Crypto betting is the process of wagering cryptocurrencies on the outcome of events. It allows people to place bets using digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum instead of traditional fiat currencies. Some key things to know about crypto betting include:
How it Works
Crypto betting works similarly to regular online sports betting and gambling, except that cryptocurrencies are used for deposits, bets, and payouts rather than dollars, euros, or other government-issued money. Here’s a typical process for placing a crypto bet:
- Select a crypto betting site or app. There are numerous online betting platforms that now accept various cryptocurrencies for wagering. Popular options include Cloudbet, Nitrogen Sports, 1XBit, Bitcoin.com, and others.
- Deposit cryptocurrency funds. Once you open an account, you’ll need to deposit some cryptocurrency into your account balance from your personal crypto wallet. Common deposit coins are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and others supported by the site.
- Place your bet. Browse the betting markets for various sports, races, or other events and select which team, player, or outcome you want to wager on. You can bet on anything from soccer matches to elections to reality TV shows.
- Wait for the outcome. The crypto funds you bet remain in your betting account balance until the event concludes. If your selection wins, you get a payout. If you lose, the amount is deducted from your balance.
- Withdraw winnings. Successful bets pay out winnings back to your account balance, which you can then withdraw back to your personal crypto wallet at any time. There may be small processing fees for deposits and withdrawals.
Unlike regular sportsbooks, there is no Know Your Customer (KYC) verification required to place crypto bets. Accounts can typically be opened anonymously. Winnings are also not reported to any tax authorities since crypto is still a gray area in many jurisdictions.
Types of Crypto Bets
There are various types of bets that can be placed using cryptocurrencies, similar to traditional sportsbooks:
- Moneyline Bets: A straight up wager on which team/selection will simply win or lose, without any point spread involved. Payoffs are based on odds.
- Point Spread Bets: Betting on whether a favorite team will cover or win by more than a certain point spread, or if an underdog can keep it within the spread.
- Totals Bets: Wagering on whether the combined scores of both teams will be over or under a set point total.
- Parlays: Combining two or more bets into one wager, where all legs must win to win the entire parlay. The payout is much higher due to increased risk.
- Teasers: Similar to parlays but allows adjustments to point spreads or totals to make them more likely to win at reduced payouts.
- Props: Proposition bets on things that may or may not happen during a game like player performance stats, method of scoring, or other outcomes.
- Live/In-Play Betting: Placing wagers after an event has started based on constantly changing odds as the action unfolds. Allows betting on things like next goal, next quarter result, and more.
Sports Available to Bet On
All major professional and college sports leagues are available for crypto betting, the most popular including:
- Soccer: European leagues like Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, as well as international tournaments.
- American Football: NFL regular season and playoffs, college football.
- Basketball: NBA, NCAA March Madness.
- Baseball: MLB regular season and World Series.
- Hockey: NHL.
- Tennis: Grand Slam tournaments, ATP/WTA tours.
- Golf: PGA, major championships.
- Motorsports: NASCAR, Formula 1.
- Combat Sports: UFC, boxing championship fights.
- Esports: Leagues for games like League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Beyond mainstream pro sports, some crypto books also offer niche betting markets around politics, awards shows, reality television, and more unique proposition bets. The variety of options equals or exceeds traditional online sportsbooks.
Benefits of Crypto Betting
While still a relatively new concept, crypto betting provides some advantages over regular online sports gambling:
- Pseudonymity: Accounts do not require verification of real names or details, allowing for anonymity.
- Borderless: There are no geographical restrictions on placing bets from anywhere in the world.
- Fast Deposits/Withdrawals: Crypto transactions confirm much quicker than bank wires or checks, getting funds in and out of accounts faster.
- No Third Parties: No banks or payment processors are involved that could potentially block or freeze funds. Bettors maintain sole control.
- Higher Odds: Some argue crypto bookmakers offer slightly more favorable odds to attract a newer customer base.
- Market Access: Residents of jurisdictions where online sports betting is illegal can still access global betting markets.
- Volatility Potential: Just like cryptocurrencies, sizable wins could be generated by correctly predicting dramatic events given high odds against longshots.
Potential Drawbacks of Crypto Betting
Of course, crypto betting also has some caveats compared to traditional regulated sportsbooks:
- Price Volatility: Cryptocurrency values fluctuate substantially, so the real dollar value of balances and payouts can change from time of bet to withdrawal. Significant gains or losses are possible.
- Regulation Uncertainty: Since crypto remains largely unregulated for betting, the legal frameworks around these sites and their activities may change or be found non-compliant in the future.
- chargebacks: Unlike credit cards, crypto transactions cannot be disputed or charged back if funds go missing from an exchange or a sportsbook exits without paying out existing balances.
- Anonymity Drawbacks: Lack of identity verification comes with risks of dealing with bad actors anonymously as well as lack of compliance/licensing shields typical of regulated entities.
- Technology Risks: Crypto exchanges and wallets are still prone to cyber attacks, hacks and software errors that could compromise funds if not properly secured by the user.
- Limited Payment Options: Most only accept a few major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for deposits, whereas traditional sportsbooks offer credit cards, bank wires, and other payment methods.
Should You Try Crypto Betting?
Crypto sports betting offers an exciting alternative for bettors seeking something new or prohibited from traditional regulated options. However, it also requires understanding the added financial risk profile compared to traditional options. Some things to consider before trying crypto betting include:
- Only deposit amounts you’d feel comfortable losing outright due to exchange hacks or site exit scams. Assume it’s non-recoverable money.
- Carefully research the crypto bookmaker to assess reputation, security practices, years in business, jurisdiction, and payment processing track record. Avoid newcomers and fly-by-night operations.
- Use strong passwords, 2FA authentication, and proper cryptocurrency wallet security to protect accounts and funds from being compromised. Hardware wallets are recommended for large balances.
- Understand price volatility risks and how it impacts the real dollar value of balances over time as coin values rise and fall independently of bets placed. Margin can be lost or gained through no fault of bets placed.
- Check local laws as crypto betting is still a gray area in many countries, and operating policies may change. Don’t assume anonymity protects from prosecution if later found illegal.
- Consider it higher risk than traditional regulated online sports betting due to lack of consumer protections built into the crypto wild west landscape presently. Only use funds you can afford to lose completely as with any investment.
For the thrill-seeking and open-minded, crypto sports betting provides a fun new frontier for wagering and generating digital wealth through correctly predicting sports outcomes. But as with any emerging technology in its early phases, responsible practices remain important given uncertainties that can still arise. By properly securing funds and limiting deposits to discretionary amounts, experienced cryptocurrency users stand to enjoy this fusion of money and sports.