Is bitcoin being used for match fixing?

match fixing

Bitcoin and match fixing are a match made in heaven. We know no cases of bitcoin being used for match fixing yet, but then we wouldn’t know about it would we? It would be anonymous and no one but the individual athlete would be involved making it nearly impossible to detect.

Match fixing with government currency

To fix a match with government currency several people have to cooperate together.

First you need a group of bettors because one individual gambler could not get enough money on without causing suspicion. The betting side of match fixing is normally done with betting syndicates of at least 6 people.

Then you need the fixer who will arrange things between the bettors and the athlete, coordinating exactly what will be fixed and negotiating the payment to the athlete.

Lastly you need the athlete to influence the outcome of a bet with irregular on field performance.

So at least 8 individuals all of whom are potential points of failure, all of whom could be an informant, could get blackmailed, could commit blackmail or say too much to the wrong person. This is how most matching fixing with government currency has been uncovered in the past.

Match fixing with bitcoin

Bitcoin is the perfect tool for match fixing because it disintermediates the bettors and the fixers. Bitcoin removes the need for all parties other than the individual athlete.

An athlete can anonymously make multiple accounts at multiple bitcoin sportsbooks, place bets that he can influence the outcome of, perform in line with those bets and take all the winnings. No one would ever be the wiser…or would they?

Prevention and detection

If the athlete is not careful authorities with the time, money and surveillance technology could uncover his crime but what are the chances?

Dedicated teams of detectives would have to monitor every keystroke every athlete makes on every internet enabled device. Then monitor every athlete’s performance. Then monitor every athletes spending.

There is no group to infiltrate, no possibility of an inside man or eavesdropping on communication between two members of the conspiracy. So the only way to uncover match fixing done by a lone individual would be massively intrusive surveillance on a massive scale most of which could be undermined by the athlete using tor, a VPN and bitcoin mixers.

Despite the advantage of bitcoin some athletes will get caught. Some athletes are not bright, some athletes will be too conspicuous with their irregular on field performance then too conspicuous with their spending. Some athletes will get away with it and then brag to the wrong person. Some athletes will ask for help from bitcoiners to set it up and get reported.

But while some athletes will get caught it is reasonable to assume they will be the tip of the iceberg and for every case that comes to light there are 100 that won’t.

Bitcoin match fixing is happening or will happen

As someone who used to make a living predicting the outcome of sporting events I find the notion of match fixing abhorrent. But as someone who understands sports betting and bitcoin I can see no way to stop it. The incentive is there and the opportunity is there. The only 2 possibilities are that bitcoin is being used for match fixing now or bitcoin will be used for match fixing soon.

Consider the fact that all the same dynamics apply to political betting on elections!


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