Cryptocurrency has swiftly taken off in current years, both in sports betting and beyond. Let’s understand what Crypto boom might mean for sporting integrity and whether there may be a solution to match-fixing concerns.
Over a decade from the inception of Bitcoin in 2009, Crypto boom led to cryptocurrencies emerging from their infancy, becoming an increasingly used method for the buying and selling products, from coffees to cars to yachts and fund recreational activities such as sports betting.
Indeed, while crypto-users were once seemingly limited to coding enthusiasts and speculating students, it is now exploding as tech-savvy Millennials are joined by Generation Z to become bitcoin buyer to push the number of cryptocurrency users beyond an estimated 100 million globally.
This increase in demand, and consideration of future direction, pushed the often-volatile value of Bitcoin to a high of more than $60,000 in April 2021, with the total Bitcoin in circulation worth above $1000 billion in the same month, an increase of over 200% from early 2020.
New start-ups have embraced this popularity, and in sports betting, the call from customers for funding accounts through cryptocurrency has directed to the rise of an identical industry.
With over 120 executives operating outside of the licensed businesses of Europe or the US, they are offering a bitcoin payment solution and over 25 operators offering a crypto-only ‘end-to-end’ service. The growth of this crypto-sportsbook market can impact the scope of sport and betting-related fraud.
Through the last two decades, technological innovation has revolutionised an age-old industry. The range of what to bet on, how to gamble, who to bet with, and how to make financial matters has evolved. The manipulation of sporting events has also developed.
Advancements in data collection and real-time data communication have been the impetus for developing the contribution to customers in modern years, with a more extensive range of markets and events ready to bet on. And while this heightened offering has enhanced the customer experience, it has also created a new opportunity for small people to manipulate sporting events for profit.
This method, which benefits many parties financially, has been enabled by large quantities of money to be staked on known outcomes with multiple bookmakers in regulated and unregulated markets and how new technologies have promoted cheap, fast connection and money shifts.
Having a layered system has been a necessity to protect the various parties from detection. It has undoubtedly been necessary for an organisation to ensure that the bettors and players cannot be linked. It got indeed for the player not to have to bet on their match. However, it is easy to detect, particularly for bookmakers in the regulated sports betting industry like bitcoincodefinland.com, with effective KYC and risk management processes and techniques to report any concerning activity to the relevant regulator and sporting body.
Although massive match-fixing networks may remain related to that outlined, a different method has likely developed. Unfortunately, it will continue to become increasingly prevalent alongside it, operating on a smaller scale, thanks to the newfound opportunity for the athlete, or official, to bet efficiently and directly on their events with little to no risk of their identity being linked to bets placed.
The anonymity granted to the bettor can be viewed as similar to that of an agent system of betting associated with the unregulated Asian sports betting market. However, the crypto-sportsbook market can act as a more accessible alternative to that market. It may offer anonymity and the ease of direct, instant bet placement with an online operator rather than an agent or online broker. In addition, it regularly uses messaging services to put bets and store personal circumstances.
And, although sportsbooks in the total Asian market generally receive higher stake wagers than elsewhere. As regulation progress and recreational betting grow in the crypto-sportsbook market, the ability to place large bets will also likely increase as crypto-sportsbooks increase the limits on stake sizes. It is done to provide reliable high-rolling bettors and implement a more engaging output than their opponents.
Indeed, while the crypto-sportsbook and disorderly Asian market are considered separate here, the choice of cryptocurrencies as a payment solution by online brokers ahead of the regulated markets would increase the potential for betting-related fraud further due to the added layer of anonymity.
The growth in cryptocurrency usage and the corresponding demand for crypto-only-sportsbooks challenge the regulated sports betting sector, incorporating a crypto-payment solution reasonably contemplated as essential to maintain and draw crypto-enthusiastic customers. Indeed, some controls are in the process of building a framework for how operators can integrate cryptocurrency payments into their products with early indications. There will be the obvious and unavoidable need for the client to register their identity and link it to their crypto-wallet, albeit through a third-party provider or crypto-token mechanism.
Indeed, suppose crypto-bettors remain outside of the regulated market. In that case, the opportunity for a new, largely player-led method of match-fixing poses excellent questions for an infrastructure that has been developed to detect and tackle integrity issues in sport. And these questions may be challenging to answer. However, solutions are likely to be found in regulating the amount of data to crypto-sportsbooks.
Data suppliers facilitate the cryptocurrency bookmakers to allow betting markets akin to regulated operators in an uncontrolled and opaque space. Perhaps limitations require to be placed on whom such data can be provided so that the methods in place for detecting match-fixing remain relevant.