Sacramento Kings Luke Walton
Photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Cryptocurrencies, and digital currencies in general, are at a stage now where organizations all over the world are attempting to integrate their operations with this new innovation. We are seeing more and more integration of cryptocurrencies into mainstream markets and practices, whether that be through crypto funds and ETFs in financial markets, to the use of crypto online to make payments, or even the use of the underlying blockchain networks in various sectors.

All of this activity points towards cryptocurrencies being a regular part of our lives from now on, and this is being further reinforced now by the news that the owner of the Sacramento Kings, an NBA team, has announced that players and staff members on his team will soon be able to receive their salaries in the form of Bitcoin.

Vivek Ranadive, the owner of the franchise, announced this development last month during a Clubhouse Live session. This is part of a growing trend in the NBA to use cryptocurrencies, and the Kings themselves have also been leading on this front, with fans able to pay via cryptocurrencies for tickets and merchandise since 2014. They were the first professional sports team in the world to allow this, and could soon also become the first team to pay players and staff in Bitcoin.

The NBA, as an organization, has also embraced cryptocurrencies and digital assets, as seen by the success of its Top Shot platform, where fans can buy digital highlights packages and virtual trading cards – this was a response to the growing use of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, by celebrities and content creators earlier this year. These examples show the potential that digital currencies and assets have today, and we are seeing this influence in various other sectors as well.

In keeping with the prevalent online trend, online gambling and casinos have picked up cryptocurrencies as a way to increase their traffic and revenue, with spectacular results. Various online casino operators now allow users to make payments in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and you can even see a list of sport themed casino games to play with BTC.

This is just one example of how online businesses and sectors can be completely transformed by cryptocurrency adoption, while this is not restricted to online businesses either, as we can see with the NBA.

Other companies have also begun to accept crypto as a payment method. The most notable among these include Tesla, Starbucks and Best Buy, while the fast food chain Chipotle became the first restaurant chain in the US to give away bitcoin as part of a promotional offer, where the restaurant awarded $100,000 in Bitcoin as part of a game recently.

These developments also show how cryptocurrencies can now be used to make payments in a number of places, which was one of the criticisms of this innovation. Thus, making payments to staff and players in Bitcoin will seem a lot more attractive now.

Ranadive has said team members will be able to get as much of their salary in Bitcoin as they want, which implies that there is no upper limit or percentage to this offer. There are other teams and franchises that are moving towards crypto as well – the Dallas Mavericks, owned by Mark Cuban, recently began accepting Dogecoin as payment for tickets, but this will be the first instance of a sports team paying out salaries in the form of crypto.

This signals yet another shift in the crypto industry, and we can potentially expect to see more franchises following the Kings’ lead, especially given the NBA’s eagerness to embrace crypto.