The hotly contested US election campaign ended with a stunning victory for president elect Donald Trump, but Bitcoin gambling operators were also left smiling after the race for the White House generated record-breaking mobile betting activity.
So enthralled were online sports bettors by the fierce battle for the presidency between Hillary Clinton and Trump, that unprecedented amounts of them flocked to their iOS and Android devices to download sportsbook apps for bitcoin, subsequently leading to a record amount of bets being placed with the digital currency.
In the UK alone, the race triggered the largest amount of online Bitcoin betting activity for a non-sporting event, exceeding the online wagering hype generated by Brexit earlier in the year.
Whether on their iPhone/iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Windows Phone or other mobile device, new and existing customers flocked to Bitcoin sportsbooks such as BitBet, Predictous, and Fairlay to check US election odds, compare betting lines and place their wagers. Each of these companies reported a surge in online betting activity during the race, with Trump backers ending up the biggest winners and netting approximately 2000 Bitcoin overall, according to Fairlay.
The Bitcoin betting activity leading up to the November 8 result was by far larger than that of the US presidential election four years earlier, when the cryptocurrency had only started finding its way into online betting circles. Its impact has since expanded significantly, with an increasing amount of online sports bookmakers across the US and Europe allowing their customers to deposit, bet and withdraw with Bitcoin funds.
Bitcoin looks poised to continue its expansion across online gambling markets, with both bookmakers and customers sighting increased privacy, a reduction in credit card fraud and chargebacks, as well as faster transactions and customer sign-ups, as a key reason for using it when placing and accepting online bets.