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A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that was conceived to function as a medium of exchange through a computer network that is not dependent on central authorities such as a government or banks to sustain and maintain it.

Cryptocurrency is not available in physical or tangible form like paper money and is generally not issued by a government or banks. As opposed to a central bank digital currency (CBDC), Cryptocurrencies typically have decentralized control. 

However, a cryptocurrency is usually considered centralized when it is produced or created by a single issuer.

The first decentralized cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which was possibly created by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Since then, several cryptocurrencies have been created across the globe. Let’s have a look at five popular cryptocurrencies for online betting.

Bitcoin 

Considered to be the market leader, Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency with a market capitalization of over $1.72 trillion and a price per coin of more than $39,143 (as of February 26). The bitcoin blockchain is a public ledger that records bitcoin transactions.

According to market analysis, more than 19 million Bitcoins have been mined so far. It is expected to face stiff competition from other cryptocurrencies as far as being the leader in the market is concerned.

How to use Bitcoin in sports betting?

Bitcoin has one of the biggest market caps in the online sports betting industry. According to Data Art, by November 2021, the first-ever virtual currency had captured a whopping 41.9 per cent market share which is significant coverage over 2000 different active cryptocurrencies.

Given how Bitcoin has dominated the crypto market, it is easier to understand why this virtual currency is the most popular digital asset in the sports betting industry. For those new to the crypto sports betting market, it is imperative to have a bitcoin wallet before getting started. Note that it is equivalent to a usual bank account. Once that is done, the rest of the procedure remains the same as punting with fiat currencies. 

Ethereum

Initially released in 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality. Among various cryptocurrencies, Ethereum is second only to Bitcoin as per market capitalization. 

The current market cap of Ethereum is roughly around $487 billion. More than 100.7 million ETH tokens are in circulation as per the market analysis. And as far as sports betting is concerned, this virtual currency holds a market share of 19.4 per cent with the price of one of its units being $2773.25.

How to use Ethereum in sports betting?

Those preferring Ethereum over Bitcoin in sports betting have to follow a different procedure altogether. To begin with, the first thing you need to do is to get an ETH address from the sportsbook after you choose your deposit amount. You can then use a cryptocurrency exchange or wallet to send the specified amount of ETH to your Ethereum sportsbook address.

Time taken for Ethereum transfers depends on how congested the ETH blockchain is. Usually, it can take just minutes or a few hours. And once the ETH reaches the sportsbook’s address, funds will be credited to your account. It’s important to note that once processed, the funds won’t appear as Ethereum since it will be converted to the currency selected by you.

Ripple 

Ripple is a real-time gross settlement, currency exchange and remittance network created by Ripple Labs, a US-based technology company. The cryptocurrency has a total market capitalization of over $19.8 billion. In comparison to Bitcoin and Ethereum, the price of each Ripple token is only a little more than 50 cents. According to market analysis, there are more than 47 billion XRP tokens in circulation at the time of writing.

What makes Ripple unique in sports betting?

Faster transactions. That’s it. While transactions done using Bitcoin can sometimes take up to 10 minutes, XRP transaction confirmations are between 3-5 seconds. The design of XRP processing is such that it can allow around 1,500 transactions per second.

However, since Ripple also uses blockchain technology, Bitcoin is required to buy it while using it in sports betting. Hence, using Ripple is usually ideal for those who are familiar with Bitcoin.

Now, once you have Ripple coins, what you need to do is to send a transfer request to the betting site you are using. Only after placing the request, can you make the transfer as you would do with any other virtual currency.

Bitcoin Cash 

Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency that was created through a hard fork and is a spin-off of altcoin that was created in 2017. It came into existence after Bitcoins became extremely popular and created all sorts of issues in terms of scalability. 

Bitcoin Cash is currently one of the top cryptocurrencies with a total market capitalization of nearly $5.4 billion and an estimated price of $317.62 for every token. It has a total circulation of more than 17.2 million BCH as per market capitalization.

Bitcoin Cash in sports betting

After Bitcoin and Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash was the third biggest crypto asset as per the market share, covering 0.6 per cent of the total share as recently as November 2021.

What gives Bitcoin Cash an advantage over Bitcoin, especially in sports betting, is that the blockchains in the former are bigger than those of Bitcoin. This in turn simply allows more transactions per second.

The lack of knowledge regarding Bitcoin Coin has made this currency cheaper than its more popular namesake. And hence, with regards to sports betting, it is less likely to be available as an option for a payment method.

EOS 

EOS is a blockchain platform that was developed to eliminate transaction fees and can carry out millions of transactions per second.

EOS offers top features and promises you the various smart contract technologies out there. For example, it has the security of Bitcoin while maintaining the computing support of Ethereum. 

It also provides a complete operating system for decentralized applications focused on the web with services like user authentication, cloud storage, and server hosting. EOS has a market cap of $7.83 billion and a total circulation of more than 896 million tokens.

Does EOS have any relevance in sports betting?

While EOS claims to be faster and more scalable than Ethereum, in reality, none of the other virtual currencies have managed to eclipse Bitcoin or Ethereum in sports betting just yet.

Like it is with every other currency, placing a bet with an EOS coin requires a wallet. To purchase the coins, one needs to go through an exchange platform, meaning that you should expect to pay some fee for purchasing EOS.

Once you have coins in the wallet, the next step is to sign up with a betting platform that regulates EOS. It’s important to note that you need to choose EOS as your preferred method of payment while signing up.

From there on, enter the number of coins you need to deposit and complete the rest of the process. 

Advantages of using cryptocurrency while betting

For bettors

  1. Fast transactions: Unlike fiat currency where a bank transfer can take up to seven days for the money to be added, transactions done through cryptocurrencies are mostly instant. 
  2. No conversion needed: Cryptocurrencies used in online sports betting need no conversion whatsoever. The only thing worth checking before punting is the types of cryptocurrencies the platform permits.
  3. Low fees: Since these virtual currencies are decentralized, the elimination of the middlemen, i.e., banks, often result in minimal transaction fees - if any - for both deposits and withdrawals.
  4. Bigger bonuses in the offering: To encourage the use of cryptocurrencies, some crypto sports betting sites offer lucrative bonuses that are usually not available for transactions done via fiat currencies. You may find matching bonuses but bear in mind that crypto betting bonus rates are higher.
  5. Privacy: The personal information of the punters who are gambling via cryptocurrencies are not available during their deposits and withdrawal.

For sportsbook

  1. Better security: Given that cryptocurrencies are operated through blockchain, the possibility of potential fraud is reduced to a great extent.
  2. Reputation: Now, it may seem like a minuscule aspect, but the availability of renowned cryptocurrencies while betting helps sportsbooks build a better reputation and trust among punters.
  3. Efficient: Again, with no centralized body regulating cryptocurrencies, the minimum transaction fees is equally efficient for sportsbooks as it is for punters.
  4. Higher limits: Unlike the usual fiat currencies, sportsbooks allow higher limits for transactions done through crypto.

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Featured photo: Unsplash / Andre Francois McKenzie

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