Bitcoin in Sport: Why Franchises Should Follow the Cryptocurrency Culture
“Future Money” (CC BY 2.0) by xlowmiller
Sport and money go together like hands and gloves. The Sports Techie community blog has been never covered the topic of bitcoin, capital for future generations.
To make the sporting world go round, as a franchise owner, a coach, a player or even a fan, you need money. From advertising and sponsorship deals to salaries, transfer fees and even buying tickets or betting on a game, sport needs money. In fact, such financial might of sport on all fronts that it’s projected to become an industry worth $73.5 billion by 2019.
However, as strong as the bonds are between money and sport, the industry doesn’t appear to be on par with the latest tech trend in the financial world: bitcoin. The virtual currency may have been around since 2009, but at the close of February 2017, it reached a new high. With more industries and businesses embracing the online monetary system, the value of bitcoin peaked at $1,186 on February 24. That figure is $20 more than the previous record high of $1,165 which was recorded during “bitcoin-mania” in 2013.
Big Businesses are Already Using Bitcoin
“Payment Method” (CC BY 2.0) by @cdharrison
Although the market took a tumble soon after the 2013 peak, today’s economy looks a lot more stable. Indeed, a quick survey of the business landscape reveals that a number of major brands are now on board the bitcoin bandwagon. According to 99bitcoins.com, you can now pay for goods and services at the following outlets:
- Virgin Galactic
- OKCupid and more…
So, if bitcoin is now the latest way to pay, why isn’t it more common in sports? Well, there are some areas of the sports industry where bitcoin is making an appearance. For online bettors who enjoy wagering money on sports, there are now ways to pay without using your dollars. At VegasCasino.io, customers can not only enjoy bitcoin-based slot games like Sugar Pop and Golden Dragon, but also bet on sports. Unlike its peers where bets are placed in USD, sports bettors at VegasCasino can deposit, bet and withdraw in bitcoin.
The advantage of this, as it is with all online services accepting bitcoin payments, is that transactions are efficient, secure and anonymous. Because users don’t have to input personal information or credit card details when they pay (they use a unique bitcoin address ID), it means they’re less susceptible to cybercriminals and fraud too.
Bitcoins Creeping into the Sports World
“Sacramento Kings” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by RMTip21
Beyond the sports betting sector, the NBA’s Sacramento Kings became the first team to accept bitcoin payments back in 2014. Under the guidance of computer software expert and majority owner Vivek Ranadivé, the Kings began accepting bitcoin payments for official merchandise. Using BitPay as the payment processor, customers could visit the Kings Team Store and check out their items in the same way they would if they were using USD and a credit card.
However, despite Ranadivé calling the move the first step in creating “NBA 3.0”, the idea hasn’t really spread so far. In fact, when you look around the sporting world as a whole, it’s clearly lacking the FinTech (financial technology) foresight that other industries appear to have. Naturally, this doesn’t mean things won’t change.
With bitcoin at an all-time high, franchise owners and sports companies alike could start using the technology. Whether it’s bitcoin payments for tickets, bets or even trading players, there’s certainly a place for the cryptocurrency in sport. Indeed, if there was ever a time for sports to embrace bitcoin, it’s now.
Sports Techie, according to Bloomberg Market, President Trump and his administration may relax rules on digital currencies. If so, how does this factor into the fact that China is the recognized world leader in the bitcoin trading market?
President Trump and his financial advisers are all over helping to make it a digital money standard of the future. Perhaps bitcoin is a world currency equalizer?
Bloomberg adds, “The digital currency isn’t regulated by any government and has been used by consumers worldwide to shelter assets from inflation or political upheavals in their home countries. Last year, bitcoin outperformed all major foreign-exchange trades, stock indexes, and currencies and commodity contracts. That’s why some believe the price will eventually go even higher.”
Sport team owners are looking at the future of bitcoin in much the same way as implementing VR. Business changes in sports and gambling often shake up the corporate culture for good or bad.
As the leagues go international, running these global businesses on bitcoin may soon become the new standard.
Now if only fantasy sports embraced bitcoin as online sportsbook and the Kings do we would have a real big-time sports tech winner.
Either way, future generations may never remember a time when bitcoin and digital currencies were not the status quo.
Go make a bet on it and the ripple effect of Trump.
See y’all later in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world.
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