LONDON – GAMING – There has been a revolution taking place in the financial world since 2009, and unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ll have noticed the growing number of headlines regarding that revolution. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have taken the world by storm and shaken up traditional ways of thinking about finances and how we spend our money online. As big businesses take an increasing interest in the possibilities of digital currency, it is not simply e-commerce stores and banks that are taking steps to find the best use of the new tool, and even your favorite sporting events are being affected. More and more apps are created to easily buy, store, invest in bitcoin, technology is on a constant upgrade and new transaction methods become available regularly. And at this speed of bitcoin going mainstream, we can have an overview of the many ways that cryptocurrency is going to make its presence felt on the billion-dollar sporting industry.
Bitcoin at events
Considering that there has already been the famous college football Bitcoin St Petersburg Bowl event and that some consumers now already have the choice of paying for products and services with bitcoin, it’s not unlikely that soon you will be able to buy your hotdogs and beers with your bitcoin platform. Looking at the ease and speed with which we have integrated card payments and contactless transactions into our buying methods, it’s not unlikely to assume that bitcoin payments will be the next technology trend. When Arsenal, one of the largest English soccer teams in the world, partners with a cryptocurrency, then you know that the big business of sport is keeping track of the changing digital revolution. Even the NBA is getting in on the growing potential of cryptocurrency, with the Sacramento Kings now accepting bitcoin payments for tickets, merchandise and even in the stadium itself. The hope is that they can transform their arena into a truly cashless and ticketless space, referring to the adoption of new technologies as the first steps towards creating NBA 3.0
Gambling on sporting events
Having a flutter on the horses or supporting your favorite team with a hefty bet is nothing new. The internet has had its predictable effect, making it easier than ever to gamble online, with the sporting options now available from anywhere in the world. Gamblers can now put money on horse races in Kazakhstan or soccer matches in Japan, all without leaving the house. Bitcoin is set to become the next most important change in online gambling, and it’s not difficult to understand why that is. Growing popularity of accepting bitcoin bets looks set to make it a regular option across the board. The reasons for this are fairly obvious. Cryptocurrency payments are popular because not only are they immediate, they also offer an additional layer of security and anonymity when gambling, keeping users safer than other online payment methods. As payments race around the planet, you can be sure that you are getting exactly what you bet on.
Engagement with fans
Due to the security of digital currency payments, it is also a potentially safer way to buy and sell unwanted tickets for a vital match, with bitcoin’s unique activity logging making it much more difficult for touts and thieves to take advantage of fan desperation. Clubs are already looking at the possibilities of using cryptocurrency as part of a loyalty scheme, similar to IBM. Recently, a fan replaced his fan banner with a call for Bitcoin, and as a result of utilizing his QR code, managed to raise an estimated $20,000 after being shown on ESPN. Although fan banners are nothing new, this form of cryptocurrency advertising is proving that there is potential for more integration with sports leaders. Another way that clubs are looking at evolving the ways that fans are able to interact with their teams is by using the blockchain, the server technology that makes bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies work, to keep real-time updates on player and team statistics. This technology is fixed and cannot be altered, and is also accessible for fans. This is especially important for those who wish to make bets on a team, but could also prove to be a game-changer for the growing number of fantasy sports events.
For base jumpers and paragliders, bitcoin is an easy way to top up or spend no matter what mountain they may be up or what the weather conditions are like. The international motorcycle event that takes place annually on the Isle of Man has also led the island being dubbed the Island of Bitcoin, after a competitor was sponsored by a cryptocurrency management team. This has allowed for the spread of the cryptocurrency image, and it is that normalization that will see bitcoin’s adoption on the popular culture landscape. Due to the roaming nature of most sports, but especially relevant for extreme sports advocates, it’s no real surprise that bitcoin payments have proven to be so popular. Without the need for any technology other than your phone, fans and competitors are able to manage their finances at all times, even if they are dangling from the side of a mountain.
The potential influence of cryptocurrency on the sports world has yet to be fully addressed, but as more of the big teams look at ways to improve the fan experience and make the best use of the growing financial revolution, expect to see further increases in the presence of cryptocurrency, no matter how you enjoy your sport.