January 17, 2014

The NBA's Sacramento Kings became the first professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin, allowing fans to buy merchandise and tickets with the virtual currency.

The Bitcoin purchases will be processed through BitPay, which bills itself as the world's largest payment processor for virtual currencies.

According to a press statement, The Kings' majority team owner Vivek Ranadivé -- who purchased the team earlier this year -- has directed a business philosophy coined "NBA 3.0," which focuses on investments in technology, globalization and deep community partnerships. The BitPay relationship marks another manifestation of the 3.0 philosophy in Sacramento, the team said.

“We are maniacally focused on creating the most seamless experience for our fans in all facets,” said Ranadiv√© in the statement. “With BitPay, we are able to implement a technology that allows our fans to make Kings-related purchases without physically reaching into their wallets. A major tenet of the NBA 3.0 philosophy is about utilizing technology for the betterment of the fan experience, and this is yet another step in that process.”

[See Also: Startup Set To Introduce First Bitcoin ATM]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...