What Changes Does Blockchain Bring to Sports Betting?
Originally created to facilitate the world's first decentralized currency blockchain technology has since evolved and grown beyond the realm of digital money. Now a major field of study in most major universities it is a technology that will continue to reshape the way we do business and potentially even how we govern ourselves.
That's some considerable hype, but what does it mean? What is a blockchain, what can it do, and why is it becoming as dominant a technology as it is? Each of these is a valid question and the answer could take volumes. In fact, they do. Here we will give a primer before answering the important question of what is blockchain sports betting and how the technology is changing the field.
What is Blockchain Technology?
Invented by an individual (or a group of people) who went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the technology has been helmed by various creators. At present, aside from the technology's initial public face, no one knows who the original creator is or why they have not come forward to take proper credit for their work. What is known is several groups of pioneering spirits have taken the technology to fashion it into all avenues of life far beyond the original digital currency implications it was designed for.
In the programming sense, the technology is complex. Like a car, the internal mechanisms and their functions can be mind-boggling without the proper training, yet everyone knows a car through the sum of its components. In the same sense, you don't need to fully understand the codebase to fully grasp the end process.
Blockchain technology is a decentralized ledger that ensures the validity of itself. What does that mean? In basic terms, it means no one controls or owns the underlying systems. The system itself once spread through thousands of computers, answers only to itself. There is no central power, but there are developers who design and work on the technology. Consider them the pioneering spirits mentioned above.
Each node of the network is aware of the sum state of the network's integrity. Imagine if you will have a thousand people with a photographic memory, each having access to a public ledger. That is the underlying concept. When a transaction is made, a chunk of data called a block is created. This block is sent through the network, where a thousand different computers look at it to ensure it is a valid entry.
Validity is determined by a mathematical formula stamped into each transaction and disappears as the transaction gets complete. Thus, it cannot be repeated ad nauseam until one party gets broke. It is entirely unique to the transaction. When this formula is wrong, the network rejects the transaction.
When approved, the transferred amount is then entered into the public ledger and deposited into the designated account, and a small transaction fee is deducted and awarded to the miners (observers) for running computers that run the software that monitors the network.
Complex in its individual parts, but simple to understand in function.
How does Blockchain technology change sports betting?
Now, this technology is cool, but how does it change anything? Let alone sports betting? There are two foundation changes that give blockchain technology a superior edge over traditional methods of exchange.
While the transaction is documented, the owner of each wallet (account) is not. The entire process is anonymous, so long as both parties wish to keep their identities a secret. This means there are no regulatory bodies that can snoop into your private affairs or nations that can deny you the right to transfer money to another country.
It also means there are no corrupt bureaucrats to gum up the work and screw you over. In practical terms, this technology offers a more efficient and safer alternative to a lot of functions traditionally performed and regulated by the government. A chief reason many superpowers are steadfast against the implementation of the technology and are staunchly against cryptocurrencies. They do not like the power being in your hands without their ability to dictate the terms.
The second is the entire process is 100% secure. That may sound like absolute bollocks, but your only security concern is the safety of your wallet. Online wallets from reputable sources offer the best guarantee your wallet will be safeguarded. If you decide to keep the wallet on a hard drive, your concern will be regularly backing up the wallet's contents after each transaction. If the hard drive is portable, then don't accidentally throw it away like James Howells did when he lost 127 million dollars' worth of bitcoin. Also, don't lose passwords or you can be locked out of over a billion in crypto like Matthew Mellon's family was after they failed to find his password after his passing.
For online betting, this means the technology offers greater security for you the end-user, and it also affords you privacy. There are a few downsides, but those all fall on the technology side, and nearly all are remedied by proper investment on the miner's side. The largest concern being someone's ability to hijack the network if they gain enough processing power. This is a legitimate concern, but it is like the sun exploding in just over 4 billion years. The chances of you seeing it in your lifetime are non-existent.
Blockchain technology's innovation will continue to change the world. That is undeniable, but the more things change, the more they stay the same. The only difference for you, the end-user, will be managing what amounts to an online bank account while enjoying your usual pursuits.