Year established: 2014
Mobile compatible: Yes
Jurisdiction: Costa Rica
Overall rating: C
Recommended: For professional players (Prediction Market / Bitcoin Betting Exchange)
Fairlay has recently burst onto the scene as a cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) betting exchange, where rather than use fiat currency for your sports betting, you can anonymously bet using BTC. The site allows its users to create bets, which others may choose to match with, creating market-driven prices that fluctuate based on how many people are betting a certain price. Definitely not your usual bookmaker, Fairlay is aiming to fulfill a gap in the market and ride the Bitcoin wave as this currency and others become more mainstream. The key benefits of using cryptocurrency for a given customer is that its fully anonymous, not even requiring an email address along with extremely low commission fees (much less than the 2-5% on Betfair, Smarkets and similar).
So, betting markets, where to start? Well the entire layout of the Fairlay Sportsbook is not user friendly, indeed there is no traditional Sportsbook layout or list of Sports and Events, everything is generated by users, for users. Having said that, there are still a surprising number of markets around considering how nice this type of exchange betting is, with sports, politics, currency and even current affairs. Sadly, for an exchange, the odds gap between buy and sell is considerably larger than the major exchanges available today, and its worth checking whether this evens out the reduced commission by using this site for your betting experience. More than 90% of Fairlay’s markets have a base commission of 0.25%. Only politics, news and bitcoin bets have 2%.
Usability of the Site
So put simply, Fairlay is not easy to use for someone who isn’t highly versed in Bitcoin, cryptocurrency wallets and the core concepts behind its inception and growing adoption. In essence, one must understand how transactions take place, how to deposit and withdraw Bitcoin and be comfortable doing this across the site. Aside from this, the site in general is not the easiest to navigate, and could definitely do with a revamp and upgrade with a bigger focus on user-focused design and layout. On the plus side, Fairlay does a reasonable job of explaining how to place bets, what happens once a market settles, how your winnings are calculated and how payments are made. There’s an active forum that is easy to navigate through from the site, along with 24/7 Live Chat, email support and considerable FAQs. In line with the transparent nature of Bitcoin, the code and API are all available to view and has been thoroughly reviewed by existing members of the BTC community.
To conclude, Fairlay is not for the faint of heart. Customers who are well versed in cryptocurrencies should have no problem grasping the nature of each transaction, for the majority of sports bettors however, this is likely to be an obstacle to enjoyment that most people will decide to walk away from. Further to this, the nature of Bitcoin as an unstable currency is such that once you deposit an amount into the system, the value of this is fiat currency like US dollar could fluctuate massively over very short periods. Perhaps it is better to stick with more stable currencies for the time being, although this is at the sports bettor’s discretion.
– One of the largest bitcoin-only prediction markets and betting exchange;
– The odds fluctuate based on how people vote;
– A plethora of trading events, provably best odds;
– Quite high limits for major sports;
– More than 90% of markets have a base commission only 0.25%;
– You can create your own event;
– Works well on all mobile devices;
– Quick customer support team;
– They have a forum.
– No promotions;
– Narrow range of sports and leagues covered;
– A limited number of bet types;
– Low market liquidity, particularly during in-play betting;
– Not very convenient site navigation;
– Poor payment options.
*Keep in mind to double check information. Be prepared for changes to restricted countries, bonuses, currencies, deposit and payment options, languages, contact info.