Even though the cryptocurrency markets have suffered tremendously in 2018, that doesn’t mean that progress was made. For example, more people do know about cryptocurrency than ever, and there were powerful corporations and asset managers that have not only spoken publicly and positively about blockchain, but have taken steps to incorporate blockchain into their companies somehow.
It’s also clear that cryptocurrency is gaining more “eyeballs” in general too. For example, Litecoin recently inked a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which has a recurring revenue of hundreds of millions of dollars. For example, the UFC made over $700 million in 2017, and given the fact that the UFC also inked a lucrative deal with sports network ESPN this year – those numbers are expected to increase.
This particular deal was even more mainstream than the Litecoin/UFC deal, because it involved a December 27 National Basketball Association (NBA) game between the Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics. The NBA is the most watched sports league behind the National Football League (NFL), and each game boasts an average of well over 1 million viewers.
The company involved was Bitmain, the largest bitcoin mining manufacturing company in the world, which previously pledged $500 million into a Texas data and mining facility. The Antpool company (owned by Bitmain) was allowed to set up an exhibit in the Toyota Center to teach visitors about cryptocurrency.
Haijiao Lee, an Antpool operations manager, praised the deal and the NBA team, specifically, stating: “As far as professional sports teams go, the Houston Rockets are legendary across the globe, and what better way to continue the momentum of our U.S. expansion than partnering with the prolific Houston Rockets basketball club, the No. 1 team in China.”
The promotion was in the form of a contest called the Antpool Red Planet Race, and featured two contestants competing for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). An announcer described the game: “Our two space cadets are going to go mining for Bitcoin Cash in our Red Planet Race. Whoever can get two deposits of BItcoin Cash into the Antpool mining pool and then plant the red Rockets flag into the red rocks, is going home with $300 worth of Bitcoin Cash. Footage of the contest can be seen in the tweet below:
— Bitcoin.com Official (@BitcoinCom) December 28, 2018