The Dallas Mavericks caught the attention of the crypto world in August 2019 when the NBA team began accepting Bitcoin as payment for tickets and merchandise, through a partnership with BitPay.
Now in an extensive interview with Decrypt, Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban reveals the team is considering how it might utilize blockchain for ticketing and fan identity verification.
"We're talking about it for ticketing," Cuban told Decrypt. "It completely changes the resale market, and if you tie it to an individual that has, let's just say their social security number, and it's been validated by multiple sources… then boom, you're good to go, and the blockchain, depending on what you use, you can just put a little picture in there. And there's your picture, and it's immutable, and it's there forever."
There are some hurdles to get past before the team would really try it, but one big appeal Cuban cites is the possibility for the team to get a cut on each ticket resale.
"We're trying to figure it all out," Cuban says. "The blockchain side is easy, it's just like, going all the way up for the layers and making sure the application works, it's safe, people are confident in it, and there's a marketplace to exchange it. Because that allows us to keep on making money on every resale, something we don't do now."
The Mavericks were not the first NBA team to acceptas payment; that was the Sacramento Kings, owned by software billionaire Vivek Ranadive, back in 2014. But the Mavs would certainly be the first NBA team to start verifying ticket holders via blockchain.
And Cuban told Decrypt that almost no one has paid for goods from the team in Bitcoin anyway.
"We actually took our first Bitcoin five or six years ago, only nobody bought anything [in Bitcoin], and the only reason I did it was to prove a point that no one's going to buy anything. And then we did it again a couple years ago, and we sold $314 worth at whatever Bitcoin was at the time. Again, somebody was just trying to prove a point that they would buy something, and I was trying to prove a point that not many people would," Cuban said. "As long as you're converting to fiat, you're not really spending in crypto anyway."
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