San Jose Sharks to become first NHL team to accept crypto payments

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The San Jose Sharks will become the first NHL team to accept cyptocurrency payments, joining other pro sports teams from the NBA and MLB in embracing digital currency. 

Beginning at the start of the 2021-2022 season in October, the Sharks will accept cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ether and dogecoin as payment for season tickets, suite leases and partnerships, Sharks president Jonathan Becher confirmed on Twitter. 

The ability to use crypto for smaller purchases like individual game passes, merchandise and concessions “will be evaluated over time,” Becher added.

The Sharks head honcho said that the team could also consider selling additional blockchain-based goods like collectible NFTs, writing, “I do think the blockchain will have more of an impact on sports and entertainment than people realize.” 

The Sharks — who did not reach the NHL playoffs this year — join the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks and the MLB’s Oakland Athletics in accepting crypto. 

Becher told the Sports Business Journal, which first reported the news, that payments giant PayPal’s decision last year to let its customers use cryptocurrencies factored into his thinking.

“We’re accepting PayPal, so then by definition, we’re accepting cryptocurrency. Why not embrace it and make it more visible as opposed to just doing it through a third party?” he said. 

The Sharks plan to accept crypto payments through the processor BitPay.  

The price of bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, has taken a dive in recent months after peaking at more than $63,000 in April. The cryptocurrency was trading at about $32,000 on Tuesday afternoon — down more than 10 percent in the past week alone.

Dogecoin has had an even wilder 2020, soaring from 3 cents in late 2020 to a peak of 73 cents in early May, buoyed by encouragement from Elon Musk and hype among online traders. It is currently trading at around 32 cents.

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