Fun With Bitcoins

You Can Now Use Bitcoin to Bet on the World Cup

The happy marriage of two things Americans barely understand.
World cup betting: a use for Bitcoin that makes complete and total sense. (photo via Zach Copley)

World cup betting: a use for Bitcoin that makes complete and total sense. (photo via Zach Copley)

The World Cup begins this Thursday, and if you’re American, you probably have a number of questions: What sport is this again? Is the U.S. even playing? And (most importantly) how can I place bets? The answers to those questions are “soccer,” “yes,” and now, “in Bitcoin.”

A new service called Bitkup is taking bets on your projections for the World cup. You can either opt into the betting pool with a single payment of 0.05 BTC ($33 at time of writing) or simply play along without betting. Playing for fun won’t qualify you to win the jackpot, but could lead to winning Bitcoin-themed prizes.

If a Bitcoin betting ring sounds a little shady — like some of Bitcoin’s original use cases — Bitkup reassures would-be winners that their funds are safe by listing the public address for the betting pool so that anyone can look in on it.

“Furthermore, all the results introduced by the other players for the past games and the ones being played can be checked at all times,” Bitkup said in a release.

Bitcoin has been used in a number of eclectic ways where plain old dollars would do, from campaign contributions to live webcam shows. Using it as a neutral-ground currency for a worldwide betting pool is one of the most plainly sensible uses for Bitcoin we’ve heard yet.

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