What to Know About Sports Betting and Bitcoin
Bitcoin is not only experiencing explosive growth in value, it’s also becoming trendy with seasoned sports bettors. Many bettors have welcomed Bitcoin-only sportsbooks as an opportunity for new outs and traditional shops have taken note, adding Bitcoin as a method for both deposits and withdrawals.
[More: What is Bitcoin?]
For anyone considering using Bitcoin, we’ve listed some key advantages and disadvantages below.
1. Easy to deposit and withdraw
It’s extremely easy to both deposit and withdraw with Bitcoin. A few clicks of the mouse and your deposit is on its way or withdrawal processed once approved by your sportsbook. Please note that many sportsbooks will only allow you to withdraw with Bitcoin if you also used it to deposit.
2. No sportsbook fees
Most sportsbooks charge fees when bettors withdraw from their accounts, however, withdrawals via Bitcoin are normally free.
3. Fund only what you need
Because it’s so easy to deposit and withdraw and most sportsbooks don’t charge fees with Bitcoin, bettors only need to fund what they intend to bet and can therefore keep portions of their bankroll in Bitcoin wallets, if they so choose.
Bitcoin is very volatile, meaning its value can fluctuate drastically over short periods of time. This is especially important for those using sportsbooks who keep account balances in Bitcoin instead of converting them to US dollars.
While the actual amount of a sportsbook balance kept in Bitcoin won’t change, the value of that balance is at the mercy of the Bitcoin market. Bettors considering playing at one of these sportsbooks need to be aware of this as it can be both a benefit (if Bitcoin increases in value) and a disadvantage (if Bitcoin decreases in value).
2. Exchange/wallet fees
Sportsbooks don’t charge fees to deposit and withdraw with Bitcoin but there are fees associated with the purchase and transfer of Bitcoin. All bettors should research and understand these fees before considering using Bitcoin.
For those wondering, Coinbase (a popular Bitcoin exchange) charges 1.49% for bank account purchases and 3.99% for debit card purchases, however fees vary depending on the exchange.
3. Lengthy exchange transactions
Exchanges allow customers to use bank accounts and debit cards to purchase Bitcoin. Debit card purchases are instant but do require the customer to pay a higher fee. Linking a checking or savings account to an exchange offers lower fees, but can often take over 7 business days for the purchase to process. While the transaction processes, your purchase is affected by the price of Bitcoin, meaning the value of what you purchased can drop or potentially even increase once it arrives.
In my experience, using a debit card and being able to immediately access your Bitcoin is worth the additional fees.
4. Blockchain delays
There can be delays when transferring Bitcoin between exchanges, wallets and sportsbooks. As a result, Bitcoin may not be the best method of deposit if you’re attempting to quickly take advantage of an off-market line or a price you need to get down on immediately.
While Bitcoin is certainly growing in popularity among sports bettors, a poll we ran on Twitter indicates that the majority of bettors haven’t made the move to Bitcoin just yet.
POLL: Do you currently use Bitcoin when betting on sports?https://t.co/seUbNGFPlo
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) August 18, 2017
Have questions or comments about your own experiences with Bitcoin? Please leave them in the comments section below.