The value of bitcoin (BTC) has remained steady at the $230ish mark for the better part of the last two weeks.
This type of consistency is exactly what might compel sports bettors to legitimately consider switching their deposits and withdrawals to the anonymous crypto-currency.
Sports bettors in several countries have watched the performance of bitcoin closely and for good reason.
Difficulty and expense of making transactions
It costs an average of $25 per $1,000 to make a withdrawal from an online sportsbook for players residing in North America who are unable to use a bank account/eWallet, or credit card to make the transaction. This amount increases the larger the withdrawal. The cost of doing business taxes some sports bettors energy and wallets such that players are less likely to deposit frequently.
In the early age of the online sportsbook industry, a few clicks of a mouse and browsing of SBR Odds (then called SBR Lines) could have you funded in a new sportsbook account in seconds. Best of all, transactions were painless and the cost was minimal. Moving a large amount of funds was made simple and convenient for bettors looking to satisfy the itch to wager on a sporting event.
Prying government eyes
Between programs to record telephone calls, increased surveillance electronically, and the reach of tax agencies, sports bettors who don't have all their ducks in a row financially or who legitimately have privacy concerns may not want the government breathing over its shoulder looking for their cut. This is where bitcoin makes the perfect choice. Because you'd need time, effort, and expense to even begin trying to build a case against someone using bitcoin for nefarious purposes (of which gambling is not one) let alone freely monitor their financial portfolio, the curtain of anonymity behind bitcoin is unlikely to be lifted any time soon.
With bitcoin, players can load up and cash out leaving no obvious trace as to their betting activity. This has its advantages for players with the aforementioned concerns, and even those who embrace government surveillance or the taxman getting his share have no reason to complain.
The future of bitcoin has remained a fuzzy picture if for only two reasons:
The average consumer & the know how
Block chain, mining, private transaction keys, the dark web ... confused yet? If you're someone that uses the web to check sports scores and browse around, and are not glued to your computing devices like the younger generation, someone who used to wager at the local sports bar before you could log-in to a website to place bets, bitcoin has a sharp learning curve.
The ups & downs
Let's face it, the dollars, euro, pounds, colones etc have their own issues. When you get to currency you cannot even feel in the palm of your hand, one that is worth $300 one day and two weeks later $220, and you are hitting 53% of your bets in a good year, the ease and cost of transaction processing is cancelled out by the financial rollercoaster that is bitcoin.
If however the currency steadies out, as it has in the last two weeks, bitcoin sportsbooks and sports bettors wagering in bitcoin will explode with popularity in 2015.