With just days to go until Brazil 2014, and what will be the biggest betting event of all-time, the world's first licensed bitcoin-only sportsbook, BetVIP.com, has gone live with the aim of adding transparency and legitimacy to the nascent currency.
BetVIP takes wagers and pays out winnings exclusively in bitcoin and only accepts bets in regulated markets. It has offices in Malta and South Africa and holds a gaming license in Curacao.
The technology that powers BetVIP is provided by leading gaming solutions supplier, BetTech, whose platform is used by customers around the world in legal jurisdictions.
BetVIP is the brainchild of Cape Town-based digital entrepreneur Daniel Schwartzkopff, a South African business executive with a proven background in the start-up, technology and social networking sectors.
"BetVIP is not a PR stunt - it is a long-term business venture," said BetVIP founder Schwartzkopff.
"Our gaming license and strict bet acceptance policy demonstrates our commitment to the longevity of the currency. There is a massive opportunity to provide both a secure and reliable platform for bitcoin holders and take on the traditional online sportsbooks," he said.
Schwartzkopff previously founded FSMS, a telecoms start-up with more than 325,000 registered users and DataProphet, a unique consultancy specialising in solving prediction problems in the financial industry. He launched BetVIP to allow bettors to benefit from the fast transactions and low costs of bitcoin exchange.
"Given the embryonic status of bitcoin, we understand that it is surrounded by concern and confusion. At BetVIP we are determined to help the growing movement of people that want to normalise the currency and bring it into everyday use," said Schwartzkopff.
"We might trade in an anonymous currency but we are providing complete transparency and accountability in order to build trust with our players," he added.
BetVIP offers pre-match and in-play wagering opportunities across hundreds of markets in international sporting events to online and mobile players.
All first-time customers will benefit from a 100% first deposit bonus and BetVIP is due to follow-up the launch of its sportsbook with a best-in-breed casino product later this year.