If you had registered your details at an online sportsbook ten years ago, then you wouldn’t have had half as many payment options as you do today. Generally speaking, it was deposit through a credit or debit card and little else (credit cards are now banned by the way). Sometimes cheques or bank transfers were also accepted, but thankfully, today’s sports betting scene has much more to offer to gamblers. Other than the mass of e-wallets and prepaid cards that can be used at such sites, it is also much more common to now find bookies accepting transactions via Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
A lot has been said with regard to cryptocurrencies in recent years, both positive and negative. However, what sort of effect can using cryptocurrencies have on your sports betting activity? Are the pros able to outweigh the potential cons? We’ll be taking you through the selection of advantages and disadvantages that come from opting to utilise Bitcoin or altcoins at your chosen online sports betting site. This way, you can find out exactly what works best for you, and if you want to engage in deposits and wagers with these digital currencies. Here are the pros and cons of betting using Bitcoin and/or altcoins.
Positives Of Using Crypto To Gamble
Pro #1 – Speedier Payments
Generally speaking, when you make a deposit at an online sportsbook, you do not have to wait around for the funds to show on your account. Most platforms process deposits through very quickly, resulting in you being able to start placing your bets as soon as possible. The same is true when you deposit with a cryptocurrency, too. However, it’s when it comes to withdrawing that there is often a major difference.
Let’s say that you decide to request a withdrawal through a debit card that you have used for depositing purposes already. What will often happen in this circumstance is that the online sportsbook will have a day or two of processing time to release the requested funds to you and then it will take between 3 and 5 business days for the funds to actually show in your account. That’s a fairly long wait time to withdraw your money from your chosen sportsbook.
On the other hand, if you decide instead to use Bitcoin for your withdrawal transaction, things will likely proceed at a smoother rate. The sportsbook will still maintain its processing period in many cases. However, once this has passed by the cryptocurrency transactions tend to take place instantly, meaning that the funds appear in your crypto wallet straight away. This is because the transactions are all done via blockchain technology and aren’t connected to any central financial institution. It doesn’t take long for the digital currency to be accepted and withdrawn.
Pro #2 – Safety and Anonymity
When you choose to deposit and place bets at an online gambling site, your own safety should be something quite paramount. Not just for you but for the sportsbook as well. This is why it should not only employ high-quality privacy processes and data encryption, but the promise of secure payment methods, too. Cryptocurrencies are highly secure because they don’t have any connection to any of your personal details or bank details.
All transactions done through Bitcoin or altcoins come from a specific crypto wallet, and there is a variety of these on hand for you to select from. These crypto wallets all have their own specific addresses, and to make a deposit or withdrawal via Bitcoin or other digital currencies, you simply need to utilise this specific wallet address. Through it, you can transfer crypto funds, and nobody will know from whom they have come. This level of anonymity makes cryptocurrencies a particularly popular payment method for many people to use. Security, as noted before, should be something that is exceptionally paramount to you, and the sports betting site. Cryptocurrency transactions provide that safety for all users.
Pro #3 – Sports Betting Provides a Crypto Use
Despite the fact that cryptocurrencies are becoming more prevalent in the world, they still don’t exist on such a high level when compared with standard fiat currencies. If you possess Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, using such for sports betting provides you with an activity that you can spend the funds on.
Many people are simply purchasing cryptocurrencies these days for investment purposes. And one of the reasons for this being the case is that there isn’t a huge number of places that Bitcoin and altcoins can be used for buying items. It may be the goal of such to be usable at supermarkets and fashion shops etc. in the future, but at the moment, they cannot be used for much in terms of purchasing. Therefore, depositing with this form of currency at online sportsbooks allows such currency to be used, if the holder of such would like.
Let’s say you’re looking to get rid of some of your cryptocurrency or actually put it to some use. Sports betting sites with this as a supported payment method are popping up all over the place, providing an outlet for digital currency owners.
Pro #4 – Specialist Promotions
One final perk of using Bitcoin or altcoins for depositing at sportsbooks is that you can sometimes benefit from specialised promotions as a result. It is not uncommon for sports betting sites to offer promotions in general anyway, but those that also support Bitcoin transactions can often be found with unique rewards for the users of such to claim.
Often times, these will be much more lucrative than standard promotions for those players using fiat currencies and standard payment methods. So, it isn’t uncommon to find cryptocurrency welcome bonuses that bolster your balance significantly more than other welcome rewards. These specialist promotions will usually require you to deposit a certain amount of cryptocurrency, as is the norm for such offers.
Negatives Of Using Crypto To Gamble
Con #1 – Cryptocurrency Volatility
It is no secret that cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. These intense price fluctuations are caused by many things, and when it comes to Bitcoin and other digital currencies, the volatility factor has always been present. You only need to look back to October of 2017 when the price of Bitcoin fluctuated by a massive 8% within three months. This affects anyone who has taken the decision to purchase cryptocurrencies from their chosen exchange.
Let’s say that you decide to purchase 5 BTC from an exchange, with a single Bitcoin costing £23,491, which costs you about £117,500 in standard currency altogether. You complete the transaction and start using it for depositing at sportsbooks and then placing bets. After a three-month period, you decide to withdraw the money that you have obtained from winning sports bets at the platform. This withdrawal of funds goes back to your crypto wallet and you look to convert this back into GBP through the same exchange that you originally used to purchase it. Yet, just three months have gone by and the volatility of the currency has meant that the price of a single BTC has dropped to £15,000. While you may have obtained 7 BTC in total from betting at the sportsbook, with the price of a single BTC only being worth £15,000, you’ll only be able to convert that money back into £105,000. Despite having more BTC in your possession than when you first purchased it, you’ll be getting less back from the exchange.
Now, those price changes may seem quite extreme, but it isn’t something that is far from the truth where Bitcoin and altcoins are concerned. Official figures show that the price of Bitcoin has increased from £10,764.28 in September of 2020 up to £58,734.48 by March of 2021. By July of 2021, that price has descended once more, hitting £33,032.38. So, you can see how swiftly these digital currencies are able to move up and down, and that could pose a problem for some sports bettors.
Con #2 – Currency Conversion Fees
It’s true to say that while you may be able to deposit and withdraw from an online sportsbook in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, that doesn’t mean that you can place sports wagers with them. By this, we mean that the sportsbook can sometimes require your cryptocurrency to be converted into standard fiat currency. So that it can do this, the platform will impose a currency conversion fee, which must be paid when depositing the funds into and when withdrawing them from your account.
It’s not uncommon to find sites that convert the money into British pounds sterling or euros or whatever other standard currency is accepted. Just be wary of the sportsbook that you decide to join in this respect. Conversion fees, if they do exist, are likely to differ from platform to platform, so it’s always best to check into this before you register for an account and proceed with a transaction.
Con #3 – Not Many Sites Support Crypto / Bitcoin
It would be wrong of us to state that there aren’t any online sportsbooks catering to the cryptocurrency scene. However, even though this is the case, there still isn’t a huge number of them in operation. Most sites still only accept deposits made in fiat currency, and that’s because this is the currency that most people still possess and utilise on a daily basis. Granted, there are likely to be more sportsbooks supporting such transactions in the future, but it’s something that is taking hold on a slow basis rather than flooding the sports betting industry.
Therefore, if you possess Bitcoin or altcoins, you may have a difficult time finding a sportsbook that not only accepts such, but that caters to you completely in other areas, too.
Con #4 – Potential for Slow Transactions
It’s understandable to think that we’re contradicting ourselves here, considering that we mentioned the speed of deposits and withdrawals through digital currencies earlier on. However, transactions through Bitcoin can take longer than e-wallets or credit/debit cards at times. And this is mainly the case when it comes to withdrawals, as some online platforms opt to process Bitcoin withdrawals in a manual way.
That route is usually taken for security purposes, so you could end up waiting longer for a cryptocurrency withdrawal than a standard fiat currency transaction. It is common for gamblers to want to experience speedy deposits and withdrawals and waiting around to receive your money back from a sportsbook can be frustrating beyond words. Generally speaking, this won’t be something that affects you, but it is important to be aware that sometimes a Bitcoin transaction could take longer than a standard withdrawal process.
It is clear to see that as with anything, gambling with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies has its own advantages and disadvantages for users. In this respect, it is entirely down to you as to whether or not you opt to utilise it for sports betting purposes. Now that you know about the pros and cons, it should be easier for you to make an informed decision on its efficacy for you.
Be sure that you’re aware of how to purchase cryptocurrency and where to store it before diving headfirst into such, too. Taking all of the necessary security precautions, such as storing your funds in an offline wallet rather than an exchange wallet, should be something that you have at the forefront of your mind when engaging in digital currency purchase. And don’t forget about the benefits of Bitcoin, either. It’s all too easy to focus on the downsides as being reasons not to utilise it for sports betting, but the positives are exceptional in their own right. You never know, it could just be the payment method that you have been looking for all these years!