Ex-NBA Commish David Stern Dives Into Sports Token FanChain
From basketball and now to crypto, former NBA commissioner David Stern has shown he’s willing to take a risk to get ahead. Emerging from retirement, Stern announced he’s pledging allegiance to FanChain, a new sports-based cryptocurrency built on the Ethereum blockchain.
From the Court to Crypto
David Stern, no stranger to both power plays and controversy during his time heading up the NBA, is now walking back his previous controversial remarks on cryptocurrencies. It’s in line with his decision to endorse sports token play FanChain — somewhat strange, indeed, considering he’s expressed problems with bitcoin and its ilk in the past.
“My initial thoughts about bitcoin and the blockchain were that we were witnessing a modern version of the tulip frenzy that would come to nothing and fizzle out,” he explained in a new interview. “I then came to understand that blockchain technology had much to offer with respect to a range of transactions in many different industries like the sports sector. However, I still have trouble understanding why bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, or the unlimited number of new issues can have such untethered values.”
Many in the ecosystem would contest the “untethered” suggestion, but then again, Stern will need to start getting used to the strong opinions that come along with diving into the cryptoverse.
Bringing Teams and Fans Together
Alas, the project at hand then. FanChain is a virtual asset built to create a decentralized sports entertainment ecosystem. CEO and co-founder of SportCastr Kevin April said he’s hoping it aligns the interests of fans, athletes, and media enterprises alike, while unifying what he calls a “fragmented landscape.”
“We launched SportsCastr in alpha last year to let sports fans provide color commentary on live games straight from their couches to anywhere in the world,” he explained. “Developing a cryptocurrency to power and build this ecosystem is the natural next step.”
FanChain tokens are to be tied to specific leagues and teams and will be available to users of SportsCastr depending on where their loyalties lie and how much value they create for certain sports groups. For example, if a fan is consistently providing live commentary during Boston Red Sox games, he or she can receive a FanChain token stamped with Red Sox metadata. They can then exchange their tokens for others to build their inventories, or trade them for rewards like premium sports channel subscriptions and memorabilia.
Of the project, Stern said:
“It’s really all about personalization and inter-connectivity. FanChain can act as the bridge between existing sports properties, which currently have no way to talk to each other. I’m also greatly interested to see whether there is more to the use of tokens in our industry than simply buying tickets or measuring interests.”
Time to Etch Out Some Rules
FanChain has also garnered attention from sports legends like NFL tight end Vernon Davis and NBA all-star Steve Smith. And with Stern’s new crypto foray, he’s also brought his attention to the space’s regulatory status. Accordingly, he’s just voiced support for further cryptocurrency regulation, calling it necessary for the survival of the virtual asset space:
“I believe in the protection afforded by regulation. This past week, there was another report of what appears to be a complete scam originating in Europe. I think some minimum regulation should be provided so there will be a protective roadmap for those who wish to issue cryptocurrencies.”
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Images via Sporting News, SportTechie