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By now even your average sports bettor knows about bitcoin. They have either used it themself to send funds to a sportsbook offshore or know someone that has. There are two main kinds of sportsbooks that take bitcoin and there is a new generation of “decentral” apps on the way. Everyone wants their piece of the sportsbetting pie but which platforms will be used by crypto freaks in their mom´s basement and which will become somewhat mainstream and capture a part of the pie? Let´s take a look at the pros and cons of live22 sports betting platforms.

What do sportsbettors use bitcoin for?

In most cases they use it simply as a way to transfer value. The sportsbook is happy because there are no charge backs from credit cards and less fees as other methods. The bettors are happy because there are less fees and less of a paper trail of their activity. In general the waiting time for a withdraw or deposit to process is faster and takes place 24–7. This is not always the case with other methods.

Two kinds of bitcoin sportsbooks

Offshore Sportsbooks

There are two main kinds of bitcoin sportsbooks. There are the traditional “offshore” sportsbooks like 5dimes, betdsi, betonline ect. They have been around a while and now all accept bitcoin as a payment method. When your bitcoin arrives it is directly converted to USD value. In this way you are avoiding currency risk and shorting bitcoin 1x. You have what bitcoiners would say “gone to fiat”. When you withdraw (if you are not rekt and blew your account out) then your funds are converted back into bitcoin and sent to your wallet. This is the way that most bettors use bitcoin to bet at sportsbooks.

Pros:

  • Currency risk is reduced. I do not have to worry about the price of bitcoin when betting.
  • Exit scams are less likely. The sportsbooks are often long standing and have a public reputaion to defend. In short they are less likely to just close shop with all the funds than a pure bitcoin sportsbook.
  • Good Support. Nearly all offshore sportsbooks have a support chat 247.
  • Bets graded incorrectly can be reversed.

Cons:

  • Withdraw can be slow. Compared to pure bitcoin sportsbooks the offshore sportsbooks are very slow on withdraws. It can often take 24–48 hours and in some cases longer.
  • Security. Some books do not have 2FA or only email 2FA or device approval. However there is no way to withdraw bitcoin right away. In this case the friction of approving withdraw via email and 48 hour delays is a feature. Still the offshore sportsbooks need to up their 2FA game.
  • Platform Risk. Since withdraws take a long time you can not withdraw after every event you bet on, it simply is not feasable. If something were to happen to the platform then your funds could be at risk.
  • KYC. Most offshore sportsbooks have some form of KYC (know your customer).

There is another type of bitcoin sportsbook, the “pure” bitcoin sportsbook.

Pure Bitcoin Sportsbooks

The use of “pure” bitcoin sportsbooks is on the rise. A pure bitcoin sportsbook is one that does not have a fiat currency symbol on the site at all. Your funds are always in bitcoin and the bets are all taken in bitcoin. For example at the offshore sportsbook you would bet 100$ on Mc Gregor to win but at the pure bitcoin sportsbook you would bet 0.04 BTC on Mc Gregor to win.

Pros:

  • Quick Withdraws. Withdraw is often instant and 247–365. In many cases you need to enter your password and/or 2FA in order to withdraw. This is much faster than the offshore sportsbooks.
  • Exposure to the bitcoin price. If you are bullish on bitcoin then you will want to stay in bitcoin and not fiat.
  • No KYC. If you want your betting activities to be private then your best bet is a pure bitcoin sportsbook.
  • Bets graded incorrectly can be reversed.

Cons:

  • Currency Risk. for some it is a pro for others a con. If the bitcoin price dumps 10% during the event you are betting on, then you lost 10% of USD value.
  • Support. In general support is slower and not as active as with the offshore sportsbooks.
  • Risk of exit scam. Allthough the pure bitcoin sportsbooks have a reputaion to defend, they have much less to lose if they were to just close shop and leave. Having only bitcoin on the site makes this easier.