payment methods you can use since it’s global availability. It’s among the safest as well, and there are no fees associated with any Bitcoin deposit or withdrawal.
What’s the Price of Bitcoin Currently?
The price of BTC goes up and down by the minute, so it’s vital to check it before you start betting with it. At the moment, it trades for just over £7,100, a price that’s currently on an upward trend.
What’s the Difference between Bitcoin and Traditional Payment Methods?
The fact that BTC is essentially a peer-to-peer network makes it operate almost like cash. It can be exchanged without a bank or any financial intermediary which means no (or very low) fees and security. As a matter of fact, this, along with the blockchain’s safety & security, are the two biggest advantages Bitcoin has over traditional payment methods.
Using the cryptocurrency at betting sites also promises instant withdrawals. That’s another advantage it has over credit/debit cards and even e-wallets which are pretty fast themselves. Another key difference is the fact that your Bitcoin transactions are not refunded unless the receiving party agrees. This means no charge-backs for merchants and no fees paid on each transaction as it happens via credit cards.
Points to Note with Bitcoin Betting Sites
If a bookmaker has been specifically set up to take Bitcoin then it’s likely that there will be no restrictions on how you can use it in and around the site. In general, if there is a welcome bonus and other, ongoing promos to enjoy then you can use BTC freely and take advantage of all the offers available.
If, however, a betting site is only offering this cryptocurrency as a very small part of their overall list of funding options, then the method may well be excluded from those promos. This is a bit of a generalisation but this is typical of how an operator may regard the cryptocurrency. Exact terms of any offer should be laid out transparently by the bookie in question and if you are in any doubt, customer services operators will be available to confirm any fine details.
You should also check with regard to transfer times and whether your chosen bookmaker applies any charges to a deposit or a withdrawal. Minimum and Maximum limits may also come into play and once again, these should be fully displayed under the general terms and conditions supplied by online betting sites.
Pros and Cons of Using Bitcoin Sports Betting
There are many advantages of using Bitcoin for sports betting and we already covered the basics. First and foremost, many punters will love the fact that it’s a completely anonymous payment method. This is great news for players who come from unregulated markets. The increasing number of bookmakers accepting Bitcoin is also great news for crypto punters. There are many online sportsbooks that work exclusively with Bitcoin and an even bigger number that accept it besides the ‘usual culprits’.
When you bet with Bitcoin, you’re going to love the fact that all transactions are completed in a second. Unlike other payment methods, Bitcoin doesn’t require the use of an intermediary which ensures lightning-fast deposits and withdrawals. The blockchain is perfectly safe & secure, and security, as we all know, plays a major role when betting online.
Another advantage of using Bitcoin for sports betting is the fact that you can easily convert it to virtually any known currency. You can buy it legally with a click of a button from a regulated exchange and enjoy placing BTC bets at your favourite sports betting sites.
On the other hand, Bitcoin gambling is still a relatively new industry. That might put some punters off (especially old-school punters) who will be reluctant to make bets with such a distant concept of a payment method.
Additionally, the high volatility and unstable price will be more than enough to deter many punters from the cryptocurrency. Betting in fiat currencies guarantees a stable price which isn’t something you might say for Bitcoin. If this concerns you, then you’re probably not yet ready to start using the cryptocurrency for sports betting.