Sacramento Kings become first major sports franchise to accept bitcoin

NBA franchise becomes first major sports team to take digital currency.
Posted By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   Jan. 17, 2014 at 12:50 PM
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It’s hardly a slam dunk to be a success, but the Sacramento Kings will now accept bitcoin for merchandise sold at Sleep Train Arena and plan on taking the virtual currency for online transactions beginning in March.

The Kings are the first major professional sports franchise to accept the digital currency and their technology-conscious owner hopes they won’t be the last.

"The way I saw it, bitcoin had reached a tipping point where it had crossed from being a curiosity to a becoming a legitimate form of doing commerce," said owner Vivek Ranadivé.

Mr. Ranadivé is the founder and chief executive of Tibco Software.

Thanks to Ranadivé, who purchased the franchise for $534 million in order to keep it in Sacramento, the Kings are now regarded as a forward-thinking organization. According to Ranadivé, the team’s location near Silicon Valley and the “tech mind-set" have the bitcoin initiative poised for success.

Atlanta-based company BitPay will process all of the Kings’ bitcoin transactions.

“It’s a big deal for BitPay, and it’s a huge deal for the Bitcoin community,” said BitPay vice president Stephanie Wargo. “I’m sure there’s lots of Kings fans with bitcoins.”

One fan agrees.

“Best news ever,” said Justin Dambacher, a local business owner and bitcoin user.

[Wall Street Journal]

[Sacramento Bee]

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