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Why Bitcoin For Your Sports Betting

As the virtual currency known as Bitcoin continues to gain wider acceptance by the marketplace at large, consumers are finding creative and useful ways to spend their cryptocurrency.

The security and privacy advantages offered by Bitcoin make it the optimal option for sensitive financial transactions, such as funding your online sportsbook account. Take a look below to see why Bitcoin has become the most effective financial tool for sports bettors who conduct business online:

Bitcoin Involves Zero Third Party Oversight

With the National Football League season swinging into high-gear, every Sunday sees millions of American bettors back their favorite teams by putting a few bucks on the line. In fact, the American Gambling Association (AGA) estimates that $95 billion will be wagered on professional and college football alone during the current season, including more than $4 billion on the Super Bowl alone.

And that’s just football. Billions more are wagered on other sports every year.

But due to the restrictive nature of federal laws on sports betting, namely the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) of 1992, American sports bettors have few choices when it comes to legal sportsbooks. Under PAPSA’s provisions, only four states can legally offer sports betting services: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. Furthering the divide between demand and supply, only the gambling mecca of Nevada hosts full-fledged sportsbooks offering single-game wagers, while the other three states only have parlay-based lottery style wagering.

With nowhere else to turn, America’s legions of sports betting enthusiasts must place their wagers through offshore online sportsbooks like 5Dimes, Pinnacle, or Bovada. And while these companies have no issues accepting deposits from customers in the U.S., most banks and financial institutions block or otherwise obstruct attempts to fund online sportsbook accounts.

That’s where Bitcoin comes in, as the virtual currency’s design and structure is perfectly suited to solve this dilemma.

When you use a debit card to withdraw funds from a bank account, or a credit card to utilize a line of credit, these transactions must be authorized by a trusted third party. And for the vast majority of purchases, this presents no problem.

For online sports betting transactions, on the other hand, the involvement of a trusted third party typically results in deposits being blocked by the bank. Whether they’ve tagged the payee as an offshore gambling entity violating the provisions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Asct (UIGEA) of 2006, or they simply consider the dealing to constitute “suspicious account activity,” banks and lending institutions tend to impose strict limitations on both deposits to, and withdrawals from, online sportsbooks.

By using Bitcoin to conduct these transactions, you avoid the threat of third party oversight entirely, as the exchange involves you and the sportsbook alone.

Bitcoin’s Blockchain Means Little to No Transaction Fees

Every online sports bettor knows the score: you can almost always deposit to a site free of charge, but withdrawing your winnings usually incurs a hefty fee. That’s because collecting your winnings from an online sports bet typically involves paying off the middleman.

However, a lack of fees is an extension of the Bitcoin blockchain’s fundamental design. With no middlemen standing between the payer and the payee, blockchain transactions don’t cost anything at all. It’s true that many transactions do involve a fractional difference between amounts, but this is usually used to compensate the Bitcoin miner who successfully solved the transaction block and added it to the chain.

In the end, most Bitcoin transactions average a “fee” of just $0.04.

When facilitating deposits or withdrawals using traditional payment methods, online sports books and other retailers must pay their processors a percentage to ensure instantaneous completion. Those overhead costs are then passed on to consumers.

Those processors aren’t needed for a Bitcoin transaction though, and as a result, moving money to or from your online sports betting account using the blockchain is almost always free.

Bitcoin Funds Get There Faster

Continuing the benefits of cashing out via Bitcoin, bettors will be pleased to note that transactions typically take just minutes to complete.

Under the traditional model of sending out paper checks or bank wire transfers to satisfy withdrawal requests, online sports bettors are usually forced to wait days, and even weeks, before their money arrives.

From there, any number of common obstacles to actually clearing your funds can arise, from a check drafted from a Canadian bank causing delays with your own, to fraud detection policies triggering an investigation.

By choosing Bitcoin instead, your transaction will be limited only by the 10-minute window required to add individual blocks to the blockchain. Once the block makes it to the blockchain, the associated Bitcoin balance is then yours to use however you wish.

Some Bitcoin-friendly retailers, online sports books among them, also prefer to use the six-block standard to approve fully secured transactions. In this case, your maximum wait time for clearing a withdrawal would be just one hour, as opposed to 336 hours for the typical two-week period for cashing out via check.

Bitcoin Prevents Identity Theft and Other Forms of Frauds

The major online sports books serving American customers have built longstanding reputations for reliability.

With that said, the unregulated gambling industry obviously involves a few bad apples, and these unscrupulous actors can leave users lacking when it comes to consumer protection and internal oversight. When companies fail to take the proper precautions in safeguarding their customer’s private information, they make appealing targets for hackers, identity thieves, and other criminals.

Rather than input your credit card number, expiration date, and security code into an unsecured website form, Bitcoin transactions require only your address, along with your private and public keys. Bitcoin is a cryptographic currency at its core, so encoded data is an essential component of the exchange process. A typical Bitcoin address looks like a codebreaker’s nightmare (1LjiSp75s24oBk5PkXVzNqCFr6ePcgv551), while the private key can be even more indecipherable (KwFd5rYG4yvcMiL1V679N67TN4nWXKeRR463RLEVqJLyiaxeA6mE).

Even better, while a Bitcoin address can be calculated through its corresponding private key, reversing this process is impossible.

This makes Bitcoin by far the safest currency available for bettors searching for a way to load their online sports book account without sacrificing valuable private information.