Published on August 24th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
The Big Gamble: Sportbook and Crypto Hacks – the Only Difference is the Narrative
Sportsbooks have been around for a long time. Cryptos, not so much.
But if there is one thing that both of these two entities —yes, let’s call them entities—have in common, it’s a public perception of high risk.
Another word that one could use —historically speaking— to describe both of these things is, ‘taboo.’ But both are losing this perception.
States are legalizing sports betting left and right. Some are creating their own products, like the Oregon Lottery’s ‘Scoreboard’ mobile betting app and website. Other states are relying on major bookmakers to manage state-run products for them. Sites like, Will Hill, 5dimes, and Bookmaker, which coincidentally enough accept bitcoin and other cryptos via SBR.
On the flip side of the coin, cryptos that were previously vilified as something you only use to buy drugs, sex slaves, and baby organs on the dark web, are finally getting recognized as a legitimate security/commodity. And cryptos are getting help from the most unlikely of place: coronavirus.
As world stocks crashed in March, on the heels of the pending pandemic’s announcement, cryptos stayed relatively stable. Sure, they plummeted right alongside the DOW, S&P 500, and gold, but they recovered in a matter of days. BTC proved the nays-sayers when many financial analysts came out and claimed BTC was a safe-haven investment. Well, the coin is back to the bull and currently sitting at over $11K per coin.
Hacking is Another Commonality
There are two main things hackers love to go after, money and information. Unfortunately, sportsbooks are loaded with both.
Traditionally, hackers would make attempt after attempt on sportsbooks for a couple of reasons. First, all of the deposit information and personal information attached to each player account. Not only do the hackers have an opportunity to steal money, but also another chance to get everything they need for full-fledged identity theft, not just names, addresses, and SSNs in the website’s database, but bank account numbers, routing numbers, etc. The other reason hackers used to love marketing sportsbooks is because they could target offshore books without much fear of reprisal from authorities. Say, a sportsbook operating out of Antigua is hacked by people in the United States when offshore books were entirely illegal in the eyes of the US government. What is the sportsbook going to do? It’s kind of like getting your weed stolen then trying to go to the cops for help.
With cryptos, the goal is universally to steal digital currency and cash out. One of the best things about cryptos is the layers of security through anonymity. So, hackers are much less likely to get any of your personal information, but they might be able to hack an exchange and transfer funds from your BTC address.
The end result for both sportsbooks and cryptocurrencies is damaged trust. These are two entities that have struggled to garner positive public perception, especially with all the propaganda slung against them by governments and centralized banking institutions. Each time there is a major hack, it is publicized. Of course, governments love control. They also love making money through power. With something like cryptos, where they have a tough time getting their —not even deserved— slice of the pie, it only makes sense that they will rail against it. Hacks give them the perfect vector for their narrative.
But ultimately, any website, business, or government establishment can get hacked. Moreover, they do get hacked; all the time. The only difference is the narrative.
Here’s a list of MASSIVE Data Breaches:
- CitiFinancial 3.9 – Million Accounts
- ECM (Educational Credit Management Corp) – 3.3 Million Accounts
- CheckFree Corp – 5 Million Accounts
- Data Processors International – 8 Million CC numbers
- Korea Credit Bureau – 20 Million Accounts
- CardSystems Solutions – 40 Million CC Accounts
- JPMorgan Chase – 76 Million households and 7 million businesses
- TRW Information Systems – 90 Million People
- Heartland Payment – 130 Million Accounts
- Equifax – 143 Million in the US and 400,000 in UK
You don’t hear mainstream media screaming your ear off about how unsafe your information is at a bank, credit card company, or freaking CREDIT BUREAU! However, if something involving BTC gets hacked, it’s front-page news and used as fuel as to why your money and information are at risk anywhere in that market.
- “The Top 10 FinServ Data Breaches | Digital Guardian.” 8 May. 2019, https://digitalguardian.com/blog/top-10-finserv-data-breaches. Accessed 4 Aug. 2020. ↑