The emergence of cryptocurrency on the global scene means that people can pay for goods and services with much more ease and without the need for physical contact with the payment method. There is also greater transparency in terms of transactions since crypto transactions are recorded on a blockchain network and it also provides services to disenfranchised and unbanked individuals. Despite all these benefits, there are some drawbacks of cryptocurrency such as its use in crime, particularly on the dark web, and also it’s being used for illicit activities by shady individuals.
A recent report suggests that there has been an uptick in illegal betting on soccer within Asia and this can be traced to the increased use of cryptocurrency.
According to the Asian Football Confederation, there has been a six-year decline in incidences of illegal gambling with regards to Asian football but it has recently seen an uptick and this is likely due to the increase of cryptocurrency for these purposes. In the past, there were entire global syndicates that ran betting schemes for Asian football but due to the efforts of the Asian football alliance and Sportradar, this has been reduced significantly and there are only a few isolated incidents.
“With key figures being imprisoned or disrupted and very high-profile cases being discussed in the media, match-fixing over the last five years has become much more fragmented,” said Oscar Brodkin, the director of intelligence and investigation services at Sportradar.
What has now happened is that betting amounts have become larger and the method of transfer of payment has changed to cryptocurrency. This is despite the fact that betting and gambling are illegal in many parts of Asia such as China, Bangladesh and so on. It is estimated that the illegal betting market in Asia is worth about $400 million.
“We have observed an increase in adoption of cryptocurrency as a payment method for illegal activities and a medium to bet,” Brodkin said.