Blockchain and CryptoCurrencies are radically changing the FinTech landscape, opening doors for other industries to also benefit from this technology.
In the future, the world of sports could be highly improved by the use of such technologies in the tracking of athletes’ performance metrics, anti-doping measures and even as a boost for the engagement of fans.
How does Blockchain work?
The perception of Bitcoin is that it works merely as transaction system or as virtual money, but after looking at it more carefully you can realize that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
In reality, “The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value”. Don & Alex Tapscott (2016).
Blockchain technology enables a network of computers to keep track of a collective bookkeeping via the Web. Those books are not owned by only one party nor closed to the public.
Thus, all transactions are public and on record and we can know date and time of each one of them. Blockchain technology serves as a notary and that is why we can always trust it.
Engagement of fans
For clubs, to stay afloat in today’s world, they have embraced the use of social media, however, blockchain technology could be the real game changer. In the near future, we could imagine sports clubs introducing their own cryptocurrency exchangeable for tickets, merchandising and other benefits.
The system could lead to a more efficient peer-to-peer ticket exchange between fans, making the re-sales market safer and fair leading to more profits for clubs and better experiences for fans.
Going one step further, to loyalty schemes blockchain technologies are emerging in the sports industry. IBM has already partnered with rewards platform Loyal, completely build with this technology.
Moreover, blockchain opens the possibility for clubs to reward fans using smart contracts which could be completely automated sending fans tickets or credit to their accounts. Or team up with global partners to allow fans to spend their tokens through one network.
Engagement of fans and rewarding the community is at the heart of blockchain startup Jetcoin, a new digital fuel that gives fans and supporters in the world of sports and entertainment a unique opportunity to benefit directly from the success of their favorite athletes and stars.
The “Jetcoin Champion” releases a portion of their IP rights to the Jetcoin Institute, which then creates and drafts a career plan with the budget necessary to implement this plan to raise the necessary funds.
Fans and supporters can get “jetcoins” in two ways: you can buy them through the platform or earn them through POS and proof of social engagement. The more fans promoting the talent, the more direct benefits they receive.
Many scandals have broke in recent years regarding this subject. During the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, hackers made several files public about doping cases in the U.S team including highly regarded and performing athletes.
The blockchain is an opportunity not only for the protection of these files being leaked to the public but for the fairness in the sports world ensuring that the own federations don’t manipulate data to hide doping cases.
Using blockchain, a more structured system for recording prescriptions and test results could be considered the answer because once the data is in the system its veracity will be checked according to preset protocols before being definitely logged into the blockchain and making it impossible to alter.
Athletes’ performance metrics and statistics
The world of sports produces an unimaginable amount of data which has yet to be used to its full potential. Performance metrics of athletes can be incredibly beneficial for the set up of coaching and training plans helping sportsmen and women achieve better results by understanding their capabilities.
Blockchain can serve as a reliable data bank of biometric measurements and race data collected from trusted devices and logged directly into ledgers.
Although blockchain is still to reach its full potential, the opportunities for the sporting world in the future are promising. The key players of the sports industry should keep in mind that the use of blockchain will be highly regulated in the future, yet it is important for clubs to start embracing this technology if they want to stay atop of their game.
Author: Andrea Giordano