09/02/2018 at 13:21

Blockchain Technology in Sports – Will it Affect Rugby?

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have been quite popular lately. The thing that makes them popular is the complete decentralization, unlike the system banks use, which is centralized. Add to that the extra layers of security and you get a very efficient and open way of financial transactions which is also very safe, not only from hacks, but itself.

Sports are affected by this, no doubt, but how much?

Blockchain technology is affecting sports betting, primarily, but many other things related to sports can be improved by using cryptocurrencies. Regarding betting, safer transactions and an open system can be used, like the one on FansUnite. 

What about rugby? Will it be affected? And sports in general? How is the popularity and rise of cryptocurrencies changing the world of sports?

Transparency and Data Safety

This has always been a concern in sports. Doping data and medical examinations which have found their way to the public have discredited a lot of athletes, some rightfully so. This does put a target on the backs of hackers involved in such events.

Blockchain technology solves that by having the data available publicly, on a network. Hacks would be possible in theory, yet due to the sheer amount of necessary computing power necessary for such a feat, it would be a difficult thing to do in real life. Blockchain technology requires a lot of power for an unauthorized change in the chain, even the smallest one. Likewise, volatile data such as doping tests would not compromise the sender, as they would be safe from exposure.

This way, any data entered into the chain would have to be checked rigorously and would protect the integrity of sports and athletes, as well, at the same time discrediting the ones using illegal substances.

The Fans – An Important Part of Sports

No team or brand can really exist long enough without their fans. Most athletes would see it as a dead end unless the team becomes extremely successful in a short period of time. Fans need to engage with the team and their merchandise.

Blockchain technology could enhance that by giving fans a new way to spend their money, by earning fan tokens, specific tokens assigned to each team and brand. They could use those tokens to purchase merchandise or tickets or even food and beverage on matches. An example of that exists already, as Havas Sports & Entertainment and Havas Blockchain have a program which rewards loyal fans. It also gives brands a new way of interacting with their fans, bringing the passion closer to the players and everyone on the team.

Data and Statistics Storage

Blockchain technology allows for massive amounts of data to be stored. Any sports fan knows that there is a lot of statistics involved as they read through a lot of it before placing bets. BraveLog, launched in 2017 with help from Microsoft Azure, enables data from races to be stored in a ledger using blockchain technology. This enables upcoming professionals to improve their game by having access to statistics and workout routines.

Rugby as a sport will be changed by blockchain technology, albeit probably not directly. Surely enough, as sports start to adopt the technology, so will rugby, eventually be affected.