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Bitcoin and Sports; How They’re Coming Together

Jordan Fuller

While many sports fans may think it’s a football strategy, the term “blockchain” is becoming more and more familiar. The encrypted technology used for keeping records on, and verifying transactions involving cryptocurrency has made its way to the sports world. Fans are seeing the technology pop up increasingly in sports, as leagues, teams, and players associations are using blockchain for tournament payouts, ticket purchases, and fantasy games. The golf world has also been seeing an increase in its use.

Recently, The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A), the ruling authority of golf worldwide apart from North America has implemented a ruling that states that all UK golf courses must legally accept payment in Bitcoin, or potentially face fines. As Bitcoin has rapidly emerged on the scene as a leading digital currency, this move is in anticipation of its use becoming more commonplace.

With golf growing in popularity among the millennial generation, the R&A was keen to make the use of cryptocurrency accessible. They warned golf courses nationwide that if they hadn’t already set up a Bitcoin payment system, they should as soon as possible.

According to R&A officials, it is very simple to convert existing payment systems, converting existing Java-based e-commerce systems to one that “integrates an API that can be used with a Bitcoin payment processing provider and is easily achievable. The system can then be linked to an app that generates a QR code to line seamlessly to a golf club’s unique blockchain.

The R&A is working to educate long-standing golf clubs with regard to the benefits of redesigning their payment platforms to accept Bitcoin, as it is set up to become a standard for payments for goods and services. With the well-received social media campaign #TeeingUpTheCrypto, the R&A has managed to generate awareness with many clubs choosing to take the lead.

The online portal Go Play Golf offers a gift card redeemable at over 5,000 golf courses nationwide, from local courses to world-class destinations. The card can also be used for over 100,000 items of golf equipment, accessories, or supplies.

17-10-2019 12:11:53  |   News
On the resort side, in Bermuda the Newstead Belmont Hills the guests can now pay with Bitcoin at checkout, much in the same way as using a credit card. By scanning a unique barcode on their smartphone linked to their Bitcoin wallet, the transaction is completed easily. The payment processor then takes care of the transaction. They are working on offering the ability to pay on the resort’s website at the time of booking as well.

The hotel continues to base its room rates and commission payments to agents on Bermuda dollars, which are then converted to the Bitcoin market rate when the guest’s checkout using the cryptocurrency.

According to the resort's owner, the cost of the Bitcoin transaction is currently just pennies compared to the traditional 3% charged by credit card companies. However, they add that as the currency stabilizes the travel companies would be wise to consider using cryptocurrencies, and not just for their potential to reduce transaction costs. They recognize the fact that there is an entire culture now emerging around cryptocurrency and making the move will help to access that market.

Even in the iGaming sector, there are a growing number of Bitcoin casinos where players exclusively play for Bitcoin and withdraw or deposit to and from their Bitcoin wallets. Meanwhile, there are retail outlets that now accept payment in Bitcoin for everything from sandwiches to coffee. As Bitcoin is increasingly being used to pay for goods and services in a host of entertainment and leisure industries, it’s a reasonable assumption that the golf world will surely be following suit.

About the Author:

Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who continued his passion for it by mentoring, coaching, and writing. He writes about golf tips and reviews on his site, https://www.golfinfluence.com

Image courtesy of CCN

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