Sacramento Kings to auction retired player's jerseys on Ethereum
The relationship between blockchain and sports has matured significantly over the past few years, with the NBA proving to be the standard-bearers of innovation within the industry.
Last week, the Sacramento Kings basketball team worked with ConsenSys to launch a new blockchain-based auction platform to sell retired player's jerseys on the Ethereum network.
The partnership permitted individuals to “live-bid” on retired jerseys, and was designed to counter fraud and ensure that all bets, materials and transactions were authentic, valid and recorded to a transparent ledger.
The Kings were concerned at the fraud that is common in sports-related auctions, particularly on the secondary market. The Ethereum blockchain deployment lets users purchase the jerseys directly from the Kings themselves, steering away from individuals or resellers:
The total value of the [United States] sports memorabilia market has been valued at $5.4 billion annually, yet there are no industry standards for authenticating items and protecting fans from purchasing counterfeit merchandise. Through this partnership, the Kings and ConsenSys are effectively increasing the resale potential for authenticated merchandise on secondary markets.
A jersey worn during a game by Kings guard Buddy Hield received 73 bids and was sold for $1,090 for the benefit of Hurricane Dorian relief. Proceeds from the auctions also went to the Sacramento Kings Foundation.
The Kings team has a long history with crypto. In the summer of 2018, the organization became the first sports team to mine Ethereum for charity through an initiative known as “Mining for Good.”
In addition, the team have appeared to have sparked a trend and convinced none other than billionaire and co-owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, to accept crypto as a method of payment.
It has been reported here that Cuban had once spoken out against and offered a very frank assessment on bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general. However, he ultimately became convinced to allow the Mavericks to partner with crypto payment processor BitPay in August 2019, offerings fans the opportunity to pay for tickets and merchandise with Bitcoin. Many fans were reportedly asking the team to permit crypto payments, and Cuban felt he didn’t want to turn away from potential innovation.