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Sacramento Kings is first major US sports team to accept Bitcoin

January 17
7:44 AM 2014

The Sacramento Kings has accepted Bitcoin, showcasing the basketball team's fresh fascination with the virtual currency, The Sacramento Bee reported. The professional team said it had already started accepting Bitcoin to pay for merchandise bought in its Sleep Train Arena store. On March 1, the Kings will accept the digital money to pay for online transactions like tickets and merchandise, the report said.

Technology blogs, business sites and other news media outlets gave major attention to the announcement, the report said. Aside from enhancing reputation of the Kings as a forward-thinking organization, the acceptance also gave renewed legitimacy to the currency that is not yet quite understood and is still seeking for acceptance among businesses and consumers, the report said.

The Kings said accepting the digital currency was just another way for the team to reach out to the fans. Chris Granger, the President of the Kings, said that the team has a growing number of tech-oriented fans. Accepting Bitcoins were just the team's way to give the fans a more seamless and hassle free experience, Granger said.

The Kings don't consider Bitcoins to comprise a major portion of their business but Granger believes that in time, use of the currency will grow.

The Kings is working with BitPay Inc, the Atlanta-based firm that will be processing all of the transactions of the digital currency.

The report quoted BitPay President Stephanie Wargo as saying, "It's a big deal for BitPay, and it's a huge deal for the Bitcoin community. I'm sure there's lots of Kings fans with bitcoins." Last year, BitPay was able to process transactions worth $110 million in the digital currency. BitPay changes Bitcoins to dollars for its merchants, including Kings. Wargo, however, said the owners of the basketball team have given them a sign that they intend to retain some of their proceeds in the digital currency and won't be converting it to dollars right away, the report said.

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