If you’ve been frantically refreshing your online sports betting banking options to see which new altcoin your favorite book will support next, you may have noticed that BetOnline Sportsbook recently dropped support for Chainlink betting.
The reasons why are unclear, but this actually seems like a trend in the space.
In 2020, for example, BetOnline similarly stopped supporting Tether deposits and payouts, but USDT recently – and unceremoniously – snuck back into the cashier menu. It’s been available again for several months, now.
And frankly, we expect Chainlink (LINK) to make an eventual comeback, too.
Now, while there’s really no way for us to know why BetOnline and other books choose to support – or end support – for a given crypto coin, we do have a few ideas about that.
Essentially, crypto support should be viewed through the same lens of the actual betting lines these sportsbooks set and the betting markets they include in their menus.
That is, a sportsbook is only going to post a line in which they’ve been able to reliably calculate a resultant profit. No sportsbook will offer an automatic financial loser to their clientele just for the heck of it.
The lines you see are set as they are – initially – using a calculus that has historically attracted even money on both sides of a given wager.
It doesn’t always work out that way, of course.
And in such cases, you might see your book lock the odds or take them down altogether until they can calculate new odds that serve to balance out their liabilities.
The same seems true when it comes to the coins they support.
By our reckoning, legal online sportsbooks determine which coins to offer based on a combination of factors including the following:
- The books themselves already hodl a large cache of the coin in question, purchased months or years ago at a very low comparative price.
- The coin has appreciated past a pre-determined value threshold to make it worth the books’ while to offer the asset as an online betting banking option. Thus, when you win $100, you get paid $100, but it only costs the book $1 in realized losses.
- The coin has shown reliable growth over a long period of time such that the books aren’t likely to realize immense losses when paying out winnings using the coin.
- The coin has enough market mindshare – that is, mainstream notoriety or popularity – to make its inclusion a sensible way to help drive further adoption in general.
Obviously, we can’t prove all this – it merely seems sensible.
Sites like BetOnline and Bovada Sportsbook have been on the cutting edge of crypto since day one, and they were among the first online services to take advantage of the non-regulated nature of crypto money transfers.
Indeed, in the case of Bovada specifically, there’s a case to be made that the site – through billionaire Calvin Ayre – may have been more intimately associated with the very creation and development of Bitcoin itself than most people think.
Nothing of the sort can be proved, but it’s a fun theory. Could it be that the UIGEA law of 2006 led directly to the crypto revolution?
We like to think so.
At any rate, one would be naïve to believe that these books are simply reactive to the crypto market in the same way that regular hodlers might be.
That is, there’s every chance in the world that the biggest operators have a giant cache of hundreds or even thousands of different crypto assets waiting in the wings, appreciating through the years far beyond the value of the initial investment for each.
Then, once that ROI hits a certain threshold, sportsbooks offer the crypto coin in question as a banking option, paying out players pennies – or fractions of pennies – on the dollar at current crypto prices.
The book is happy, the player is happy, and everyone wins. It makes a lot of sense.
If the above is true – and it’s hard to imagine anything otherwise – then these books might be just as prone to withdrawing support for a given coin as they are to introduce that support in the first place.
And, of course, for the exact same reasons.
If a coin’s value starts trending down – or stops surging up – there’s good cause to take it off the menu for a while. Again, this is common practice for the odds these books offer, so why shouldn’t it be common practice for the banking methods they offer?
In the case of Chainlink specifically, the LINK value hasn’t really plummeted recently. In general, it’s up pretty solidly year-over-year.
But price isn’t necessarily the only metric of import, as there are sometimes other factors involved, too.
Remember, Chainlink is an Ethereum token, and ETH transfer fees are built into LINK deposit limits, withdrawal limits, and transactional costs at the sportsbooks that support the Chainlink coin.
As such, LINK is one of the most expensive cryptos to use, and that means demand might wane even as the profit margin for the books in question lag behind other options.
That’s the wrong kind of “doubling down,” to be sure.
This alone can be a motivator for extra attentive (read, “strict”) control over how and when Chainlink is offered as a banking option at online sports betting sites.
While books might be reticent to abandon support for Ethereum itself given its popularity as the world’s most heavily used crypto platform, they’d be considerably less reticent to apply a heavy hand to other crypto assets built atop Ethereum.
And, naturally, the forthcoming transition from ETH to ETH 2.0 will have implications for altcoins like LINK, as well.
Ultimately, we don’t know why Chainlink support has been paused at BetOnline AG, but we’re confident that – sooner or later – it’ll be back.
The bigger question is what other coins the sports betting market will embrace next.
Our money’s on Solana.