Top Australian Baseball Club To Pay Players In Bitcoin
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are increasingly making appearances in the world of sports. The latest team to enter the cryptocurrency world is Australian Baseball League club Perth Heat. On Wednesday, the club announced that it integrated crypto payments into its operations. The Heat said they had partnered with OpenNode to accept and send Bitcoin payments powered by the Lightning Network.
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The Baseball club is one of Australia’s most successful teams, having won four ABL championships since the league’s formation in 2010. It claims it is the first professional sports club in the world to fully embrace the digital currency.
Perth Heat Integrates Bitcoin Payment
The baseball club has rebranded itself to be called “the Bitcoin baseball team.”
As part of the partnership with OpenNode, Perth Heat is setting Bitcoin as the new standard for payments and payouts. Players and staff will get their pay in Bitcoin, although it is not mandatory. Players can still be paid in traditional fiat or partially in Bitcoin. However, the club’s CEO, Steven Nelkovski, said that all current employees of the club were on board with the scheme.
“By embracing the underlying values of the Bitcoin protocol, we believe that the organization can reach new levels of success both on and off the field and remind the world of the true value of sports. We know the community looks to the Perth Heat as a model of success and we hope our adoption of a Bitcoin Standard will inspire others to embrace a monetary system that demands value creation to thrive,” said Nelkovski.
As part of its Bitcoin adoption efforts, the club also plans to “Hodl Bitcoin on the club’s balance sheet.”
Patrick O’Sullivan, Perth Heat’s new Chief Bitcoin Officer, shed more light on the club’s latest strategic move. He said it is a way of securing its digital property rights on the world’s most secure monetary network.
“We believe the world has begun to recognize the power of sound money principles and are determined to lead from the front. This is not a one-off purchase to hedge against future uncertainties or inflationary pressures. The Perth Heat are embracing the reality that the future of money and corporate treasuries will live on the Bitcoin blockchain.”
The club will also accept Bitcoin payments for sponsorships, merchandise, and ballpark concessions on game days.
Crypto Regulation In Australia
Australia has made big crypto moves this year. It has one of the highest crypto adoption rates in the world. This could be due to the country’s aim to become crypto-friendly. In line with this, regulators are making laws to regulate cryptocurrencies in different sectors.
Last month, Australian senators wrote a report pushing for an overhaul of finance and tax regulations to make the country a global crypto hub.
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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) also recently gave the green light to a range of cryptocurrency-related ETFs. This approval could see Bitcoin and Ethereum-backed investment funds trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) soon.
Additionally, Commonwealth Bank announced its partnership with US-based crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis. It will become the first major Australian bank to offer crypto services to its customers, which it plans to launch in 2022.