Is Decentralized Sports Gaming the Future? | An Expert’s Op-Ed

Is Decentralized Sports Gaming the Future

Just like all other industries, decentralization is poking its way into online sports betting? What to expect in the future? Let's learn from Tim Harrison.

Decentralized Sports Betting and What the Future May Bring

Decentralization has taken the world by storm. You can't help but notice the rise of crypto in every industry possible. Some have become one with DeFi, while others are slowly migrating to the blockchain. Sports betting surely belongs to the latter.

Is it possible for the betting industry to use blockchain technology? We know it's already been done in the payment aspect. All the Ethereum betting sites you can find in the USA are proof enough for us.

But we're no betting experts. Tim Harrison is. The good thing is that he's here among us at Free PC Tech to answer our questions. Our focus today is sports betting as a whole and the decentralization of the paradigm.


Tim Harrison Shares Blockchain Basics to Free PC Tech

Before Mr Harrison said anything, he wanted to clarify he's not a blockchain or decentralization expert. Rather, he's a betting expert with an interest in the topic. As the whole world seems to be shifting, or at least adopting blockchain technology, it was a professional necessity for him to learn about it.

In simple words, a blockchain is a public ledger. It's a peer-to-peer network where the users control everything, also known as nodes. Some nodes get a higher priority based on their activity, and they're known as master nodes.

The first generation of Blockchain was Bitcoin. You already know all about it. It's a very straightforward network where you can only mine, send, and receive BTC tokens. It's extremely power-hungry, and the competition is fierce to solve a block successfully.

Only the raw power of your integrated circuits won't be enough to mine ETH. Then came the Ethereum blockchain. In the early days, Ethereum used the infamous Proof of Work (PoW) consensus to solve problems and reward miners with ETH tokens. It recently shifted to a more advanced and efficient Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus.

Every time you perform a task on a blockchain, it's executed by the users. It eliminates any single point of failure in the journey of a product, service, or smart contract. You can always go back and check these results as a blockchain is “public”. It automatically means stronger fairness claims for businesses.

Tim says you need to know this to understand the basics of decentralized sports betting. And before we can get into that, Tim has to cover the industry's current status.


How Does Sports Betting Currently Work?

Sports betting is perhaps the oldest form of gambling in the world. Ancient Greeks were known for their love of sports as well as betting. Over many years of evolution, we're currently at the pinnacle of online sports betting.

In the USA, however, online betting is not the same. It's regulated on a state level, so there's no guarantee that you can bet from your state.

Currently, 18 states have legalized online betting, with more to come.

Among them are:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Michigan
  • Washington DC
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • etc.

Most platform providers accept crypto payments thanks to the craze of cryptocurrencies in the country.

But that's about it. Most operators are stopping to accept BTC or ETH tokens as payment. The ones that don't are still stuck with traditional methods like EcoPayz betting. In the meantime, many online casinos have shifted to the “provably fair” algorithm, where you get a say in the game's fairness.

Sports betting is still a centralized activity. It means all the odds, events, markets, tournaments, and everything else that goes into the platform are analyzed by employed experts. You can only place legal bets at a licensed online sportsbook.

The best you can do in these cases is compare multiple betting sites before you deposit money to find the best odds. The odds are usually very tightly calculated, so they're not significantly different.

Sometimes, you can find odds that don't make any sense. Many punters consider this an opportunity for “value betting”. But that's a discussion for a different time. The prominent discrepancy in the odds indicates that the analysts at the particular betting site failed to project the odds accurately.

It is one of the many problems decentralized sports betting plans to solve.


Tim Explains How a Decentralized Betting Site May Work

Tim is still saying “might” because blockchain sportsbooks are yet to become the norm in the industry. Rather, it's the “niche” most punters are scared to explore just yet. That's why it's not possible to pinpoint all the workings of decentralized sports betting.

But the launched ones are “revolutionizing”, as many reports say. It's simply because the use of Web 3.0 gives a unique chance to punters to shape the industry as they see fit. Just like any other decentralized application, there is no “bookmaker” in a blockchain site. It's a p2p approach where the events and odds are collected from real punters worldwide!

The biggest benefit, according to Tim, will be the constant improvements of the platform. The idea of open source is nothing new, and developers will always agree that it's the best approach for software development.

On a blockchain sports betting site, users get to contribute based on their skills. What if someone ruins the platform instead of improving it? And Tim claims he knows what you're thinking right now.

Well, the developers of the blockchain seem to have thought of everything. Users, or nodes, can only deploy smart contracts that adhere to the rules set by a master contract. The master contracts have a failsafe in case someone tries to sabotage the network. So you have nothing to worry about.


Goracle: The First of Its Kind

You may know this network as Algoracle. It was recently rebranded to Goracle. It's an oracle network based on the Algorand Blockchain. The purpose of the oracle network is to bridge real-world data and smart contracts.

This company is single-handedly trying to bring innovation to sports betting by infusing blockchain technology. The current goal is to place “oracles” strategically to collect data seamlessly and input them into smart contracts running the sportsbook.

Perhaps the biggest development in this sector is FIFA working as a partner to Algorand, the parent company of the blockchain. If the progress continues, we can surely hope to see a great blend of blockchain, DeFi, and sports betting.


Potential Benefits of Decentralized Sports Betting Through Free PC Tech Lens

If the industry has to shift to a new place, it must offer some unique benefits to existing practices. Otherwise, what's the point, right? Below are the benefits we believe blockchain sports betting can bring.

  1. Instant Payments: Payments are crypto betting sites that are already instant. The payments will become even more seamless and fast when the entire industry migrates. Also, we can expect a dip in the fees graph.
  2. Better Odds: The odds will be collected from the users themselves. But not when many humans are working toward the same goal simultaneously! It's not always possible for a betting analyst to project the exact outcome through odds because every human has his limits.
  3. Transparency: Transparency has long been an issue for online gambling. While online casinos can alleviate the problem by employing 3rd party auditors, no such thing is possible for sports betting. However, decentralized betting will ensure proper accountability.

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