Cryptocurrency is a digital asset that works as a medium of exchange for goods and services and uses cryptography to secure transactions. Cryptocurrency is not issued by any central authority, meaning it is not legal tender from a government. Instead, it is an alternative to fiat currency operating on blockchain technology.
As cryptocurrency markets are more widespread now, they are impacting many fields. Cryptocurrency prices and market cap control the crypto exchanges. However, they also have a far-reaching impact on other areas we are interested in. One such area is the world of sports.
What is Happening in the Sports World with Cryptocurrency?
In the world of sports right now, cryptocurrency has already played a role in some high-profile ways.
In 2019, the Sacramento Kings became the first major sports team to mine their own cryptocurrency with their token called MiningForGood. The club used proceeds from the sale of this token to support coding classes for kids at two schools in the Sacramento area through the Kings Foundation’s Future Engineers program.
A 2019 partnership between Litecoin and UFC resulted in Ultimate Fighting Championship matches being held at venues where Litecoin branding appeared throughout the arenas, including on cage mats and fighter banners.
Cryptocurrency’s Importance in the Sports World
Cryptocurrency is still new but is experiencing a rapid rise in popularity. It is no wonder that the sports industry is looking into incorporating cryptocurrency into the world of sports.
Cryptocurrency is taking the business world by storm and will likely continue to do so for many years to come. With the rising importance of cryptocurrency in the business world, teams are attempting to make more money by getting involved with it in innovative ways because they won’t want to be left behind while everyone else makes bank.
How Cryptocurrency is Impacting the Sports World
In the cryptocurrency world, blockchain is often mentioned as a means of keeping transactions secure. Blockchain uses cryptography to create permanent records of transactions that can be traced back to the people who made them.
In 2018, Forbes reported that over $1 billion had been raised by startups through initial coin offerings (ICOs), citing the need for “secure fundraising platforms” as part of the reason for their popularity.
Beyond playing a role as a payment method in fantasy football or fantasy baseball leagues, some professional athletes are also investing in cryptocurrency themselves. In addition to using Bitcoin for charitable donations (more on that below), some athletes have begun taking stakes in crypto-related companies, and others have begun accepting their salaries partially or entirely through cryptocurrencies themselves.
Will More Teams Accept Cryptocurrency Payments in the Future?
The future of crypto in sports is uncertain, but more and more teams will likely begin to accept cryptocurrency payments. Many teams have already begun accepting crypto as a form of payment, and the benefits are clear. They get new kinds of fans, they increase the number of sales, and they bring in additional revenue.
Additionally, as cryptocurrency grows in popularity, likely, the appeal of purchasing sports tickets with these forms of currency will grow as well. As people become more comfortable with crypto and understand the cryptocurrency value, they’ll want to use their digital assets to purchase team gear or attend games.
Many fans find paying with cryptocurrencies fast and easy. The process can be especially useful for international transactions where credit cards aren’t accepted.
Spurring Innovation in Gaming
Cryptocurrency is not just impacting the sports world. It is also spurring innovation in the eSports and gaming industry.
Since Bitcoin’s inception, the technology has been used in many different ways. Its main use is as a payment method for goods and services, but that’s not the only place it can find its application.
In 2014, Vitalik Buterin introduced Ethereum, which allows for the creation of smart contracts. That means you can write programs that will execute when certain conditions are met, like paying someone money when a player levels up an account or buying an item from a shop with the cryptocurrency after meeting certain criteria.
These are just some examples of what Ethereum can do. It allows artists to sell their work without middlemen. ETH also gives gamers an alternative to rare items purchased through loot boxes and even helps those in developing countries by using blockchain to create a new currency they can then spend on food and other necessities.
Think about how this is impacting eSports—and gaming at large—with that in mind. Games are rapidly evolving into more complicated things with greater requirements for player interactions (think big-budget competitive titles like League of Legends). It makes sense that developers would want to expand upon the already complex technology gaming has become accustomed to for a game to stay relevant and popular over time.
When you look at something like DOTA 2 or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, it is easy to see how something as simple as adding another set of commands could make these games easier or better than before if done properly.
Cryptocurrency takes existing tools like these and amplifies them. So, they have far greater reach than ever imagined. Thus, it is safe to say that its impact on the sports world is indeed having far-reaching consequences.