Yes, you did read that headline correctly! The Sacramento Kings play in the world’s biggest and best basketball league — The NBA. And they recently announced that they will be mining cryptocurrency in their arena — The Golden 1 Center. The Kings have called the scheme “Mining For Good,” as the cryptocurrency they create will be used to fund local community programs. The first beneficiary will be the Build.Black.Coalition, which supports transformational change for black communities in Sacramento.
Full credit to the Sacramento Kings for this initiative. It certainly catches the eye. Unsurprisingly perhaps, they are believed to be the first professional sports team in the world to mine cryptocurrency. However, the Kings are a sports team with a reputation for technological innovation. They have pioneered the use of both virtual reality and augmented reality, to try to give supporters an enhanced perspective and involvement with the game. But even by these standards, installing and operating crypto mining equipment is a bold step — Mining cryptocurrency is not a simple operation and requires a significant investment of both energy and time.
However, for those with a sense of social responsibility, the benefits are equally clear. As Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé commented, “technology allows the world to find innovative solutions to complex problems.” None more so perhaps than cryptocurrency, which could offer a more inclusive and equitable financial model to the traditional set up of economic winners and losers. That is certainly the ethos behind our Community Currencies and the CLN Network, allowing consumers and businesses alike to have a more significant, shared interest in the local economy.
In fact, cryptocurrency might just be the perfect technology for today’s sporting giants to embrace, should they wish to make a positive social impact. The biggest names in the sporting world — New York Yankees, Manchester United, Real Madrid and many more — all have strong roots in their local communities. However, they long ago became powerful and wealthy international brands. The local populations which continue to support them avidly, are often just a small part of a worldwide sporting machine.
What the Sacramento Kings have done is to use cryptocurrency to bridge the gap on two fronts. For a start, they are using it to raise funds for the community. This is an important reminder to other sports teams not to forget what is happening in their own backyard. Despite the enormous riches which are required to remain at the top of professional sports, the Kings have shown that it is still possible to see the wider picture. Despite the fame and fortune associated with basketball’s elite, they remain part of the community.
Secondly, by mining cryptocurrency at the Golden 1 Center, the Kings are showcasing their arena for exactly what it should be — A community facility. So many sports stadiums and arenas with capacities for many tens of thousands of spectators, stand imposingly atop the local landscape, modern-day castles looking down on the community below. And apart from game-day, they stand largely idle and empty. But by installing cryptocurrency mining machines, the Sacramento Kings are breaking the mold and giving their arena a real social purpose. In effect, they have decided to deploy their home for the wider good, making it a true community venue.
This type of social responsibility should be welcomed in the world of big-money global sports. By using cryptocurrency to connect to the community, the Sacramento Kings have shown how it is possible to harness technology in order to make a difference. The only question which remains, is whether others will follow suit. And of course, whether the Kings can match their technological achievements off the court, with success when it comes to game-time on the court itself?