The Sacramento Kings became the first professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin virtual currency in place of dollars Thursday.
“I think we are in the beginning of something new,” Kings President Chris Granger said.
Fans can now use Bitcoin to buy gear at the Kings team store. By March, they will be able to purchase tickets, and later, goodies from the concession stands.
So, what is Bitcoin?
It is a virtual currency that can be earned mainly in three ways.
- You can buy its value with dollars or any other government issued currency.
- You can get paid in Bitcoin in place of money when selling goods.
- You can “mine” it. This means you must program your computer to crunch complex math problems. If you get them right, you will be rewarded with Bitcoin.
Option three may be a little advanced for regular folks. However, for brainy Kings fans who know how to mine and already have free Bitcoin wallets, life just got easier.
“All I’m going to do is touch this, scan the QR Code, and literally with a click of button, I’ll be able to send Bitcoin from my Bitcoin wallet to the Kings,” Granger said. “And it’s as simple as that.”
Unlike credit card or PayPal purchases, Bitcoin does not require bank accounts or a third party. It is a peer to peer direct exchange of currency with no fees for the user.
“While this is not going to be a huge component of our business, it is certainly growing in popularity here in Sacramento and across the world, and so we just want to provide something to fans who want to transact in Bitcoin just as you transact in cash or credit card,” Granger said. “We are just adding another option for fans.”
Some critics of Bitcoin say there are some risks. Although the company launched in 2009, its worth only skyrocketed just last November, and has fluctuated since then. Its value is not stable. Also digital cash has the potential to be erased.