The NFL Playoffs start tomorrow (Tennessee at Kansas City, 4:35p EST) and FanDuel is giving daily fantasy football players the chance to win Bitcoins (BTC); the first time a sports-tech company has awarded cryptocurrency as a consumer promotion. FanDuel will host a free single-entry contest (aka the Bitcoin Bowl) that will award the winner a single Bitcoin; and a second multi-entry contest, that costs $3 to enter and offers a multi-tiered payout (winner receives 2 Bitcoins). The deadline to enter and select a lineup is kickoff of the Tennessee/Kansas City game.
Howie Long-Short: FanDuel has raised capital from the following public companies (or subsidiaries of public companies) KKR & Co. (KKR), Google Capital (GOOGL), Time Warner/Turner Sports (TWX), NBC Sports Ventures (CMCSA) and Comcast Ventures (CMCSA); so, there are no shortage of ways to play the fantasy sports outfit. As for the popular cryptocurrency, the WSJ reported that Peter Thiel’s venture capital fund bet $15 million to $20 million on Bitcoin; upon release of that report, BTC prices shot up 14% to $15,447. The digital coins were trading at +/- $15,150 on the evening of January 4, 2018.
Fan Marino: Facebook (FB) has entered the DFS space, launching TheScore Fantasy on Facebook Instant Games; accessible only through their Messenger application. The mobile game currently enables you to play NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB & Premier League contests, but only against your friends and there is no monetary incentive to win. It’s not a game for the hardcore DFS player, but the simplistic interface and small roster sizes (just 5 players) could make it attractive to the next generation of football fans; those not yet of age (18) to play DFS.
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The Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL) will debut in Summer 2018, with fans having complete control over front office decisions, player roster formation and play calling. Powered by Ethereum (ETH) blockchain technology, fans can purchase tokens that enable engagement across the FCFL platform; with the blockchain recording all league transactions, ensuring transparency and user confidence in the decision-making processes. The one-hour, 7-on-7 games will be played in a production studio, enabling the league to reduce travel costs and “become a development league for sports technology.” The league will consist of 8 teams; with players, coaches and the top fans of the winning team splitting a $1 million championship prize.
Howie Long-Short: Anyone can invest in this new league; participating in the public presale (raised $5 million to date) of FAN tokens. For those new to cryptocurrency, Bitcoin and Ethereum (or its digital currency Ether) are not competitors and the terms cannot be used interchangeably. Bitcoin is a digital currency that operates on blockchain technology; while Ethereum’s “smart contract” ledger technology allows for decentralized applications (like the FCFL) to be built on top of it. BTC is a medium of payment transactions and is a way to store value (i.e. an alternative to money), while ETH facilitates peer-to-peer contracts and applications via its own internal currency. Though both have been on a tear of late; BTC is up 70.62% over the last month (to $16,039), while ETH is up 59.11% over the last 30 days (to $747.88).
Fan Marino: The FCFL isn’t the first sports league looking to make a name for itself on the back for the crypto-currency craze; Rungsted Seier Capital, a hockey team that plays in the top Danish league, renamed its home Bitcoin Arena and has begun paying players in digital currency. Rungsted star Nikolaj Rosenthal became the first professional athlete to be paid solely in Bitcoin (BTC). The contract does contain measures that protect him in the event BTC value falls off a cliff; a possibility considering the price has dropped 30% 6x in 2017.
Fan Controlled Football League, Powered By Blockchain, Prepares For Launch
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