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Crypto Is Closer to Adoption as NBA Team Launches First Blockchain-Based App

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:40 PM
Kiril Nikolaev
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:40 PM
  • The Sacramento Kings launched a blockchain-powered app that allows fans to bid on game-worn gear.
  • NBA is at the forefront of crypto adoption in professional sports.
  • The Kings must start winning big games to help raise awareness of the potential of blockchain technology.

Many people think that cryptocurrencies only serve as an alternative payment option. While there are coins that fit this bill, there are other cryptocurrencies that can perform a host of other functions.

I laud the efforts of one NBA team to help raise awareness on the potential of blockchain technology. The Sacramento Kings, in partnership with Consensys and Treum, launched a blockchain-powered platform that enables fans to purchase authentic in-game gear.

Kings Fans Can Now Bid on Game-Worn Sports Gear

During home games, Kings fans can participate in a live auction of game-worn gear through the award-winning + Golden 1 Center  app. On Tuesday, the game-worn jersey of Kings guard Buddy Hield was auctioned off.

The Kings announcing the launch of the blockchain app through Twitter
The Kings announcing the launch of the app through Twitter. | Source: Twitter 

By using the blockchain-powered platform, all auctioned items will be authenticated. According to a Reddit user, a digital token will be minted once an item is sold . The buyer will receive the token in an Ethereum wallet. The token will serve as proof of the item’s authenticity.

Another advantage of using blockchain technology is that buyers can establish a trail of the item’s purchase history. Should the auction winner decide to sell the game-worn gear, the person can show the token to prove ownership and transfer it to the buyer. The process is designed to protect fans from counterfeit memorabilia.

NBA Is Spearheading Crypto Adoption in Professional Sports

The NBA can be considered an early adopter of crypto. In 2014, the Sacramento Kings became the first NBA franchise to accept bitcoin as payment for store products and season tickets. Four years later, the same team began mining Ethereum .

Recently, Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie tokenized his contract to get a lump sum payment and reward token holders. Now, the Kings are once again ahead of the curve in combating fake NBA merchandise.

As an NBA fan, I can see how a blockchain-powered platform can facilitate adoption. NBA fans are arguably the most passionate in the world. The NBA has no shortage of iconic memories. This is a match made in heaven for authentic game-worn memorabilia.

Raptors fans would sell one of their kidneys if that meant they could own the jersey worn by Kawhi Leonard when he hit the legendary shot against the Sixers in game seven of the 2019 Eastern Conference semifinals.

Cleveland fans would do the same to get the game-worn jersey of Kyrie Irving or LeBron James in game seven of the 2016 NBA finals.

The list could go on and on. There’s a demand for game-worn jerseys of players who create sports history, so it’s very likely that other NBA teams will follow the Kings’ lead. Once that happens, franchises in other professional sports would likely hop on the blockchain bandwagon.

Professional Sports Adoption of Blockchain Won’t Happen Overnight

The Sacramento Kings may be innovators, but they haven’t been winning a lot lately. In fact, they haven’t been in the playoffs since 2006 . That’s a big obstacle for the widespread adoption of the blockchain-powered app.

If the franchise is not creating sports history, demand for game-worn jersey is unlikely to skyrocket. Sure, the Kings have a neat app where fans can bid on player-worn garb. But to get both fans and other franchises to really buy into this solution, the team has to win big. You want fans bragging on social media how they got the jersey worn by a Kings player during a monumental playoff upset.