FAQ

BITBET IS LIVE AGAIN !
What happened?

As of May 2016, the BitBet website is under new management: the previous owners decided to auction it off because of internal disagreements.

Before the auction began, the site was frozen:
- new contracts could not be created
- betting on existing contracts was not possible
- comments were however still allowed

Then, the following happened:
- detailed accounting of assets and liabilities was conducted
- contracts that were closed at the time of the auction were properly paid out
- contracts that were still open were cancelled and all bets were refunded
- all other creditors were paid in full
- the final settlement transaction can be seen here:
a0f12a33413ec3a38e3ae931068febec133b083d72810fc586a8b1c5f0d7922a

Why was the site down for so long?

First, a lot of work had to happen to ensure that BitBet would be handed off with a clean financial slate. Proper accounting takes time and energy.

Second, as a result of the transition, a number of key infrastructure pieces had to be rebuilt from scratch (servers, DNS, cold/hot wallets, databases, acls), etc. This also takes time.

Third, the new operators of the site took the time to understand in depth how BitBet works and tested the new site extensively before they felt it was ready for prime time again.

As a consequence of all this BitBet went off-line for about a month, but it is now fully operational again.

Has anything changed?

Nothing has changed except for the operators of the site. The site operates exactly as before, and the policies remain identical.

One thing to be aware of: the contracts that were cancelled because of the transition are still visible on the site and have all been resolved as "NO".

While this may feel inconsistent (the proper resolution should be "CANCELED & REFUNDED"), there is a limitation in the current design of the system that prevents us from doing anything else. In practice, this has no material impact as all bets placed on these contracts have been refunded.

Will anything change?

We do plan to eventually bring a number of improvements to the site, most notably we would like to make it more mobile friendly. We are also exploring the idea of anonymous user accounts to minimize Bitcoin transaction fees and prevent "TX snooping" from unsavory exchanges and online wallet operators.

Also, and in slightly less pleasant news, as of August 1st 2016, the BitBet fee has been increased to 2% to better cover infrastructure costs. Please note that this new fee only applies to bets placed *after* July 31st 23:59 GMT. The fee on bets that were placed before August 1st 2016 will still be 1%.

Will the new BitBet live up to the standard of the old one?

We will try our absolute best to operate the site with the same integrity and reliability as the previous operators.

That being stated, we do understand that at the time of this writing (May 2016), this statement has very little value, as the new BitBet management team has yet to earn the trust of its users.

Given the nature of the site, the only way we know how to build this trust is over time, via scrupulous management of the site and its security, detailed and irreprochable keeping of the books, and a strict adherence to principles of integrity and fairness.

As a place to start, the BitBet management team's identity can be verified using the GPG key with fingerprint 0xECD7837E31974995

While we will not GPG sign every message sent by BitBet, we invite our users to request such signature any time there is a doubt as to the authenticity of a BitBet message.

Finally, we invite our users to initially bet small amounts, thereby increasingly making sure that the BitBet management team is competent and trustworthy. We are not in a hurry and plan to take as long as needed to establish our reputation and earn the trust of our users.

Update, Aug. 7th 2016: the new operators have now been operating this site for 3 months, and not a single satoshi of our customer's money has been either lost or at any time at risk. All winnings have been paid out scrupulously and all user funds are kept in a cold wallet that lives on a system that is never connected to the internet.

PLACING A BET
What if I bet after a contract is closed?

BITBET WILL KEEP YOUR MONEY !!!

Do not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, bet after a contract is closed.

If you do this, you will lose your money, WHATEVER THE CONTRACT OUTCOME MAY BE.

A bet placed after betting closes on a contract will NOT BE REFUNDED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES..

Please understand that this policy, while it might at first seem unfair, is in place to protect both the site and the legitimate users of the site from abuse.

This policy's intent is NOT designed to take advantage of legitimate users.

What if my transaction was sent before but confirms after betting closes?

The late bet policy (see above) applies:

BITBET WILL KEEP YOUR MONEY.

To be on the safe side, please do not bet on a contract that is going to close soon, or where the contract has already been satisfied (sometimes, contracts get satisfied early).

In particular, if you send money before the contract closes and if your transaction confirms only after betting closes, you will lose your money.

To ensure that your transaction confirms in a timely manner (before betting closes), please make sure to include appropriate Bitcoin fees in your bet transaction.

How do I bet on an existing contract?

. Simply click on the contract that interests you, then click "Bet".
. You will be prompted to enter a Bitcoin address where your winnings will be sent (if you win, of course).
. After that BitBet will give you another Bitcoin address where you should send your bet.
. Please note that all addresses and all transactions will be listed on the contract page.
. As such, you should not send from any address that you would like to keep private.

Can I use an online wallet or and exchange to place bets?

Please note that using online wallets is in general a very bad idea.

For example, some unsavory exchanges and online wallet sites will arbitrarily decide what you may or may not do with your own Bitcoins, or whom you receive Bitcoins from.

These unsavory exchanges and online wallet operators may also well decide to cancel your account if they determine that you are sending Bitcoin from your online wallet to BitBet or that you are using your online wallet to receive winnings from BitBet. This is currently possible because all Bitcoin addresses are visible on the contract pages.

Online wallets pretty much negate all that makes Bitcoin good: you aren't in control of your funds anymore, you have no guarantee that the wallet operator won't keep your money or disappear with it under cover of the night, and they will have a say on what you can or can't do with your money. Some may even keep your funds if they decide you aren't complying with their policies.

We are working on a solution to this problem (in the form of anonymous user accounts), but until we implement this, please avoid using online wallets and exchanges like the plague.

In particular, please understand that:
. The beneficiary address of a bet will never be changed, under ANY circumstances.
. Please make absolutely sure you control the address you submit for winnings payouts!
. If you enter a payout address controlled by an exchange or an online wallet operator, please understand that you may lose your funds, and that BitBet cannot be held responsible.

In summary, we strongly urge you to use your own wallet on your own computer, something only you control.

How long does it take for my bet to be processed?

Your bet is accepted once it shows up in the list displayed on each contract page. This occurs automatically after the transaction containing your payment receives one confirmation on the Bitcoin network.

There is little we can do to speed the Bitcoin network up. There is however a lot you can do. Most importantly : include a reasonable transaction fee when sending your Bitcoin transaction. Also useful : make sure your Bitcoin client is well connected (at least five peers), to low latency peers.

Obviously, double spend transactions will never confirm at all, and will therefore never appear on the contract page.

Note that it is your responsibility to make sure you are not betting on events that have already occured. For such cases, please see: What if I bet after a contract is closed?

How do I create an account?

You do not need an account to use BitBet. Bitbet was in fact specifically designed to make accounts irrelevant and unnecessary. For people who do not want their addresses visible on the contract pages, we are exploring the idea of anonymous accounts but those aren't available as of now.

What happens if I win?

Once a contract is resolved, after 24h payouts are sent. If you placed a bet on the winning side, your winnings will be sent to the Bitcoin payout address you provided when you placed the bet.

This address may be an online wallet, a Bitstamp wallet, etc (we do not recommend this, but it is possible). Once again, when you provide this address, you should make absolutely sure you enter an address you actually control.

Please note that all transactions will be listed on the contract page and will therefore be visible to the whole word. Therefore, do not use an address that you would like to keep private.

If the address you provided when placing the bet is controlled by someone else, like for example an online wallet or an exchange, please read this entry of the FAQ: How do I bet on an existing contract?

What does "closed" and "resolved" mean?

All contracts have a specified end time and date. At that time, the contract will be closed automatically. In some circumstances contracts may be closed early, for example if the contract has been definitely satisfied before the specified date.

For example, a contract on whether one BTC will be worth less than one LTC at any point during the month of June would normally close early July. However, should one BTC be worth less than one LTC on June 14th, the contract will close early, on June 14th.

All closed contracts will be resolved by BitBet moderators, with the resolution displayed for public review for 24 hours. Any interested parties are welcome to bring any arguments against the resolution during that interval. After 24 hours, the winners will be paid and no further complaints will be considered. Please watch contracts you are interested in to make sure no errors occur.

While we make every effort to keep delays at a minimum, the misbehaviour of third parties on which contracts may rely for resolution is not something we can directly control.

BitBet will cancel contracts that can't stand, but will always attempt to award where an actual controversy exists. You are well advised to consider the quality of the proposed resolution source before proposing a new contract or making a bet on an existing contract.

The foregoing notwithstanding, BitBet will not hold contracts unresolved forever.

How are winnings calculated?

Every contract has two sides. Every bettor on the winning side will receive as follows : 98% of his original bet sum (2% goes to BitBet) plus 98% of his bet times the total bet by the losing side multiplied by his bet's total weight and divided by the winning side total weight.

The easiest way to think about fees is as follows : for all bets sent to BitBet, we will apply a 2% fee prior to adding it to the contract. The net bet amount are then used for all further calculations, be they for a win, a loss or a refund.

We are working on providing an offline calculator that people can use to indepedently verify how winnings are calculated.

An important point to consider is that if the "plus" side of that calculation does not exceed the 2% charged by BitBet it is possible to win less Bitcoins than the original bet.

For instance if someone bets 10`000 BTC and the losing side consists of 1 BTC only then the 10`000 bettor will have lost 200 BTC in BitBet fees for a maximum upside of 1 BTC (because obviously he can't win more than what the other people have bet).

The same applies for late bets, if the odds are even money (1:1) then a bet made at weight 1`000 or under is unlikely to walk away whole, even should it win. If the odds are 10:1 in favour of the winning side that weight cutoff becomes 10`000. If the odds are 10:1 against the winning side then that weight cutoff becomes 100.

As a general rule of thumb the sooner you bet, the more BTC you stand to gain.

What if I created a bet address but can't bet right now?

Once you enter a receiving address and are given a send-to address, you have 3 days (72 hours) to send your bet. If your bet does not make it within 72 hours then that address will be reclaimed.

BitBet will be unable to send you your BTC back, as they will have probably been allocated to someone else's bet! Always make sure that you send your first bet on a created address within 3 days (72 hours) of its creation.

Once you have sent your bet, that address becomes reserved for you, and will remain active for the duration of the contract. You can subsequently send more Bitcoins in order to take the same position, they will be added (at a new weight). This should save you significant time if you are interacting with the site programmatically.

Do not send Bitcoin after betting on a contract has closed. Any Bitcoins sent to addresses allocated to a bet after betting has closed will be kept by BitBet.

Can contracts be cancelled?

Contracts may indeed be cancelled, but only if BitBet judges that material changes make the contract meaningless. Once a contract is cancelled all Bitcoins are refunded (minus BitBet's fee) to the associated payout addresses, not to the originating addresses.

Contracts will not be cancelled because it became impossible for one side to win - in such cases, contracts are closed and paid early instead.

Contracts will not be cancelled simply at the request of a third party, and generally BitBet will attempt to resolve rather than cancel any contracts that harbor a legitimate controversy.

We do regulary review comments made for cases where contracts should be cancelled or closed early.

CREATING A NEW CONTRACT
Can I create a contract of my own?

Of course. Click on the "New Contract" link on top of the page. You will have to come up with a "Title", a "Description", propose a "Resolution Date" and "Bet By" interval (number of days before the Resolution Date) and select the proper "Category".

Next, a BitBet admin will review your proposed contract. If the contract is acceptable as per our policies, the admin will establish the "Resolution Date" and "Bet By" interval (which may or may not coincide with your suggestions) and your contract will be funded and published on the site.

Your contract being funded means that BitBet will split a total pool of 0.1 BTC (or more) between the two sides of your proposed contract. Your own address will be linked to the smaller amount. This way you can earn Bitcoin by proposing interesting, worthwhile new contracts.

There is, of course, no guarantee that BitBet will accept your contract. You can help with this greatly by funding your contract yourself, but even so we will not accept contracts that fall in the "Bad Contract" category.

What contracts are "Bad Contract"?

First, statements that can not univocally be established as either true or false at a certain point in the future are Bad Contracts and as such unacceptable on BitBet. For instance, "God Exists" is a bad contract, because it can never be established as either true or false.

Second, any contract that has to do with breaking the law (specifically: murder, but also arson, theft, general destruction and mayhem) is a bad contract and is not allowed on BitBet. For example, contracts such as:
"President Obama will be shot on December the 19th between 18:30:00 and 19:00:00 UTC",
"The Empire State building will burn to the ground sometime in June 2013",
"A crowd of at least five hundred protestors will not throw tomatoes at Nicole Kidman during the Cannes Festival"
and so forth are all unacceptable.

Finally, contracts which are not really contracts but moreover advertising, advocacy, general nonsense and such are unacceptable on BitBet.

What makes contracts more likely to be accepted?

Read your proposed contract. Is it clear, comprehensible and does it make sense? Would you want to bet on this contract? Can you see yourself taking either side? Is resolution going to be obvious once the resolution date comes? If the answer to any of these three questions is "no", your contract likely would benefit from some refining.

Placing a bet yourself at the time of the contract proposition (which is known as a "zeroconf bet") also helps greatly.In some cases, "zeroconf betting" is actually compulsory, specifically for sport contracts. Here are the rules:

1. Sport contracts will be only accepted by BitBet if they have a zeroconf (initial wager) of no less than 0.25 BTC.

2. Sport contracts will have to specifically mention the GMT time the game in question ends. Check if this time is accurate before you bet. BitBet will refund late bets as of that time, irrespective of any considerations, which includes the game being extended in any way for any reason.

3. Sport contracts will not be accepted more than two weeks before the event.

4. Sport contract will not have an end weight inferior to 10k. If the contract proposal is submitted with a lower end weight BitBet will just use 10k.

5. Rules 3 and 4 are waived if you fully fund your contract (10 BTC upfront).

TECHNICAL
Do you use a cold wallet?

Yes. At any time about a maximum of five BTC are kept in a hot wallet, the rest is frozen (kept in a cold wallet that lives on a system that is never connected to the internet).

OTHER
Does BitBet take a fee?

Yes, all bets placed on BitBet are immediately subjected to a 2% fee. The net amount (98%) is placed as a bet and is used to calculate everything else,be it a win, a loss or a refund.