Bitcoin and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) have more in common than one might think. Proponents of both are continuing to engage in heated debates about the merits of both. Is Bitcoin a viable currency? Is DFS supported by a profitable long-term business model? Will Bitcoin be legal everywhere? Will DFS be legal everywhere? Does Bitcoin have fundamental value? Is DFS a game of luck or a game of skill? The answers to each of these questions is different, but the journey toward discovering those answers is the same. Adoption and acceptance is at the heart of it all.
The Beginning of Bitcoin and DFS
Avid Bitcoiners know that the cryptocurrency’s invention is the byproduct of a 2008 white paper written by an anonymous author, Satoshi Nakamoto. It outlines the blueprint for a peer-to-peer payment system not controlled by any central authority figure. That blueprint may only be eight pages long, but the fact Bitcoin and blockchain technology came along during the 2008 global economic crisis is no coincidence. People searching for an alternative in an extremely volatile economic environment found an answer that is slowly changing the way society views money.
Believe it or not, the world of digital currencies isn’t the only beneficiary in times of crisis, so is gambling. A 2017 research study notes that from 2007 to 2011, all three major banks in Iceland went bankrupt, yet the number of people engaging in at least casual gambling increased significantly, particularly among young male users using the internet to gamble. Some of those same users are likely interested in Bitcoin today, given the majority of cryptocurrency enthusiasts are young male internet users. In short, people ironically gamble more on currencies, lottery games and anything else they think will offer a quick windfall during times of crisis, rather than taking a more defensive approach, which is what most investing companies recommend.
While the first iteration of a DFS game was born in 1990, it wasn’t until 2009 that a Scottish-based prediction market game called HubDub sparked the launch of what is now one of the two leading DFS companies in the world, Sportsbook.
Are Bitcoin and DFS Viable Long Term?
Bitcoin is currently worth nearly $170 billion. The entire DFS industry collected $3.2 billion in 2017, with an estimated $335 million of that accounting for revenue, with almost all of that money coming from Sportsbook and competitor Sportsbook. Today, the sentiment surrounding both is that they are both viable entities long term. Bitcoin is growing thanks to nationally based economic crises, endorsements from public figures, and public interest overall. DFS games are growing thanks to increasing regulatory acceptance and brand awareness, thanks to many successful strategic partnerships with professional sports leagues.
Will Bitcoin and DFS Be Legal Everywhere?
Whether or not both will be legal worldwide is tough to answer. There are after all over 190 countries around the world. What can be said is that Bitcoin is decentralized, meaning that nobody can really stop it. And at least in North America, DFS is deemed a legal game of skill. The game may also gain more acceptance as the United States continues to legalize gambling across the country and hopefully sparks the rest of the western world to pay attention.
Why Bitcoin Has Value and DFS is a Game of Skill
Bitcoin is valuable because its algorithm and underlying blockchain technology facilitate trade in a reasonably fast, immutable, scalable, democratic and decentralized way. The intent behind the Bitcoin movement is to make financial valuable accessible to everyone.
When it comes to DFS games, on the other hand, the top 1.3 percent of players win a staggering 91 percent of the profits. DFS is clearly a paradise for profits, at least for the most skilled and knowledgeable players. Yes, the house takes a cut, but the player isn’t ultimately seeking to beat the casino. They’re looking to beat other skilled players who have access to the same information related to win probability and sport-specific statistics.
Where Will Bitcoin and DFS Go In The Future?
Bitcoin’s adoption is slowly but surely increasing. The price is on the rise at the moment thanks to the recent endorsement of blockchain technology from Chinese President Xi Jinping. As mentioned, DFS games will remain popular as gambling is legalized across America and more and more people see the value in playing. There may even come a day where DFS games themselves are on the blockchain and played using cryptocurrency. Gambling is already one of the top use cases in crypto.
For now, the two enjoy a number of parallels that tie them together, and the adoption of one may in an indirect way encourage the adoption of the other. After all, Bitcoin and DFS are both most popular among the same technology-savvy, predominantly male audience.