Major League Baseball (MLB) will release a digital game based on Ethereum in late summer 2018. The MLB, in partnership with the blockchain gaming company Lucid Sights, hopes to strengthen baseball with the groundbreaking dApp “MLB Crypto Baseball”.
MLB Crypto Baseball will be similar to the Blockchain’s most popular game, CryptoKitties, where users can buy unique digital kittens and trade Ethereum.
The New York Times explained the Bitcoin code as follows:
“Each kitten has a core DNA on the Bitcoin code, and the game is basically to mate them (the illustrators don’t go into detail) and see what the kitten’s result is.” The rarer the features produced, the more valuable the kitten is. The most expensive cat ever sold cost 253.33 ETH, then about 110,000 dollars and that was not a scam. In total, users spent more than 25 million dollars on the digital collector’s item.
While digital assets have clearly proven to be a lucrative business, the MLB’s main goal in introducing the Ethereum-based game is to win young people back to baseball. Kenny Gersh, MLB’s Executive VP of Gaming and New Business Ventures said:
“This is one of the strategic objectives of this initiative. Collecting items related to your team and working with your team in a new way. These will be event-based things – those moments in sport you want to remember and appreciate and feel like you’ve been there, if only digitally”.
Theoretically, the game makes perfect sense. On the one hand, the digital assets similar to the baseball cards and memorabilia once exchanged among the older generations of baseball fans. On the other hand, the rare digital collectibles resemble things like skins in the popular game Fortnite.
Crypto currency and Ethereum code
While the MLB is the first league to fully support the Ethereum code, they are not the first American sports organization to begin such an introduction. The Sacramento Kings of the NBA, considered one of the most technically savvy franchises in all sports, have accepted Bitcoin for tickets and merchandise since 2014.
On June 27, 2018, Bitcoin went one step further and announced a new non-profit program, MiningForGood, which will use Ethereum’s mining to support charitable causes. The proceeds from the mining will be used for groups like the Build.Black.Coalition and continue the strong tradition of franchising to give something back to the community. The owner of the Sacramento Kings, Vivek Ranadive, is a self-proclaimed “Superfan” of Ethereum. Sacramentos CTO, Ryan Montoya:
“We know that the Blockchain will revolutionize the world. So, how can we be ahead of time and start using the blockchain in different areas of the company?
Baseball fans aren’t the first sport CryptoKitties is trying to achieve – a Stephen Curry-inspired kitten was recently produced as the first Crypto kitten. Across the Atlantic, London football club Arsenal FC announced the first official partnership between a major sports team and a crypto company in January 2018. The deal gives Arsenal an undisclosed amount of money, while CashBet, a betting platform, gains access to millions of Arsenal fans worldwide.