Blockchain Combats Systemic Uncertainty in Sports Wagers ⋆ ZyCrypto

For those who bet on the outcomes of sporting events online, of which there is no shortage, tolerance of infrastructural faults is the name of the game. By now, most who regularly participate in online sports betting accept that it’s not like dealing in cash, and that the delicate systems supporting their millions of simultaneous bets chug along very slowly.

These systems must carefully track the wagers of each participant and the amount they put on the line, check the results of the game, and then calculate the appropriate payout before releasing one’s winnings.

Funds tied up in an online book might be growing for a member who just made several successful wagers, but without proper liquidity, it’s difficult to deploy the money that should be available (but isn’t yet). Limited availability of customer money in these systems hampers the users’ experiences and the volume of business that an online book can achieve as well.

This all amounts to additional uncertainty when wagering online on top of the odds of the games themselves. However, what was once considered an occupational hazard is quickly becoming an avoidable nuisance thanks to the recent introduction of blockchain technology into the industry.

Many online sports books suffer from the same common weaknesses in how they handle customer funds, but this is driven by necessity and not intent. Before blockchain, systems on the internet used a centralized method of content delivery, meaning that funds and other important data had to be processed by a single nucleus such as a server array.

This has meant that most services take their precious time in disseminating cashouts and withdrawals, which negatively impacts the velocity of an individual’s money in the system itself.

Blockchain’s decentralized ledger system helps provide a more accurate and efficient medium for sports betting, and reduces the effort it takes to synchronize one’s funds and wagers, giving them greater access to their cash. There are two components of blockchain that make it an ideal solution for sports betting—cryptocurrency and smart contracts.

Most wagers operate on an “if, then” basis, meaning that one is paid a certain amount only when a specific condition is met. For example, if the Giants beat the Packers by more than 6 points, then the bettor receives a 3 to 1 payout. There are few better environments for smart contracts because their primary function is to automate transfers that are contingent upon other conditional data.

For blockchain sports books like BlitzPredict, use of smart contracts significantly reduces the time users must wait before their winnings are truly available. This is because verification relies entirely on the ledger’s data, which is irrefutable and eliminates the need to spend time checking diverse datasets.

BlitzPredict also keeps a constant pool of their own cryptocurrency on hand, meaning that those who wager with it receive their winnings in real-time as the event concludes. Customers that win bets get liquid access to their BPZ tokens immediately after the event, thanks in part to the speed and reliability of smart contracts but also due to the company’s reserves.

BlitzPredict addresses another source of uncertainty in the status quo as well: the gap in odds between different books. Typically, savvy bettors fight this notion by placing bets and holding their funds on a wide range of online books, so that they can take advantage of the best odds available. This strategy suffices for now, but it’s a tedious one borne of necessity and not convenience.

With the blockchain, aggregating the odds of any single event from a wide range of online books becomes possible, granting bettors access to a more balanced spread. Just like how custom smart contracts can be created to track the average price of a basket of cryptocurrencies.

They exhibit the same functionality with multiple odds on the same basketball game, for example. Accordingly, BlitzPredict users can enjoy faster access to their winnings and can afford to be less partial in which services they use as well.

One of the downsides of such a system is that participation must be high for it to work. With BlitzPredict buying its own reserves to aid liquidity, it must be justified by users who use the BRZ currency to place their bets, or the system will grind to a halt. Therefore, the use of BPZ is further incentivized by special access to a community of analysts, who are themselves rewarded in BPZ for publishing winning strategies.

Thanks to the immutability of the ledger, bettors can know for certain how accurate any analyst’s predictions have been in the past—a paradigm that doesn’t yet exist in the current industry.

As blockchain makes transparency and speed the new norm for sports betting, the ambiguity stemming from illiquidity, mis-aligned odds and questionable analyst performance will evaporate. While the change is slow in coming, it’s important to remember that turning the biggest ships around is a slow endeavor, but one that benefits all passengers universally.

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