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NBA’s Sacramento Kings Launch League’s First Crypto Tokens


The Sacramento Kings have launched the NBA’s first blockchain-powered fan rewards program. The rewards program was created in partnership with fan engagement company Blockparty and will be used to enhance Call the Shot, a free-to-play prediction game that the Kings originally launched in 2016. 

Call the Shot tasks fans with predicting outcomes such as which team will have the highest rebounds in a game or which player will score the most points. Last season, gambling operator MGM Resorts sponsored the game, raising the possibility that it could eventually be more closely connected to sports betting.

Kings Tokens are set to be leveraged within a token wallet added to the team’s Golden 1 Center app, this tracks the engagement and accumulated points of fans. Fans can have the ability to earn rewards through the Call the Shot platform and redeem those points for access to unique events, signed merchandise or courtside tickets and what not.

The Kings CTO Ryan Montoya said:

“Fans can get those points and put them in their wallets and experience it all on the blockchain platform.”

Gearing for Mass Adoption

The Sacramento Kings was the first NBA team to accept bitcoin as payment in its arena and have been taking Bitcoin as payment for tickets since 2014. Their latest token is an ERC20, the Ethereum token standard that became the go-to in the 2017 ICO boom. Sacramento fans will be able to download it onto a digital wallet integrated with a thing called the Golden 1 Center app.

The ERC-20 token will run on ethereum but will only initially be usable within the team’s Golden 1 Center arena. While fans won’t be able to trade the token for another currency or have a private key, they will be able to show a QR code to redeem points and see the confirmation of transactions through a block explorer. In testnet now, the Kings plans to launch the token by opening night on Oct. 25.

In future iterations, token users may be able to transfer tokens to their peers, and earn rewards by eating at nearby restaurants or making it to the game before tip-off.

“This is a mass adoption story”

-Vladislav Ginzburg, Blockparty’s chief development officer.

“Forty-one games of 20,000 people – I’m going to go ahead and say that many of those people don’t own any crypto whatsoever. Suddenly by downloading the Golden 1 Center app, they are going to have an ERC-20 wallet with an ERC-20 token.”

Last year, the Kings became the first professional sports team to mine cryptocurrency, setting up a program called MiningForGood that donates the funds to charity.

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