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Betting On The Blockchain: Secrets of BetMoose.com
DISCLAIMER: Comply with your local online gambling laws. None of the following is intended to be investment advice. Also, full disclosure, any links to Coinbase and Binance, etc., include referrals. It actually benefits you to use them because we will both get an extra $10 worth of BTC for free if you deposit at least $100 to Coinbase. Thanks in advance if you follow the links when you make your accounts — and even if you don’t, I hope you find this article interesting!
There are many uses of cryptocurrency, but perhaps none so thrilling and exciting as the world of gambling. In many countries, various kinds of internet gambling has been forbidden in a variety of ways — it’s often difficult to bet on online poker, the results of political elections, sports, and so on. The act itself isn’t actually illegal in most cases — depending on your country, you can bet online and never get into any sort of trouble. Instead, laws are designed in such a way that it makes it difficult or impossible for a business or “house” to accept money for things like poker bets, usually by exerting pressure on their payment processors.
How Cryptocurrency Has Solved This Problem
Cryptocurrency largely bypasses these issues — at least for now — because there’s no need for a payment processor. You simply send your coins directly to whatever site is handling your betting, make your bets, and withdraw accordingly. There have been many websites that support various kinds of gambling — Satoshi Dice, for example, was one of the first. Some of these sites are about what you’d expect, complete with the usual betting games like poker, blackjack, and so on. It’s easy to imagine all sorts of betting being made possible on the blockchain — perhaps even enforced by completely transparent “smart contracts,” as we’ve seen with FunFair. Because the topic is so interesting, I have decided to bring you a series of reviews of the more interesting Bitcoin gambling sites. The most interesting one I’ve found so far? BetMoose.com.
How BetMoose Works
The basic idea behind this site is that anyone can act as the house by becoming a “bet host.” This means you can create your own “propositions” (or “props”) and people can bet on them. If you want to bet on your own propositions, that’s fine too. A proposition could be just about anything you could imagine, such as:
- Will the next President of the United States be a woman?
- Will Germany win the next world cup?
- Will Donald Trump win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2018?
- Will Bitcoin’s price be above $10,000 by a particular date?
- How many pardons will the President of the United States issue between two particular dates?
- Will the “Kingslayer” Jaime Lannister die on Game of Thrones next season?
- Who will the win the next League of Legends World Championship?
Any open-ended question can have up to five possible answers set by the bet host. As you can see, there’s really no limit to the “topics” or “categories” that a bet can cover. The only question is whether or not you can get people to participate in your bet. Of course, there are some rules— otherwise, the system wouldn’t work. For example, you cannot make a bet where the result is easily influenced, such as “how many upvotes will this Reddit post get?”
Why host a bet?
There are a number of reasons you might want to host a bet. Firstly, if it’s popular (i.e., many people bet on both sides of it), you are liable to make a decent amount of money; after all, the reward for hosting a bet is a percentage of all the bitcoins that go into the pot.
Second, you might just want to bet on a particular outcome. As I mentioned before, you can bet on your own propositions — so if you’re a real Game of Thrones fanatic, you could actually make your own bet about which characters are going to live next season.
Now, if you’re like me and always looking for bugs in systems, you might be thinking: what’s stopping me from just declaring myself the winner or choosing whatever outcome I want? Well, you can’t do that. Or rather, you can, but there is a 24-hour lag time between the prop’s resolution and the actual payout; if anyone reports that the resolution was incorrectly assigned (done by simply clicking a button), the payout process is frozen and the BetMoose site owners will resolve the proposition themselves. Because there is a “reputation” system built into the site, it’s very unlikely for a host to incorrectly assign an outcome — I’ve never seen it, personally.
If you want to host bets, I highly recommend you read through the FAQ — this resource will provide you with many important details and suggestions.
What about just betting?
Here’s the cool thing about BetMoose — not only do you not have to bother with hosting bets if you don’t want to, you don’t even have to make an account! If you’re on a betting page and you’re not logged into the system, you can simply use the “Place Anonymously” feature to place a bet:
As you can see, when you write in the amount of the bet — in this case, one entire Bitcoin — the values in “PAYOUT” and “ROI” will automatically update. So, in the above example, you would walk away with 7.13% more BTC than you came in with, or 0.07132 BTC. These values might change over time based on how much is being bet on either side — unless, of course, the host set up the proposition as a “fixed” bet.
While betting anonymously is possible, I very much recommend making an account as there are a lot of perks — not the least of which is the fact that you won’t have to paste your Bitcoin address (or send Bitcoin) every time you make a bet. Likewise, you won’t be able to host your own bets unless you make an account. Some other reasons to sign up are listed in the official FAQ under “Why should I sign up?”
Getting Your Payouts
When it’s all said and done, getting your payouts is very straightforward. In the case of an “anonymous” bet, you give a payout address before you send your bitcoins to BetMoose. When the proposition ends, your winnings — if any — will be sent there. Simple, right?
If you have an account, you will instead click the little Bitcoin balance display at the top right:
This will lead you to a page that looks like this:
In the “unique deposit address” field, you will find the address you should send bitcoins to in order to fund your account. Withdrawing is as simple as clicking the “Withdraw” button and following the instructions from there.
Is BetMoose safe?
This is the big question — the one you should be asking yourself every time you sign up to a gambling site. My own personal experience has been 100% positive, and I have made dozens of bets through BetMoose over the course of about a year and a half. Can I say without a doubt that they won’t get hacked or there won’t be other problems in the future? Unfortunately, no — I can’t say that about any service, even trusted exchanges like Coinbase or Binance. With that said, these people moved over one hundred Bitcoin through a single proposition during the 2016 presidential election and — while there was a short delay — my understanding is that everyone was paid out properly. To me, that represents a great “stress test” which BetMoose passed with flying colors. Long story short? I trust this site.
In the case of BetMoose, I actually don’t have a lot of criticism. It’s a well-designed little site which is easy to navigate and, most importantly, works well. There are some minor gripes I could criticize — such as the fact that the maximum duration of a proposition is only one year (stopping you from making interesting bets like “Will the current American President remain in office to the end of his term?”) However, note that the site is labeled “BetMoose BETA” — I would not be surprised to learn that far more features are coming.
The only real complaint I have is that, outside of major political seasons like the American election, the userbase here doesn’t seem to be very large. This means that not many bets get an enormous amount of volume. Despite the fact that this is a “beta,” it’s rather surprising to me that more people aren’t using this site; however, my opinion is that BetMoose is a hidden gem, and it is only a matter of time until it becomes one of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency betting world.
Before you go…
Know of any other good cryptocurrency betting sites? Want me to write about them? Let me know! I love to hear feedback from people and get ideas on what cryptocurrency topics I should research. You never know, I might even write an article about your suggestion!
If you’re new to cryptocurrencies, don’t worry — it’s easy to get in on this! Here are the basic steps if you’re interested in Bitcoin or altcoins:
- Buy some Bitcoin or Ethereum from Coinbase.
- Trade them for altcoins on Binance, KuCoin, HitBTC, or Changelly. Out of these, Binance is my preferred exchange. Skip this step if you’re uninterested in altcoins, of course!
- If feasible, store your coins offline in a wallet for security purposes. Use an inexpensive Android phone with the Coinomi wallet app, or go ultra secure with a hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S or Trezor.
If you’re looking for a more lengthy guide to purchasing coins from start to finish, just take a look at my page — I’ve written a lot about this! Any of my instructional altcoin articles (such as this one) will first explain in detail how to get Bitcoin if that’s all you want.
Come back soon because more content like this is always coming! If my work helped you or gave you something to think about, share it with others:
Sharing helps more people find my articles, and I’d love to be able to assist as many people as possible with cryptocurrencies. Also, if you have any ideas for future articles or specific questions, I’d love to hear them. Comments section coming soon! One last thing: if you’d like to chat with me in real time, check out my Patreon — I am running a public Discord for the discussion of cryptocurrency, and if you subscribe to my Patreon you can get a special role there!
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