Online bookie takes bets in bitcoin

Online bookmaker Neds has launched a platform enabling punters to use bitcoins to place their bets.

Online bookmaker Neds has embraced the current bitcoin boom by offering a cryptocurrency-based betting service.

Neds chief executive Paul Cherry said with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies becoming more widespread and accepted, creating a gambling platform for them was an attractive idea.

"It (bitcoin) is a technological solution, and we see ourselves as tech guys, so it seems very fitting that we integrate bitcoin or some other cryptocurrencies into our platform," Mr Cherry told AAP.

"A lot of people may be non-sophisticated investors who have acquired some bitcoins during the recent hype and are probably wondering what to do with them."

Initially, Neds will work only with bitcoin but may introduce other cryptocurrencies to the wagering platform.

The Northern Territory-licensed Neds, which launched in October 2017, says the initiative to launch the bitcoin betting platform was an internal decision rather than an response to customer demands.

Mr Cherry said all parts of the betting process involve bitcoins and do not involve any conversions to hard currency.

Customers make deposits to their account in bitcoin, all bets are made in bitcoin, and withdrawals are made in bitcoin.

Bitcoin betters see the odds as they would on any other wagering platform but the bets are placed in milli-bitcoins, which is one thousandth of a bitcoin.

"So rather than placing a $1 bet, you might place a five milli-bitcoin bet," Mr Cherry said.

Mr Cherry said there was tight security around the bitcoin betting platform, with all transactions recorded via a blockchain-based public ledger, electronic verification of customers' identity and adherence to anti-money laundering provisions.

Mr Cherry said he was not aware of any other sports bookmakers offering a pure bitcoin betting platform, although they may accept bitcoins for the purpose of conversion to hard currency.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch