Sacramento Kings Become First Professional Sports Franchise to Accept Bitcoin
If you felt a faint rumble this morning, that was just a million Redditors dancing joyously in response to news that the Sacramento Kings will become the first professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin, an up-and-coming (although somewhat controversial) digital currency.
Bitcoin has been around roughly five years and currently holds a value of about $820 per unit (although that number can fluctuate rapidly).
Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive told ESPN.com, “When I sold the NBA on keeping the team in Sacramento, my pitch included using the sports franchise as a social network to push the technology envelope.”
This marks a big step for the virtual currency, which is seeking to be legitimized as a widely accepted form of payment, and just earlier this month began being accepted by Overstock.com.
Bitcoin purchases will be go through a payment processor called BitPay, which will then transfer cash to the Kings. As Tony Gallippi, co-founder and CEO of BitPay, told Business Wire, “As the first professional sports team to accept bitcoin, the Sacramento Kings continue to show that they are at the intersection of sports and technology.”
It’s a possibly risky move for the Kings as the currency has proven to be somewhat volatile and there are still some pressing questions surrounding its long-term viability. But for the Kings, who this season have already seen a significant bump in attendance, it’s the type of bold move that will win over a legion of new fans — even if, like Bitcoin, they only exist on the internet.