Engate Uses NEM Blockchain to Support Athletes’ Dreams to Participate in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Majors and Minors stream live on Engate’s NEM-blockchain-based entertainment platform in Japan.
Engate is a Japanese start-up that employs Bitcoin, Ethereum, and NEM engineers to create NEM-token-technology based mass-market sports entertainment. Since it announced its launch on October 20th, Engate has been the talk of the sports/blockchain world with coverage from Nikkei, TechCrunch, and Cryptocurrency journals after both major and minor teams announced their participation at a press conference held on October 9, 2018.
Shortening the distances between fans, teams, and athletes
Through the facilitation of “gifting” in real time as fans watch games and practices, the entertainment platform financially supports sports teams and their athletes. Fans buy Engate points (NEM’s mosaics) in Japanese yen, then choose digital gifts to “toss” to their favorite athletes and teams. These gifts financially support team operations and upcoming athletes. All transactions are recorded on the NEM blockchain, and the history of the use of Engate points and gifting creates immutable bonds among fans, teams, and athletes.
With more to come, twenty teams in six different sports — soccer, handball, baseball, basketball, futsal, martial arts — have initially registered with the Engate platform including popular soccer teams: men’s first-tier Shonan Bellmare, women’s national soccer team “Nadeshiko”, and women’s pro soccer team, INAC KOBE. INAC KOBE has five strong candidates vying for spots on Japan’s 2020 Olympic soccer team. “These five candidates and their team can benefit from the opportunity that Engate provides to bring the fans closer to their sports idols,“ says Engate CEO and founder Koichiro Kido.
Japan’s challenge in sports industry
Japan’s sports industry has faced financial challenges after the burst of the 1990’s economic bubble when large corporations reduced their sponsorships of corporate sports teams. Though Japan has been an industrially advanced country for decades, the average annual income for athletes is still lower than that of regular corporate employees.
Engate’s business plan was born out of Kido’s personal experience with efforts to raise funds for his fellow high school alumnus, Akira Ishibashi, in his bid to participate in the Mixed 49er Sailing event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Many other alumnae and his fans bought 10 or more T-shirts and donated money to help realize Ishibashi’s dream. While Ishibashi succeeded in raising sufficient funds with the help of his friends, Kido thought that some talented athletes abandon their aspirations because they do not have the means to mobilize similar kinds of support.
Blockchain is the solution
Kido sought a solution and eventually encountered blockchain technology and formed a team of engineer/athletes. To realize their vision of leveraging technology to create an entertainment platform, the team decided to make the platform not just for crypto-fans but for all sports fans. The Engate’s token (NEM’s mosaic) won’t have an ICO but will issue a “stable coin” token whose value is pegged to the Japanese yen. “Volatility of crypto currencies brings unwanted complications to ordinary sports fans. Engate’s service is for everybody, from young to old. They will enjoy the benefits from the community that is created on the permanent data record on the blockchain without noticing that Engate’s service uses the technology,” says Blockchain PR Specialist, Ayako Fujita. She adds that, ”Data mining will aid in the creation of new services and products.”
NEM blockchain was the choice: secure, easy, and cheap
NEM was chosen for its token issuance technology — it’s secure with the token technology integrated with the protocol, easy to use via APIs, and cheaper with lower transaction fees than other blockchain platforms.
Engate, the service, is expected to become the largest entertainment platform (DApps) on the public blockchain and proof that blockchain is relevant to enterprises.