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Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Chiefs Tight End Sean Culkin to Convert Entire NFL Salary Into Bitcoin. Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

The fifth-year player will use Zap’s Strike to take his entire base salary of $920,000 in what Culkin said was “the hardest form of currency.”

Kansas City Chiefs player Sean Culkin will take the entirety of his 2021 base salary – $920,000 – in bitcoin.

Related:

NBA Player’s Contract Tokenization Plan Can Move Forward: Reports (#GotBitcoin)

Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar To Bitcoin Educator In 2 Years (#GotBitcoin)

The fifth-year tight end is the first National Football League player to be paid entirely in bitcoin. Offensive tackle Russell Okung, who famously followed through on his declaration to “pay me in bitcoin,” still takes half of his $13 million salary in fiat.

Culkin will start stacking biweekly sats via Zap’s Strike, the same fiat-to-bitcoin salary conversion service Okung uses. The Chiefs are aware of Culkin’s arrangement but his reserve contract is still denominated in dollars, he said.

“This is generational for me,” Culkin told CoinDesk.

Taking 100% of one’s income in BTC might not be a wise financial decision for everyone, Culkin admitted. But he said his financial expenses, risk parameters and long-term conviction in bitcoin made it the right move for him.

Culkin said he became aware of bitcoin in summer 2016 but it wasn’t until March 2020 that he began seriously considering it as an investment. One year later, Culkin is slated to swap his fiat income flow for bitcoin alone.

He said he’s unfazed by the very real possibility of market dips. Strike will automatically convert his cash paychecks to bitcoin no matter the price.

“I don’t want to have to feel pressured to be like, ‘I don’t know if I’m gonna buy this week,’” Culkin said. The system will allow him to remain “detached” from market movements so he can focus on football.

“Professional athletes today operate as independent businesses and are more sophisticated investors than they’ve ever been before,” Zap CEO Jack Mallers said in a statement. “We’re excited to help facilitate the growing intersection between sports and finance by converting his entire NFL salary to Bitcoin.”

Culkin wasn’t the first footballer to make crypto news on Monday. Trevor Lawrence, the presumptive top pick in this week’s NFL draft, signed an endorsement deal with the FTX-owned investing app Blockfolio and was paid in an undisclosed cryptocurrency, the New York Times reported.

“For me, it makes sense to get paid in the hardest form of currency, and it’s something that is resistant to inflationary pressures that I think is very relevant in this current economic environment,” Culkin added.

How Do They Get Rich From Bitcoin

Bitcoin has revolutionized the world economy, and more importantly, it has changed the lives of lots of people, especially those who quickly believed in its abilities and promises. From ordinary people to big-time celebrities and even athletes, bitcoin is a success story that has affected every work of life. The following is a list of some of the sports athletes that have benefited from Bitcoin.

Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss, better known as the Winklevoss twins, have been in the bitcoin business since 2013. Many consider them to be the very first athletes to become Bitcoin Billionaires. They bought around $11 million worth of Bitcoin some years back, and when Bitcoin attained a value of $20,000, they became Billionaires.

Both started out as Olympic athletes and participated at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Considered to be two of the wealthiest investors in the cryptocurrency world, the twins continue to grow their investment portfolios every day. The Twins are owners of the leading US cryptocurrency exchange Gemini. The company is one of the few in the US that has obtained the BitLicense from Local Authorities in New York.

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Richard Sherman

A household name in the NFL community, the popular cornerback, is one of the first athletes to invest in cryptocurrency. Richard Sherman has said several times that he was warned from investing in crypto, thankfully he didn’t listen to the naysayers. He has been a big supporter of blockchain technology and has increased his investment portfolio to include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Sherman invested in bitcoin early enough, and one of the first sports athletes to encourage people to carry out transactions using Bitcoin. Sherman’s online store has been accepting payments in bitcoin since 2013. On his first Bitcoin investment, he was able to turn a $1,000 investment into a $20,000 profit. He is currently an investor in Cobinhood, a crypto exchange that allows trading without any charges.

Mike Tyson

One of the most recognized names in the world of sports is Mike Tyson. He was known for his incredible punches and footwork that he was revered in the boxing community. He even knocked out an opponent in 30 seconds in a fight.

The boxing legend marked the first celebrity sponsored crypto product with the unveiling of his Mike Tyson bitcoin ATMs in 2015. He also collaborated with Bitcoin Direct to come up with a bitcoin wallet.

He was an early adopter of Bitcoin, and he has grown into a prominent time investor and benefactor of the leading cryptocurrency.

Chad Johnson

First got into bitcoin back in 2014. He adopted it as a means of making payments and encouraged his fans to use it as a payment method on his website. He said, “There is no upper limit to bitcoin. The entire Bitcoin story is interesting and I want to see how it unravels. I am lucky enough to have gotten into it quite early, and I am quite happy that it has lead to the birth of so many other things.” He added, “just seeing the progress bitcoin has made over the last few years gives me great joy.

Lionel Messi

Arguably the best footballer (soccer player) in the world, the Argentine and Barcelona player, is also part of the cryptocurrency/blockchain movement. He has collaborated with Sirin Labs in producing the first cryptocurrency smartphone. The phone, tagged “Finney phone” will have lots of features explicitly aimed for crypto users.

Final Words

Cryptocurrency, and by extension, by extension bitcoin is for everyone. The fact that athletes are making profits, and building wealth with it, means you too can be a part of the success story. Join the bitcoin bandwagon now, and change your life forever.

Updated: 10-20-2015

MMA Fighter Becomes First Ever To Be Paid In Bitcoin

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Jon Fitch on Saturday became the first MMA fighter to ever receive his purse in bitcoin.

To be an MMA fighter, you need to be tough, smart and relentless – built to stand the tests of time. So naturally, it was only a matter of time before a relentless fighter in The Octagon partners with the currency of over 75 lives, bitcoin. Jon Fitch on Saturday became the first MMA fighter to ever receive his purse in bitcoin.

Fitch Wins Bitcoin Bout By Unanimous Decision

The fight was held at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn, as the main event versus Yushin “Thunder” Okami for the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) promotion. Fitch was a former welterweight championship contender in the UFC, having won 16 matches in a row at 170 lbs. Now, he was able to secure a win against a normally much bigger opponent, who walks around at 210 lbs, and had to cut weight to get to 170. The scores were 29-28, 30-27 and 30-27.

The reasons for him to start getting paid in bitcoin are varied, but it is for practical matters as much as anything else as it appears Fitch has ethical issues with the current economic state of affairs. Fitch told Inverse:

“After the 2008 financial collapse, I was left under $180,000 on my condo in San Jose. I didn’t want to keep supporting people who kind of make those things happen. So I started playing around with cryptocurrency. Now I see all the possible things it can be used for. Especially the blockchain and the technology behind that.”

A lot of people don’t know how much, or how little, MMA fighters get paid. Now that Fitch is outside the UFC, working in the main event on a secondary circuit pays just over US$1,000, which he’ll receive in the digital currency. He does not have a sponsor, but his win on Saturday may help with that going forward.

“The appeal for me with bitcoin and MMA is it’s an international sport,” he explained. “A lot of guys have problems with getting paid and the payment processing that goes on. You fight in Brazil or somewhere else, and it takes a few weeks before you get your check. It’s not always easy for a lot of fighters. They’ve got people to pay, trainers, expenses, and things like that.”

The win on Saturday night took his record to 27-7-1 and leaves him as the primary contender for the currently vacant WSOF Welterweight Title.

Updated: 3-1-2021

How Crypto Is Going To Shake Up The World Of Mixed Martial Arts

A crypto-focused platform is vowing to shake up the world of mixed martial arts — bringing much-needed digitization to the sport, and helping fighters earn a living.

A team of mixed martial arts and marketing experts have created a fan-centric platform that’s designed to bring the sport into the digital age.

MMAON says mixed martial arts is considered to be the world’s fastest-growing sport, with the likes of Conor McGregor propelling the discipline to an international stage.

The online platform is designed to connect stakeholders of this thrilling sport — including organizers, athletes, sponsors and fans. With COVID-19 affecting MMA events globally, causing fights to be postponed and fans to stay at home, digitization has never been more important.

Tomaž Ambrožič, a renowned sports marketing expert, described the creation of the MMA Digital Hub as “a very innovative approach.” The platform is set to adopt a similar approach to that of IMDb, which has now become an undisputed authority in the world of film.

He explained: “Each fighter will have their profile set up in one place, with the platform giving fans the opportunity to interact with the fighters, including in the form of a dedicated social media channel and even with the option to reward the fighters directly through the fans.”

A compelling twist lies in how fans will be able to vote on which fighters they would like to see face each other in the ring. Enthusiasts will also have the chance to follow each fighter as they train for upcoming events and share their predictions.

Fighting For The Fighters

MMAON says that it also wants to help fighters make a comfortable living. Despite the fact that MMA is one of the most demanding and difficult sports in the world, many stars currently have low earning potential — and only a handful earn a substantial amount.

Through this crypto-focused platform, fighters will be able to receive tips from loyal fans — and athletes will be able to offer branded merchandise and sports equipment to generate revenue.

A broader range of sponsorship opportunities will also be offered, something that contracts with professional sporting bodies often prohibit.

Frank Mir, a former UFC heavyweight world champion who serves as a consultant on the project, has said he wished that platforms such as MMAON existed during the early stages of his career — describing it as a “phenomenal concept” that will allow young fighters to be seen by everyone.

He added: “Sometimes you get a little envious when you think about what it would be like to have all these things when I was fighting in my younger years… How much more could I earn? How could I become more popular? It must be easier for every generation.”

One of MMAON’s top priorities will involve encouraging as many world-famous fighters as possible to become part of the revolution.

A Knockout Startup

Executives say the MMAON token will have a plethora of use cases — enabling fighters to supplement their income even when they are not in the cage.

Fans will be able to pay fighters to create customized training programs for them, and launch crowdfunding in order to bring the fights they want to see to life.

The cryptocurrency is also set to be used as a means of payment for pay-per-view fights and ticketing. In time, staking these tokens will also enable users to receive discounts on merchandise and special events.

MMAON has also been endorsed by Mohammed “The Hawk” Shahid, the president of the BRAVE Combat Federation, who is serving as an advisor to the platform — providing insight and feedback to help the company continue its growth.

He added: “MMAON contributes to the sport by not only being a one-stop shop solution for the mixed martial arts industry but it focuses on fighters benefiting every step of the way from the growth of the sport. This is going to be a revolution in the sport of MMA.”

Updated: 5-3-2021

Soccer Player Ifunanyachi Achara The Latest Sports Pro To Take Salary In Bitcoin

The Nigeria-born Toronto FC forward sends some of his bitcoin home to help his family avoid surging inflation rates in Africa’s largest economy.

A fifth-year forward for Toronto FC is the latest professional athlete to convert a portion of his salary to bitcoin (BTC, +1.17%).

Ifunanyachi Achara, 23, said he takes around half of his Major League Soccer (MLS) salary in bitcoin by linking with a third-party exchange service. He switched to Bitwage in February after months of self-executing Binance buys.

Achara is among the first pro athletes to go public with their bitcoin salaries. Like National Football League players Sean Culkin and Russell Okung, Achara said he believes bitcoin is a hedge against fiat inflation – particularly in his home country. The Nigerian naira’s annual inflation hit a four-year high at above 18% in March.

“The rate of inflation is killing us,” Achara said in an interview. “The more the U.S. prints money during COVID to help people, the more it devalues our currency. So my family, when I send them money home, I send them bitcoin.”

Bitcoin remittances have appealed for years to pockets of foreigners moving money back home. BTC’s decentralized nature allows users to sidestep high wire-transfer fees. In the case of Nigeria, whose government shuts down private citizens’ bank accounts, according to Achara, it allowed him to skirt a monetary blockade.

“If I wanted to send money to my parents to move away from a state that I felt like was really violent, I couldn’t,” Achara said. “I couldn’t send them money to the bank. It was just through Bitcoin that I was able to send my family money more easily and efficiently and as fast as possible.”

Many Nigerians are storing their wealth in foreign bills, according to Bloomberg. Achara’s family is just doing it in bitcoin. They occasionally trade their bitcoin for the local currency, he said. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s central bank is allegedly closing crypto traders’ bank accounts.

For Bitwage, Achara is the company’s first pro athlete, though CEO Jonathan Chester said the company is “in conversations with other athletes, musicians and famous influencers.”

“We’ve been helping people get paid in bitcoin for seven years,” Chester said via email, “but this is the first year that we are really starting to see bitcoin payroll pick up with mainstream markets.”

Updated: 5-9-2021

NFL Quarterback Tom Brady Hints At Owning Bitcoin

The GOAT’s Twitter profile picture now shows him with laser eyes.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, arguably one of the most talented American football players of all time, has hinted that he’s a Bitcoiner.

On Monday, Brady changed his Twitter profile picture to one with laser eyes, potentially implying to his 1.9 million followers that he is invested in Bitcoin (BTC). The football star made the change less than a day after Blockworks co-founder Jason Yanowitz challenged him to do so and provided the updated picture.

The crypto asset’s price was seemingly unaffected by the NFL player’s pseudo-announcement. At the time of publication, BTC’s price is $57,500, having risen 8% in the last seven days. However, players in the crypto space including MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor and Anthony Pompliano both acknowledged Brady’s presumed entry as a Bitcoiner.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced in April that he would be backing a new nonfungible token, or NFT, platform called Autograph. The marketplace aims to provide a tool for digital collectibles and will feature big names in sports and entertainment.

At the time of publication, Brady’s representatives have not provided any comments regarding his Bitcoin holdings.

Updated: 6-18-2021

Pro Basketball League In Canada Will Offer Players Bitcoin Salaries

“The ability to have part of my salary go directly into an investment that I believe will appreciate greatly over the next 10-30 years is a no-brainer,” said Guelph Nighthawks guard Kimbal Mackenzie.

The Canadian Elite Basketball League will be allowing players from its seven teams to accept a portion of their salaries in Bitcoin starting next week.

According to a Thursday announcement, the Canadian Elite Basketball League, or CEBL, has partnered with Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitbuy to convert part of basketball players’ existing salaries from Canadian dollars to Bitcoin (BTC) on request. The league said it will arrange for the funds to be delivered to the players’ personal crypto wallets.

More than 70 players on the active roster from the Edmonton Stingers, Fraser Valley Bandits, Guelph Nighthawks, Hamilton Honey Badgers, Ottawa Blackjacks, Niagara River Lions, and Saskatchewan Rattlers will be seemingly eligible for the crypto payments. Bitbuy will also be joining the CEBL as an official sponsor.

The Nighthawks’ Kimbal Mackenzie said he would be one of the first players to accept the CEBL’s offer. The 24-year-old guard recently re-signed with the team for the 2021 CEBL season beginning June 24.

“The opportunity to be paid in Bitcoin is something I’m incredibly excited about,” said Mackenzie. “I believe cryptocurrency is the future. The ability to have part of my salary go directly into an investment that I believe will appreciate greatly over the next 10-30 years is a no-brainer.”

Though many sports franchises and organizations have partnered with crypto and blockchain firms, many people have expressed concern about Bitcoin as a medium of exchange given the crypto asset’s price fluctuations. Mackenzie added in a separate interview that he would accept half of his salary in Bitcoin and was seemingly unconcerned about any potential volatility:

“[If Bitcoin falls], so be it. It was a decision I was prepared to make. On the other hand, if it increases, maybe I will retire in two years.”

Since reaching an all-time high price of $64,899 in April, Bitcoin has dropped significantly following Tesla CEO Elon Musk saying the company would stop accepting the crypto asset as payment for vehicles due to environmental concerns. At the time of publication, the BTC price is $36,788, having fallen more than 5% in the last 24 hours.

Updated: 7-2-2021

NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers To Wear Crypto Logo For Next Five Years

The Trail Blazers will reportedly feature the StormX logo on team jerseys for the next five years, beginning with the 2021-22 season.

The Portland Trail Blazers, an American professional basketball team competing in the National Basketball Association (NBA), is moving into the cryptocurrency industry with a new partnership.

The NBA announced Thursday that the Trail Blazers has landed the league’s first jersey patch sponsorship program with StormX, a blockchain company allowing users to earn crypto rewards by completing micro-tasks or shopping at global partner stores online.

As part of the sponsorship deal, the Trail Blazers will reportedly feature the StormX logo on team jerseys for the next five years, beginning with the 2021-22 season. The parties did not disclose the size of the deal but said that they signed an “eight-figure contract” including in-arena branding. According to sponsorship experts, jersey patch deals average around $10 million per year.

In addition to the jersey patch, StormX and the Trail Blazers will also partner to launch their first nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, based on the Gameday Poster Series, a series featuring unique designs from local artists for Trail Blazers’ team. Issued in the form of digital collectibles representing the team’s posters, the Trail Blazers’ NFTs will be rolled out later in July, according to the announcement.

Trail Blazers president and CEO Chris McGowan said that StormX will help “educate and motivate Rip City around cryptocurrency and earning crypto cashback.” StormX was founded in Seattle by Calvin Hsieh and Portland-grown Trail Blazers fan Simon Yu with a mission to boost financial independence. The firm’s platform allows earning crypto cashback from more than 800 stores across over 170 countries via an internet browser extension.

“We’re honored to be the first crypto company to form a jersey sponsorship with not only a team of such high caliber, but also with a league of the same stature,” Yu said.

The NBA has been expanding its move into the crypto and blockchain industry recently. In mid-June, NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers entered a marketing partnership with major blockchain fan token providers, Chiliz and Socios.

Dutch Football Team AZ Alkmaar To Hold Bitcoin

AZ Alkmaar announced crypto broker Bitcoin Meester as its exclusive and official cryptocurrency partner.

In a statement posted on the club website on Thursday, the Eredivisie side, which finished third in the 2020/2021 Dutch football season, announced crypto broker Bitcoin Meester as its exclusive and official cryptocurrency partner until mid-2024.

According to the announcement, the sponsorship deal with be finalized fully in Bitcoin, with the Dutch club stating its intentions to keep the BTC sum on its balance sheet.

For AZ’s commercial director Michael Koster, the appeal of Bitcoin and crypto is undeniable hence the club’s decision to adopt BTC. “The cryptocurrency market is booming, with an exponential growth of users in recent years,” Koster added.

Koster added that non-crypto entities like football teams require the guidance of established market participants like Bitcoin Meester. Indeed, the crypto broker is one of the few licensed cryptocurrency businesses by the Dutch central bank.

Crypto regulations seem to be a major topic of discussion among the authorities in the Netherlands, with one government official recently calling for a complete Bitcoin ban.

Crypto companies are increasingly entering into sponsorship deals with sports teams to boost brand recognition and grow their business. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Crypto.com recently announced a global partnership with Formula 1.

From Major League Baseball to the National Basket Ball Association, several American sports franchises and star athletes are also embracing Bitcoin and crypto. Back in June, seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady inked a celebrity crypto-endorsement deal with crypto exchange giant FTX.

Updated: 7-16-2021

NFL’s Saquon Barkley Converting Endorsements To BTC To Create ‘Generational Wealth’

Saquon Barkley will use Strike to convert all of his endorsements into Bitcoin and noted that he became interested in BTC after researching inflation.

NFL star Saquon Barkley has revealed that he will be converting all of his endorsement money into Bitcoin (BTC).

Barkley was the 2018 NFL offensive rookie of the year and plays as a running back for the New York Giants — a team that is also sponsored by Grayscale.

The 24-year-old explained the rationale for the move earlier today during an appearance on “The Best Business Show,” hosted by Bitcoin proponent and Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano. He noted that his research on inflation is what drove his interest in Bitcoin:

“We’re seeing inflation and we’re learning you can’t save wealth. That’s why I am going to be taking my marketing money in Bitcoin.”

Barkley was joined on the show by Jack Mallers, the CEO of Strike, a payments company based on the Lightning Network. The NFL star cites the CEO as a key person who helped educate him on the benefits of investing in Bitcoin. Mallers was also highly influential in El Salvador’s embrace of Bitcoin.

As part of the move to convert his reported eight-figure yearly marketing endorsement money, Barkley will take direct deposits into his Strike account and instantly convert the money into BTC.

Barkley stated that he sees his opportunity in the NFL as a chance to emulate cult sports figures such as Lebron James of the LA Lakers, Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, by creating generational wealth for his family.

He emphasized that he can’t generate that amount of wealth from his NFL salary alone, as a career in the NFL is short-lived and he runs a risk of a career-ending injury at any moment.

“When you see the KD’s, the Lebrons and Bradys of the world and you want to create generational wealth, you can’t do that with the sport that I play and the position that I play and coming off of injuries. When you sit out of football for a whole year, you realize that this game could be taken away from you.”

During the show, Mallers offered advice to new investors by asserting that the question shouldn’t necessarily be focused on “Should I buy Bitcoin?” but more toward, “Should you store your money?” to counter inflation.

Barkley isn’t the first NFL star to convert payments into Bitcoin, and Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 30 2020 that NFL free agent and BTC proponent Russell Okung was using Strike to convert a portion of his NFL salary into BTC.

The NFL’s great Tom Brady has also become involved in the crypto sector this year after he announced the launch of his NFT marketplace, dubbed “Autograph,” in April, and also hinted that he owned BTC the following month.

On June 29, Cointelegraph reported that Brady was set to take an equity stake in the FTX crypto exchange as part of an endorsement deal.

Updated: 8-19-2021

PSV Eindhoven Soccer Club To Accept New Sponsorship Deal In Bitcoin

Anycoin Direct will now be an official partner of PSV for the next two seasons, helping grow crypto awareness across Europe.

The football ecosystem has stepped up its adoption game as more clubs continue to involve crypto in mainstream operations.

Netherland-based top-tier football club PSV Eindhoven has partnered with local crypto trading platform Anycoin Direct, which will pay the club an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin (BTC) in a new sponsorship deal.

According to the official statement, Anycoin Direct will remain an official partner of PSV Eindhoven for the next two seasons with the goal of growing awareness of crypto across Europe.

By using the crypto platform’s services, PSV Eindhoven will be able to receive the total sponsorship amount in Bitcoin, making it the first major football club in the European Union to get paid sponsorship in cryptocurrency.

PSV Eindhoven commercial director Frans Janssen reportedly created the Bitcoin wallets for accepting the sponsorships after the deal was signed off. Supporting the move, he said, “As a club in the heart of the Brainport region, we are always innovating, cryptocurrency fits well into this picture.”

Earlier this year in April, PSV experimented with nonfungible tokens (NFT) by auctioning a digital version of the 1988 European Cup Final, which it had won against Benfica. To signify the importance of the win for the club, the NFT was also accompanied by an official certificate signed by Hans van Breukelen, the goalkeeper who played on the championship team.

Out of all the use cases that crypto offers, football clubs are placing bets on fan tokens. Some of the recent federations to take part in this experiment are Arsenal and Manchester City, both in partnership with a fan engagement platform Socios.

Arsenal’s intent behind launching the AFC fan token is to allow its global fanbase to participate in club decisions via online polls and improve fan engagement. Similarly, Manchester City’s CITY fan token will allow fans access to rewards, promotions and club decisions via polls. Both the fan tokens will be powered by Socios’ Chiliz blockchain and its in-house CHZ token.

Cade Cunningham Will Receive Signing Bonus In Bitcoin

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Joe Pompliano of Huddle Up reported on Thursday that the Detroit Pistons rookie has agreed to an exclusive, multi-year endorsement deal with crypto company BlockFi. As part of his deal, Cunningham will receive 100 percent of his signing bonus in Bitcoin.

The 19-year-old Cunningham was the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. He will make $45.6 million over the next four years as part of his rookie contract with the Pistons, which is separate from his signing bonus.

Cryptocurrency continues to gain in popularity among professional athletes. We already saw another young star in a different sport make a similar move.

Updated: 9-6-2021

NFL Reportedly Bans Teams From Crypto Advertisements And NFT Sales

The NFL has reportedly restricted cryptocurrency and NFTs until the league establishes a strategy “for sports digital trading cards and art.”

The United States National Football League (NFL) has reportedly barred all teams and members from crypto-related sponsorships and advertisements, as well as nonfungible token (NFT) sales.

According to a report by The Athletic, the NFL has restricted the sale of sponsorships to cryptocurrency trading firms and NFTs until the league establishes a strategy “for sports digital trading cards and art.” The new guidelines were shared by an anonymous NFL member familiar with the matter:

“Clubs are prohibited from selling, or otherwise allowing within club controlled media, advertisements for specific cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings, other cryptocurrency sales or any other media category as it relates to blockchain, digital asset or as blockchain company, except as outlined in this policy.”

Going against the NFT and token sales trends from mainstream soccer teams such as PSV Eindhoven, Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as the National Basketball Association, the NFL has ruled out creating or selling team NFTs, at least for now.

The NFL official reportedly said that teams would only be allowed to discuss sponsorship deals with crypto-related “investment advisory and or fund management services” if their advertising sponsorship rights are limited to promoting the company’s corporate brands.

The NFL did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Legendary footballer Lionel Messi, tennis star Naomi Osaka and others sports stars have previously shown interest in crypto investments. On July 15, NFL star Saquon Barkley shared his intent to convert his endorsement payments into Bitcoin (BTC).

Barkley cited inflation as one of the main reasons why one cannot save wealth. “That’s why I am going to be taking my marketing money in Bitcoin,” he said.

Updated: 9-7-2021

NBA Star Steph Curry Asks Twitter For Crypto Advice

The NBA star tweeted a public call-out to the crypto twitter community to help further his education in the space.

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Following a lucrative $206,000 purchase of a popular Bored Ape Yacht Club nonfungible token, or NFT, last week, NBA all-star Steph Curry has reached out to his 15.5 million Twitter fanbase for advice on progressing in the crypto game on Tuesday.

The Golden State Warriors guard tweeted: “Just getting started in the crypto game…y’all got any advice??”

According to the basketball athlete’s Open Sea profile, he currently owns 16 NFTs in total, including the blue-furred Bored Ape showcased in his Twitter profile.

Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady, currently sporting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey, humorously offered his perspective:

Brady’s picture depicted the infamous Laser eyes, a popular meme adopted by the crypto community, politicians, sportspersons and other notable industry figures earlier this year to declare their support for leading crypto asset Bitcoin (BTC).

Serial entrepreneur and early investor in Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange Coinbase, Gary Vaynerchuk also offered his thoughts with a hustle philosophy one would come to expect from the maverick entrepreneur, simply replying: “50 hours of homework”.

In response to Vaynerchuk, Twitter user @Wealth_Theory replied rather accurately: “There is not one person on earth who did 50 hours of homework before ramming money into altcoins. Lol”

According to live data from DappRadar, the NBA’s slam dunk NFT project Top Shot sits in the fourth position as the most popular NFT marketplace across the last 30 days with $28.11M in sales volume between 112,360 traders.

Data from CryptoSlam also reveals that Top Shot is the fourth largest NFT collection of all-time by sales volume, with Axie Infinity, CryptoPunks and ArtBlocks claiming the podium spots.

Crypto And Sports: A Marriage Made In … Well, We’ll See

Digital currencies look to football, basketball, and wrestling fans to expand their investor base.

Sports teams, buffeted by the pandemic, need money. And, after a blockbuster year, cryptocurrency investors have a lot of it.

For digital currencies to continue that upward trajectory, however, they need to “expand the investor base”—a euphemism for finding new and, almost by definition, less sophisticated investors willing to pump up the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and any other cryptocurrency that is the flavor of the day.

Which helps explain why crypto companies are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into sponsorship and commercial deals with professional sports. It’s an effort to lure their massive fanbases into crypto.

Crypto.com has paid to become the official cryptocurrency exchange and technology sponsor of Italy’s Serie A soccer league. Rival exchange FTX alone has announced deals since June totaling more than $360 million in basketball, baseball, and esports. The NBA’s Miami Heat now play home games at the FTX Arena.

Sports fans have long been easy prey for companies pushing risky or addictive behavior, something the teams do little to discourage. The trend is worrying. Some 40% of the jersey sponsors in English soccer’s Premier League are gambling companies, up from just 10% in 2008. As marketing spending increased, so did gambling revenue: In the decade before the pandemic, British spending on betting almost doubled, to £4.7 billion ($6.4 billion) a year.

There’s a strong correlation between appetite for gambling and investment in cryptocurrencies, too. A survey by the gambling treatment charity GamCare found that 50% of regular gamblers have participated in crypto trading, compared with only 3% of the general population.

What is new is the way teams are providing incentives for their fans to join the craze, a practice best illustrated by the rise of so-called fan tokens. These cryptocurrencies are pitched by their creators as a way for clubs to increase digital engagement with fans.

In practice, that means token holders get access to exclusive content, such as voting on which song to play in the stadium while the players warm up, or which motivational quote to plaster on the changing room wall. Hardly mind-blowing stuff.

The market leader is Socios.com, which sells tokens for more than 50 different teams and sports, from soccer’s FC Barcelona to basketball’s Chicago Bulls and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The value of those tokens fluctuates with demand, and each token confers one vote in the frequent polls.

Alexandre Dreyfus, the chief executive officer of Malta-based Socios, is adamant that the model is better than classic fan membership programs that charge a recurring flat fee.

With a token, “I have access to a service that doesn’t cost me money every year,” Dreyfus says. “You can own something that provides you with a service, but can resell it—and if you don’t want it, you don’t have to buy it.”

The targets are supporters outside domestic markets who follow multiple sports and clubs—for instance, a Japanese or Brazilian fan who supports Arsenal in the Premier League, Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, basketball’s Chicago Bulls, and motorsport’s Aston Martin Cognizant F-1 team.

Dreyfus envisions Socios as a platform for global fans to get exclusive(ish) access to teams, which can themselves extract additional revenue from supporters with whom they otherwise have little interaction. In a marketing stunt, part of Lionel Messi’s PSG signing bonus announced on Aug. 12 was in the form of the Socios fan tokens.

The marketing appeal is obvious, but these tradable tokens pose a more insidious hazard. “If it’s voting on fun things like music or the color of the team bus, that’s only going to be appealing to younger fans, and if that’s the case you’re pushing young people towards cryptocurrency investment,” says Adam Willerton, secretary of the Leeds United Supporters Trust, a fan group for the Premier League team that is part-owned by the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Socios sells Leeds tokens. “Football fans are just being used to bump the price up.”

Dreyfus argues that the price needs to respond to demand in order to give teams an incentive to provide good content. Better content should, in theory, foster demand for the token, boosting the price. The team can then sell more tokens to raise additional capital. So far, however, they’ve proven little more than a means of speculation similar to meme stocks, fueled by frenzied forum discussions. And none of this is regulated.

There’s an added layer of complication. In order to buy the tokens at all, you first have to buy Chiliz, a cryptocurrency developed by Socios and its parent company. And the Chiliz price swings. So the price of your fan token might increase when denominated in Chiliz, but the price of Chiliz itself might decline. Fans are exposed to two layers of risk.

It’s like a casino where the value of the chips changes. Sure, you might double your stack at the blackjack table, but the $100 chip you bought on the way in might be worth only worth $50 by the time you leave. Of course, the inverse is true: The price of Chiliz can increase.

And that may be where the greatest opportunity lies for Socios and its backers, which include the French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel. With the launch of each new token, more fans will in theory then buy Chiliz coins, whose total circulation is capped. The price of Chiliz has accordingly risen 17-fold this year. That in turn increases the barriers to entry for new fans.

There is some desperation at play here on the part of the teams. The European soccer market (total revenue in the top five leagues) contracted by 13% in the 2019-20 season because of the pandemic, according to Deloitte.

The combined £150 million pounds that the Daily Telegraph reported that teams in the region have made this year from Socios offsets some of that. It’s a nice fillip to the coffers, but there may be a longer-term cost.

Crypto And Sports: A Marriage Made in … Well, We’ll See

Digital currencies look to football, basketball, and wrestling fans to expand their investor base.

Sports teams, buffeted by the pandemic, need money. And, after a blockbuster year, cryptocurrency investors have a lot of it.

For digital currencies to continue that upward trajectory, however, they need to “expand the investor base”—a euphemism for finding new and, almost by definition, less sophisticated investors willing to pump up the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and any other cryptocurrency that is the flavor of the day.

Which helps explain why crypto companies are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into sponsorship and commercial deals with professional sports. It’s an effort to lure their massive fanbases into crypto.

Crypto.com has paid to become the official cryptocurrency exchange and technology sponsor of Italy’s Serie A soccer league. Rival exchange FTX alone has announced deals since June totaling more than $360 million in basketball, baseball, and esports. The NBA’s Miami Heat now play home games at the FTX Arena.

Sports fans have long been easy prey for companies pushing risky or addictive behavior, something the teams do little to discourage. The trend is worrying. Some 40% of the jersey sponsors in English soccer’s Premier League are gambling companies, up from just 10% in 2008.

As marketing spending increased, so did gambling revenue: In the decade before the pandemic, British spending on betting almost doubled, to £4.7 billion ($6.4 billion) a year.

There’s a strong correlation between appetite for gambling and investment in cryptocurrencies, too. A survey by the gambling treatment charity GamCare found that 50% of regular gamblers have participated in crypto trading, compared with only 3% of the general population.

What is new is the way teams are providing incentives for their fans to join the craze, a practice best illustrated by the rise of so-called fan tokens. These cryptocurrencies are pitched by their creators as a way for clubs to increase digital engagement with fans.

In practice, that means token holders get access to exclusive content, such as voting on which song to play in the stadium while the players warm up, or which motivational quote to plaster on the changing room wall. Hardly mind-blowing stuff.

The market leader is Socios.com, which sells tokens for more than 50 different teams and sports, from soccer’s FC Barcelona to basketball’s Chicago Bulls and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The value of those tokens fluctuates with demand, and each token confers one vote in the frequent polls. Alexandre Dreyfus, the chief executive officer of Malta-based Socios, is adamant that the model is better than classic fan membership programs that charge a recurring flat fee.

With a token, “I have access to a service that doesn’t cost me money every year,” Dreyfus says. “You can own something that provides you with a service, but can resell it—and if you don’t want it, you don’t have to buy it.”

The targets are supporters outside domestic markets who follow multiple sports and clubs—for instance, a Japanese or Brazilian fan who supports Arsenal in the Premier League, Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, basketball’s Chicago Bulls, and motorsport’s Aston Martin Cognizant F-1 team.

Dreyfus envisions Socios as a platform for global fans to get exclusive(ish) access to teams, which can themselves extract additional revenue from supporters with whom they otherwise have little interaction. In a marketing stunt, part of Lionel Messi’s PSG signing bonus announced on Aug. 12 was in the form of the Socios fan tokens.

The marketing appeal is obvious, but these tradable tokens pose a more insidious hazard. “If it’s voting on fun things like music or the color of the team bus, that’s only going to be appealing to younger fans, and if that’s the case you’re pushing young people towards cryptocurrency investment,” says Adam Willerton, secretary of the Leeds United Supporters Trust, a fan group for the Premier League team that is part-owned by the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. Socios sells Leeds tokens. “Football fans are just being used to bump the price up.”

Dreyfus argues that the price needs to respond to demand in order to give teams an incentive to provide good content. Better content should, in theory, foster demand for the token, boosting the price.

The team can then sell more tokens to raise additional capital. So far, however, they’ve proven little more than a means of speculation similar to meme stocks, fueled by frenzied forum discussions. And none of this is regulated.

There’s an added layer of complication. In order to buy the tokens at all, you first have to buy Chiliz, a cryptocurrency developed by Socios and its parent company. And the Chiliz price swings. So the price of your fan token might increase when denominated in Chiliz, but the price of Chiliz itself might decline. Fans are exposed to two layers of risk.

It’s like a casino where the value of the chips changes. Sure, you might double your stack at the blackjack table, but the $100 chip you bought on the way in might be worth only worth $50 by the time you leave. Of course, the inverse is true: The price of Chiliz can increase.

And that may be where the greatest opportunity lies for Socios and its backers, which include the French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel. With the launch of each new token, more fans will in theory then buy Chiliz coins, whose total circulation is capped. The price of Chiliz has accordingly risen 17-fold this year. That in turn increases the barriers to entry for new fans.

There is some desperation at play here on the part of the teams. The European soccer market (total revenue in the top five leagues) contracted by 13% in the 2019-20 season because of the pandemic, according to Deloitte.

The combined £150 million pounds that the Daily Telegraph reported that teams in the region have made this year from Socios offsets some of that. It’s a nice fillip to the coffers, but there may be a longer-term cost.

Updated: 9-8-2021

Rob Gronkowski Follows Tom Brady Into Crypto In Ambassador’s Role With Voyager Digital

“Gronk” will launch a series of campaigns aimed at making crypto investment more accessible and engaging for a mass-market audience.

Four-time Super Bowl-winning tight end Rob Gronkowski has followed teammate and best friend Tom Brady into the crypto world, taking an ambassadorial role with brokerage platform Voyager Digital.

“Gronk” will launch a series of campaigns aimed at making crypto investment more accessible and engaging for a mass-market audience, Voyager announced Wednesday.

The premier campaign is entitled “New Best Friend” and features Gronk playing at home with a Shiba Inu – the breed of dog associated with dogecoin and shiba inu coin.

Gronk posted a preview on Twitter of him doing push-ups with the dog on his back.

The campaigns will continue in the coming months and include a livestream event and a non-fungible token (NFT) drop to benefit Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.

Gronk has ventured into crypto previously, launching a series of non-fungible tokens (NFT) commemorating some of his most famous plays from his four Super Bowl wins.

In his new ambassadorial role with Voyager, Gronk is following the suit of teammate Tom Brady, who became a part owner and ambassador of crypto derivatives exchange FTX in June. A month earlier, Brady revealed that he had “definitely” invested in crypto in an interview with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried as part of CoinDesk event Consensus 2021.

Having retired from the game in 2019, Gronk returned to football a year later, following Brady from the New England Patriots to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for whom they combined to help win Super Bowl LV in February this year.

Updated: 9-11-2021

NBA’s Steph Curry Sees Crypto Providing Access To Opportunity

NBA superstar Steph Curry, who recently entered into a partnership with the fast-growing digital-asset exchange FTX, said he wants to use cryptocurrencies as a socially conscious platform.

The two-time most valuable player spoke with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang at a charity event for his Eat. Learn. Play. foundation. Football great Tom Brady and model Gisele Bündchen also signed their own deal with FTX earlier this year.

FTX, which was valued at $18 billion in its most recent round of fundraising, has announced a number of sports-related deals and partnerships in recent months. The Cal Golden Bears signed a 10-year, $17.5 million naming rights deal with the company just last month. In addition, the NBA’s Miami Heat play in FTX Arena and the company is also the official crypto exchange of Major League Baseball.

A condensed version of the interview with the Golden State Warriors basketball guard follows.
You caused a bit of a stir this week taking to Twitter saying you’re getting into crypto and you wanted some help.

And some people think that crypto could actually open up economic opportunity for underserved communities. I’m curious what excites you about crypto?

I think we’re obviously at the beginning. I know it’s been around for a while, but from a mass awareness perspective, understanding how this is going to be a part of the next generation and how they think about financial opportunity and access to that.

And right now, it’s just about education. I think in terms of what it actually is, how it can be leveraged in the proper ways. I’m curious about it. I’m involved in it. And understand there is a big community right now that is excited about what this will mean for democratizing financial institutions and how we do things. So it’s about educating the next generation.

This is going to be around. This is going to be something that you can participate in. And hopefully we can create that access to opportunity through it and do it in a fun way too because it is kind of overwhelming when you think about a lot of the questions that people have about what is it actually doing.

Tom Brady told you not to laser eye. You changed your avatar to a Bored Ape, nod to NFTs -– what’s up with that?

You’ve got to have fun with it. When we both signed up with FTX and there was a little dip in here and there, and four hours after he had a launch, it’s very similar to what I did. But it’s a volatile kind of market right now. But the long-term prospects are very positive.

And the biggest thing about what Tom is doing you know, what I’m trying to do, with that partnership specifically is to create a socially conscious platform within crypto.

The founder of FTX, he’s very committed to that, setting a standard for what it means to be socially responsible within the success of the crypto, and I can get behind that as well.

Updated: 9-22-2021

76ers Become Second NBA Team To Ink Crypto Ad Patch Deal

 

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The Philadelphia team will sport the Crypto.com logo on its jerseys starting this season.

When the National Basketball Association’s season starts next month, not one but two teams will be wearing crypto-related ad patches.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced Wednesday that Crypto.com’s logo will be emblazoned on all team uniforms. The Sixers join the Portland Trail Blazers, which inked a deal with crypto e-commerce site StormX earlier this year.

It’s just the latest major crypto brand activation in the world of sports, with Crypto.com, crypto exchange FTX (whose logo is, among other places, on uniforms of Major League Baseball umpires) and others making a land grab for sports fans everywhere.

The Sixers partnership with Crypto.com is for six years, an exchange representative told CoinDesk. The deal’s cost was not disclosed though a source with knowledge tells CoinDesk it is valued at eight figures annually.

Crypto.com has made a number of high-profile sports partnerships of late but this is its first with the NBA. Major partnerships for the crypto exchange include soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, car racing league Formula 1, and the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens.

The Sixers deal also includes a non-fungible token (NFT) angle. The team is launching its first batch of digital collectibles through Crypto.com’s NFT platform.

“Crypto.com will be woven into the fabric of our identity, and together, we will change the landscape for how crypto is integrated in sports,” 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck said in a statement.

Crypto.com Tops $400 Million In 2021 Sports Deals On 76ers Pact

The trend of partnerships between cryptocurrency firms and sports teams continues, with Crypto.com and the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team entering into a deal.

The pact will include plans for the launch of a non-fungible token (NFT) series by the 76ers, while Crypto.com becomes the National Basketball Association team’s official jersey patch partner, according to a statement. The crypto platform will also present a school to educate fans on cryptocurrency.

This is Crypto.com’s first partnership in the NBA, after the platform has sealed deals with the likes of Formula 1, Paris Saint-Germain and the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens. Its partnerships with sports brands total over $400 million, a person familiar with the matter said.

“Crypto.com will be woven into the fabric of our identity, and together, we will change the landscape for how crypto is integrated in sports,” said Chris Heck, 76ers president of business operations, in the statement.

The tie-up comes as digital-asset operations more generally begin to see sports as a way to reach a wider base of potential customers. The Tezos blockchain teamed up with McLaren Racing in June for a multiyear partnership across Formula 1, IndyCar and e-sports.

And crypto-derivatives exchange FTX’s Chief Executive Officer, Sam Bankman-Fried, said in an interview earlier this month that there are indications its sponsorships with the likes of the Miami Heat and Major League Baseball have been a “non-trivial piece” of how people became aware of FTX.

“The Philadelphia 76ers are a perfect fit for our world-class roster of sports partners,” said Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com, in an email. “Not only will we see great brand exposure, but I’m especially excited about the unique experiences for fans we’ll create together.”

 

Updated: 10-13-2021

Crypto Scoring Big With European Football

Introducing crypto and blockchain into football isn’t easier than scoring a back-post tap-in: “We had to educate a lot, explain how it worked and why it was interesting for them.”

The Beautiful Game. Soccer, or football, as those living in the “old world” tend to call it. It’s a sport that has many names, a sport that commands a support base of some 4 billion people.

The power of football is undeniable. Its best players, the Ronaldos and the Messis, are some of the most recognizable people on the planet. Its biggest teams have millions of fans scattered across the world and broadcasters reach more than half of the people on the planet.

The European football industry alone turned over 25 billion euros in revenue in 2020, according to Deloitte, an indicator of the value in the biggest theater for the sport.

The popularity of football is due in large part to its simplicity as a game, and this has inevitably led to the biggest leagues and competitions attracting massive audiences and generating plenty of revenue for all involved.

Whether it’s through team sponsorships or marketing on broadcasts and advertising space, the sheer size of its viewership makes football a prime way for brands and businesses of all kinds to reach a lot of consumers.

While the cryptocurrency and blockchain space is still in its infancy, it’s a burgeoning industry that is quickly redefining finance and remittance, individual sovereignty of wealth, and a host of other use cases.

A number of different firms and organizations have taken the world of crypto into the football arena in different ways, but they’ve quickly made moves to be associated with some of the biggest players, teams and competitions as a result.

Here’s exactly how cryptocurrencies have been introduced to global football audiences and blockchain technology applied to some of the industry’s most popular applications.

Tapping Into A Huge Audience

Football is the most-watched sport in the world, captivating the minds of billions throughout its history. This audience is made up of fans of all types, from fanatics to casual viewers and impartials.

The love of the game has fostered an environment that goes far beyond what is happening on the television screens, from the physical world of merchandise and memorabilia to the digital world of predictions games, fantasy sports and betting. Both areas are prime candidates that can be improved by the different use cases blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies offer.

One such company that hopes to disrupt the game is Skrill, a global payments firm that has had a long relationship with European football.

As Rupinder Singh, senior vice president of consumer and digital wallets divisions at Skrill, tells Magazine, the company’s history of football sponsorship goes as far back as 2013 in the United Kingdom’s Football Conference league, while its parent company Paysafe’s other digital wallet, Neteller, became a sponsor of Premier League outfit Crystal Palace at the same time.

Part of Skrill’s payments bouquet is a cryptocurrency wallet that allows users to store and manage a selection of tokens. The company’s footprint in European football has grown significantly since its humble beginnings sponsoring third-tier football eight years ago.

In March 2021, Skrill signed as an official partner of U.K. Premier League team Leeds United, its latest big-name sponsorship deal in recent years. It had already partnered with Italian Serie A giants A.C. Milan last year. It also has a foothold in the United States as a front-of-jersey sponsor of Los Angeles-based club LA 10 FC, which plays in the growing United Premier Soccer League.

From the outside looking in, one might wonder how cryptocurrency and blockchain firms can synergize with the football industry. History provides an answer, as marketing through advertising channels in the football industry has been tried and tested by various brands for decades.

Singh believes that “the football audience is one of the most digitally adept audiences in the way they consume content, interact with their clubs or each other within online communities and entertain themselves through sports gambling or fantasy sports.” According to him, the jump to cryptocurrencies is a natural extension for such a group of potential customers. Singh also thinks many more firms from the crypto space could benefit from becoming involved in the football ecosystem:

“Football will likely always be of interest to crypto companies as long as they continue to see the behaviors of their customers mirror those of football fans, plus the obvious reach and impact that the sport has in every market across the world.”

Crypto.com is another cryptocurrency firm that is popping up on advertising boards in arenas and stadiums across the world. A partnership with the Italian Serie A has seen Crypto.com’s branding feature on pitchside advertising.

As Crypto.com chief marketing officer Steven Kalifowitz tells Cointelegraph, a decision to begin advertising in the football space was made at the end of 2020, and there’s been no delay in making this happen.

French football giant Paris Saint-Germain F.C. also welcomed the company as its “Official Cryptocurrency Platform Partner” in 2021. Part of the deal would see PSG release exclusive nonfungible tokens and pay a “significant” portion of the sponsorship fee in its native Crypto.com Coin.

Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany’s premier football clubs, has also partnered with a cryptocurrency firm. Growing crypto derivatives exchange Bybit secured a sponsorship deal that was unveiled late in 2020, which was touted to help grow Dortmund’s brand in Asia.

Cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX has its logo emblazoned on the left sleeve of A.C. Milan’s men’s, women’s and esports team jerseys after it signed a deal to become the Italian club’s official cryptocurrency trading partner.

Bringing Digital Scarcity To Big Brands

No other space has taken to the NFT craze like sports have. You need not look further than the NBA Top Shot ecosystem to see the perfect synergy among blockchain-based NFTs, tokens and sports fans.

Memorabilia, collectibles, prized signatures, and player and team cards have been popular for decades, with fanatics taking great joy out of showcasing their prized, rare possessions.

The advent of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies has facilitated the digital evolution of nonfungibility, where sports stars, teams and brands can create one-of-a-kind digital collectibles that are verifiable. They’ve proved to be massively popular — and this has spilled into the football space in a big way.

 

Dapper Labs Signs Multiyear Partnership With NBA Star Kevin Durant’s Boardroom

 

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The deal includes a role for Durant to help create original NBA Top Shot Moments.

Boardroom, a sports media company created by NBA star Kevin Durant and his investment firm Thirty Five Ventures, has agreed to a two-year partnership with Dapper Labs, the companies announced Wednesday. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

* Dapper Labs, the creator of the popular basketball collectible platform NBA Top Shot, said the deal includes a creative development role for Durant to curate and create NBA Top Shot Moments and video content.

* Boardroom said the partnership will lead to giveaways, spotlights around key Moments, fan-to-fan trading and behind-the-scenes video content.

* Durant was one of many stars from the National Basketball Association, including Michael Jordan, who invested in a large funding round for Dapper in March.

* “From the moment we met with Kevin and [Thirty Five Ventures co-founder Rich Kleinman], it was clear that we shared a passion to bring fans closer than ever and in the most epic ways to their favorite athletes,” Dapper Labs CEO Roham Gharegozlou said. “As KD continues to put his stamp on game-changing moments, we’re able to offer fans access to him in entirely new ways and cement NBA Top Shot’s place at the center of the fan experience.”

Updated: 10-19-2021

Coinbase Announces Multiyear Partnership With NBA And WNBA

The deal comes as the NBA prepares to start its 2021–2022 season, marking the association’s 75th anniversary.

Major cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has inked a deal with the National Basketball Association, giving the platform the opportunity to educate basketball fans on crypto.

In a Tuesday announcement, Coinbase said it would become the exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner of the National Basketball Association, or NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and USA Basketball as part of a multiyear sponsorship deal.

According to the NBA, Coinbase will create “unique content, innovations, activations and experiences” for basketball fans to learn about the crypto space, as well as be a partner of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, the USA Basketball men’s and women’s national team exhibition tours and the NBA G League Ignite.

Coinbase chief marketing officer Kate Rouch said the partnership would involve “interactive experiences to engage with the NBA and WNBA’s incredible community and athletes around the world.” The announcement comes as the NBA prepares to start its 2021–2022 season, marking the association’s 75th anniversary.

According to data from Statista, an average of 1.6 million people watched NBA regular-season games across major networks during the 2019–2020 season. Coinbase said it would be featured during nationally televised NBA games.

Many crypto companies and platforms have formed partnerships with sports organizations across the globe as the space expands and seemingly becomes more profitable as a sponsor. Crypto derivatives exchange FTX announced it had become the official sponsor of Major League Baseball in June and previously struck a deal to name the Miami Heat’s home stadium the FTX Arena until 2040.

Updated: 10-26-2021

NFL Quarterback Tom Brady Gives Fan 1 BTC For His Historic 600Th-Touchdown-Pass Ball

Sports Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

The GOAT rewarded a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan after wide receiver Mike Evans mistakenly handed him the ball following the historic touchdown.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady nearly lost ownership of the ball behind his 600th touchdown pass, but now he’s paying for it… in Bitcoin (BTC).

In Sunday’s game between the Buccaneers and Chicago Bears, Brady threw his 600th career touchdown pass to fellow teammate Mike Evans — he is the only player in NFL history to have ever achieved so many touchdown passes in his career.

The wide receiver, apparently not realizing the significance of the ball, handed it off to Byron Kennedy, a fan wearing a jersey with Evans’ namesake.

According to Ken Goldin, the founder of sports memorabilia auction company Goldin Auctions, the ball could be worth anywhere from $500,000 to $900,000. Kennedy at first seemed to give up the ball in exchange for a vague promise of a meet and greet with the quarterback. However, Brady later revealed on Monday Night Football that he had offered the fan 1 Bitcoin (BTC) — roughly $62,081 at the time of publication — as thanks for handing it over quickly.

“There were a lot of negotiations in order to get the ball back,” said Brady. “Byron realized he lost all of his leverage once he gave the ball away […] I’m also giving him a Bitcoin. That is pretty cool, too. At the end of the day, I think he is still making out pretty.”

According to Tampa Bay Times reporter Rick Stroud, the Buccaneers have also agreed to give Kennedy two signed team jerseys, a helmet with Brady’s autograph, Mike Evans game cleats, a jersey signed by the wide receiver, season tickets for the rest of the year and through 2022, as well as a $1,000 credit towards purchases at the team’s store. Even with some experts predicting the BTC price is likely to rise, many online pointed out the value of Kennedy’s compensation did not come close to that of the historic football.

“I would have gone for season tickets for life,” said investigative reporter David Amelotti.

Brady is one of many crypto-friendly professional athletes. He launched his own nonfungible token platform called Autograph — where he plans to auction the 600th touchdown ball as an NFT — and has received tokens as part of an endorsement deal with crypto exchange FTX.

Updated: 10-30-2021

Dallas Mavericks Fan Wins $100K In Bitcoin At NBA Shootout Event

Isaiah Stone won $100,000 worth of Bitcoin in a Voyager Digital-sponsored NBA shootout event.

A Dallas Mavericks fan won $100,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) after making a series of shots in a National Basketball Association (NBA) shootout event sponsored by crypto brokerage firm Voyager Digital.

Isaiah Stone, the winner of the basketball shootout, completed all stages of the challenge that included a free throw, a three-pointer and a half-court field goal. According to the Dallas Mavericks, the Voyager-sponsored prize money was the largest on-court promotion for the team.

On Wednesday, Voyager Digital entered into a five-year partnership deal with Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks to increase crypto exposure among NBA fans through various fan engagement promotions.

As Cointelegraph reported, the crypto trading platform will also have naming rights over the franchise’s Mavs Gaming Hub in Dallas, a venue for the Mavs NBA 2K League team. According to Cuban:

“Our partnership with Voyager will allow Mavs and NBA fans to learn more about Voyager and how they can earn more from Voyagers’ platform than from traditional financial applications.”

In addition, the NBA franchise’s rewards program allows fans to buy merchandise and win rewards in cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE).

On Oct. 19, prominent crypto exchange Coinbase signed a multi-year partnership with five NBA leagues — the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, NBA 2K League and USA Basketball — as an official partner to improve fan interaction.

Coinbase chief marketing officer Kate Rouch said that “as part of the partnership, we will create interactive experiences to engage with the NBA and WNBA’s incredible community and athletes around the world.”

 

Updated: 11-2-2021

NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Will Accept Part Of $22M Salary In Bitcoin

Sports Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

The Green Bay Packers player’s total salary would be worth roughly 368.8 BTC at a price of $60,636.

Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers football team, has said he will be taking part of his National Football League salary in Bitcoin.

In a video posted to his Twitter account on Nov. 1, Rodgers — dressed as fictional character John Wick, likely for Halloween — said he would be partnering with Cash App to take a portion of his salary in Bitcoin (BTC). The NFL reported in July that Rodgers would be earning a $1.1-million base salary on top of a $14.5-million signing bonus and a $6.8 million roster bonus from March, totaling roughly $22.3 million.

According to data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro, Rodgers’ total salary would be worth roughly 368.84 BTC at a price of $60,636 at the time of publication. Though the crypto asset reached an all-time high price near $67,000 on Oct. 20, it dipped under $60,000 more than once last week and has been mainly moving between $60,000 and $63,000.

Rodgers joins other professional sports players embracing crypto as the space seemingly becomes more mainstream. Last week, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said he would be compensating the fan who held his 600th-career-touchdown football with 1 BTC along with some signed sports memorabilia.

Updated: 11-4-2021

Kevin Durant’s New SPAC Firm To Focus On Crypto And Blockchain

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has been inducted into the “blank check” hall of fame.

Kevin Durant, a two-time NBA champion, has launched a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to look at collaborating with technology-driven businesses, including cryptocurrency enterprises. The firm was established in conjunction with Durant’s business associate Rich Kleiman.

Durant, who was an early Coinbase backer, isn’t done exploring the sector yet. His new SPAC company is planning to invest in crypto and blockchain-related businesses.

The new SPAC, Infinite Acquisition Corp, which was formed on Wednesday, according to its United States Securities and Exchange Commission filing, seeks to raise $200 million in its initial public offering (IPO).

A SPAC is a company that was formed to combine with or acquire another private firm and eventually go public. Because its only aim is to combine with a private firm and thereby skirt the requirements of an IPO, such firms are commonly known as “blank check” businesses.

The SEC filing provides a brief rundown of the crypto market, with names such as Coinbase, Kraken, lending and interest savings solutions such as BlockFi, hardware wallet maker Ledger, and successful nonfungible token-related projects, including Ethereum-based game Axie Infinity and Dapper Labs (the creators of NBA Top Shot).

Apart from crypto and blockchain, Infinite Acquisition will look at a wide range of prospective targets, such as businesses in the sports, health and wellness, e-commerce, and food technology and supply industries, according to the filing.

Infinite Acquisition is planning to go public on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker NFNT.U and sell 20 million shares at $10 each. The offering will be underwritten by Credit Suisse and Infinite intends to purchase back all shares with cash should the SPAC fail to complete a merger or acquisition in less than 18 months.

Updated: 11-16-2021

Goodbye, Staples Center. Hello, Crypto.com Arena

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Staples Center is getting a new name for Christmas: Crypto.com Arena.

The downtown Los Angeles venue — home of the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks — will wear the new name for 20 years under a deal between the Singapore cryptocurrency exchange and AEG, the owner and operator of the arena, both parties announced Tuesday. Crypto.com paid more than $700 million for the naming rights, according to sources familiar with the terms, making it one of the biggest naming deals in sports history.

The arena’s new logo will debut Dec. 25, when the Lakers host the Brooklyn Nets, and all of Staples Center signage will be replaced with the new name by June 2022.

Crypto.com’s chief executive, Kris Marszalek, hopes that the new name will come to be seen as a sign of the times.

“In the next few years, people will look back at this moment as the moment when crypto crossed the chasm into the mainstream,” Marszalek said when reached at his home in Hong Kong.

“This is just such a brilliant move from the guys at AEG, because the next decade belongs to crypto,” he said. “And this positions L.A. and this particular venue right at the center of it.”

AEG owns a number of sports teams, including the Kings and Galaxy, and venues, including L.A. Live, the Oakland Coliseum and London’s O2 Arena. It is one of the nation’s largest event promoters, producing Coachella, among others.

Chief Executive Dan Beckerman said that a blockchain finance company was just the thing for downtown L.A.

“It’s a bit of a match made in heaven, when we think about the type of brands that we like to partner with,” Beckerman said. “Crypto.com is looking for the most unique branding platform to make a statement and drive adoption, and we’re looking for an innovative, forward-thinking company to help us chart a course for the future of sports and entertainment events.”

AEG and Crypto.com are still working out exactly how far the partnership will go beyond the name, but integrating cryptocurrency payments into the arena and online purchases may be on the horizon.

Visitors will see one clear change at the entrance to the arena from L.A. Live, adjacent to the statue of Magic Johnson, where 3,300 square feet will become a dedicated Crypto.com “activation space” featuring crypto-centric interactive experiences for sports or music fans. Crypto.com has also signed with the Lakers and Kings as their official crypto partner.

The storied venue got its original name in December 1997, when then-booming Staples Inc. paid $100 million for the rights for 10 years. Beckerman, who was chief financial officer of AEG when the arena complex was first being developed, said that the value of the name was less of a sure thing back then.

“When we were selling the arena, nobody knew what it was, nobody knew what it could be. Downtown was very different than downtown is today,” he said.

But after Staples Center became the home of the Lakers squads that Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal led to three consecutive championships in the early 2000s, after the downtown district around the center developed into a revived tourist and residential district, and after the venue became frequent host to major events such as the Grammys, its place in the city’s cultural landscape solidified.

Staples signed a deal in 2009 for naming rights in perpetuity — but AEG bought the naming rights back for an undisclosed sum in 2019. The pandemic put the search for a new name sponsor on hold, but the Crypto.com deal came together quickly after conversations began at the end of summer.

Staples’ fortunes have declined since the late ‘90s, but the office supply company still has more than 1,000 stores across the country and has been on the Fortune 500 list for the last 21 years.

Crypto.com is 5 years old, and its business relies on a form of money that has been officially banned in China — though the company says it complies with all relevant regulation in the countries where it does operate. Marszalek has never attended a game at Staples Center; the Christmas game will be his first visit.

But AEG’s Beckerman said he was impressed by the company’s commitment to the arena. “The long-term piece of this is actually most important to us, and they shared this vision,” Beckerman said. He described AEG as “bullish” on cryptocurrency more broadly.

With 10 million users and 3,000 employees, Crypto.com is a major player in the crypto world. Its core business is running an exchange that allows users to trade cryptocurrencies, store them in an online account and access them with a Visa rewards debit card, but it also has an NFT wing, cryptocurrency payment software, its own token and a number of other products in the works.

Marszalek declined to share specific figures but said that the company reached profitability in early 2021 and has seen revenue grow 2000% in the last year.

Renaming Staples Center is the latest phase of a marketing blitz for the crypto company. A new ad unveiled by the company in October features Matt Damon intoning the “four simple words that have been whispered by the intrepid since the time of the Romans … fortune favors the brave.” In November, a handful of billboards with that motto went up in cities across the world, and the company took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal featuring it.

The company has also signed partnership deals with UFC, Formula 1 racing, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Montreal Canadiens, the Italian Lega Serie A soccer league, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club and Twitch Rivals, the livestreaming service’s esports category, in the last year.

The goal, Marszalek said, is not just to increase brand awareness and market share but to underscore the growing normalization of cryptocurrency in American society.

Marszalek said that Crypto.com has “an ambition of becoming a top-20 brand in the next 3 or 5 years, alongside names like Nike or Apple,” with popular sports serving as one gateway to mass adoption.

In a Morning Consult poll in September, people who self-identified as avid sports fans were nearly three times as likely to say they were familiar with cryptocurrencies as those with no interest in sports — 66% among avid fans versus 23% among non-fans — and some sports leagues have been dabbling in blockchain products in recent years.

In October 2020, the NBA partnered with a Canadian crypto firm, Dapper Labs, to create NBA Top Shot, a collection of NFTs that allowed fans and speculators to buy and sell crypto tokens linked to NBA highlight clips (think digital trading cards). By March, the Top Shot market had become one of the hottest corners of the NFT craze, racking up $230 million in sales — mostly on the secondary market.

The Top Shot market has cooled down since, even as the total NFT market has continued to balloon, but the total value of Top Shot NFTs still sits at an estimated $740 million.

L.A.’s isn’t the first NBA arena to get a crypto rebrand. In March, the cryptocurrency exchange FTX — a company run by the “richest man in crypto,” according to Forbes, that recently relocated its headquarters from Hong Kong to the Bahamas — signed a $135-million deal for the 19-year naming rights to the Miami Heat arena, formerly named after American Airlines.

Crypto.com paid more than five times as much for the rights to L.A.’s arena — but Marszalek isn’t worried that the investment might not pan out. “There’s not a shadow of doubt in my mind that it was worth it,” he said. “My level of conviction is 100%.”

Staples Center will now be known as Crypto.com Arena after an agreement with its owner, AEG.

Staples Center is a multi-purpose arena that has been home to numerous public events including boxing and basketball competitions, as well as concerts and hockey. It’s also been the home of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

Crypto.com purchased the naming rights to AEG for $700 million over 20 years, according to an announcement. In 1999, Staples paid $100 million for 10 years’ worth of naming rights.

AEG is a multinational sports and entertainment company that owns several facilities, as well as sports franchises.

On Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers will face the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center, which will be updated with a new name and logo for the first time in its history. The arena was built in 1999 and has a capacity of 20,000 people.

When it comes to the next development, AEG chief revenue officer Dan Goldstein called it an “exciting new chapter.” He went on to say that the “partnership represents the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency platform and the world’s greatest sports and live entertainment business” combining to build the future of sports and live entertainment.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings, which play home games at the Staples Center, will join forces with Crypto.com as part of the collaboration. The company will be an “official cryptocurrency platform partner” for the two professional sports franchises.

Crypto.com is a Singapore-based cryptocurrency wallet and platform that specializes in the MCO Visa Card, which enables users to earn rewards in several cryptocurrencies. Though it is the first time that Crypto.com will pay money to purchase naming rights in sports and entertainment, it isn’t the company’s first time diving into the sports sector.

The business has previously sponsored sporting events, including a $100-million sponsorship agreement with Formula 1 in late June. The Ultimate Fighting Championship in July signed a $175-million sponsorship agreement with Crypto.com.

NYDIG Partners With Houston Rockets Basketball Franchise, Plans To Pay Team In BTC

The deal seems to be part of a larger move for Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who is also the chairman and CEO of a restaurant group that recently launched a Bitcoin rewards program.

The New York Digital Investment Group will be paying the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets franchise in Bitcoin as part of a partnership aimed at promoting crypto education and adoption.

In a Nov. 16 announcement, the Houston Rockets said the New York Digital Investment Group, or NYDIG, would become the team’s official Bitcoin (BTC) services partner and platform. As part of the partnership, NYDIG is planning to name some of the Rockets’ premium seating at the Toyota Center in Houston the ‘Bitcoin Suites.’

The deal with the NYDIG seems to be part of a larger strategy for Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who is also chairman and CEO of Landry’s Restaurant Group. Last week, the company announced it would be introducing a BTC rewards program for its restaurants and is already rolling out BTC payment options.

Through Landry’s and other ventures, Fertitta, worth an estimated $6.3 billion, also owns a few hotels and five casino resorts across the United States. There have been no reports of BTC or other cryptocurrencies being accepted at these venues at the time of publication. However, in June, Fertitta said his holding company planned to start validating blocks on the Akash Network.

This year the crypto space has seen many major basketball franchises in the U.S. partner with companies dealing with digital assets and blockchain technology. In October, Voyager Digital inked a deal with the Dallas Mavericks in an aim to make crypto more accessible through fan engagement. Coinbase also recently signed a multiyear sponsorship contract with the NBA to be its exclusive crypto platform partner.

Updated: 11-17-2021

Australian Baseball Club Perth Heat To Pay Athletes In Bitcoin

Perth Heat will use the Bitcoin Lightning Network to make payments to professional baseball players and staff.

Australian baseball club Perth Heat has announced a partnership with Bitcoin payment processor OpenNode to accept and make payments in Bitcoin (BTC). The partnership allows Perth Heat to pay professional players and staff in Bitcoin.

According to the announcement, the professional sports club will send and receive payments in Bitcoin over the Lightning Network. In addition, the partnership with OpenNode allows the Perth Heat organization to accept Bitcoin payments for sponsorships, merchandise and other revenue streams.

Taking things a step further, Perth Heat has also rebranded itself as “the Bitcoin baseball team.”

The club has listed Bitcoin-branded merchandise on its official website. Showing a long-term commitment to mainstream Bitcoin adoption, the announcement stated:

“As part of this sporting world exclusive, Perth Heat will hodl Bitcoin on the club’s balance sheet.”

Steven Nelkovski, the CEO of Perth Heat, believes that embracing the underlying values of the Bitcoin protocol “will inspire others to embrace a monetary system that demands value creation to thrive.” According to the club’s “chief Bitcoin officer,” Patrick O’Sullivan:

“The club has already established an initial position in BTC to help secure its digital property rights on the world’s most secure monetary network and will continue to reinvest available capital into Bitcoin. The Perth Heat are embracing the reality that the future of money and corporate treasuries will live on the Bitcoin blockchain.”

The Land Down Under has ramped up efforts to allow regulated crypto adoption this year. On Oct. 20, an Australian Senate committee called for a complete overhaul of crypto legislation and licensing.

As Cointelegraph reported a few days later, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission also released a guideline that greenlit Bitcoin- and Ether (ETH)-based exchange-traded products (ETPs):

“As of October 2021, Bitcoin and Ether appear likely to satisfy all five factors identified above to determine appropriate underlying assets for an ETP. We expect the range of non-financial product crypto-assets that can satisfy these factors will expand over time.”

A recent survey conducted by Crypto.com found that Australian citizens are equally keen to explore crypto investments. Out of the polled 2,020 Australians between 18 and 59 years of age, 26% responded that they would consider giving crypto for Christmas or buying crypto-related gifts.

According to Crypto.com general manager Karl Mohan, “Australians are clearly very keen to adopt cryptocurrencies and integrate their use into day-to-day spending.”

FTX, Crypto.com And The ‘Stadium Curse’

Remember CMGI Field? More like NGMI field.

News broke Wednesday that Los Angeles’ Staples Center, longtime home to the National Basketball Association dominating L.A. Lakers team, will be renamed “Crypto.com Arena” in a 20-year, $700 million naming rights deal that appears to be the largest in sports history. While plenty of sports fans seem to be mourning the end of an era, others see the name change as a legitimation of the crypto sector as a whole.

I would love for that to prove out, but the history of naming-rights deals for major stadiums shows there’s no guarantee. Plenty of companies, particularly companies leaning on new technologies or speculative investments, have gone belly-up after what seemed like victory-lap naming deals.

For a time this was so common that people referred to “the stadium curse.” Big spending on naming rights has sometimes even been cited as a reason for investors to question the judgment of company management because the pay-off in branding and publicity remains somewhat unclear.

The “stadium curse” has hit some companies you know and many you don’t. The farkakteh “energy-trading company” Enron, perhaps the most notorious corporate fraud of the past half-century, went belly up just two years after buying the rights to the Houston Astros baseball team’s stadium (now Minute Maid Park).

CMGI, an internet investment and holding company, didn’t last much longer after a 1999 naming deal for the U.S. football New England Patriots’ field, now known as Gillette Stadium.

These cases illustrate the fundamental tension at the heart of naming deals. They’re the corporate equivalent of buying a Lamborghini: functionally almost useless, but a huge signal to the world that you’re winning, exactly because you’ve got so much money to set on fire. Much in the way that day-trading gurus flaunt (rented) Lambos, this makes the success signal of a stadium name particularly attractive for companies that haven’t actually “made it” yet.

It’s particularly tempting to apply this rubric to the Crypto.com deal because the exchange has relatively thin brand recognition. It spends a ton on advertising and does decent volume, ranking fourth worldwide among spot markets, according to CoinGecko data.

But in contrast to Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, which recently bought naming rights to the venue of another U.S. pro basketball team, the Miami Heat, Crypto.com isn’t deeply involved in crypto innovation. Maybe the rise of a purely retail-focused operation is itself an index of sector-wide growth, but at a high level you could see it being particularly vulnerable to a downturn in crypto markets.

(Incidentally, FTX reportedly paid just $135 million for 19 years of naming rights, and the Heat is nearly as hot as the Lakers these days. It seems either FTX got a great deal or Crypto.com got soaked – or maybe this prices in the likelihood that Miami will be underwater in 20 years.)

Beyond Enron and CMGI, there’s a bit of a “curse” angle to the Staples Center name change itself. The name has become iconic, thanks largely to the legendary championship runs of the Kobe Bryant-led L.A. Lakers circa 2008-2012. In fact, “Staples Center” is probably just as recognizable these days as the actual company Staples, which is still a large retailer but has been shrinking steadily in the era of Amazon.

Bryant’s widow, for instance, seemed unsettled by the name change, and took to Instagram for an oblique complaint.

Vanessa Bryant’s point may be that what players do is always more important than who cuts a big check for naming rights. But Lakers fans are definitely mourning the loss of the “Staples Center” name, which has come to represent a powerful legacy.

That demonstrates just how valuable sports naming rights can be: Given a bit of luck, it can lead people to associate your brand with some of the most admired people on Earth.

That might not be enough by itself to supercharge a business. But you know who hasn’t had a stadium in Los Angeles named after it for the past 20 years? Office Depot, which Staples has outperformed and is trying to buy. Maybe a coincidence – but it does turn out that the bulk of “stadium curse” cases were clustered around the dot-com bust, and naming rights have been a bit more of a mixed bag for investors since then.

However optimistic you might be about crypto, the current wave of rapid and speculative growth definitely rhymes with the conditions in the tech industry in the late 1990s when Enron and similar naming deals were inked. Whatever the fate of Crypto.com itself, we’ll likely see some reckonings as currently hot crypto operations turn out to be overleveraged bets a la CMGI or outright frauds a la Enron.

Updated: 11-22-2021

Crypto.com Naming Agreement ‘Paid For Itself’ After Coin Surges

Crypto.com’s deal last week to replace Staples as the title sponsor of an iconic downtown Los Angeles sports center appears to have already paid for itself.

The CRO token has surged more than 55% in the past seven days as of Monday and reached a record on Sunday, according to pricing from CoinGecko, and is now the 13th-biggest by market capitalization at about $18 billion. Its gains come as many other top cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ether and Binance Coin, fall back.

Two people familiar with the naming agreement said last week that it was worth $700 million over 20 years. The deal is a continuation of a trend by Crypto.com and others to gain name recognition and customers through pacts in sports, music and more.

“The resulting PR doubled its token price and led to a $9 billion run-up in market cap,” Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares International Ltd., said on Twitter. “The deal paid for itself ~13x over, difficult to untangle token distribution and who benefited, but smart token marketing strategy!”

In a subsequent post, Demirors said she doesn’t own any CRO tokens nor does she have any financial interest in the deal.

While Crypto.com’s token has surged in recent days, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will stay in the upper echelons of the digital-token world; many coins have vaulted higher for one reason or another, only to fall back in the famously volatile space.

And the deal brought up numerous citations of the same phenomenon with dot-com companies that made such pacts in the late 1990s and early 2000s, not all of which ended well for the named sponsor.

NFL Rams Star Odell Beckham Jr. To Take Full Salary In Bitcoin

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Football star Odell Beckham Jr will accept his “new salary” on the Los Angeles Rams in Bitcoin, the latest high-profile athlete to signal enthusiasm for cryptocurrency.

The wide receiver said in a tweet Monday that he will accept his salary in Bitcoin as part of an arrangement with Square Inc.-backed mobile payments service Cash App. “It’s the start of a new era I’m looking forward to the future,” he wrote in a video embedded in the tweet.

Beckham Jr. is also giving away $1 million worth of Bitcoin to fans on his Twitter account. Earlier this month, Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers announced a similar tie-up with Cash App, saying he would receive part of his salary in Bitcoin.

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Square Inc.’s digital wallet called Cash App allows users to send and receive money, invest in stocks and trade Bitcoin.

The fintech company’s third quarter revenue missed analyst estimates, primarily due to lighter than expected cryptocurrency transactions in the quarter ended in September.

Updated: 11-25-2021

Spanish Regulator Raises Alarm On Binance Promo By Soccer Star Iniesta

A Binance promotion post by soccer legend Andrés Iniesta has so far amassed over 270,000 likes on Instagram.

A major financial regulator in Spain has put out a warning regarding soccer star Andrés Iniesta for promoting major cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

Iniesta, a prolific midfielder who has played for Barcelona and the Spanish national team, was promoting Binance on his social media profiles on Instagram and Twitter.

On Wednesday, Iniesta posted several pictures of him next to a laptop showing the Binance website on the screen as well as holding a smartphone reflecting several major crypto markets, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Binance Coin (BNB).

At the time of writing, Iniesta has over 38 million subscribers on Instagram and more than 25 million followers on Twitter. The Instagram post had amassed over 270,000 likes by the time of publishing.

Spain’s securities market regulator, the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), took to Twitter about 12 hours after Iniesta published the post to warn the player about crypto investment risks.

Citing its regulatory statement from February 2021, the CNMV stressed that investors should be properly informed about crypto and its risks before investing and making financial advice. “Hi Andres Iniesta, cryptoassets carry some significant risks due to being unregulated products,” CNMV wrote.

It is whether Iniesta was offered a retainer for promoting Binance. Cointelegraph has reached out to the soccer player via contacts on Iniesta’s official website and will update this story pending new information.

The news comes amid Binance continuing its efforts to improve relationships with global regulators as the firm has been scrutinized by multiple governments this year, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Germany and others.

Some Spanish banks cut support to Binance earlier this year. In July, the United Kingdom branch of Spanish bank Santander said that it will no longer be allowing its customers to send payments to Binance, citing warnings from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.

Updated: 11-29-2021

Gatorade Signs Paige Bueckers As First College Athlete Endorser

The UConn basketball star is breaking ground under the new NCAA sponsorship rules.

Gatorade is signing its first-ever college athlete to an endorsement deal as the prolific sponsor capitalizes on a recent NCAA rule change to increase its influence in women’s sports.

Paige Bueckers, the 20-year-old basketball phenom at the University of Connecticut, agreed to a multiyear deal with the PepsiCo Inc.-owned sports drink to join its athlete roster.

As part of the arrangement, she’ll promote the brand in television commercials, social posts, product collaborations and events, with a focus on boosting women’s basketball. The parties declined to disclose financial terms of the agreement.

Bueckers is one of the top student-athletes in all of college sports, earning player of the year honors in 2021 with projections of becoming a top pick in the Women’s National Basketball Association draft when she becomes eligible in 2023.

She joins a Gatorade roster with several of the world’s top active women’s athletes, including tennis icon Serena Williams, two-time WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and Olympic gold-medal hurdler Sydney McLaughlin.

“I know this is just the beginning of our partnership and can’t wait to get to work with Gatorade to drive impact in the community and on the women’s game,” Bueckers said in an email.

On the court, Bueckers follows a long line of superstars from UConn’s storied program that’s won 11 national championships, following all-time greats like Diana Taurasi and Breanna Stewart.

Her predecessors, however, weren’t permitted to land similar paydays while still in school, due to longtime restrictions imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Student-athlete endorsement deals are beginning to pile up after the NCAA changed its policies in July to allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. They range from small arrangements with local businesses to long-term contracts to promote products from fast food to deodorant.

Bueckers has emerged as the big-money prototype, now with two major deals in place. After the rule change, she signed with sports agency Wasserman Media Group and in November she scored a deal to be a spokesperson for sneaker resale site StockX.

She also locked down her nickname, “Paige Buckets,” by filing a request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to protect the mark for athletic apparel products including shirts, shoes and jackets.

Her teammates have also garnered interest. Senior Olivia Nelson-Ododa partnered with Fabletics and freshman Azzi Fudd signed with Chipotle and BioSteel, while both Christyn Williams and Caroline Ducharme recently signed with agency Excel Sports Management to manage their NIL deals.

They must all wear Nike in games and at official events as part of UConn’s existing agreement with the athletic-wear company.

College athletes offer brands like Gatorade a new avenue to reach young consumers. It also allows them to stake a claim earlier in the search for future stars that may one day achieve global fame.

Gatorade has been embedded in college sports for decades — the drink itself was developed at the University of Florida in the 1960s — and has relationships with more than 60 top college programs and conferences.

Executives weren’t surprised by the NCAA’s move, which followed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stripped the association of some of its restrictive power.

Jeff Kearney, global head of sports marketing for Gatorade, said that while the brand doesn’t plan to have a college-specific strategy, the recent change significantly increases the pool of potential endorsers he can work with.

As opportunities have opened up, brands are targeting younger talent than ever. Puma SE recently signed top basketball prospect Mikey Williams, a 17-year-old in high school, to a multiyear deal to push the shoe brand in its ads.

Gatorade signed baseball star Bryce Harper, now a two-time National League MVP, and NBA all-star Zion Williamson when they were still teenagers, though both had already left school to go pro. But the further these athletes are from professional stardom, the bigger the risk.

“We try to do as much homework as we possibly can, and there are no guarantees,” said Kearney, who expects to add more college players in the future. “We talk to coaches and athletic trainers and teammates and opponents and officials and parents to tell us a little more about this person and what makes them tick.”

Updated: 12-1-2021

Paige Bueckers, A College Athlete Who’s Cashing In

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

The basketball star has signed two of the most high-profile “name, image, and likeness” deals since college athletes were free to pursue them starting in July.

Her nickname is Paige “Buckets.” Her game day trademark is a Targaryen crown of blond braids. Her résumé includes back-to-back national player of the year awards: in her senior year of high school, then after her first season at UConn, which made her the first freshman to win the honor.

She has more than 1 million followers combined on Instagram and TikTok. But if you really want to understand why the 20-year-old from Edina, Minn., is so badass and has the sports world watching her every move, here are two things to keep in mind:

No. 1: Bueckers (pronounced “Beckers”) is an unimposing 5 feet 11 inches, a dolphin among sharks in her sport, except she’s the alpha predator. “I never start the trash talking,” she claims, unconvincingly, “but once somebody starts with me, then it’s just in my instinct to go back and forth.”

If the poor soul guarding Bueckers flaps at her, Bueckers will tell her exactly what she’s going to do—jab step, dribble, step-back three—and then she’ll do it in her face: “It’s a killer, mentally, to tell somebody what you’re going to do, and they know you’re going to do it, and you still do it anyway.”

No. 2: If there’s basketball being played in her vicinity, Bueckers can’t handle sitting on the bench. Late in the second half of a UConn blowout last season, as one of her Huskies teammates headed to the free throw line, Bueckers noticed that her coach, Geno Auriemma, was trying to sub in another player for her. She didn’t want to come out. So she had to get crafty. It occurred to her that substitutions are permitted only after a made free throw.

That meant if her teammate missed, Auriemma couldn’t end Bueckers’s night. “I didn’t necessarily ask her to miss the free throw,” Bueckers says, “but I did sort of imply that if she missed, I wouldn’t have to come out.” (Her teammate hit the shot.)

Bueckers is the latest in a long line of UConn women’s basketball superstars, and no matter what she does on the court, she’ll probably never surpass Diana Taurasi—the GOAT—or Breanna Stewart, who led the Huskies to four titles in four years. Off the floor, though, Bueckers is a revolutionary.

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin
She’s among the most notable to capitalize on new NCAA measures after the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic June 21 ruling struck down the organization’s antitrust immunity and opened the door for players to profit.

Bueckers and all other college athletes are now free to seek financial compensation for use of their name, image, and likeness, or NIL, three little letters that have transformed the business of college sports.

For decades the NCAA insisted it had amateur athletes’ best interests at heart: They got a free education, so it was fine to pay them nothing, even as the nonprofit organization took in more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

During the 2020-21 academic year, Coach Auriemma earned a base salary of $600,000 and an additional $2.2 million from speaking engagements, consulting deals, sponsorships, and other opportunities. NCAA President Mark Emmert’s base salary was $2.7 million.

By comparison, aside from an NCAA-allotted annual stipend that’s typically about $3,000, Bueckers made $0.00.

This, for someone who’s been likened to Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry since she was in high school and who last season backed it up by leading the Huskies in scoring with 20 points per game and shooting a Steph-esque 46% from three-point range.

And yet if she’d come along at any other moment, she would’ve continued to collect her $0.00 for three more years until she graduated.

Instead, Bueckers and her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas of the Wasserman agency in Los Angeles, spent the summer and fall negotiating a handful of deals for the remaining three years of Bueckers’s UConn career.

Although terms haven’t been disclosed, her biggest agreements are with Gatorade and StockX, the online streetwear marketplace. In August the Wall Street Journal estimated that she could make $1 million a year given her popularity.

She’s not there yet, Colas says, but she’s “hit that number” when factoring in the total payout over the duration of the deals. And if Bueckers weren’t busy earning her degree (she hasn’t declared a major) while draining threes, Colas adds, “it could easily be more,” since she could cram in more social media promotions in-season: “She has this power without any brand lift. She holds it right in her hand.”

The goal of Bueckers’s deals is to “redefine the potential of what an athlete can do with power,” says Colas, whose first client was Taurasi. (Colas also repped Maya Moore, another UConn legend, during her quest to free an innocent man—now her husband—from prison, and she helped the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA when the team worked to unseat from the U.S. Senate co-owner Kelly Loeffler, who ultimately lost her election.)

And so while other athletes were rushing out with NIL announcements in July, Bueckers kept the industry guessing.

She was being thorough, examining potential partners’ track records on issues she cares about—social equity, youth basketball, community development—and sorting out how they’d help her advance them. She was making sure their commitment matched her own.

The Gatorade deal makes Bueckers the first college athlete the brand has endorsed and puts her “in the company of Mia [Hamm] and Michael [Jordan],” Colas says. Bueckers has been drinking Gatorade since before she could dribble (grape or pink lemonade, please), and soon the Gatorade high school player of the year will be on Gatorade bottles and in Gatorade TV commercials, just like Mike.

Less lucrative but more provocative is Bueckers’s partnership with StockX, which sells limited-edition Nikes, Supreme hoodies, and other items she herself covets. “I definitely spend too much money on clothes and shoes,” she says. “So to be able to get these things as part of my deal”—for free, is what she’s saying—“is really awesome.”

The provocative part is her decision to forgo a sneaker deal in exchange for the freedom to collaborate on Bueckers-branded products and capsule collections with whomever she wants.

“This is such a brilliant deal,” wrote Michael Sykes, author of The Kicks You Wear, a widely read Substack about the sneaker industry. “The big chip here, though, is the [sales] data she’ll be provided on her partnership.

Brands won’t be able to tell her ‘We don’t know how you’ll perform,’ because she’ll already be bringing those insights to the table in this deal. She can take that data wherever she wants and make another deal.” You think women can’t sell shoes? I just did.

If the strategy works, Bueckers will enter the WNBA as a proven earner with leverage to demand the same paydays as male stars. Female athletes still face skepticism about whether they can move even a fraction of the merchandise sold by men, which has led many brands to expect a gender discount. Bueckers is determined to end that.

For her, maximizing earnings is more than good business. It’s a political act. “I want to prove that women deserve these things—that we should have the same respect among all sneaker companies, all brands, every partnership,” she says.

According to industry tracker Opendorse, football accounts for 64% of gross NIL earnings, followed by men’s hoops (14%) and women’s basketball (8.7%), thanks in no small part to Bueckers. So far the average Division I athlete with endorsements makes a grand total of $686. Bueckers’s UConn teammate, guard Azzi Fudd, has a deal with Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.

University of Alabama defensive back Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry has teamed up with his favorite powdered beverage company. But only a handful of athletes will make serious money.

They include the Cavinder twins, Haley and Hanna, a pair of guards from California State University at Fresno; Auburn University gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Sunisa Lee; and University of Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler, who’s getting paid handsomely to ride the bench after the former Heisman trophy candidate lost his starting job.

As one of the elite breakout stars of the NIL era, though, Bueckers understands that there’s more riding on her decisions than just her bank account.

During her acceptance speech for best female college athlete at ESPN’s annual sports award show, the ESPYs, in July, she used the platform to speak up for teammates who don’t always get the same recognition. “Sponsors tell us who’s valuable,” she said.

“With the light that I have now, as a White woman who leads a Black-led sport, I want to shine a light on Black women. They don’t get the media coverage that they deserve, and they’ve given so much to this sport, this community, and society as a whole.”

“She’s exceptional at her sport,” says Michael Rueda, head of U.S. sports and entertainment at the law firm Withersworldwide. “She’s also outspoken and passionate about all these other things going on in the world.” She’s the epitome, in other words, of a modern superstar athlete.

“So does that justify the payday?” Rueda asks. “Of course it does.”

Updated: 12-14-2021

Nike Signs UCLA’s Reilyn Turner As Its First-Ever College Athlete

 

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Nike Inc. has signed its first-ever endorsement deal with a college player after a recent NCAA rule change allowed brands to work with student-athletes.

Reilyn Turner, a sophomore on the women’s soccer team at the University of California at Los Angeles, joins Nike’s wide roster of sponsored athletes. She was the Pac-12 conference’s top freshman last season. Terms of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.

“I hope to be a role model for those around me and those after me, and I’m so excited to be a part of what Nike is bringing to the future of women’s sport,” Turner said in a statement Tuesday.

The college deals are accumulating as brands rush to court younger stars than ever after the NCAA this summer permitted players to profit from their names, images and likenesses.

Gatorade, the sports drink owned by PepsiCo Inc., made the biggest splash so far when it signed University of Connecticut women’s basketball phenom Paige Bueckers to a multiyear deal in November.

 

Updated: 12-15-2021

Kevin Durant Signs Deal To Promote Crypto Platform Coinbase

The NBA star is part of the industry’s push to go mainstream and lure new users.

Basketball star Kevin Durant and his company Thirty Five Ventures have signed a multiyear deal with Coinbase Global Inc. to promote the cryptocurrency platform across his businesses.

As part of the arrangement, Durant will appear in advertising as a face of the brand. Coinbase will also link up with his sports site, Boardroom, for digital ads and sponsored content about crypto, and put money into Durant’s foundation to support his youth programs. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Kevin does very, very few brand deals and that was by design,” Rich Kleiman, Durant’s longtime manager and co-founder of his firm, said in an interview. “They’re this new model of brand partner for us, where they do integrate in all different parts of our business.”

Crypto companies have spent hundreds of millions this year on sponsorship deals with sports leagues, teams, athletes and celebrities in a scramble to lure new users as digital currencies become more popular. FTX, another crypto exchange, has signed on top teams like the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and will have a commercial in the NFL’s Super Bowl.

Crypto.com is taking over the naming rights of Los Angeles’s NBA arena and has deals with Formula 1 and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Actor Matt Damon has taken an equity stake in Crypto.com, while NFL quarterback Tom Brady has one in FTX. Each is promoting the platforms to the public.

Coinbase has also been active. In October, it came aboard as the NBA’s first crypto partner in a multiyear sponsorship agreement across pro basketball. It also sponsors e-sports teams, including Team Liquid and Evil Geniuses.

The first ad with Durant will be released on Thursday. Coinbase Chief Marketing Officer Kate Rouch said she’s looking at other segments of the economy beyond sports in search of people interested in taking the leap into crypto. The company has started partnering with the likes of entertainment promoter Live Nation and Art Basel, the international art fair.

Durant’s firm first invested in Coinbase in 2017, joining a $100 million funding round, and the two sides built their relationship from there. The former Most Valuable Player, who has won two NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors, started meeting with founders and investors in Silicon Valley’s tech sector in 2016, during the early days of their business.

“Even when I was younger, I was always curious about the business side of things and always trying to learn from the people I’ve gotten to meet along the way,” Durant said in an email. “Basketball was always number one for me, but it was clear that there was a lot more that I could accomplish if I had the right team around me.”

Now on the Brooklyn Nets, Durant’s investments over the years include companies such as Postmates, Therabody and OpenSea.

Coinbase shares have risen 2.3% since its April listing through Tuesday’s close.

Updated: 12-16-2021

Bitcoin Investor Peter McCormack Buys UK Soccer Club, Has Big Plans To Improve It

The podcast host is chasing a childhood dream with the purchase of a Tier 10 English club that he hopes can eventually make it to the Premier League.

Prominent bitcoin investor and podcast host Peter McCormack announced in a lengthy threaded tweet on Thursday that he has purchased professional English soccer club Bedford FC and become its chairman.

Related:

Bitcoin Fixes This #76: English Football with Peter McCormack

 

  • McCormack, who grew up in Bedford, said his hope is to eventually get the team promoted from England’s lowly tenth division all the way to the Premier League.
  • He is recruiting fellow bitcoin investors and companies to contribute funds to lure better players and managers and quickly improve the club.
  • “I am a bitcoiner, we aim big. If we can separate money and state, we can get a football club into the Premier League,” McCormack said in one of his tweets.
  • McCormack said Bedford FC will operate as a “bitcoin club” that “operates on a bitcoin standard.” He added that Bedford would introduce a bitcoin education program for the club’s fans, and also support open-source development.
  • The club announced bitcoin mining company Compass Mining would be its first official partner.
  • Also on Thursday, cryptocurrency-backed group “WAGMI United” disclosed similar plans to purchase an as-yet-undisclosed, lower-tier English soccer club using crypto as a significant funding source, and eventually get it promoted to the Premier League.


MMA Fighter Kevin Lee Will Receive His Pay Entirely In Bitcoin

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Mixed martial artist Kevin Lee who recently joined Eagle FC, is the latest athlete to get paid in bitcoin instead of fiat currencies.

The American professional mixed martial artist – Kevin Lee – revealed that his four-fight contract in Eagle FC would be paid entirely in bitcoin. He also admitted being a BTC investor as he entered the market in 2017. The 29-year-old fighter announced the news during a recent interview for “The MMA Hour.” Lee explained that the contract for Eagle Fighting Championship consists of four fights as for each, he will receive bitcoin instead of American dollars.

Kevin Lee becomes the first MMA fighter who has a deal worth millions of dollars in Bitcoin.

“To be the first MMA fighter who has a deal worth millions of dollars in Bitcoin, the first one, there was some appeal to that for me,” Kevin Lee said during the interview. Lee said this clause was one of the reasons why he decided to sign this new agreement. He added that being paid in bitcoin would give him “a lot more financial security” and even help him fight better.

The MMA fighter has been a BTC holder since October 2017.

Kevin Lee has been a BTC holder since October 2017, when he fought Tony Ferguson. A few years later, he needed knee surgeries, and thanks to his exposure to the primary digital asset, he could afford to pay for the treatment: “I forgot about that money, but then when bitcoin blew back up, that gave me some money to live off. So it’s something that I really believe in, and that’s honestly going to be the big future.” He stated that if he receives fiat currencies, he will directly convert them into the largest cryptocurrency. The contract allows him to “cut down the middle man:”

Voyager Digital Will Be Crypto Brokerage Partner For National Women’s Soccer League

The trading platform said a “significant amount” of the investment would fund rostered soccer players’ crypto accounts.

Crypto trading platform Voyager Digital has inked a deal with the National Women’s Soccer League, or NWSL, aiming to provide players crypto education and financial support.

In a Tuesday announcement, Voyager said it would become the league’s first cryptocurrency brokerage partner as part of a multi-year deal. The trading platform said a “significant amount” of the investment would fund rostered players’ crypto accounts. There are expected to be 12 teams in the NWSL starting in 2022, so up to 312 players could benefit from the Voyager partnership.

“Voyager’s investment in the league is especially innovative because we’ve collectively designed the partnership to include direct financial resources for every one of our players, as well as education on the revolutionary changes underway in digital assets,” said NWSL interim CEO Marla Messing.

As part of the deal with Voyager, one player from each of the NWSL’s teams will act as an ambassador, attending educational events and creating crypto-related content. The exchange said it would be offering “key lessons and tools” aimed at helping players develop long-term financial growth opportunities after their sports careers had ended.

Many crypto companies and platforms have formed partnerships with sports organizations across the globe as the space expands and seemingly becomes more profitable as a sponsor.

Voyager is already the crypto brokerage and international partner for the Dallas Mavericks basketball team following an October deal. Crypto derivatives exchange FTX also announced it had become the official sponsor of Major League Baseball in June.

Founded in 2018, Voyager Digital currently offers more than 60 digital assets for trading on its mobile app, which also includes services such as yield farming. In October, the platform announced it had received a $75 million investment from crypto quantitative trading firm and liquidity provider Alameda Research.

Updated: 12-20-2021

Crypto Exchange FTX US Partners With Four Washington, DC Sports Teams

FTX US’ NFT platform will have exclusive rights to future token drops by the four teams and the exchange will be a partner for an in-game highlight series, “Big Block-Chain.”

The company behind four major Washington, D.C.-based professional sports teams has announced FTX US will be its official crypto exchange and nonfungible token partner.

In a Monday announcement, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, or MSE, said FTX US would be the official crypto partner of the Washington Capitals hockey team, the Washington Wizards men’s basketball team, the Washington Mystics women’s basketball team and the Capital City Go-Go basketball team as part of a multi-year deal.

According to MSE, FTX US’ NFT platform will have exclusive rights to future token drops by the four teams and the exchange will be a partner for an in-game highlight series, dubbed “Big Block-Chain.”

“The integration of blockchain technology with the sports experience has only just begun, and together we are going to advance to an entirely new frontier, which will ignite fans beyond what they can even imagine today,” said Jim Van Stone, MSE president of business operations and the firm’s chief commercial officer.

The announcement is the latest partnership between FTX US and major sports franchises in the United States. In March, the crypto exchange’s operator, FTX, reached a $135-million agreement to secure naming rights for the Miami Heat’s home stadium, which will be called the FTX Arena until at least 2040.

The firm has also been an official sponsor of Major League Baseball since June and partnered with the University of Kentucky to allow its Wildcats men’s basketball team to act as brand ambassadors.

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, FTX had a valuation of more than $25 billion following a $420 million funding round in October. The company launched its NFT marketplace for U.S. customers in September.

Updated: 12-21-2021

Crypto​.com Partners With Los Angeles’ Angel City Football Club

The exchange said the partnership was aimed at encouraging “financial education, independence and financial empowerment” for women.

Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has inked another deal to expand its brand recognition in the United States with the professional women’s sports team Angel City Football Club.

In a Tuesday announcement, Crypto.com said it had partnered with the Los Angeles soccer team in an effort to increase the awareness of and access to crypto, blockchain and Web 3.0 among Angelenos, soccer fans and the athletes themselves.

The exchange said it plans to continue looking for “unique and impactful ways” to invest in L.A., with the partnership aimed at encouraging “financial education, independence and financial empowerment” for women.

“Given the speed with which Web 3.0 and cryptocurrency is changing our world, we want to ensure that women are being brought along on the journey as investors and creators,” said Angel City Football Club co-founder and president Julie Uhrman. “We are excited to work with [Crypto.com] to educate our community and players on crypto and allow our players to use the power of NFTs to connect with and create a deeper relationship with their fans.”

The partnership is the crypto exchange’s latest expansion into Los Angeles. Crypto.com announced in November that it had secured the naming rights to the city’s multi-purpose Staples Center for 20 years in a $700 million deal.

The venue — expected to officially change names on Saturday — has been home to the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

As it grows, Crypto.com has been partnering with high-profile individuals and companies to promote cryptocurrencies and blockchain. In July, the company signed a $175-million sponsorship agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Actor Matt Damon also appeared in ads released around the world beginning in October.

Updated: 12-22-2021

Arsenal Football Club In Dispute With ASA Over ‘Irresponsible’ Crypto Ad

Following the ASA’s decision, Arsenal announced that it would appeal against it and stated that it had provided further information regarding financial risks.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a body that oversees advertising in the United Kingdom, is cracking down on non-compliant crypto advertisements.

Earlier this year, Arsenal became one of the many football clubs to collaborate with blockchain firm Chiliz and launch a fan token.

On Aug. 12 this year, the club promoted its fan token AFC on its official Facebook page, which the ASA has banned for allegedly violating its advertising rules. The agency stated that the post did not highlight the risks involved in the investment.

In a different event, as per a BBC report, the monitor claims that the topic of content on Arsenal’s official website — particularly, a page published on Aug. 6, 2021, with the title “$AFC Fan Token: Everything you need to know” — was violating advertising rules.

According to the ads watchdog, both commercials were irresponsible and took advantage of consumers’ lack of experience while trivializing crypto investments. The BBC quotes an official from Arsenal Football Club stating, “We take our responsibilities to our fans seriously,” adding that they had evaluated all of the communications with the fans about offers and made available information on financial risks.

The latest regulatory actions by the ASA add to a slew of similar decisions made earlier this year, as the body has been zealously pursuing and shutting down misleading cryptocurrency advertisements.

The independent advertising authority recently removed a number of cryptocurrency-related ad campaigns for several major industry players, including Coinbase and Kraken. It stated that the ads are “irresponsibly taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience and for failing to illustrate the risk of the investment.”

In May, the ASA removed Luno exchange’s ad campaign, which was a picture of Bitcoin (BTC) used on subway posters stating, “If you’re seeing bitcoin on the Underground, it’s time to buy.”

Arsenal is one of several top-tier football clubs that have collaborated with blockchain firms to create a fan token. West Ham United — a soccer club that competes in the English Premier League and is located in London — teamed up with blockchain platform Socios.com to launch a fan token ecosystem in 2019.

Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich is no stranger to working with blockchain projects, having teamed up last fall with Stryking Entertainment to create digital collectibles of its players.

Updated: 12-23-2021

Crypto.com And FTX Secure Add Spots For Super Bowl 2022

Crypto exchange platforms Crypto.com and FTX will run advertising commercials during Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13. Both exchanges have been working tirelessly to establish their brands and penetrate the United States market.

Super Bowl advertisements are known to be very costly, with rates going above $5 million for just 30 seconds. Some sponsors are even willing to pay up to a record high of $6.5 million for the same air time.

Recently, Crypto.com also announced a partnership with Angel City Football Club, a soccer team that’s expected to play in 2022. Aside from this, the exchange’s efforts include securing naming rights for the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The exchange purchased naming rights for $700 million over 20 years. With this, the Staples Center will be renamed to the Crypto.com Arena this December.

In an official announcement, Crypto.com co-founder and CEO Kris Marszalek said that the company is using its platform “in new and creative ways so that cryptocurrency can power the future of world-class sports, entertainment, and technology.”

Meanwhile, FTX also dedicates a large sum of its advertising budget to bolstering brand recognition in the United States. In October, the exchange confirmed that it would be running an ad in the upcoming Super Bowl. The exchange also got Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen to star in a $20-million ad campaign.

Earlier this year, FTX also secured naming rights for a U.S. stadium. The exchange reportedly paid $135 million for a 19-year contract to rename the Miami Heat’s home arena into the FTX Arena.

Back in 2020, blockchain penetrated the Super Bowl through nonfungible tokens (NFT). Nonprofit trade group Avocados from Mexico inserted NFTs in its advertising campaign. With this, users can collect digital avocados and are able to win blockchain-based rewards.

According to Ivonne Kinser, head of digital marketing at Avocados From Mexico, the results were overwhelmingly positive. Kinser said they delivered “3.2 billion social impressions” through the ad campaign.

Updated: 12-26-2021

7 NFL Players Who Chose Crypto Over Cash Salaries

At least seven NFL pro athletes are now turning to crypto to help bolster their bottom line and ensure they have enough wealth after their pro careers come to an end.

For NFL fans, 2021 was a great year. Stadiums returned to capacity crowds after the 2020 season was shortened with limited attendance. Stadium parking lots were again filled with the enthusiastic anticipation of tailgaters and their barbequed camaraderie.

It was also a great year for Bitcoin (BTC) investors as the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization reached all-time high prices multiple times throughout 2021, eventually topping out at $69,000 in early November. This led to a dramatic increase in media coverage of Bitcoin.

Seven NFL players in 2021 decided to call the audible and begin either being paid in crypto or having their cash salary partially converted to crypto. These players have capitalized on the return of the regular season and the increased profitability of Bitcoin.

Aaron Rodgers

The reigning 2020 NFL MVP announced via a Nov. 1 video post on Twitter that he was partnering with Cash App payment service to accept a portion of his salary in Bitcoin. Rodgers will earn roughly $22.3 million this year.

The video depicted Rodgers dressed as John Wick for a Halloween party. If that wasn’t strange enough, likely by design, Rodgers also told viewers that he would donate $1 million in BTC.

In Rodgers’ case, he will have a portion of his salary sent to his Cash App account, which he will then use to buy BTC.

The Twitter profile for the star quarterback for the Green Bay Packers features a picture of himself on the field during a game with the iconic laser eyes, further signaling his support for BTC.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady is another very high-profile NFL star quarterback who dabbled heavily in cryptocurrency in 2021. Brady has not yet said that he is being paid in BTC by the NFL, but he will be paid in crypto by FTX exchange after he took an equity stake in Sam Bankman-Fried’s exchange, and will serve as a brand ambassador.

Brady has not reserved himself to crypto assets alone, however. The iconic football star launched his own NFT platform, called Autograph, in April to attract the top talent in sports, entertainment, fashion and pop culture.

It doesn’t end there for Brady and crypto, though. Late in October, Brady threw the 600th passing touchdown of his career, marking an all-time high for the NFL, and helping to secure Brady’s position as the all-time leading touchdown passer in the league’s history.

Brady paid 1 BTC to the fan who was initially given the ball by the receiver who completed the touchdown.

That BTC was worth about $62,000 at the time of the game, but the ball itself may be worth over $500,000 according to Goldin Auctions sports memorabilia auction company.

Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) followed in Aaron Rodgers’ footsteps by announcing late in November that he had partnered with Cash App to receive his salary from the NFL in BTC. His contract stipulates that he should receive about $4.25 million from the NFL this season.

The Los Angeles Rams’ wide receiver told fans that he would give back $1 million in BTC as part of his new partnership with Cash App. Beckham appears to be no stranger to the crypto and NFT scene as his Twitter profile dons a Crypto Punk NFT.

In case you haven’t noticed, Jack Dorsey’s Cash App is involved with both OBJ’s and Aaron Rodgers’ BTC salary deal. The payment service app has had a great 2021 through the first three quarters of the year by raking in nearly $10 billion in revenue from 36 million active users and 100 million downloads.

Trevor Lawrence

The Carolina Panthers’ new star quarterback joined the ranks of NFL superstars who are publicly accepting crypto payments. Lawrence’s deal, however, is not with the NFL directly.

The 2021 NFL top draft pick’s crypto salary comes from an endorsement deal with the crypto portfolio app FTX (formerly Blockfolio).

The value of his deal has not been made public, but if Lawrence has been hodling his crypto earnings, there is a good chance he has enjoyed an appreciation in value, especially from the Solana (SOL) coins.

The total crypto market cap has increased by about $500 billion since late April when the deal was announced.

Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley, the superstar running back from the New York Giants, revealed in July that he was converting all of his endorsement pay into BTC. As with most others on this list, Barkley is not being paid directly with crypto. Instead, he is swapping some of his cash earnings for crypto.

Barkley is using the Strike payment app to acquire his BTC. He is not the first NFL player to use Strike to buy BTC with his salary, however. Last year, former NFL offensive lineman Russel Okung became the first player to publicly share that he was using Strike to convert his NFL salary to BTC.

Barkley’s reasoning for trying to amass wealth with BTC revolved around the lack of longevity among NFL athletes. He told The Best Business Show host Anthony Pompliano on July 15:

“When you see the KD’s, the Lebrons and Bradys of the world and you want to create generational wealth, you can’t do that with the sport that I play and the position that I play and coming off of injuries. When you sit out of football for a whole year, you realize that this game could be taken away from you.”

Sean Culkin

Kansas City Chiefs’ tight end Sean Culkin went public with his plans to convert his entire salary from the NFL into BTC. While others on this list committed to converting only a portion of their salary into Bitcoin or being paid for endorsements with cryptos, Culkin is swapping 100% of his salary.

Like with Saquon Barkley, Culkin’s reasoning for turning to crypto has to do with the short half-life common among players in the league. The average time most athletes spend in the NFL is 3.3 years, according to Statista. Culkin said in a statement:

“Considering my career—particularly its physical demands, and brevity–it makes the most sense to be paid in sound money that I believe protects its purchasing power over time.”

Aaron Jones

Last but certainly not least on the list of NFL stars earning crypto is the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Jones. The running back signed a deal with FTX to become an ambassador for the exchange in September. Like with Tom Brady’s deal, Jones purchased an equity stake in the exchange.

Jones will also integrate the FTX Pay platform into his own charity’s website to enable it to accept crypto donations.

 

Updated: 12-28-2021

Getting Paid In BTC Was A ‘Big Part’ Of The Reason This MMA Fighter Signed With Eagle FC

“To be paid in Bitcoin and not give me any pushback on it whatsoever, was huge in the decision,” said MMA fighter Kevin Lee on signing with Eagle FC.

Kevin Lee, a professional mixed martial arts fighter, has said a major factor in his decision to sign with a new promotion company was Bitcoin (BTC).

According to a report from MMA news outlet BJ Penn, the Russia-based Eagle Fighting Championship will be paying Lee in BTC as part of a four-fight contract. The fighter has reportedly been a HODLer since before the 2017 bull run, later using some of the profits to live off of after paying for knee surgeries.

“To be paid in Bitcoin and not give me any pushback on it whatsoever, was huge in the decision [to sign with Eagle FC],” said Lee. “It gives me a lot more financial security and will help me fight better, too.”

Payments concerning the Eagle FC were not disclosed, but Lee has previously earned as much as $280,000 through his UFC fight with Tony Ferguson.

In a Dec. 17 interview, Lee implied Eagle FC would pay more than he made while under contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, meaning a potential payout of 5.86 BTC or more at current prices.

Lee, also known as The Motown Phenom, was recently suspended from fighting for six months and fined after testing positive for Adderall. He was later released from his UFC contract before Eagle FC attempted to add him to their roster — his first fight with the company is expected to be against Diego Sanchez on Mar. 11.

UFC has been delving into the benefits of digital assets through partnerships with crypto and blockchain firms. In July, the organization inked a $175 million deal with Crypto.com for the next ten years, an agreement that eventually led to the release of UFC-licensed nonfungible tokens.

In addition, the fighting championship has previously partnered with blockchain rewards app Socios and tokenization platform Chiliz to release a fan token.

Individual MMA fighters have been expressing interest in BTC and other tokens since Jon Fitch became the first professional fighter to be paid in Bitcoin in 2015.

Last year, former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez said he had purchased some BTC, while Ben Askren was paid to promote Litecoin (LTC) and supported the most recent BTC halving.

Updated: 1-1-2022

Touchdown! Goal! Knockout! Crypto And Sports Collide In 2021

The world of sports became a perfect representation of how fast crypto is being adopted all around the globe. From NFTs to naming rights, here are the highlights.

Cryptocurrencies and sport have continued to collide in 2021 with synergies between the two proving to be fruitful on a number of fronts.

The relationship between the sports world and the various applications of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology has slowly been expanding over the past few years.

Humble beginnings of simple sponsorships building early brand awareness for exchanges and payment platforms have snowballed into worldwide recognition and collaboration between the sectors, with 2021 seeing a variety of different use cases come to the fore.

From the basketball courts of the NBA to the soccer fields of Europe, crypto continues to build exposure to new users and markets. In this New Years Special, Cointelegraph highlights the ever-growing relationship between crypto and sport through 2021.

Here Comes The NFTs

Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) have become a household word over the past 12 months. The entertainment industry has been at the forefront of this expansion with artists, musicians, celebrities, brands, institutions and content creators diving headfirst into the NFT craze to serve fans and collectors their own unique digital collectibles.

Sports have always been a mainstay of the entertainment industry, serving up unrivaled and unscripted moments that leave an indelible mark on fans around the world.

In the past, one-of-a-kind collectibles and memorabilia gave lucky fans bragging rights over their friends and family. The emergence of NFTs has converted this to a digital domain where fans can acquire, trade and flaunt valuable NFTs on blockchain-powered marketplaces and platforms.

The NBA has blazed the trail in this regard, turning video highlights from season games into NFT collectibles that have generated hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue through the NBA Top Shot platform.

The most expensive NBA Top Shot NFT, a legendary card featuring a dunk from Lebron James, sold for a mind-boggling $230,000 back in October 2020. Those numbers are not to be scoffed at. And it only got better in 2021.

The world of American Football has also entered the space at both a player and team level. Tom Brady has written himself into the NFL history books and has become a commanding figure in the business and entertainment world as a bi-product of his success on the field.

He made headlines in April, launching his very own NFT marketplace called Autograph. The platform has onboarded the biggest names in American sports, as well as influential figures from the world of Hollywood’s actors, musicians and other entertainment figures to mint and sell unique digital collectibles.

We’re talking about the likes of golf great Tiger Woods, sprint sensation Usain Bolt, skateboarding icon Tony Hawk, United States gymnast Simone Biles and, of course, Brady himself, all offering their own unique NFTs to collectors around the world.

Brady’s long-time NFL partner in crime Rob Gronkowski set the bar high with his own Championship Series NFT digital trading card auction before the launch of Autograph.

The series consisted of four unique “GRONK Career Highlight Refractor Card,” each of which had 87 digital editions on sale, while a fifth stand-alone Career Highlight card was the prize card of the lot.

The auction lasted two days and saw a total of 349 trading cards sold at auction, as well as the one-off Career Highlight card to 95 different owners. The total trading value of the auction was 1,014 Ether (ETH) valued at $1.8 million at the time of the sale. Gronk went on to join Autograph to launch other NFTs.

English boxer Tyson Fury established himself as the best heavyweight in recent times after another crushing defeat of Deontay Wilder in October. Following that success, the burly British boxer launched his own NFT which was auctioned off for $987,000.

In Europe, Sorare has established itself as a notable player in the football NFT and fantasy sports space. The Ethereum-powered marketplace facilitates the minting and trade of NFTs that have been hugely popular among football fans. Users can buy and trade digital player cards that reflect their real-life player’s performances.

Collectors can build a five-man team made up of their digital player cards that compete in fantasy leagues.

Socios is the other major player in the world of European football NFTs, digital trading cards and collectibles. The platform allows clubs to issue fan tokens on its proprietary blockchain that allows fans to vote on club decisions like kit changes, access exclusive content and get involved in other community activities.

In 2021, Socios has sold $250 million worth of fan tokens since its inception while the market capitalization of the sports fan token space has increased by 60% in the last six months of the year.

Sports brands are also looking to keep with the times, and the rise of the Metaverse has pushed two of the world’s largest sports brands into the space courtesy of strategic partnerships with industry participants.

Adidas entered the NFT space by minting an NFT that will serve as a digital token that will give Metaverse users access to digital Adidas wearables.

The NFT was made up of 30,000 copies, essentially tokens, that were auctioned. Its opening weekend netted more than 11,300 ETH in sales, worth $43 million at the time, as Metaverse users flocked to secure their Adidas swag.

Determined to keep pace with its competitors, Nike followed suit by acquiring RTFKT, one of the biggest NFT collections on Opensea, in order to mint its own Nike wearables and items in the ever-growing Metaverse.

Seen By Millions

Marketing and advertising are big business and the world of sport has long been a prime means to reach large audiences to market products, services and offerings. Big brands have done it for decades to a great effect, and cryptocurrency firms and service providers are taking full advantage of it lately.

Crypto.com’s branding can be seen on the soccer pitches of Europe’s biggest leagues, inside the massively popular UFC’s octagon and on the circuits of the gripping Formula 1 roadshow.

The company has signed sponsorship deals with leagues, teams and organizations in all of these spaces to reach a varied and large viewership.

Cryptocurrency trader and entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried and his cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform FTX have also enjoyed a good relationship with American sports this year. FTX acquired the naming rights to the Miami Heat Stadium early in 2021 in a $135 million deal that will last until 2040.

The exchange also secured prime time commercial airtime for the 2022 NFL Super Bowl, one of the biggest sporting events in America, as it looks to attract new users.

Coinbase, America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, scored a big slam dunk with the NBA after securing a multi-year deal to be the exclusive cryptocurrency platform partner of the league and its various subsidiaries, associated leagues and brands.

Rugby is a massive sport in South Africa and the country’s Springbok national team has a big support base being the reigning World Champions.

When the British and Irish Lions toured South Africa, cryptocurrency exchange Luno ran a commercial that featured the Springboks’ director of rugby Rassie Erasmus coached viewers on “how easy it is to tackle Bitcoin,” as the exchange looked to target a large viewer base to begin trading cryptocurrencies on its platform.

This is a prime example of localized and global advertising taking cryptocurrencies to broader audiences, which is only set to introduce more people to a space that hopes to move to mass adoption in the decades to come. 2021 has seen some major groundwork on this front.

Turn That $ Into BTC

A number of sports stars have begun blazing a trail for people to begin accepting or allocating a portion of their salaries to receiving or buying cryptocurrencies.

NFL players have made headlines again with contributions from Odell Beckham Jr and Aaron Rodgers, Trevor Lawrence and Saquon Barkley by either receiving or investing in cryptocurrencies.

Tom Brady pops up again here after he acquired an equity stake in Bankman-Fried’s FTX that will see him receive payments in cryptocurrency in addition to being a brand ambassador for the firm.

Down under in Australia, baseball club Perth Heat signed a deal with Bitcoin payment processor OpenNode to pay some of its players and staff in BTC. Again, adoption is taking place in decentralized parts of the world.

Weird And Wonderful

There have been individual instances where cryptocurrency and the sports world have collided. For a third time, Tom Brady is mentioned and for an equally good reason. In October, Brady became the first NFL quarterback in history to throw 600 touchdown passes.

He whipped the ball to teammate Mike Evans who scored the touchdown. The Buccaneers wide receiver threw the ball into the crowd after he’d scored, handing over a priceless piece of memorabilia to a lucky fan.

During the game, an official managed to chat to the fan and Brady went on to offer the lucky onlooker 1 Bitcoin (BTC) to give him back the historic ball. That 1 BTC was worth $62,000 while estimates of the value of the actual ball that completed the milestone were worth anything between $500,000 and a million dollars.

It hasn’t been all good news with a few mishaps taking place through 2021. Manchester City and Barcelona, renowned in their respective leagues, had to cancel deals with smaller cryptocurrency firms for different reasons, which served as a reminder that the space is still nascent and some projects and firms may not deliver on the products and services they are looking to offer.

Spanish football legend Andrés Iniesta was cautioned online by a Spanish regulator for promoting Binance on his Twitter and Instagram profiles. The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) warned of “significant risks due to being unregulated products” in a Tweet in response hours later.

It’s fairly innocuous but it does suggest that the integration of cryptocurrencies and associated offshoots into the world of sport can sometimes border on the realm of the unknown. Some things work fantastically and gain traction while others don’t enjoy the same success, but the adoption train still carries on going.

Updated: 1-3-2022

Garry Kasparov: Crypto Means Freedom

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The chess grandmaster expects a basket of coins to replace the dollar within a decade.

Garry Kasparov knows math. He knows logic, strategy and decision-making. Widely regarded as the greatest chess player in the history of mankind, the Russian grandmaster – ranked No. 1 from 1984 to 2005 – sees the world with a certain clarity.

So it will delight many in the blockchain industry to learn that Kasparov, easily one of the smartest people alive, is now a champion of cryptocurrency. And it’s partly because of math.

Kasparov has spent his “retirement” opposing Russian President Vladimir Putin (a defiance that once got him tossed in jail), fighting for humanitarian causes and serving as chairman of the Human Rights Foundation (a nonprofit that strongly supports bitcoin as a freedom-giving tool).

Now he views crypto as a way to check government power. Bitcoin offers protection against rampant government spending, says Kasparov, “because you’re protected by math” – by the logic of the code itself.

Kasparov also sees merit in non-fungible tokens. In December, in partnership with 1Kind, he dropped a series of 32 NFTs that showcase iconic moments from his life: the 1985 match that crowned him as the youngest world chess champion, the epic battle against International Business Machines’ artificial intelligence-powered “Deep Blue” and speeches against totalitarian governments.

It’s this battle against totalitarianism that has defined the current chapter of his life, and Kasparov sees crypto as part of that struggle.

Or as the grandmaster puts it, “I believe that supporting crypto is an important part of my contribution to the future of humanity.”

CoinDesk: How’d You Get Into The Crypto Space?

Kasparov: If you followed my career and read about my early interest in computers and technology, you should not be surprised that I was very excited when I recognized the value of cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

This goes all the way back to the ‘80s; I always tried to be at the cutting edge. It started with chess. But I also saw an opportunity to use computers and new tools to advance individual freedoms. It’s my belief that technology should help people fight back against the power of the state.

How Do Cryptocurrencies Fit Into That?

Cryptocurrencies become an inseparable part of or progress, because the whole world is moving digital. And if the economy becomes more digital, so does the money. Another philosophical reason is that … governments [have] unlimited opportunities to print money. And printing money is the most exquisite form of borrowing from us and from future generations.

And I believe that cryptocurrencies – with bitcoin as a standard – offer a protection against this onslaught of the government, because you’re protected by math.

You’re protected by the limited number of any code behind the respective currency. Cryptocurrencies, and all the products related to cryptocurrencies, are absolutely vital for the future development of our world.

How, Specifically, Did You First Get Involved?

My first indirect involvement was through the Human Rights Foundation. Because in the Human Rights Foundation, we had a few experts that have been advocating cryptocurrencies at a very early stage. And as an organization, we offer support to the dissidents around the world.

We thought about using crypto as a way to help them to get material help, because in many countries it was impossible – and it’s still impossible – to actually get proper funding. So crypto offered an opportunity to support these activists indirectly. And the more I learned about it, the more interested I got in the whole mechanism.

Can You Elaborate On Why This Is Important To You?

Look, crypto is a controversial thing. Because you hear a lot of people say, “Oh, that’s money laundering. That helps bad guys.” True. I mean, no technology is uniquely good, because it’s technology. Humans still have a monopoly for evil.

So, I’ve been doing a lot of talks about it, and I’ll say, “Look, it’s not the magic wand or the terminator. It’s not a harbinger of utopia or dystopia. It’s a tool.” Crypto is a tool. And of course it could benefit some bad guys with maligned intentions.

But it’s about the balance, it’s about trade-offs. And I think the balance is so much in favor of progress.

It’s like the dot-com bubble. 99.9% will be gone. But those that survive will become the Googles of the world.

You mentioned crypto’s ability to help protect human rights in undemocratic countries. What do you see as the benefits in democratic countries?

In the democratic countries in America and Europe, trillions of dollars will be printed. I’m an American taxpayer. And I understand that you need to build new infrastructure. But I’m not happy to see that the government has a free hand to use my taxes, basically to devalue [the dollar].

So I think it’s very important that technology would offer me an opportunity to fight back, to protect my hard-earned fortune. And I think that bitcoin – which I believe is online gold – and other cryptocurrencies are the way to the future.

I’m not a financial expert, but I would not be surprised if, I would not be surprised if, in 10 years’ time, the dollar will be replaced by the basket of coins as a standard.

I’m Guessing It’s Safe To Say You Own Bitcoin?

I’m a great believer in the future of coins.

I suppose if you believe that, then it would almost be foolish not to be buying Bitcoin?

Yes.

Thoughts On The Future Of Bitcoin?

Well, I think bitcoin will remain as a standard. But of course it cannot stay alone. So that’s why you have more coins coming in. It’s a natural process. Now we have thousands and thousands of coins. It’s like the dot-com bubble.

Ninety-nine point nine percent will be gone. But those that survive will become the Googles of the world.

I’m not here to judge which one, but there will be few that will survive – that’s why I said basket of coins.

In the past, your championing of human rights has gotten you in trouble with the Russian authorities.

Given that background, are you concerned that your support for cryptocurrency can get you in hot water?

Well, this is definitely a no. [In the past,] I was in hot water. To give you an idea, one of the NFTs is a picture of my first arrest in Russia. So it’s all reflected in my NFT. Look, this is much less perilous than to attack Putin directly.

I grew up in the Soviet Union, and learned from my mother and my teacher the motto of Soviet dissidents, “Do what you must, and so be it.” And I believe that supporting crypto is an important part of my contribution to the future of humanity.

And, again, I [view it] as a much less risky endeavor than speaking publicly about Putin or other dictators.

How Would You Describe Your NFT Project?

I don’t pretend to be a great expert in NFTs, but I’m not aware of anything similar that exists. It’s a collection of 30-plus NFTs that are related to special events in my life and special people in my life.

This is a story that connects you to very personal moments. Every NFT has a video message.

It’s all connected to the physical assets, like my notebooks from the ‘70s. Thanks to my late mother, who preserved this archive, you can actually look at me scribbling in 1973.

The NFTs all reflect the moments of me growing up, learning from my mother, and from my teachers, and then fighting for the title, and then shifting my life and moving into human rights and computers.

Interesting. This feels almost like a memoir, in a sense. I’ve worked with CEOs before to collaborate on their memoirs, and one thing I’ve found is that the process can almost be emotional, or even a bit therapeutic. Did you have any sense of that?

The whole story starts from a very emotional moment, though it’s a tragic one. My mother died on Christmas day last year, from COVID. And I couldn’t be next to her, and that was a really big blow because we were so close.

While she was alive, I didn’t even know that she preserved all these archives. She was not happy to talk about the past. That’s why I [held off] on any major publication that would highlight [the past]. I wrote two books, but not the one that could tell everything.

After she died, I thought it would be right for me [to honor] her memory to actually start doing things. I’m doing a documentary now; it’s in Russian. The first segment will be ready early next year. And I hope I can cover my entire chess career, and it’s for her.

It’s dedicated for her. And this [NFT] project was inspired by this tragedy. I thought it was very important to show my personal life and her connection, and why she was so important.

And so I spoke to 1Kind, and 10% of the sales will go to Kasparov Chess Foundation, and this will be a scholarship under her name for all the great talents raised by single mothers.

Amazing. Congrats on the NFT project, and best of luck.

Updated: 1-10-2022

NBA Players Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala To Get Paid In Bitcoin

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The Golden State Warriors stars will receive a portion of their salary in bitcoin and donate $1M in BTC each.

NBA players Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala will take a portion of their next salary in bitcoin and donate $1 million in BTC each to fans, the Golden State Warriors guard and guard-forward announced on Monday.

“I’m with bitcoin because I believe it’s the future of money,” Thompson said in an announcement tweet on Jan. 10.

Thompson and Iguodala have partnered with Cash App, the money transmitting and bitcoin buying application owned by financial services company Block, led by Bitcoin bull Jack Dorsey and previously known as Square, to facilitate their salaries’ conversion.

The app will also intermediate the donations, which are already live in the announcement tweets.

“Bitcoin is the future, Klay Thompson and I are both believers,” Iguodala tweeted on Jan. 10, sharing his paycheck plans.

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

Thompson and Iguodala are the latest to join a cohort of athletes receiving their compensation in the peer-to-peer money created 13 years ago by the pseudonymous individual or group Satoshi Nakamoto.

Since its inception, Bitcoin has scored massive gains against the U.S. dollar and enabled its holders to increase their purchasing power dramatically while fiat currencies lose value every year.

Athletes have paid attention to this dynamic and are now demanding to be paid in bitcoin, a currency with a programmatically limited issuance that’s impossible to be changed.

The trend began when NFL tackle Russel Okung tweeted “pay me in bitcoin” in May 2019. In September of that year, the athlete told Bitcoin Magazine that he wouldn’t stop until he was being paid in BTC.

Though Okung wasn’t the first to make such an ask, he did start a movement after his goal was achieved a year and a half later, in December 2020.

The athlete managed to get indirectly paid in bitcoin through Strike, a Lightning payments app that handled the conversion of his yearly paycheck into BTC. Nowadays, the service is available to all Strike users.

In November 2021, NFL legend Aaron Rodgers announced he would take a portion of his salary in bitcoin while star Odell Beckham Jr said he would take all of his yearly compensation in BTC. In December, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones gifted bitcoin to his entire offensive line.

Binance Sponsors AFCON To Further Develop Crypto Adoption In Africa

 

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Binance partners with the Confederation of African Football to sponsor the TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations tournaments.

Monday marked the start of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament — the largest men’s football championship series in Africa.

At the same time, Binance announced its official partnership with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as well as its official sponsorship for the AFCON 2021 tournament, becoming the first crypto and blockchain sponsor for the event.

Through this sponsorship, Binance will also be promoting CAF’s social media content which will include the assist of the day, assist of the week and assist of the tournament. This content will cover games from five cities in Cameroon across all six venues.

Veron Mosengo-Omba, the general secretary for CAF, was “delighted to welcome Binance as an official sponsor of the AFCON tournament this year.”

Mosengo-Omba said that he is optimistic that this partnership will “push African football to a new level.”

AFCON 2021 marks the start of the African sports calendar and will continue until Feb 6.

Binance’s partnership with CAF is a part of an ongoing campaign to provide financial services to Africans who they say would normally have very limited access to banks and other financial institutions. So far, Binance says it has already given over 541,000 Africans access to free classes on crypto.

Binance’s director for Africa, Emmanuel Babalola, stated: “Football is the most popular sport in Africa.” He said that they hope this sponsorship will further “corroborate our mission to take crypto mainstream across the continent.”

Australia’s Largest Crypto Exchange Will Sponsor Tennis Star Ajla Tomljanovic

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Users from the crypto exchange will have the chance to win tickets to two tournaments and a meeting with Ajla Tomljanovic using a nonfungible token showing proof of attendance.

BTC Markets, the largest digital assets exchange in Australia, has announced it will be sponsoring professional tennis player Ajla Tomljanovic for the Australian Open and Sydney Tennis Classic tournaments taking place this month.

In a Tuesday announcement, BTC Markets said it would be backing Tomljanovic as part of a partnership inspired in part by “increased investor activity from female investors in the last financial year.”

Users from the crypto exchange will have the chance to win tickets to the tournaments and a meeting with the tennis star with a nonfungible token showing proof of attendance.

Founded in 2013, BTC Markets has more than 325,000 clients in Australia, who have traded more than $14.3 billion using the platform. In November, the exchange announced that it would be adding financial veterans Garry Duursma and David Raper as senior advisers to its board, aiming for market expansion.

Many crypto exchanges announced partnerships or collaborations with major figures in sports and entertainment in 2021. In June, FTX Trading announced seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady would be receiving an equity stake in the crypto exchange as part of an endorsement deal. Actor Matt Damon also later appeared in an advertisement for cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com.

Updated: 1-12-2022

“New Money With Spencer Dinwiddie And Solo Ceesay.”

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Solo Ceesay

‘People Want To Work Smart, Not Hard’: Introducing ‘New Money’

Spencer Dinwiddie and Solo Ceesay discuss their new CoinDesk show.

Spencer Dinwiddie

How do you make money? Most of us still have traditional jobs where we work 9-5 each day. But a growing legion of social media stars, athletes and celebrities are showing that another world is possible. They’re showing you can create wealth with crypto and live independently with it.

“New Money With Spencer and Solo” is a new show devoted to people who’ve taken big risks and got rewarded for it. People like Matt James of “The Bachelor.”

“New Money with Spencer & Solo” premiered Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. ET. Watch on CoinDesk.com, Spotify, YouTube and social media.

“I’ve gotten to where I’ve gotten to by doing things that other people wouldn’t do,” he tells co-hosts Spencer Dinwiddie (the National Basketball Association star) and tech entrepreneur Solo Ceesay.

James has bought into crypto the same way he bought into “The Bachelor,” with passion and a sense of adventure.

The 12-part series, which makes its debut today, features R&B singer Mario, Foye Oluokun (Atlanta Falcons), Renee Montgomery (Atlanta Dream) and influencers with a cumulative following of 30 million-plus. Each guest has fascinating stories to tell about how they made it to the top investing in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and gaming and by monetizing their personal brands.

We caught up with Solo and Spencer to preview “New Money” to get a sense of what we can expect. This interview has been condensed and shortened for brevity.

The Lines Are Open: “New Money” has its own phone number. Send a text to 712-NEW-MNY6 to subscribe to episode updates and send questions to guests and hosts.

CoinDesk: What Do You Mean By “New Money”?

Ceesay: New Money generally refers to a new, cutting-edge way of thinking when it comes to generating personal income and, hopefully, alpha. On the show we primarily focus on how entertainers are monetizing themselves be it through social media, endorsement deals or investing. We coined the phrase ‘new money’ as a shorthand means to refer to this new way of thinking and ultimately created the show to bring awareness about this way of thinking to both urban and discovery audiences.

Why Do We Need New Money? Isn’t The Old Money Sort Of OK?

Dinwiddie: The world we live in today is built on the idea of convenience, and the greatest forms of innovation since the beginning of time have made all of our lives easier. That’s what new money is about. It’s about finding more efficient ways to generate asymmetric yield and beat inflation. In today’s day and age, people want to work smart, not hard. And the spirit of new money as a program is to expose viewers to things they haven’t seen before.

You’ve Said You Want To Help Bring Crypto Mainstream. What Are The Challenges And Opportunities For Doing That?

Ceesay: 100%. The biggest challenge when it comes to bringing crypto mainstream is the fact that most of the educational tools out there might as well be written in foreign languages. The most important thing in teaching anyone anything is that it needs to be digestible in a way that can be heard by the target audience. “New Money With Spencer and Solo” did just that by doing away with heavy technical jargon through light-hearted conversations between friends on a couch. How did you get into crypto? What’s your “down the rabbit hole” story?

We coined the phrase ‘new money’ as a shorthand means to refer to this new way of thinking and ultimately created the show to bring awareness about this way of thinking to both urban and discovery audiences.

Dinwiddie: I actually had a friend that worked on Wall Street [not Solo] that told me about it in 2014. At that point in time, I was too afraid to really dive in so I missed out on the early positive price action. That same friend mentioned it to me again in 2017 and I took a chance. It was nothing more than [Las] Vegas gambling to start, but eventually I found myself reading, listening to podcasts and researching both blockchain and crypto in my time away from the court.

Ceesay: A number of my friends had introduced crypto to me over the years but it wasn’t until Spencer brought it up to me again in 2018 or so that I really dove in. But my story was quite unique in that Spencer wanted to leverage both blockchain technology as well as my expertise in securitization to tokenize his NBA contract. After numerous conversations about the possibilities around tokenization, I quickly saw the merits of the technology and how it was undeniably the future.

Catch the commentary after the show every Wednesday after the episode. Solo Ceesay and Matt James will take your questions: Send a text to 712-NEW-MNY6 and watch them live on YouTube.

Who Is Your Favorite Guest From The First Series And Why?

Dinwiddie: This is tough! But I am going to have to go with my boy Chef Hoppie. He is unapologetically himself and really embodies the idea of “new money.”

Ceesay: I am going to take the conservative approach and say all the show guests on season one were amazing but I must say I am definitely looking forward to episode six that features award-winning R&B artist Mario – that conversation was a blast to record.

Check out the show here

Updated: 1-14-2022

Fan Controlled Football Raises $40M To Expand League With Bored Apes And Gutter Cats

“One of the most powerful things that tokenization does is release the energy of fans into tangible forms of value and meaning, we see this effect in NFTs and also social tokens,” said Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu.

Alternative sports organization Fan Controlled Football (FCF) has raised $40 million in Series A funding from crypto and blockchain gaming firms to support the league’s expansion plans, including four new teams and a nonfungible token (NFT) project.

The FCF was founded in 2017 by Sohrob Farudi, Patrick Dees, Ray Austin and Grant Cohen and hosted its debut season inside a bubble environment in Atlanta amid the pandemic last year. The FCF features an indoor version of American football in a seven vs seven-player format, and the games are streamed live on Twitch.

The unique feature of the league is that the teams are governed by their fans, who have voting rights on anything ranging from player acquisitions, in-game plays, branding and team selection. For the upcoming season, NFTs will play a key role in the voting process for half of the teams.

The $40 million Series A funding round was led by NFT and crypto firms Animoca Brands and Delphi Digital. The funds will be used to expand the league from four to eight teams for the 2022 season, along with launching NFTs called “The Ballerz Collection.”

All four of the new teams are owned by figures tied to NFT projects with the Bored Apes and Gutter Cats teams being the latest to be announced, following the unveiling of the Knights of Degen and Team 80KI (co-owned by DJ and NFT proponent Steve Aoki) in October.

The FCF is rolling out 8,888 Ballerz NFT avatars for each new team which fans can snap up to hodl and obtain voting rights for their team. The NFTs will differ in rarity and value, with the more expensive tokens offering greater benefits such as enhanced voting power, exclusive content and game tickets.

Any existing Bored Ape Yacht Club or Gutter Cat NFT hodlers will also receive a 50% discount on Ballerz NFT purchases if they buy tokens corresponding to those teams. The NFTs are slated to drop late this month, and the public minting cost per token will be 0.1776 Ether (ETH) or roughly $580.

Speaking with Cointelegraph, Animoca Brands chairman and co-founder Yat Siu emphasized that fan tokens can enable fans to directly participate in their favorite sports:

“One of the most powerful things that tokenization does is release the energy of fans into tangible forms of value and meaning, we see this effect in NFTs and also social tokens.”

“Fan Controlled Football is an evolution where the game is in the hands of the fan from the get-go and introducing blockchain technology will give it deeper meaning and purpose for all the fans that are playing FCF,” he added.

In an interview with Forbes on Jan. 12, FCF co-founder Farudi stated that the organization is “experimenting” with its format and will continue to do so to find out what works best for the fans and the league.

“We don’t know exactly what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. But we don’t have a player’s union. We don’t have 30 owners around the table telling us no. We have one agenda. Our agenda is to be successful. We’re going to experiment to the nth degree to figure out what works and what fans love,” he said.

 

Updated: 1-17-2022

Australian Football League Secures $25M Deal With Crypto.com

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Aside from being the first major crypto sports sponsorship in Australia, the deal will also be a first for women’s sports.

In what comes as the first major crypto sports sponsorship deal down under, the Australia Football League (AFL) has secured a partnership with Crypto.com to back its women’s league (AFLW).

The deal is worth close to $25 million over the next five years, a marked increase from the AFL’s existing $18.5 million sponsorship contract with Toyota. Crypto.com is a Singapore-based crypto exchange offering digital wallets and crypto-backed debit cards.

The partnership will mark Crypto.com’s first time sponsoring an Australian sports team. It will also be its first time sponsoring an elite women’s sports competition worldwide, a milestone of which AFL executive general manager customer and commercial Kylie Rogers said she’s “proud” to be part.

“The AFL is proud to be the first Australian sports league and elite women’s competition globally to work alongside an organization that shares our passion to progress the future of elite sport and technology.”

Crypto.com general manager Asia & Pacific Karl Mohan says that the company was attracted by Australia’s relatively high number of women interested in crypto.

“Our latest consumer research in Australia found that more than half (53%) of crypto investors were females,” he said.

“It is very encouraging to see that Australians from all walks of life, irrespective of gender or background, are very keen to adopt cryptocurrencies, and we’re excited about being their go-to platform.”

Back in August, CNBC released a survey that found that women are still less than half as likely to invest in cryptocurrencies than men, with 16% of men investing versus 7% of women.

Crypto.com has amassed a number of sports branding deals over the past months, totaling over $1.5 billion. In mid-Nov, the crypto company secured a $700 million deal to rename the Staples Center in Los Angeles to the Crypto.com Arena for the next 20 years.

It also signed a $100-million sponsorship agreement with Formula 1 in late June and a $175 million sponsorship agreement with the UFC in July.

Updated: 1-19-2022

UFC Heavyweight Champ To Take 50% Of His Purse In Bitcoin

“After doing a lot of research on Bitcoin, I really believe it is the future of money, man. Bitcoin is valuable, secure, and no one can mess with it,” said UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

UFC heavyweight titleholder Francis Ngannou has announced he will take half of his UFC 270 prize purse in Bitcoin (BTC) via Cash App.

The French-Cameroonian mixed martial arts fighter will take on the undefeated Ciryl Gane on Sunday and is set to earn a guaranteed $750,000. In a tweet on Jan. 18, Ngannou noted in a video message:

“After doing a lot of research on Bitcoin, I really believe it is the future of money, man. Bitcoin is valuable, secure, and no one can mess with it.”

The event will take place inside the 18,000+ capacity Honda Center in Anaheim, California. In what is the first defense of Ngannou’s title reign, the fight is an intriguing heavyweight clash in which both fighters will enter the arena fresh off their best performances to date, and the winner could very well be the new face of the heavyweight class for years to come.

Tickets are still up for grabs and the fight will be broadcast on ESPN and pay per view in the United States. Cash App is spending big on the fight, with another $300,000 giveaway for followers who post about the campaign on Twitter.

The Cash App marketing campaign has witnessed eminent personalities give away Bitcoin to their social media followers. Earlier in December, Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced that she was giving away $500,000 in BTC to her Twitter and Instagram followers via a Cash App partnership.

Ngannou is also not the first professional MMA fighter to receive earnings in Bitcoin. In a Dec. 17 interview, Kevin Lee said the Russia-based Eagle Fighting Championship will pay him in BTC.

Billions of people watch sports, and crypto brands are leveraging the power of sports partnerships to target mainstream users.

In one of the biggest crypto sports partnerships in Australia, the Aussie Rules women’s division called the AFLW has just secured a $25-million deal with Crypto.com. Crypto.com also secured a $700-million deal in mid-November to rebrand the Staples Arena i Los Angeles to the Crypto.com Arena for 20 years.

The crypto company also signed hefty sponsorship deals with Formula 1 and the UFC as well in June and July, respectively.

Cash App has formed partnerships with several National Football League players, including Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The partnership will allow them to receive their salary in BTC.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady took an equity stake in FTX Trading and will receive crypto as part of the endorsement deal while acting as an ambassador for the crypto exchange. FTX also has deals with the Miami Heat and Major League Baseball.

Updated: 1-26-2022

NFL Star’s Massive Tax Bill Highlights Problems With BTC Salaries

Odell Beckham Jr.’s reported BTC salary tax debacle may provide a dire warning for anyone looking to get paid in crypto.

NFL star Odell Beckham Jr.’s (OBJ) decision to take his $750,000 salary in Bitcoin (BTC) appears to have cost him dearly due to the market crash after he signed the deal. Owing to the vagaries of cryptocurrency tax laws and current prices, OBJ is estimated by some to have made 61% less than if he’d taken his salary in fiat.

The loss has highlighted the tax complications from receiving a salary or yield in cryptocurrency, as crypto investors have to pay tax on the amount it’s worth when it was received, not what it’s worth when they lodge their tax return.

On Nov. 12 last year, OBJ signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams worth $750,000. In a promotional Twitter post partnered with CashApp, OBJ announced that he would be receiving 100% of his $750,000 yearly salary in Bitcoin.

At the time, Bitcoin was breaking new all-time highs around $69,044, and just two days before, OBJ had signed the Rams deal. Unfortunately for OBJ, Bitcoin is now down 46% from that high, currently worth $36,972.

According to sports business analyst and senior executive producer for The Action Network Darren Rovell, OBJ’s decision to take his full salary in Bitcoin may not have been the brightest idea.

Rovell stated that OBJ’s entire salary is now worth only $413,000 compared to the original $750,000.

Once both Federal and State taxes are accounted for, at a cumulative rate of 50.3%, Odell will only have earned $35,000 over the past two and a half months, which equates to just 1 BTC. This is a far cry from the $90,000 he would have received if he’d taken his salary in fiat.

Bitcoin enthusiast Joe Pompilano, brother of influencer Anthony, argued that there were some major discrepancies between Rovell’s take and actual fact, including that he was paid weekly and not annually.

However, Rovell said the weekly payments were irrelevant to the tax treatment: “The aggregate payment has been completed. It doesn’t matter when he got paid.”

Tax Troubles

This isn’t the first time that crypto assets have caused major taxation discrepancies, and as crypto adoption continues to grow internationally, it certainly won’t be the last. During “crypto winter,” there were many stories of users who faced huge tax bills due to the price of assets when they received them, and not the rock bottom price they fell to by tax time.

Although rules vary, it is common for taxation organizations to require the value of crypto assets be declared the moment they are received. This leaves investors open to a huge tax bill if the value of their crypto assets falls in value between the time of purchase and the eventual lodging of their tax return.

In 2019, Adrian Forza, director of Crypto Tax Australia, told local publication Micky the story of an Australian crypto investor who was forced to pay nearly five times the value of his coins in tax.

“It was a disaster… It was a really unfair outcome because he’s basically received cryptocurrency and the value has dropped significantly and now he has to pay tax on money he doesn’t have.”

Forza continued to say that the biggest issue with cryptocurrency taxation wasn’t necessarily due to the laws themselves, but most issues arising from the lack of understanding of tax laws among crypto enthusiasts.

“The demographic is 25-to-40-year-old males and a lot of them probably haven’t invested in shares or even seen an accountant before,” he said.

That may also be the case with blockchain-based play-to-earn games, such as Axie Infinity. In one famous story, a 22-year-old in the Philippines purchased two houses with the profits he had earned from playing the game.

Hopefully, he spoke to a tax agent because now, both Philippine and international regulators are coming for those profits, warning the 2 million active players of Axie Infinity that any in-game transfer of crypto assets are legally classified as taxable events.

Updated: 1-28-2022

LeBron James Teams With Crypto.com To Bring Digital Education To Students

 

The multiyear partnership will include teaching blockchain technology to inner-city schoolchildren.

NBA superstar LeBron James has partnered with crypto exchange Crypto.com to support educational and workforce development opportunities focused on Web 3, according to Crypto.com.

  • Part of the program involves teaching blockchain technology to inner-city schoolchildren.
  • “I want to ensure that communities like the one I come from are not left behind,” James said in a statement. “Blockchain technology is revolutionizing our economy, sports and entertainment, the art world, and how we engage with one another.”
  • James’ hometown Akron Beacon Journal says students in the I Promise program will learn about blockchain technology and related career fields from experts provided by Crypto.com.
  • Crypto.com, of course, purchased the naming rights to the Staples Center – home to James’ Los Angeles Lakers – late last year for a reported $700 million. That venue is now named Crypto.com Arena.
  • Many sports stars, such as Steph Curry and Tom Brady, have entered into sponsorship deals with crypto firms, but the partnership is believed to be James’ first major deal with a crypto company.

Updated: 2-2-2022

US Bobsledder Feels The Bitcoin Rhythm And Orange Pills His Fans

Johnny Quinn, a U.S. Olympic bobsledder and former football player, is the latest celebrity to join the Bitcoin bandwagon.

Olympic bobsledder Johnny Quinn is the latest sports celebrity to swallow the orange pill. In a Twitter thread, he shared his best of Bitcoin (BTC) education while welcoming the Bitcoin class of 2022.

As well as instructing his fans to digest his reading list, “no excuses. Get it done,” Quinn said that “under no circumstance do you take orders from the mainstream. They are confused.” He shared some advice with Cointelegraph for those new to Bitcoin:

“Start small and take your time reading and understanding Bitcoin as money, a payments network and a store of value. It took me 100+ hours to get my head around it.”

He backed his statement with a swathe of media reports and headlines from September 2017 onwards showing large institutional players such as Visa, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs making a U-turn on Bitcoin.

The most potent 180-degree switch is Jamie Dimon’s JPMorgan. From the CEO lambasting Bitcoin in 2017, the world’s largest investment bank now promotes Bitcoin as an investment vehicle:

In a word to the wise, the Olympian also suggested avoiding “moon-boys.” Typically cryptocurrency YouTubers and influencers, moon-boys encourage risky trading techniques in the pursuit of Lamborghinis, or more recently, showing off a nonfungible token to their followers. Instead, Quinn suggested:

“Dollar cost averaging your Bitcoin position with a long time horizon (not using leverage) is the play.”

Quinn joins a budding list of Bitcoiner sports bros. From NFL stars and NBA champions taking their annual salaries in Bitcoin to humble Bedford football (soccer) club putting “Bitcoin at its heart,” the competitive world of sports is a hotbed for Bitcoin adoption.

Quinn began tweeting about Bitcoin in early 2021, completing one of Michael Saylor’s “Bitcoin for everybody” online courses in Autumn last year. He has since become a vocal supporter of Bitcoin while indubitably overlapping with self-promotion.

The Twitter thread by “Coach Quinn, Bitcoin Class of 2021” was well received by the Bitcoin Twitter community, as well as his 19,000 followers. Cory Swan, founder of United States-based Swan Bitcoin, retweeted the thread, saying it’s a “great thread for Newcoiners!”

Updated: 2-3-202

Crypto.com And FTX Contribute To NBC Superbowl Ads Sellout

Cryptocurrency companies like Crypto.com and FTX are among those making their debut.

NBCUniversal said it has sold out of in-game Super Bowl ads across all platforms, including NBC, Telemundo and its streaming service, Peacock.

The network said Thursday that the game will set a new Super Bowl unit-rate average record with multiple 30-second advertising spots selling for $7 million each. Of the over 70 spots sold, more than 30 were to new advertisers, NBCUniversal said. Industries with the largest growth in advertising compared with last year include automotive, technology and travel.

The majority of advertisements will be 30 and 60 seconds, said Mark Marshall, president of advertising and partnerships for NBCUniversal, in an email.

Super Bowl LVI airs Feb. 13 and will feature the Cincinnati Bengals taking on the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast Corp., has said total viewership for the game is expected to exceed 100 million, up from last year’s 14-year low of 96.4 million.

Updated: 2-8-2022

Super Bowl 56 Ads: Why This Year Could Be Known As The ‘Crypto Bowl’

This year’s Super Bowl drew advertisers willing to pay up to $7 million for a 30-second spot. WSJ advertising editor Suzanne Vranica and reporter Paul Vigna break down what to watch for from both new cryptocurrency brands and old regulars like Budweiser.

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

One of the consequences of crypto’s explosive growth throughout 2021 was a parallel boom in marketing.

It didn’t used to be that celebrities would go on late night talk shows and shill their non-fungible tokens. People didn’t even know what NFTs were, really, until last winter.


Now, in 2022, several major sports arenas are named for crypto companies. Matt Damon – he of “Bourne” and “The Departed” – stars in a crypto ad that recently merited a takedown in the New York Times Magazine. This past week, a hollow, golden cube advertising a no-name crypto project appeared in New York City’s Central Park. And nearby, overlooking Columbus Circle, you’ll see a banner ad for Gemini, the Winklevoss twins’ crypto exchange.

Crypto feels inescapable this year, and not only for writers at cryptocurrency websites. So it only makes sense that crypto would make its way to this year’s Super Bowl, which – even now, as more and more people turn away from traditional TV broadcasts – remains one of the most visible advertising platforms in the world. Last year, 91 million people watched.

The Crypto Ad Blitz Continues

FTX, an exchange that’s already made significant investments in the world of sports marketing, is maybe the least surprising of this year’s crypto entrants.

The Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena is now named FTX Arena, thanks to a 19-year deal with the franchise. FTX is also the official crypto exchange of Major League Baseball – its logo appears on every umpire’s uniform – and has sponsorship deals with the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards.

It’s even made a push into esports: FTX has agreed to pay the competitive gaming organization TSM $210 million to add the letters “FTX” to its name.

FTX has already run ads with recently retired pro quarterback Tom Brady, who’s also an investor in the company, so it’s reasonable to expect he’ll show up in the exchange’s Super Bowl ad, too, although there’s no confirmation on that just yet.

The exchange is even planning to give away some bitcoin as part of a promotional push tied to the exact time its ad runs. “If the spot airs at 9:45 [p.m.] ET, they will give away 9.45 BTC to four people,” a representative for FTX told Blockworks.

Crypto.com, the exchange behind the much-derided Matt Damon ads, and a recent partner of basketball icon Lebron James, has also purchased some airtime at this year’s Super Bowl.

The Damon ads generated controversy for their feigned gravity and self-seriousness; in them, the actor strolls through an imaginary landscape, flanked by what the company assures us are history’s greatest heroes and adventurers. It suggests that to purchase cryptocurrency through Crypto.com is to join the ranks of the great strivers – the climbers who scaled Everest or astronauts heading into space.

It’s silly, but here we are talking about it. So maybe the ad did its job. Like FTX, Crypto.com is keeping quiet as to the content of its ad. Super Bowl ads tend to be jokey and lighthearted, so maybe the company will switch it up for the main event.

“Crypto genuinely is for everybody,” said Steven Kalifowitz, chief marketing office at Crypto.com, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “Going into different sports just allows me to reach everybody where they are. Super Bowl is just one more step into that, where it’s as mass as you get.”

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is taking a sort of meta tack to its first-ever Super Bowl ad campaign. A teaser, featuring Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat, warns viewers to beware of companies bearing overly friendly crypto messages.

“On February 13th, you’re going to hear some of the biggest names telling you to get into crypto,” Butler intones. “But they don’t know you, or your finances. Only you do. Binance and I are here to tell you, trust yourself, and of course, do your own research.”

Binance has launched a promo website, cryptocelebalert.com, and plans to give out 2,222 POAPs (commemorative tokens from a company called Proof of Attendance Protocol) to viewers during the game.

Of course, the idea of “doing your own research” is core to crypto’s security philosophy, which privileges individual responsibility above all else – it doesn’t mitigate the dangers.

“When you have a lot of celebrities out there telling you to embrace the YOLO culture, to be bold and brave and things of that ilk, it incentivizes people to forego that critical stage of doing their research,” said Binance Chief Communications Officer Patrick Hillmann, taking a direct at the Damon ad.

“We want to take this moment in time, when the whole world is watching on Feb. 13, and seeing all these new ads, to just remind people that, hey, yes, we should all be excited about this industry, but we need to be responsible, too.”

Even the Super Bowl’s venue is repping crypto this year – SoFi Stadium is named for a personal finance company and loan platform that has been pushing digital money since before it was trendy.

And while FTX, Crypto.com and Binance are the major confirmed candidates for crypto Super Bowl ads, don’t be surprised if other fintech companies join the crusade.

Advertisers already know they can sell things like insurance and beer to football fans. But sports people also love betting, and there’s data to prove it. No small wonder crypto companies are targeting risk-tolerant audiences like these, as opposed to National Public Radio listeners. DraftKings, the official sports betting partner of this year’s Super Bowl, will debut a commercial of its own during the game.

Expect to see ads from Quickbooks and TurboTax, too, potentially with warnings about the upcoming nightmare of tax season from a crypto perspective.

Meta – not explicitly a crypto company, though the fate of its “metaverse” may end up involving some degree of blockchain tech – will also air a Super Bowl ad this year, for its confusingly named Meta Quest 2 headset. A short promotional clip teases a 1960s era diner called “Questy’s.”

It reminds me a little of the inexplicable 1950s diner in “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” in the sense that it represents a lack of imagination. Here’s a universe where you can build anything, a virtual space with endless possibilities for bringing new ideas to life; and here’s … a diner?

Meta’s stock recently suffered its largest single-day drop ever, thanks to a disappointing earnings report. People are generally skeptical about Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for the metaverse, too – maybe the Super Bowl ad will encourage traders to buy the dip.

There was talk of underdog candidates, too, before the market crashed last month. New York Magazine covered a project called SuperDAO, which was looking to raise several million dollars to purchase a Super Bowl ad of its own. It was essentially a clone of ConstitutionDAO, the failed effort to purchase a copy of the US constitution at auction.

SuperDAO failed, too, and now has its sights set on an ad for the 2023 Super Bowl.

Ghosts of The Dot-com Bubble

In a column for this website, my colleague David Morris wrote about the “Stadium Curse” as it may apply to crypto companies. It’s the idea that when a buzzy new company spends money on the naming rights to a sports arena, it may just be wasting its money – an act of hubris, signaling an inevitable crash.

CGMI, an investment company, had its name on what’s now Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, for a brief moment, and the Houston Astros baseball team played full seasons at what used to be Enron Field. Both companies went bust after these investments in sports marketing.

Pets.com, one of the short-lived companies most closely associated with the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s, shelled out for a Super Bowl in the year 2000. A recent article in Ad Age collects some of the other relics from that year’s “dot-com bowl,” most from startups that no longer exist.

The Hong-Kong based FTX was founded just two years ago, Binance was started in 2017, and Crypto.com is practically a dinosaur at five years old.

“I do think that it’s wise for any company to take a look at how much money they’re spending on marketing versus innovation at a moment in time where the ceiling for innovation just feels absolutely endless,” said Binance’s Hillmann.

There’s a chance that this year could go down similarly, as a “crypto bowl.” Maybe, with hindsight, the 2021 mania around crypto will seem quaint: This year’s ads could look like a graveyard of failed companies, each scrambling to make their mark on the culture.

There’s even a site (with a conspicuous, Antiguan web domain) offering prop bets for all the possible crypto-related content at this year’s Super Bowl. Crypto enthusiast Snoop Dogg will be among the performers at the halftime show – will he flash an NFT image on stage? Will Bud Light promote its Noun NFT during its ad? (The answer is yes, it turns out).

Again, it’s unclear how long this sort of hype will last. But at least for the time being, crypto appears to be making the most out of its bargain with professional sports.

Crypto Exchange FTX.US To Give Away Bitcoin As Part Of Super Bowl Ad

The amount of Bitcoin FTX.US gives is yet to be determined, and will be based on the East Coast time at which its Super Bowl ad runs.

Cryptocurrency exchange FTX.US will be giving away free Bitcoin (BTC) as part of its upcoming advertising campaign during Super Bowl LVI on Sunday.

However, the amount of Bitcoin given away has yet to be determined because it will depend on what time the ad runs on the East Coast.

For example, if the ad runs at 8:50 pm, the Bahamian-based exchange will give away 8.50 BTC ($374,000 at current prices). But if the ad is aired later in the game — at 11 PM for example — the giveaway will increase to 11 BTC (around $484,000 at the moment).

The airtime slot for the ad is scheduled in the game’s second half, which is slated to start at 8 pm EST (1:00 am UTC on Sunday, Feb. 14), an hour and a half after initially kicking off.

The prize will be split between four people, who will need to open FTX.US accounts to claim their prize, however, you don’t need an account to enter. The winners will be contacted via Twitter direct message.

Anyone who follows the company’s Twitter account and retweets the pinned tweet of its commercial between the time the ad airs and 11:59 PM EST is eligible to win. Participants must also be legal residents of the United States, although New Yorkers are excluded.

The upcoming Superbowl ad campaign comes as FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried continues to target sports as the fastest-growing customer base for crypto adoption.

FTX first announced its purchase of the Superbowl ad time slot in October 2021, wanting to reach a wider audience. The Superbowl has an estimated TV audience of 92 million viewers.

At the time, Bankman-Fried said, “there is no bigger, more mainstream event to share a message like that than the Super Bowl.”

In June, FTX.US partnered with seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and his wife, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen. The exchange also became the official sponsor of Major League Baseball in the same month.

In March, it arranged to name the Miami Heat’s home stadium the FTX Arena until 2040, before gifting every spectator in one section of FTX Arena $500 in crypto at the

Updated: 2-11-2022

Drake Bets $1.3M In Bitcoin On Bengals Vs. Rams Super Bowl Match

Ultimate Resource For Sports And Athletes Getting Rich From Bitcoin

“All bets are in on the family,” says rapper Drake as he placed his hopes on Rams’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Drake spends his time betting more than $1 million in Bitcoin (BTC) on Super Bowl matches when he’s not running through the six with his woes.

The award-winning rapper recently shared that he placed BTC bets worth a total of $1.26 million on the upcoming Superbowl match between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams.

Through the crypto sports betting platform Stake, the rapper bet over $471,000 for the Rams to be the winner, including overtime. Drake also expressed his confidence in the Rams’ wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The musician placed around $392,000 on Beckham Jr. having more than 62.5 receiving yards and another $392,000 on the wide receiver having over 0.5 anytime touchdowns.

Drake wrote, “All bets are in on the family.” Beckham Jr. replied to the post, saying, “It’s time.” This triggered a response from Bengals fan and football veteran Charles James. “Yep, you just confirmed it! I’m Cincinnati! Burrow for the win. Call a reasonable number.”

A few months back, Beckham Jr. partnered with Cash App and announced that he would take his NFL salary in BTC while promising to give back $1 million in BTC to his fans. The player’s 2021 season earnings are estimated to go up to $4.25 million. However, a sports analyst argued that Beckham Jr. faced losses because of the recent market crash and hefty taxes.

Meanwhile, the National Football League will be giving away limited-edition nonfungible tokens (NFT) to fans who will be present in the Super Bowl’s return to Los Angeles on Feb. 13. The NFT will commemorate the game day by giving a customized digital keepsake that features the unique section and row of the attendee.

Updated: 2-15-2022

McLaren Racing Ends Sponsorship Deal With Bitci.com Crypto Group

* McLaren Fan Token Still Displayed On Bitci’s Website
* Auto Company Confirms Termination Without Providing Reason

McLaren Racing has terminated its relationship with Bitci.com, the Turkish-based crypto group, after less than a year.

Last June the two companies announced a long-term sponsorship deal, tied in with the release of a fan token, the first of its kind in Formula 1.

In an emailed response to a query by Bloomberg News Tuesday, McLaren Racing confirmed the termination of its relationship with Bitci.com. It did not give reasons for the termination and neither did it make mention of a fan token.

Sports teams and leagues around the world have been rushing into the launch of digital fan tokens, which promise fans the chance to apply for benefits or influence the colors a team wears in return for a payment

A McLaren fan token is still being displayed on Bitci.com’s website. A Bitci.com spokesperson said she wasn’t able to help by answering questions.

Last week Bloomberg reported that a planned Bitci.com fan token for Premier League football team Wolverhampton Wanderers had not yet been launched despite a sponsorship agreement in June.

The team is still carrying out due diligence, people familiar with the situation said last week. Wolves declined to comment.

Bitci Chief Executive Officer Onur Altan Tan said by text on Friday that everything was still on track with the Wolves token. “It is on the way,” he said.

McLaren also had a deal that ended in July 2021 with the fan engagement platform Iqoniq, which went into liquidation last month.

Fan Groups Slam UEFA Crypto-token Champions League Sponsor

Benevolence toward fans one day. Making money off them the next day.

Champions League organizer UEFA faced criticism on Tuesday for monetizing supporter engagement by partnering with a company that sells fan tokens through largely unregulated cryptocurrencies.

The commercial deal was announced a day after the Football Supporters Europe group praised UEFA for giving away 10,000 tickets to the Champions League final this season, with thousands of fans also able to attend the other European club competition finals for free.

England’s Football Supporters’ Association said Tuesday’s announcement showed the “good and bad of UEFA summed up in two days.”

Socios said it was becoming the official fan token partner of main men’s competitions. Fans buying its blockchain-based tokens will be rewarded with “VIP trips” to the season launch events, the chance to visit UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, meetings with “legends,” match tickets, merchandise and memorabilia.

Specific UEFA tokens cannot be bought — they are only available as free “add-ons” for those who have purchased tokens for clubs Socios is in partnership with, including Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Manchester City.

Socios later provided further clarification, including saying the tokens will not be tradable, despite emailing a news release about the UEFA partnership that highlighted its Chiliz cryptocurrency and the exchanges.

Football Supporters Europe said it was “appalled” by the Socios deal with UEFA.

“It is a clear attempt to monetize football’s responsibility to properly engage with representative fans’ groups and their concerns,” FSE said. “Since Socios began monetizing fan engagement through ‘fan tokens,’ they have met strong opposition from fans’ groups.”

The announcement from Malta-based Socios included no disclaimers about the risks. In England recently, Arsenal’s promotions of Socios tokens were ruled to have broken advertising regulations and were banned for taking advantage of consumers’ inexperience in cryptocurrencies.

“UEFA’s partnership with Socios legitimizes risky investments in highly volatile and largely unregulated financial assets,” FSE said. “The vast majority of Socios investors who hold ‘fan tokens’ are crypto-speculators, not football fans.”

Socios did not make anyone immediately available for comment, while CEO Alexandre Dreyfus did not respond to a message seeking a response to the criticism.

In Tuesday’s announcement, Dreyfus claimed the tokens enable fans “to become more than spectators and play active roles in the biggest club football competitions on the planet through fan tokens.” No details were provided how fans will play such an active role in the Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference League and Super Cup.

Dreyfus appeared to be a FIFA guest at the Club World Cup final on Saturday. He tweeted a photo wearing a VIP lanyard and a Socios mask at the game in Abu Dhabi that was won by Chelsea. FIFA did not respond to questions seeking comment on who invited Dreyfus and if it planned to enter into a partnership with Socios as the global governing body.

 

Updated: 2-16-2022

Red Bull Racing Scores $150M Sponsorship With Bybit

Formula 1 team Red Bull Racing scores a multi-year partnership worth $50 million per annum with crypto exchange Bybit.

Following Red Bull Racing’s most recent wins at Formula 1 (F1), the racing team scored a three-year partnership with Singapore-based crypto trading platform Bybit for $50 million per year. According to the announcement, the fee will be paid in a combination of fiat and BitDAO (BIT) tokens.

The company announced that the partnership aims to broaden the F1 team’s fan engagement through its capabilities as a crypto exchange. Bybit will act as an issuer of fan tokens and as a tech incubator for Red Bull Racing as part of the deal.

This means that the exchange will help the team distribute its digital asset collections and support its other initiatives, such as developing talent through the Red Bull Technology Campus in Milton Keynes.

Red Bull Racing CEO Christian Horner expressed his excitement for the partnership. According to Horner, Bybit shares the team’s “passion to exist at the forefront of technological innovation, to set the competitive pace and to disrupt the status quo.”

He is also very delighted with Bybit’s commitment to enhancing the experience of F1 fans through innovations in the digital space.

Following this, Bybit co-founder and CEO Ben Zhou also commented that the crypto exchange’s team connects with the core values of Red Bull Racing and how it changed the F1 game similarly to how digital assets are disrupting finance.

Zhou said that Bybit has “found our kindred spirit and the perfect harmony of speed, safety and reliability is everything our users are looking for on our platform.”

A week ago, Bybit partnered with ramp service Cabital to offer crypto purchases using the euro and British pound sterling. With this ramp infrastructure, Bybit’s users can purchase crypto within their exchange platform with lower gas fees.

Updated: 2-24-2022

European Football Clubs Cancel Deal With Bitci.com Crypto Group

* Sporting Lisbon And Spezia Have Both Canceled Sponsorship
* Turkish Cryptocurrency Group Has A Number Of Sponsor Deals

Two European football clubs have terminated their commercial relationships with Bitci.com, the Turkish-based crypto group, according to people with direct knowledge of the decisions.

The move by Sporting Lisbon, the club that unearthed global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and Italy’s Spezia, follows McLaren Racing’s recent decision to end its sponsor deal with Bitci.

Bitci is a Turkish cryptocurrency group with its own blockchain network. According to its website it runs fan token schemes for a number of sports teams, including RCD Espanyol, RC Celta de Vigo, Moto GP, and the Brazil national football team.

In the case of Sporting Lisbon, the contract was terminated because Bitci failed to make payments, a person familiar with the matter said.

Sports teams and leagues around the world have been rushing into the launch of crypto sponsorships and digital fan tokens, which promise fans the chance to apply for benefits or influence the colors a team wears.

Sporting Lisbon, which had announced its partnership with Bitci in September, said it has made a “strategic disalignment,” according to a spokesman. It has since removed all references to the Bitci and its products from the team’s website.

Spezia, which currently plays in Italy’s Serie A, has also ended its sponsor deal, a spokesperson confirmed. Bitci began its partnership with Spezia last September.

Bitci did not respond to a request for comment.

A planned Bitci.com fan token for Premier League football team Wolverhampton Wanderers has not yet been launched despite a sponsorship agreement in June. Wolves is still carrying out due diligence, people familiar with the situation said last week.


Updated: 2-25-2022

Penalties And Extra Time: The Scoreboard For Soccer Club Crypto Deals

Despite Turkish government regulations having hamstrung Bitci’s soccer sponsorship deals, footballing crypto companies already have home-field advantage.

The world’s most popular sport suffered an own-goal as European clubs canceled their partnerships with Bitci, a Turkish crypto exchange. However, plenty of substitute crypto companies are on the bench, ready to bring crypto to the mainstream through soccer.

Growing yet unclear cryptocurrency regulations in Turkey have reportedly hampered the company’s ability to make payments, leading to a lack of confidence among major soccer clubs.

Portugal’s Sporting CP — the green-and-white-striped footballers famed for being the club where Cristiano Ronaldo cut his teeth — and Italian Serie A club Spezia have also canceled their partnership with Bitci. The F1 powerhouse Mclaren Racing terminated its sponsorship deal with Bitci earlier in February.

Barcelona also recently announced that it would favor a partnership deal with Binance over Spotify despite the launch of its fan token in April 2021.

While it would appear that crypto and soccer partnerships are down to 10 players, deals, enthusiasm and sponsorships for crypto among football clubs are an open goal.

Of England’s 20 football clubs, 17 have at least one deal with a cryptocurrency firm. For Watford soccer club, not only does Dogecoin (DOGE) appear on the shirtsleeve, but Stake.com sponsors the main body of the shirt.

Eighty miles Southeast of Watford, in Southampton, “the Saints,” as they are known locally, launched a Bitcoin (BTC) hunt on Wednesday. In partnerships with crypto betting site Sportsbet.io, the online quiz winner takes home a whole BTC.

Still in England, Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack sparked the beginnings of an English underdog story as he bought his local club Bedford FC. He’s keen to take on the Premier League with the help of Bitcoin and its community.

While Crypto.com recently renamed the American football stadium in Los Angeles from the Staples Center to the Crypto.com arena, in Italy, the entire football league is sponsored by the cryptocurrency giant.

Elsewhere, fan tokens are also growing in popularity among European football fans. As Cointelegraph reported, blockchain sports firm Chiliz has caught the eye of major football clubs, while the Socios platform announced a deal with UEFA.

While a crypto sponsor for a European national team may have to wait until next season, the Argentine team was the first national soccer club worldwide to take on a crypto sponsor. Binance recently partnered with the white and sky blues.

Finally, as European soccer waits for a national team to be sponsored by crypto, in rugby football, the Bitpanda crypto exchange now sponsors the Azurri. The exchange made the announcement ahead of Italy’s clash with the Six Nations rugby teams in January.

Updated: 3-14-2022

Digital Assets Can Boost Revenue For Sports Teams, PwC Says

Token sales and metaverse events have the potential to become major revenue streams for teams and leagues.

Digital assets can fundamentally alter how fans interact with their favorite teams and athletes, as there will be more ways to “meaningfully connect” than ever before, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

* Digital assets can also provide a significant revenue opportunity for sports organizations. Ticket sales, media rights and sponsorship are the three largest revenue streams for teams and leagues, PwC said.

* All three streams could see notable growth with tokenized tickets, non-fungible-token (NFT) media rights and sponsorship of digital or metaverse events, the report added.

* NFTs are digital asserts on a blockchain that represent ownership of virtual or physical items. Collectible NFTs and season ticket member tokens are evolutions and enhancements of traditional loyalty programs, but combining the metaverse with digital assets (both fungible tokens and NFTs) enables a whole new market for more fan segments, the report said.

* Digital assets sales could become a major revenue stream for many teams and leagues in the next five years, the report noted.

* The ability to build digital asset infrastructure will be the biggest challenge for the teams, and they will need sophisticated technology to connect the digital sales data with existing customer bases, it added.

* It is also essential that organizations anticipate and mitigate legal risk and tax implications from digital assets, PwC said.

Updated: 3-17-2022

A-Rod Says Blockchain Can Bring Sports-Team Ownership To Masses

* Former Baseball Star Has Been Investing With Partner Marc Lore
* Teams Are Embracing Digital Assets As Industry Grows

Small-time sports fans could get a piece of big-time teams with the help of blockchain technology, according to baseball-player-turned-businessman Alex Rodriguez.

“With blockchain, I think millions of people around the world will have an opportunity to own a sports team, if not a small stake in one,” Rodriguez said at the Futures Industry Association conference in Boca Raton, Florida, Thursday. “We don’t have that opportunity, but tomorrow I think we will,” said the former Major League Baseball star also known as “A-Rod.”

Sports teams have been embracing the digital asset craze, forming partnerships with crypto companies and issuing “fan tokens” that give holders a variety of perks, such as voting on their team’s jersey color and participating in raffles.

Samuel Bankman-Fried, chief executive officer of crypto exchange FTX, said one way for teams to sell ownership stakes using blockchain could be to issue governance tokens, which would give voting powers to holders that allow them to participate in business decisions.

“You can imagine on-chain votes that decide what actions a team takes,” Bankman-Fried said in an interview at the conference.

Blockchain is a decentralized public ledger, best known for its use in recording cryptocurrency transactions, that can be used to move assets between owners.

Rodriguez became a part-owner with Marc Lore in the National Basketball League’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the Women’s National Basketball Association Minnesota Lynx in April. The two business partners have been active in deals over the past year, starting a venture capital firm and putting money into everything from an online brokerage to a nuclear-fusion energy startup.

Rodriguez and Lore recently invested in a new company called Mojo, which aims to be a “stock market” for professional athletes. The business, expected to debut at the end of the year, lets fans buy and sell players, whose values rise and fall based on their performance on the field.

Updated: 3-21-2022

Naomi Osaka Becomes Latest FTX ‘Ambassador,’ Joining Tom Brady And More

The tennis star gets shares in the global crypto exchange as part of the deal.

Naomi Osaka is the latest celebrity athlete to join Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire.

* Osaka joins the likes of seven-time National Football League champion Tom Brady, two-way baseball phenom Shohei Ohtani and National Basketball Association legend Stephen Curry on FTX’s growing roster of sports ambassadors.

* “In addition to becoming an FTX global ambassador, Osaka will receive an equity stake in FTX Trading Limited and will be receiving compensation in crypto,” a press release said Monday.

* Osaka’s first crypto venture came last August, when the tennis champ released a non-fungible token (NFT) collection in partnership with DraftKings.

* As part of the deal, Osaka will wear the FTX logo during future competitions, according to a press release.

* Osaka is the first major female athlete to join FTX’s sports ambassador campaign. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen joined FTX as its environmental and social initiatives adviser in June 2021.

Updated: 3-22-2022

Crypto.com becomes official sponsor of 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Though trading cryptocurrencies has been largely illegal in Qatar since 2018 , Crypto.com is likely to reach a more international crowd given the popularity of soccer on the world stage.

FIFA, an international governing body for many major soccer tournaments, has announced that cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com will be an official sponsor of its next World Cup in Qatar.

In a Tuesday announcement, the association said Crypto.com’s branding will appear both inside and outside of stadiums for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 scheduled to begin in November. The crypto exchange will provide opportunities for its users to attend matches and win official merchandise as part of the sponsorship.

According to FIFA chief commercial officer Kay Madati, the deal will help grow the games “on a global scale,” citing Crypto.com’s partnerships with other entities around the world. In November, the exchange inked a deal to rename the Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment venue Staples Center to the Crypto.com Arena for 20 years.

Crypto.com has also partnered with the Australia Football League in a $25 million deal, signed a $100-million sponsorship agreement with Formula 1 and inked a 10-year $175 million sponsorship agreement with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Though trading cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC) has been largely illegal in Qatar since the country’s central bank announced a ban in 2018 — and reaffirmed in January 2020 by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority — Crypto.com is likely to reach a more international crowd given the popularity of soccer on the world stage.

FIFA reported that more than 3.5 billion people watched the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, with more than a billion watching the final between France and Croatia.

With less than eight months until the World Cup begins, the event has been shadowed by allegations of corruption and bribery going back to the bidding process for Qatar 2022.

In April 2020, the United States Department of Justice indicted three individuals connected to “the payment and receipt of bribes and kickbacks” for FIFA’s selection of countries to host the World Cup, including in Russia in 2018 and the upcoming tournament in Qatar. In addition, the international non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch has alleged abuse and slavelike conditions for workers hired to build the infrastructure for the event.

Fight For Bitcoin: Brazilian UFC Star To Receive Fight Earnings In BTC

UFC fighter Matheus Nicolau is moving to the Bitcoin paycheck to hedge against inflation and secure the value of his hard work.

Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Matheus Nicolau is the latest world-famous athlete to opt to receive his fight earnings in the largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC).

The eighth-ranked UFC flyweight fighter, Nicolau received his first salary in Bitcoin on Monday through a deal assisted by Bitwage payroll service, according to a joint announcement shared with Cointelegraph.

The Brazilian sportsman has opted to take a paycheck in BTC to hedge against the rising inflation. Nicolau said that earning Bitcoin will help him secure the value of his hard work and not to worry about his money going to waste, adding:

“I make my money the hard way. I bleed for it. MMA is an intense sport that you put everything you have into. While I constantly fight on one hand, I have a feeling I am constantly losing money on the other. Then it hit me: Bitcoin is the solution.”

Alongside the Brazilian fighter, his manager Vinícius Las Casas will also be using Bitwage to receive a portion of his salary in BTC. “We are very bullish on Bitcoin and we are looking to spread the Bitcoin gospel with this latest deal,” Nicolau’s manager Vinícius Las Casas said.

According to the announcement, Nicolau is the first Latin American athlete and the second UFC fighter ever to be paid in Bitcoin. In January, UFC heavyweight fighter Francis Ngannou announced that he will take half of his UFC 270 prize purse in Bitcoin via Cash App.

By starting to get paid in BTC, Nicolau joins the growing list of celebrities, politicians and athletes who have come to realize the importance of holding Bitcoin.

In January, three-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala announced that he would take a portion of his estimated $2.6 million annual salary in BTC. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, seven NFL players, including Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence, decided to begin to get their entire paychecks in crypto or have a portion of salary converted to crypto in 2021.

 

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US Pentagon Created A War Game To Fight The Establishment With BTC (#GotBitcoin?)

JPMorgan Provides Banking Services To Crypto Exchanges Coinbase And Gemini (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Advocates Cry Foul As US Fed Buying ETFs For The First Time

Final Block Mined Before Halving Contained Reminder of BTC’s Origins (#GotBitcoin?)

Meet Brian Klein, Crypto’s Own ‘High-Stakes’ Trial Attorney (#GotBitcoin?)

3 Reasons For The Bitcoin Price ‘Halving Dump’ From $10K To $8.1K

Bitcoin Outlives And Outlasts Naysayers And First Website That Declared It Dead Back In 2010

Hedge Fund Pioneer Turns Bullish On Bitcoin Amid ‘Unprecedented’ Monetary Inflation

Antonopoulos: Chainalysis Is Helping World’s Worst Dictators & Regimes (#GotBitcoin?)

Survey Shows Many BTC Holders Use Hardware Wallet, Have Backup Keys (#GotBitcoin?)

Iran Ditches The Rial Amid Hyperinflation As Localbitcoins Seem To Trade Near $35K

Buffett ‘Killed His Reputation’ by Being Stupid About BTC, Says Max Keiser (#GotBitcoin?)

Meltem Demirors: “Bitcoin Is Not A F*Cking Systemic Hedge If You Hold Your Bitcoin At A Financial Institution”

Blockfolio Quietly Patches Years-Old Security Hole That Exposed Source Code (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Won As Store of Value In Coronavirus Crisis — Hedge Fund CEO

Decentralized VPN Gaining Steam At 100,000 Users Worldwide (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange Offers Credit Lines so Institutions Can Trade Now, Pay Later (#GotBitcoin?)

Zoom Develops A Cryptocurrency Paywall To Reward Creators Video Conferencing Sessions (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Startup Purse.io And Major Bitcoin Cash Partner To Shut Down After 6-Year Run

Open Interest In CME Bitcoin Futures Rises 70% As Institutions Return To Market

Square’s Users Can Route Stimulus Payments To BTC-Friendly Cash App

$1.1 Billion BTC Transaction For Only $0.68 Demonstrates Bitcoin’s Advantage Over Banks

Bitcoin Could Become Like ‘Prison Cigarettes’ Amid Deepening Financial Crisis

Bitcoin Holds Value As US Debt Reaches An Unfathomable $24 Trillion

How To Get Money (Crypto-currency) To People In An Emergency, Fast

US Intelligence To Study What Would Happen If U.S. Dollar Lost Its Status As World’s Reserve Currency (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Miner Manufacturers Mark Down Prices Ahead of Halving

Privacy-Oriented Browsers Gain Traction (#GotBitcoin?)

‘Breakthrough’ As Lightning Uses Web’s Forgotten Payment Code (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Starts Quarter With Price Down Just 10% YTD vs U.S. Stock’s Worst Quarter Since 2008

Bitcoin Enthusiasts, Liberal Lawmakers Cheer A Fed-Backed Digital Dollar

Crypto-Friendly Bank Revolut Launches In The US (#GotBitcoin?)

The CFTC Just Defined What ‘Actual Delivery’ of Crypto Should Look Like (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto CEO Compares US Dollar To Onecoin Scam As Fed Keeps Printing (#GotBitcoin?)

Stuck In Quarantine? Become A Blockchain Expert With These Online Courses (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin, Not Governments Will Save the World After Crisis, Tim Draper Says

Crypto Analyst Accused of Photoshopping Trade Screenshots (#GotBitcoin?)

QE4 Begins: Fed Cuts Rates, Buys $700B In Bonds; Bitcoin Rallies 7.7%

Mike Novogratz And Andreas Antonopoulos On The Bitcoin Crash

Amid Market Downturn, Number of People Owning 1 BTC Hits New Record (#GotBitcoin?)

Fatburger And Others Feed $30 Million Into Ethereum For New Bond Offering (#GotBitcoin?)

Pornhub Will Integrate PumaPay Recurring Subscription Crypto Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Intel SGX Vulnerability Discovered, Cryptocurrency Keys Threatened

Bitcoin’s Plunge Due To Manipulation, Traditional Markets Falling or PlusToken Dumping?

Countries That First Outlawed Crypto But Then Embraced It (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Maintains Gains As Global Equities Slide, US Yield Hits Record Lows

HTC’s New 5G Router Can Host A Full Bitcoin Node

India Supreme Court Lifts RBI Ban On Banks Servicing Crypto Firms (#GotBitcoin?)

Analyst Claims 98% of Mining Rigs Fail to Verify Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain Storage Offers Security, Data Transparency And immutability. Get Over it!

Black Americans & Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase Wallet Now Allows To Send Crypto Through Usernames (#GotBitcoin)

New ‘Simpsons’ Episode Features Jim Parsons Giving A Crypto Explainer For The Masses (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto-currency Founder Met With Warren Buffett For Charity Lunch (#GotBitcoin?)

Witches Love Bitcoin

Bitcoin’s Potential To Benefit The African And African-American Community

Coinbase Becomes Direct Visa Card Issuer With Principal Membership

Bitcoin Achieves Major Milestone With Half A Billion Transactions Confirmed

Jill Carlson, Meltem Demirors Back $3.3M Round For Non-Custodial Settlement Protocol Arwen

Crypto Companies Adopt Features Similar To Banks (Only Better) To Drive Growth (#GotBitcoin?)

Top Graphics Cards That Will Turn A Crypto Mining Profit (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Usage Among Merchants Is Up, According To Data From Coinbase And BitPay

Top 10 Books Recommended by Crypto (#Bitcoin) Thought Leaders

Twitter Adds Bitcoin Emoji, Jack Dorsey Suggests Unicode Does The Same

Bitcoiners Are Now Into Fasting. Read This Article To Find Out Why

You Can Now Donate Bitcoin Or Fiat To Show Your Support For All Of Our Valuable Content

2019’s Top 10 Institutional Actors In Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

What Does Twitter’s New Decentralized Initiative Mean? (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto-Friendly Silvergate Bank Goes Public On New York Stock Exchange (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Best Q1 Since 2013 To ‘Escalate’ If $9.5K Is Broken

Billionaire Investor Tim Draper: If You’re a Millennial, Buy Bitcoin

What Are Lightning Wallets Doing To Help Onboard New Users? (#GotBitcoin?)

If You Missed Out On Investing In Amazon, Bitcoin Might Be A Second Chance For You (#GotBitcoin?)

2020 And Beyond: Bitcoin’s Potential Protocol (Privacy And Scalability) Upgrades (#GotBitcoin?)

US Deficit Will Be At Least 6 Times Bitcoin Market Cap — Every Year (#GotBitcoin?)

Central Banks Warm To Issuing Digital Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Meet The Crypto Angel Investor Running For Congress In Nevada (#GotBitcoin?)

Introducing BTCPay Vault – Use Any Hardware Wallet With BTCPay And Its Full Node (#GotBitcoin?)

How Not To Lose Your Coins In 2020: Alternative Recovery Methods (#GotBitcoin?)

H.R.5635 – Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act of 2020 ($200.00 Limit) 116th Congress (2019-2020)

Adam Back On Satoshi Emails, Privacy Concerns And Bitcoin’s Early Days

The Prospect of Using Bitcoin To Build A New International Monetary System Is Getting Real

How To Raise Funds For Australia Wildfire Relief Efforts (Using Bitcoin And/Or Fiat )

Former Regulator Known As ‘Crypto Dad’ To Launch Digital-Dollar Think Tank (#GotBitcoin?)

Currency ‘Cold War’ Takes Center Stage At Pre-Davos Crypto Confab (#GotBitcoin?)

A Blockchain-Secured Home Security Camera Won Innovation Awards At CES 2020 Las Vegas

Bitcoin’s Had A Sensational 11 Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Sergey Nazarov And The Creation Of A Decentralized Network Of Oracles

Google Suspends MetaMask From Its Play App Store, Citing “Deceptive Services”

Christmas Shopping: Where To Buy With Crypto This Festive Season

At 8,990,000% Gains, Bitcoin Dwarfs All Other Investments This Decade

Coinbase CEO Armstrong Wins Patent For Tech Allowing Users To Email Bitcoin

Bitcoin Has Got Society To Think About The Nature Of Money

How DeFi Goes Mainstream In 2020: Focus On Usability (#GotBitcoin?)

Dissidents And Activists Have A Lot To Gain From Bitcoin, If Only They Knew It (#GotBitcoin?)

At A Refugee Camp In Iraq, A 16-Year-Old Syrian Is Teaching Crypto Basics

Bitclub Scheme Busted In The US, Promising High Returns From Mining

Bitcoin Advertised On French National TV

Germany: New Proposed Law Would Legalize Banks Holding Bitcoin

How To Earn And Spend Bitcoin On Black Friday 2019

The Ultimate List of Bitcoin Developments And Accomplishments

Charities Put A Bitcoin Twist On Giving Tuesday

Family Offices Finally Accept The Benefits of Investing In Bitcoin

An Army Of Bitcoin Devs Is Battle-Testing Upgrades To Privacy And Scaling

Bitcoin ‘Carry Trade’ Can Net Annual Gains With Little Risk, Says PlanB

Max Keiser: Bitcoin’s ‘Self-Settlement’ Is A Revolution Against Dollar

Blockchain Can And Will Replace The IRS

China Seizes The Blockchain Opportunity. How Should The US Respond? (#GotBitcoin?)

Jack Dorsey: You Can Buy A Fraction Of Berkshire Stock Or ‘Stack Sats’

Bitcoin Price Skyrockets $500 In Minutes As Bakkt BTC Contracts Hit Highs

Bitcoin’s Irreversibility Challenges International Private Law: Legal Scholar

Bitcoin Has Already Reached 40% Of Average Fiat Currency Lifespan

Yes, Even Bitcoin HODLers Can Lose Money In The Long-Term: Here’s How (#GotBitcoin?)

Unicef To Accept Donations In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Former Prosecutor Asked To “Shut Down Bitcoin” And Is Now Face Of Crypto VC Investing (#GotBitcoin?)

Switzerland’s ‘Crypto Valley’ Is Bringing Blockchain To Zurich

Next Bitcoin Halving May Not Lead To Bull Market, Says Bitmain CEO

Tim Draper Bets On Unstoppable Domain’s .Crypto Domain Registry To Replace Wallet Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Developer Amir Taaki, “We Can Crash National Economies” (#GotBitcoin?)

Veteran Crypto And Stocks Trader Shares 6 Ways To Invest And Get Rich

Have I Missed The Boat? – Best Ways To Purchase Cryptocurrency

Is Chainlink Blazing A Trail Independent Of Bitcoin?

Nearly $10 Billion In BTC Is Held In Wallets Of 8 Crypto Exchanges (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Enters Settlement Talks With Alleged Fraudulent Firm Veritaseum (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream’s Samson Mow: Bitcoin’s Block Size Already ‘Too Big’

Attorneys Seek Bank Of Ireland Execs’ Testimony Against OneCoin Scammer (#GotBitcoin?)

OpenLibra Plans To Launch Permissionless Fork Of Facebook’s Stablecoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Tiny $217 Options Trade On Bitcoin Blockchain Could Be Wall Street’s Death Knell (#GotBitcoin?)

Class Action Accuses Tether And Bitfinex Of Market Manipulation (#GotBitcoin?)

Sharia Goldbugs: How ISIS Created A Currency For World Domination (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Eyes Demand As Hong Kong Protestors Announce Bank Run (#GotBitcoin?)

How To Securely Transfer Crypto To Your Heirs

‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto News From The Spanish-Speaking World (#GotBitcoin?)

Financial Services Giant Morningstar To Offer Ratings For Crypto Assets (#GotBitcoin?)

‘Gold-Backed’ Crypto Token Promoter Karatbars Investigated By Florida Regulators (#GotBitcoin?)

The Original Sins Of Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is The Fraud? JPMorgan Metals Desk Fixed Gold Prices For Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Israeli Startup That Allows Offline Crypto Transactions Secures $4M (#GotBitcoin?)

[PSA] Non-genuine Trezor One Devices Spotted (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Stronger Than Ever But No One Seems To Care: Google Trends (#GotBitcoin?)

First-Ever SEC-Qualified Token Offering In US Raises $23 Million (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Prove A Whole Blockchain With One Math Problem – Really

Crypto Mining Supply Fails To Meet Market Demand In Q2: TokenInsight

$2 Billion Lost In Mt. Gox Bitcoin Hack Can Be Recovered, Lawyer Claims (#GotBitcoin?)

Fed Chair Says Agency Monitoring Crypto But Not Developing Its Own (#GotBitcoin?)

Wesley Snipes Is Launching A Tokenized $25 Million Movie Fund (#GotBitcoin?)

Mystery 94K BTC Transaction Becomes Richest Non-Exchange Address (#GotBitcoin?)

A Crypto Fix For A Broken International Monetary System (#GotBitcoin?)

Four Out Of Five Top Bitcoin QR Code Generators Are Scams: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Waves Platform And The Abyss To Jointly Launch Blockchain-Based Games Marketplace (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitmain Ramps Up Power And Efficiency With New Bitcoin Mining Machine (#GotBitcoin?)

Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)

Miss Finland: Bitcoin’s Risk Keeps Most Women Away From Cryptocurrency (#GotBitcoin?)

Artist Akon Loves BTC And Says, “It’s Controlled By The People” (#GotBitcoin?)

Ledger Live Now Supports Over 1,250 Ethereum-Based ERC-20 Tokens (#GotBitcoin?)

Co-Founder Of LinkedIn Presents Crypto Rap Video: Hamilton Vs. Satoshi (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Insurance Market To Grow, Lloyd’s Of London And Aon To Lead (#GotBitcoin?)

No ‘AltSeason’ Until Bitcoin Breaks $20K, Says Hedge Fund Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

NSA Working To Develop Quantum-Resistant Cryptocurrency: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Custody Provider Legacy Trust Launches Crypto Pension Plan (#GotBitcoin?)

Vaneck, SolidX To Offer Limited Bitcoin ETF For Institutions Via Exemption (#GotBitcoin?)

Russell Okung: From NFL Superstar To Bitcoin Educator In 2 Years (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Miners Made $14 Billion To Date Securing The Network (#GotBitcoin?)

Why Does Amazon Want To Hire Blockchain Experts For Its Ads Division?

Argentina’s Economy Is In A Technical Default (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain-Based Fractional Ownership Used To Sell High-End Art (#GotBitcoin?)

Portugal Tax Authority: Bitcoin Trading And Payments Are Tax-Free (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin ‘Failed Safe Haven Test’ After 7% Drop, Peter Schiff Gloats (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Dev Reveals Multisig UI Teaser For Hardware Wallets, Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Price: $10K Holds For Now As 50% Of CME Futures Set To Expire (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Realized Market Cap Hits $100 Billion For The First Time (#GotBitcoin?)

Stablecoins Begin To Look Beyond The Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

Bank Of England Governor: Libra-Like Currency Could Replace US Dollar (#GotBitcoin?)

Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ — Its Own Project To Rival Facebook’s Libra (#GotBitcoin?)

The Real Benefits Of Blockchain Are Here. They’re Being Ignored (#GotBitcoin?)

CommBank Develops Blockchain Market To Boost Biodiversity (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Approves Blockchain Tech Startup Securitize To Record Stock Transfers (#GotBitcoin?)

SegWit Creator Introduces New Language For Bitcoin Smart Contracts (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Earn Bitcoin Rewards For Postmates Purchases (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Price ‘Will Struggle’ In Big Financial Crisis, Says Investor (#GotBitcoin?)

Fidelity Charitable Received Over $100M In Crypto Donations Since 2015 (#GotBitcoin?)

Would Blockchain Better Protect User Data Than FaceApp? Experts Answer (#GotBitcoin?)

Just The Existence Of Bitcoin Impacts Monetary Policy (#GotBitcoin?)

What Are The Biggest Alleged Crypto Heists And How Much Was Stolen? (#GotBitcoin?)

IRS To Cryptocurrency Owners: Come Clean, Or Else!

Coinbase Accidentally Saves Unencrypted Passwords Of 3,420 Customers (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Is A ‘Chaos Hedge, Or Schmuck Insurance‘ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Announces September 23 Launch Of Futures And Custody

Coinbase CEO: Institutions Depositing $200-400M Into Crypto Per Week (#GotBitcoin?)

Researchers Find Monero Mining Malware That Hides From Task Manager (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Dusting Attack Affects Nearly 300,000 Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

A Case For Bitcoin As Recession Hedge In A Diversified Investment Portfolio (#GotBitcoin?)

SEC Guidance Gives Ammo To Lawsuit Claiming XRP Is Unregistered Security (#GotBitcoin?)

15 Countries To Develop Crypto Transaction Tracking System: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

US Department Of Commerce Offering 6-Figure Salary To Crypto Expert (#GotBitcoin?)

Mastercard Is Building A Team To Develop Crypto, Wallet Projects (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Bitcoin Educator Scams The Scammer And Donates Proceeds (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon Wants To Build A Blockchain For Ads, New Job Listing Shows (#GotBitcoin?)

Shield Bitcoin Wallets From Theft Via Time Delay (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockstream Launches Bitcoin Mining Farm With Fidelity As Early Customer (#GotBitcoin?)

Commerzbank Tests Blockchain Machine To Machine Payments With Daimler (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Historical Returns Look Very Attractive As Online Banks Lower Payouts On Savings Accounts (#GotBitcoin?)

Man Takes Bitcoin Miner Seller To Tribunal Over Electricity Bill And Wins (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Computing Power Sets Record As Over 100K New Miners Go Online (#GotBitcoin?)

Walmart Coin And Libra Perform Major Public Relations For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Judge Says Buying Bitcoin Via Credit Card Not Necessarily A Cash Advance (#GotBitcoin?)

Poll: If You’re A Stockowner Or Crypto-Currency Holder. What Will You Do When The Recession Comes?

1 In 5 Crypto Holders Are Women, New Report Reveals (#GotBitcoin?)

Beating Bakkt, Ledgerx Is First To Launch ‘Physical’ Bitcoin Futures In Us (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook Warns Investors That Libra Stablecoin May Never Launch (#GotBitcoin?)

Government Money Printing Is ‘Rocket Fuel’ For Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin-Friendly Square Cash App Stock Price Up 56% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Safeway Shoppers Can Now Get Bitcoin Back As Change At 894 US Stores (#GotBitcoin?)

TD Ameritrade CEO: There’s ‘Heightened Interest Again’ With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuela Sets New Bitcoin Volume Record Thanks To 10,000,000% Inflation (#GotBitcoin?)

Newegg Adds Bitcoin Payment Option To 73 More Countries (#GotBitcoin?)

China’s Schizophrenic Relationship With Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

More Companies Build Products Around Crypto Hardware Wallets (#GotBitcoin?)

Bakkt Is Scheduled To Start Testing Its Bitcoin Futures Contracts Today (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Now 8 Times More Powerful Than It Was At $20K Price (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange BitMEX Under Investigation By CFTC: Bloomberg (#GotBitcoin?)

“Bitcoin An ‘Unstoppable Force,” Says US Congressman At Crypto Hearing (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Network Is Moving $3 Billion Daily, Up 210% Since April (#GotBitcoin?)

Cryptocurrency Startups Get Partial Green Light From Washington

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee: Bitcoin Pullback Is Healthy, Fewer Searches Аre Good (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Lightning Nodes Are Snatching Funds From Bad Actors (#GotBitcoin?)

The Provident Bank Now Offers Deposit Services For Crypto-Related Entities (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Could Help Stop News Censorship From Space (#GotBitcoin?)

US Sanctions On Iran Crypto Mining — Inevitable Or Impossible? (#GotBitcoin?)

US Lawmaker Reintroduces ‘Safe Harbor’ Crypto Tax Bill In Congress (#GotBitcoin?)

EU Central Bank Won’t Add Bitcoin To Reserves — Says It’s Not A Currency (#GotBitcoin?)

The Miami Dolphins Now Accept Bitcoin And Litecoin Crypt-Currency Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Bashes Bitcoin And Alt-Right Is Mad As Hell (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sachs Ramps Up Development Of New Secret Crypto Project (#GotBitcoin?)

Blockchain And AI Bond, Explained (#GotBitcoin?)

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Outperformed Indexes In First Half Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

XRP Is The Worst Performing Major Crypto Of 2019 (GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Back Near $12K As BTC Shorters Lose $44 Million In One Morning (#GotBitcoin?)

As Deutsche Bank Axes 18K Jobs, Bitcoin Offers A ‘Plan ฿”: VanEck Exec (#GotBitcoin?)

Argentina Drives Global LocalBitcoins Volume To Highest Since November (#GotBitcoin?)

‘I Would Buy’ Bitcoin If Growth Continues — Investment Legend Mobius (#GotBitcoin?)

Lawmakers Push For New Bitcoin Rules (#GotBitcoin?)

Facebook’s Libra Is Bad For African Americans (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Firm Charity Announces Alliance To Support Feminine Health (#GotBitcoin?)

Canadian Startup Wants To Upgrade Millions Of ATMs To Sell Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Trump Says US ‘Should Match’ China’s Money Printing Game (#GotBitcoin?)

Casa Launches Lightning Node Mobile App For Bitcoin Newbies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Rally Fuels Market In Crypto Derivatives (#GotBitcoin?)

World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available On Bloomberg Terminal (#GotBitcoin?)

Buying Bitcoin Has Been Profitable 98.2% Of The Days Since Creation (#GotBitcoin?)

Another Crypto Exchange Receives License For Crypto Futures

From ‘Ponzi’ To ‘We’re Working On It’ — BIS Chief Reverses Stance On Crypto (#GotBitcoin?)

These Are The Cities Googling ‘Bitcoin’ As Interest Hits 17-Month High (#GotBitcoin?)

Venezuelan Explains How Bitcoin Saves His Family (#GotBitcoin?)

Quantum Computing Vs. Blockchain: Impact On Cryptography

This Fund Is Riding Bitcoin To Top (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Surge Leaves Smaller Digital Currencies In The Dust (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exchange Hits $1 Trillion In Trading Volume (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Breaks $200 Billion Market Cap For The First Time In 17 Months (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Make State Tax Payments In Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Religious Organizations Make Ideal Places To Mine Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Goldman Sacs And JP Morgan Chase Finally Concede To Crypto-Currencies (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Heading For Fifth Month Of Gains Despite Price Correction (#GotBitcoin?)

Breez Reveals Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Payments App For IPhone (#GotBitcoin?)

Big Four Auditing Firm PwC Releases Cryptocurrency Auditing Software (#GotBitcoin?)

Amazon-Owned Twitch Quietly Brings Back Bitcoin Payments (#GotBitcoin?)

JPMorgan Will Pilot ‘JPM Coin’ Stablecoin By End Of 2019: Report (#GotBitcoin?)

Is There A Big Short In Bitcoin? (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase Hit With Outage As Bitcoin Price Drops $1.8K In 15 Minutes

Samourai Wallet Releases Privacy-Enhancing CoinJoin Feature (#GotBitcoin?)

There Are Now More Than 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs Around The World (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Get Bitcoin Rewards When Booking At Hotels.Com (#GotBitcoin?)

North America’s Largest Solar Bitcoin Mining Farm Coming To California (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin On Track For Best Second Quarter Price Gain On Record (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Hash Rate Climbs To New Record High Boosting Network Security (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Exceeds 1Million Active Addresses While Coinbase Custodies $1.3B In Assets

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin’s Lightning Comes To Apple Smartwatches With New App (#GotBitcoin?)

E-Trade To Offer Crypto Trading (#GotBitcoin)

US Rapper Lil Pump Starts Accepting Bitcoin Via Lightning Network On Merchandise Store (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitfinex Used Tether Reserves To Mask Missing $850 Million, Probe Finds (#GotBitcoin?)

21-Year-Old Jailed For 10 Years After Stealing $7.5M In Crypto By Hacking Cell Phones (#GotBitcoin?)

You Can Now Shop With Bitcoin On Amazon Using Lightning (#GotBitcoin?)

Afghanistan, Tunisia To Issue Sovereign Bonds In Bitcoin, Bright Future Ahead (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Faithful Say Blockchain Can Remake Securities Market Machinery (#GotBitcoin?)

Disney In Talks To Acquire The Owner Of Crypto Exchanges Bitstamp And Korbit (#GotBitcoin?)

Crypto Exchange Gemini Rolls Out Native Wallet Support For SegWit Bitcoin Addresses (#GotBitcoin?)

Binance Delists Bitcoin SV, CEO Calls Craig Wright A ‘Fraud’ (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Outperforms Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, Grows Whopping 37% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Bitcoin Passes A Milestone 400 Million Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)

Future Returns: Why Investors May Want To Consider Bitcoin Now (#GotBitcoin?)

Next Bitcoin Core Release To Finally Connect Hardware Wallets To Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)

Major Crypto-Currency Exchanges Use Lloyd’s Of London, A Registered Insurance Broker (#GotBitcoin?)

How Bitcoin Can Prevent Fraud And Chargebacks (#GotBitcoin?)

Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)

Zebpay Becomes First Exchange To Add Lightning Payments For All Users (#GotBitcoin?)

Coinbase’s New Customer Incentive: Interest Payments, With A Crypto Twist (#GotBitcoin?)

The Best Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)

Real Estate Brokerages Now Accepting Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)

Ernst & Young Introduces Tax Tool For Reporting Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)

How Will Bitcoin Behave During A Recession? (#GotBitcoin?)

Investors Run Out of Options As Bitcoin, Stocks, Bonds, Oil Cave To Recession Fears (#GotBitcoin?)

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