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Hat-trick hero: Empty stadiums get blockchain and soccer to play together

Republished by Plato

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In a first for professional soccer, Spanish team DUX Internacional de Madrid has used crypto to buy a new player. Ex-Real Madrid player David Barral is a new acquisition for the club facilitated by the cryptocurrency trading company Criptan.

Although technically this is not the first recorded Bitcoin (BTC) transfer, amateur Turkish club Harunustaspor bought 22-year-old player Omer Faruk Kiroglu back in 2018 for 0.0524 Bitcoin and 2,500 Turkish Lira. This move was performed to gain attention for the club in international media for doing “something new” but not necessarily sparking blockchain adoption in soccer.

DUX’s acquisition is indicative of the adoption of blockchain technology and crypto tokens within the soccer community and its fans. This development came soon after European soccer giant AC Milan joined the blockchain bandwagon by announcing on Jan. 18 the impending launch of their native fan token, ACM, on the Chiliz blockchain, a fan engagement platform.

The CHZ blockchain includes 20 other sporting organizations and has reportedly been installed 450,000 times, with token sales exceeding 14 million in number, with the fan token of reigning Italian Serie A champions Juventus ($JUV) being one of the first to be listed on the platform. Alejandro Laplana, CEO and Founder of Shokworks — a company that develops digital platforms for various brands and sports teams — discussed AC Milan’s move with Cointelegraph:

“This is great because it can engage their 250 million (+) fans all across the globe and include them in exercises like voting and direct feedback in club policy. Moreover, this can further engage them with gamified loyalty and rewards programs via secure smart contracts that reward engagement with additional tokens. It can also help build liquidity by listing their tokens in exchanges.”

AC Milan’s entry into the blockchain domain is an interesting case when compared to other soccer clubs that have joined previously, as it is a club with a huge fanbase. The club’s achievements have been scarce over the last decade, and this move is bound to streamline fan engagement and enable it to acquire new fans, especially given its current push to win the Serie A league title.

In addition to AC Milan, other soccer clubs, such as Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and Manchester City are becoming participants in the blockchain and crypto community. In fact, Spanish giant FC Barcelona generated $1.3 million in less than two hours after launching its token, BAR, selling 600,000 Barcelona crypto-based tokens for $2.20 each back in February 2020. The initial sale was oversubscribed by more than five times, and the price of the BAR rose by 200% in the first five minutes of trading on Chiliz. It currently holds a market capitalization of over $20 million.

Laplana further stated how FC Barcelona’s token is unique when compared to the token offerings from other soccer clubs: “It helped inform — via fan interaction — the design of the mural for the first team locker room. […] The token is designed to reward holders of the tokens (fans) for increased engagement with more tokens.”

Fan engagement during COVID-19

The coronavirus global pandemic brought sporting events to a standstill, canceling most of them and postponing the 2020 UEFA Football Championship and the Tokyo Olympics 2020 being postponed to 2021 for the first time in history. The soccer industry was hit with empty stadiums due to COVID-19 restrictions and with the general lack of engagement and monetization from the global fan base. Since fans are not in the stadiums, tokens provide them with voting rights in club-specific polls or give them access to VIP experiences or can be redeemed against exclusive club merchandise.

Another way to engage fans is through trading cards and fantasy soccer games based on a blockchain. For example, Sorare is a blockchain-based fantasy soccer game that leverages classic soccer trading cards and fantasy league games. It runs on the Ethereum blockchain and uses nonfungible tokens. An NFT is a special crypto token that represents something unique, and thus, it is not mutually interchangeable. FC Barcelona star center-back Gerard Pique is a seed investor for Sorare.

Use cases go beyond fan engagement

Amid the ongoing global pandemic, fan engagement is the most important aspect that the introduction of blockchain within soccer can bring about. However, there are several other use cases that can become vital.

Laplana explained that soccer clubs can use the technology to build up liquidity for specific programs such as stadium renovations, adding: “Another use case is clear and transparent elections in a sport that has unfortunately been tarnished by decades of rampant corruption and disputed election results at every level of the sport.”

The ongoing global pandemic has been devastating for sporting organizations, including soccer, as stadiums are currently going empty, affecting the revenue and fanbases of teams. Various major international clubs are now resorting to crypto and blockchain to find ways to bridge this gap.

These use cases could be employed for clubs that have a considerable fanbase and are currently facing challenges on and off the field. Stefan Ateljevic, founder of BitcoinPlay — a Bitcoin gamification platform — told Cointelegraph how cryptocurrencies could begin to play a larger role in the economics of the soccer world:

“In the next few years, I wouldn’t be surprised if clubs used crypto as legal tender between themselves — if it legally becomes an option. Clubs that have cryptocurrency reserves could simply use these assets to buy and trade players, as they would in any other fiat currency. This could extend to even salaries, as crypto becomes more integrated into the business world.”

With the advent of smart contracts, clubs could also use blockchains to code a player’s transfer record, thus enabling soccer organizations to trace a player’s history from the youth academies all the way to global sporting leagues. The same can be done with the player’s medical data history to enable club management to make informed decisions with ease about their picks from the talent pool. This can be done by using tools like PowerAgent, which is a smart contract ecosystem that enables sporting professionals to create and manage smart contracts by connecting all the involved parties of the athlete’s contract negotiation and agreement procedure.

Related: Celebs and crypto in 2020: Blockchain cities, Bitcoin newbies and Twitter trolling

Fans could also benefit from having an easier ticketing exchange mechanism, as the technology makes exchanges safer and more reliable, eliminating tickets being sold on the black market. Another impending use case could be the monetization of proprietary content on Over-The-Top media platforms and current popular general content providers — such as Netflix, Disney Hotstar, YouTube, Amazon, etc. — via smart contracts becoming critical to the growth of teams, clubs, leagues and players.

Regulation plays a key role

Blockchain technology and crypto can be utilized in various sports across the globe, offering opportunities to engage fans, stakeholders and players alike. Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs — a blockchain-based gaming company — told Cointelegraph that blockchain technology has been used with other sports in the United States:

“Sports leagues, teams and athletes are starting to understand the importance of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Fans of the Sacrament Kings and Dallas Mavericks can purchase tickets and merchandise, using Bitcoin. […] $12 million+ has been invested by collectors on NBA Top Shot, and we’re still only in our Beta. Recent Top Shots have gone for as much as $35,000, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down.”

Even though Dapper Labs is involved with the National Basketball Association of the United States, popular sports in the U.S. such as basketball, football and baseball have a smaller presence in the crypto sports community compared to soccer.

Ateljevic further opined that the regulatory situation in the U.S. makes it more difficult for clubs to adopt the technology: “Crypto regulations are different in each country or zone, such as is the case in the EU. In other words, I think it would be a bit more complicated for the NBA or NFL to start using crypto in their customer engagement strategy.” Laplana stated ways in which this regulatory environment can change:

“It is up to club boards and their partners to take charge in building and rolling out fan tokens — in close contact with domestic regulatory authorities — that can add value to fan bases and the organization under a compliant framework.”

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/hat-trick-hero-empty-stadiums-get-blockchain-and-soccer-to-play-together

Blockchain

Polkadot Gears Up for Parachains Launch: Unveils ‘Common Good’ Parachains

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Polkadot, the interoperable blockchain protocol spearheaded by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, has announced its forthcoming parachain launch.

Parachains – application-specific blockchains that connect to the main network and benefit from its security and computing capacity – are viewed as the building block of Polkadot’s ecosystem. Initially, the plan was for 100 parachain slots, with an auction process determining who gets to ‘lease’ parachains for defined time periods.

However, according to a blog post published by the team on February 25, some slots will be made available for ‘governance-allocated parachains,’ also known as common good parachains. These common good parachains have been conceived to address the so-called “free rider” problem, wherein parachains can forgo contributing to elements (such as bridges) that may benefit the ecosystem as a whole.

Solving the Free-rider Problem

The free-rider problem is best understood with reference to an analogy. Supposing a levy is imposed on car manufacturers to offset pollution: in turn, vehicles’ cost is increased, and all drivers are forced to pay extra.

Although everyone will subsequently benefit from a less toxic atmosphere, only those who actually buy a car will have contributed: the others (cyclists, for example) are considered free riders.

Polkadot’s governance process will essentially earmark parachain slots for consideration outwith the auction process, with a Council and Technical Committee representing passive stakeholders and supplying technical guidance. Both groups will then decide whether to accept or reject the direct registration of certain parachains.

According to the blog post, both system-level chains and public-utility chains may emerge as blockchain categories that qualify as common good chains.

Any parachain, in other words, that the Polkadot team deem beneficial for the overall ecosystem – bridges, identity projects, and smart contract platforms and governance would all theoretically be under consideration.

Chains that help remove transactions from the Relay Chain and enable more efficient parachain processing seem the likeliest to be considered ‘common good.’

As noted in Polkadot’s blogpost:

“By allocating a subset of parachain slots to common good chains, the entire network can realize the benefit of valuable parachains that would otherwise be underfunded due to the free-rider problem.

Polkadot’s governance system is on the bleeding edge of social coordination and it will be exciting to see how it helps the network evolve to meet the needs of its constituent parachains and stakeholders.”

Polkadot Gears Up for Parachain Launch

The Polkadot team recently published a roadmap noting that all upcoming parachains will be tested on regular parachain testnets, like Rococo and on Kusama Network. The latter being Polkadot’s canary network.

Kusama is a proving ground for parachains, allowing developers to build and deploy them and experiment with Polkadot’s governance, staking, nomination, and validation functionality.

Once parachains are live, community members will have their say on which additional features and network upgrades should be incorporated over time.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/polkadot-gears-up-for-parachains-launch-unveils-common-good-parachains/

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Blockchain

Cardano Price Analysis: 28 February

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While a majority of the assets are still trying to recover from the recent price drop, Cardano managed to record a new all-time high over the past week. Clocking in a value of $1.48 yesterday, Cardano is currently one of the top three assets in the world and while the asset has registered a 10% drop over the past few hours, it has maintained its 3rd position with a market cap of $38 billion.

Cardano 6-hour chart

Source: ADA/USD on Trading View

The 6-hour chart of Cardano continued to indicate a rising price but the asset was moving within the trendlines of an ascending channel. With a couple of higher highs witnessed, the asset has dipped over the past 24-hours, and the correction may go even further in the charts. A bearish breakout should allow the asset to recover its position at a previously held range before addressing the higher range again in the future.

At press time, the 50-day Moving Average has continued to act as underlying support but a possible move below $1.12 is likely.

According to the VPVR range, the support range at $0.90-$0.95 could be tested since the trading volume at the price point has been significant over the past few weeks.

Market Indicators

Source: ADA/USD on Trading View

Market Indicators appeared a little on the neutral side at press time but considering the pattern was bearish, the indicators may head in the same direction.

Relative Strength Index or RSI is currently holding a position above 50 but the indicator suggested an increasing selling pressure in the chart. Stochastic RSI is exhibiting a bearish pullback at press time, with the signal line hovering the bullish line.

MACD appeared bullish at press time, but a potential trend reversal is in the charts, with the MACD line converging towards the bearish line.

Important levels to watch out for

Resistance: $1.48
Support: $1.30, $0.92-$0.90
Entry Position for Short: $1.325
Stop-Loss: $1.48
Take Profit: $0.90-$0.92
Risk/Reward Ratio: 2.43x

Conclusion 

Cardano’s price action has been within the ascending channel formation and a bearish breakout in the coming week should not be discounted.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/cardano-price-analysis-28-february

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Blockchain

Bitcoin Cash, Uniswap, Zcash Price Analysis: 28 February

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Bitcoin Cash looked uncertain to flip its press time resistance as the indicators gave mixed signals regarding its future trajectory. Uniswap could move southbound from its descending triangle pattern as momentum rose on the selling side. Zcash showed some indecision in its market as the price continued to trade within a range, with a breakout unlikely over the coming sessions.

Bitcoin Cash [BCH]

Source: BCH/USD, TradingView

With weekly losses of over 33%, Bitcoin Cash slipped to the 12th position on the crypto-rankings with a market cap of $8.6 billion. On the 4-hour timeframe, the price slipped below $464 support but the bulls eyed a comeback on the charts. The RSI avoided the oversold territory but pointed lower from the 35-mark at the time of writing. The MACD was bullish-neutral as the fast-moving line floated just above the Signal line.

It was doubtful whether the aforementioned resistance mark could be flipped over the next few sessions as trading volumes and buying activity remained muted.

Uniswap [UNI]

Source: UNI/USD, TradingView

A descending triangle formed on Uniswap’s 4-hour chart after the price formed lower highs post record levels. Prices usually tend to break downwards from this pattern on low trading volumes. The Awesome Oscillator showed that momentum rested with the selling side as the red bars rose below the half-line. A fall below the lower trendline could see UNI move towards the $15 mark.

The Stochastic RSI disagreed with the AO and suggested that UNI could be up for some gains after a bullish crossover in the oversold zone. However, a move above the upper trendline was unlikely considering the state of the broader market.

Zcash [ZEC]

Source: ZEC/USD, TradingView

Zcash continued to move within a fixed channel on the 4-hour chart as equilibrium was maintained between the buyers and sellers. The Bollinger Bands also reflected the consolidation as volatility remained low in the market. The MACD line was superimposed on the signal line, reflecting the indecision in the market.

However, a sharp move in either direction could see the market tilt strongly in the favor of the side that enforces the breakout. A bullish scenario could see ZEC move towards the next resistance mark at $138.4. Conversely, a fall could see the price move towards $98.1 support.


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/bitcoin-cash-uniswap-zcash-price-analysis-28-february

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