Sacramento Kings CTO: Fans Quit Spending Bitcoin When the Price Hiked

Sacramento Kings CTO: Fans Quit Spending Bitcoin When the Price Hiked

The Sacramento Kings — who spearheaded Bitcoin payments for fan merchandise back in 2014 — noted that fans stopped spending crypto when the price increased.

The Sacramento Kings — who spearheaded Bitcoin (BTC) payments for fan merchandise back in 2014 — have revealed some of the quirks in their history of cryptocurrency engagement.

According to a Nov. 21 report from Front Office Sports, the NBA team’s chief technology officer, Ryan Montoya, remarked:

“People from all over the world were buying Kings jerseys, tickets, different Kings gear. They were super excited that this team was accepting Bitcoin […] We even put a Bitcoin ATM in the arena. Then the Bitcoin price went up to $1,200 and they quit spending the Bitcoin.”

Beyond merchandise

When the Kings first launched Bitcoin payments support, the coin was valued at $800 — ten times less than the current price.

Montoya remains positive, however. While Bitcoin’s eye-popping appreciation may make merchandise purchases with the coin less appealing, the Kings’ involvement in the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector remains extensive. 

The team mines Bitcoin in its data center and this year announced a blockchain-based rewards program in partnership with Blockparty. “We have a very tech-savvy ownership group and innovation is a given; it’s part of our DNA,” Montoya said. 

Season ticket holders, according to Montoya, continue to pay in Bitcoin and the Kings have their sights on an ambitious integration of blockchain across its ecosystem, believing it can reduce friction for fan engagement. 

The team’s mining center was established largely for educational purposes, he said, with the center leading local workforce development efforts under the MiningForGood program:

“We utilize that [the center] to engage the community and teach the youth about STEM education and the importance of blockchain. Students of Sacramento should not be exposed to it 10 years from now, they should understand now that it’s a cool piece of technology and powering these things in the arena.”

The Kings have also ventured into crypto-collectibles via a partnership with CryptoKaiju and runs interactive scavenger hunts for its fans, offering them the chance to win Kaiju collectibles connected to sports fan privileges like courtside seats and VIP tours.

Education and fan engagement

As reported, the Kings’ blockchain-based rewards program, which launched this October, was integrated into the team’s prediction game Call the Shot. Fans are able to earn blockchain tokens that have no monetary value and can only be redeemed for club-specific prizes.

In June 2018, the Kings partnered with crypto mining hardware firm MiningStore to mine top altcoin Ether (ETH) to fund tech education scholarships.

Dutch Soccer Assn. Trials Blockchain App at EU Championship Qualifying Match

Dutch Soccer Assn. Trials Blockchain App at EU Championship Qualifying Match

The Royal Dutch Football Association trialed a new blockchain-based ticketing app during yesterday’s Netherlands-Estonia European Championship qualifying match.

The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) trialed a new blockchain-based ticketing app during yesterday’s Netherlands-Estonia European Championship qualifying match.

The news was reported by Ajax Life, a fanzine associated with the top tier Dutch football club AFC Ajax, on Nov. 19.

Replacing tickets with an app

Yesterday’s match was hosted at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, which the Netherlands won 5-0, as the BBC has reported.

According to Ajax Life, the KNVB used the event as an opportunity to trial its new blockchain-based app, designed to combat ticket counterfeiting and black market sales.

The solution dispenses with ticket PDFs, granting visitors access to the stadium via an app. A barcode used to activate visitors’ access to the stadium is only operational at a set time and within a specific radius of the stadium on match day. This ostensibly makes it impossible to resell tickets for a competition multiple times.

Ajax Life reporters note that if the blockchain pilot’s results are deemed successful, the solution will be developed and scaled further with the support of the European Regional Development Fund.

Both KNVB and AFC Ajax were participants in developing a series of innovative products for trial implementation during yesterday’s match, under the aegis of a so-dubbed “Change the Game Challenge,” jointly initiated with the Johan Cruijff Arena.

Blockchain in the sports and entertainment industries

This October, Broadway’s largest ticket operator, the Shubert Organization, revealed plans to pilot an IBM blockchain-powered mobile ticketing solution and is eyeing integrating the product into its business in the future.

In international soccer, blockchain platform Socios.com has partnered with numerous leading clubs — including French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, Italy’s Juventus and London-based West Ham United — to launch club-branded fan tokens.

Spanish La Liga Club Atlético Madrid Is Launching a Fan Token

Spanish La Liga Club Atlético Madrid Is Launching a Fan Token

Spanish soccer team Atlético de Madrid is partnering with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch a fan token ecosystem.

Spanish soccer team Atlético de Madrid — which plays in the top professional division of Spain’s soccer league, known as La Liga — is partnering with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch a fan token ecosystem. 

The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 6.

Atlético’s fan token

As previously reported, Socios has described itself as a blockchain-powered, tokenized application of the “Socios” crowd-management concept of Real Madrid & FC Barcelona (“socios” means member or associate in Spanish).

The Socios tokenized voting platform and blockchain-based mobile app is operated by sports blockchain venture chiliZ, which has the backing of high profile crypto industry players that include crypto exchange Binance and OK Blockchain Capital.

Atlético de Madrid finished 4th in UEFA’s Club Coefficients rankings for the current season — beating the likes of Juventus (5th), Arsenal (9th), Chelsea (12th) and Ajax (20th).

According to today’s press release, Socios and Atlético de Madrid will launch a club-branded Official Fan Token via a so-dubbed Fan Token Offering (FTOs) in fall 2019 for the 19/20 season.

The token — priced at 2 euros — will be a digital asset that confers voting rights on Atlético fans, and will be used to drive fan engagement by enabling users to participate in tokenized polls on the Socios mobile app. Tokens also grant holders access to merchandise, rewards and games.

Eyeing “well over a billion” crypto users

While the fan tokens are used on the Socios platform, in technical terms they operate on a separate permissioned side chain, where each participating chilliZ soccer club functions as a node with proof-of-authority. 

The sidechain is powered by chiliZ’ native cryptocurrency $chz, an Ether-compliant ERC20 utility token.

Atlético de Madrid joins a host of other major international soccer teams who have already partnered with the platform — including London-based West Ham United, French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain and Italy’s Juventus.

Socios’ CEO and founder Alexandre Dreyfus has said that by onboarding such high-profile teams, he aims to grow the platform’s potential user base to “well over a billion sports fans, all of whom will be eventual cryptocurrency users.”

This July, Cointelegraph published an overview of the growing tokenziation of the sports industry. Aside from Socios — which has an official partnership with Binance and has recently had its token listed on the exchange — other platforms such as Utrust are facilitating cryptocurrency payments for tickets and merchandise for teams such as Portugal’s Benfica.
This August, English Premier League football club Manchester City announced a partnership with South Korean blockchain football gaming startup Superbloke.

Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar to Bitcoin Educator in 2 Years

Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar to Bitcoin Educator in 2 Years

NFL star and left tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers Russell Okung has hosted a Bitcoin conference to promote mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency.

NFL star and left tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers Russell Okung has hosted a Bitcoin (BTC) conference to boost knowledge and adoption of the cryptocurrency.

Speakers at the event, hosted in Los Angeles on Sept. 1, included Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, Morgan Creek Digital Assets co-founder Anthony Pompliano, eToro analyst Mati Greenspan and crypto podcaster Peter McCormack.

A 2017-esque embrace?

Some Twitter commentators have responded with barbed skepticism to Okung’s swift conversion to a cryptocurrency advocate: one characterizing it as “the most 2017 thing” in reference to the hype surrounding the sector ahead of its historic bull season two years ago.

Yet others believe that the enthusiasm of such a high-profile NFL player can bring valuable media attention to the sector and spread awareness of Bitcoin among a mainstream audience. 

This is alluded to in the event’s byline, which declares that “the mission of Bitcoin is mainstream adoption.”

Participant Mati Greenspan summarized key points from Okung’s talk, in which the sports star revealed that his family’s history and experience of banking restrictions in Nigeria had catalyzed his awareness of the need for individuals to have financial autonomy. Okung told McCormack:

“When someone asks me ‘What is Bitcoin?’ I always answer ‘What is freedom?’”

In his introduction to the event, Okung has written that he is planning to host further events and collaborate with various brands and innovators to promote the vision of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. “Global economic revolution is the goal,” Okung states.

Stardust

This spring, Cointelegraph ran an analysis piece exploring the positive impact — and potential pitfalls — of celebrity endorsements of the cryptocurrency industry, from sports superstars to Hollywood actors.

Earlier this month, legendary American professional boxer Mike Tyson denied that he supported a blockchain-based platform called Fight to Fame, which was subsequently alleged to be a fraudulent scheme.

Billionaire Mark Cuban: ‘I See Gold and Bitcoin as Being the Same Thing’

Billionaire Mark Cuban: ‘I See Gold and Bitcoin as Being the Same Thing’

American billionaire Mark Cuban says Bitcoin and gold are fundamentally the same thing, and that gold is a terrible investment.

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team, has said that he hates gold as an investment, and views Bitcoin (BTC) as fundamentally similar to gold.

Cuban delivered his remarks in an interview with Kitco News on Aug. 9. He did note that he views Bitcoin’s finite supply as a bonus to its investment value, saying:

“They’re both collectibles. The value is based off supply and demand. And the good news about Bitcoin is there’s a finite supply that’ll ever be created.”

However, Cuban did say that he sees gold and Bitcoin as “being the same thing,” and has a very low view of gold. Regarding his stance on the precious metal, Cuban emphasized that to convey his feelings on gold as an investment, he would have to say:

“Hate with extreme prejudice is not enough. Hate with double-extreme prejudice with an ounce of hot sauce.”

Gold and digital gold

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the origin of the term “digital gold” to refer to Bitcoin is unknown, but one theory is that it came into vogue after The New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper published his book “Digital Gold” back in 2015.

Now in 2019, a number of experts have given responses as to whether they consider Bitcoin to be digital gold. Sonya Mann, the head of communications at the Zcash Foundation, discussed her answer in terms of both its finite quantity and supply and demand factors. Mann, for her part, appears much more optimistic than Cuban. She remarked:

“Bitcoin is deflationary by nature, due to the capped 21 million supply and the clever incentive structure that has reliably safeguarded its inviolability. The emergent order governing Bitcoin, as both a software product and a phenomenon, is undeniably path-dependent, attributable in large part to Satoshi Nakamoto’s design decisions. There is no guarantee that BTC will increase in value, but past trends and the underlying supply-demand dynamics suggest that it’s a reasonable long-term prediction.”

English Premier League Soccer Club West Ham to Launch Fan Token in Partnership With Socios

English Premier League Soccer Club West Ham to Launch Fan Token in Partnership With Socios

London-based West Ham United is partnering with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch a fan token.

London-based West Ham United — a soccer team that plays in the English Premier League — is partnering with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch a fan token ecosystem. The news was revealed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on April 30.

As previously reported, the Socios tokenized voting platform and blockchain-based mobile app is operated by sports blockchain venture chiliZ, which has the backing of high profile crypto industry players that include crypto exchange Binance and OK Blockchain Capital.

West Ham United, currently ranked 11th in the Premier League, has over 2.3 million likes on the club’s official Facebook page.

According to today’s press release, Socios and West Ham United will launch a club-branded Official Fan Token via a so-dubbed Fan Token Offering (FTOs) at the start of the 2019/20 soccer season.

The token will be a digital asset that confers voting rights on West Ham United fans, and will be used to drive fan engagement by enabling users to participate in tokenized polls on the Socios mobile app. Tokens also grant holders access to merchandise, rewards and games, the press release notes.

While the tokens are used on the Socios platform, in technical terms they operate on a separate permissioned side chain, where each participating chilliZ soccer club functions as a Node with proof-of-authority. The sidechain is powered by Chiliz’ native cryptocurrency $chz, an ether-compliant ERC20 utility token.

To purchase West Ham United branded-tokens and participate in the Fan Token Offering, club fans must first buy $chz via the app or a crypto exchange in order to subsequently trade them for their Fan Tokens.

The press release cites a survey from crypto statistics provider CoinMarketCap.com, which reportedly revealed that 46% of users said they were likely to buy Fan Tokens associated with high-profile soccer teams.

As previously reported, Socios has described itself as a blockchain-powered, tokenized application of the “Socios” crowd-management concept of Real Madrid & FC Barcelona (“socios” means member or associate in Spanish).

Other major global soccer teams who have already partnered with the platform include French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain and Italy’s Juventus.

In December 2018, Brazilian premier league soccer club Atletico Mineiro launched its own fan utility token dubbed “GaloCoin.”