Arsenal Football Club was named the sixth-wealthiest football club in the world by financial firm Deloitte recently, pulling in revenues of $597.1 million in the 2016-17 season that ended this past May. The American-owned team nicknamed the “Bank of England” back in the ‘20s and ‘30s for its high spending, and whose crest had the word “Forward” on it a few seasons ago, is again looking to the future: Arsenal became on Wednesday the first top-tier sports team in the world to forge a cryptocurrency partnership.
CashBet Coin (CBC), designed by Oakland, California-based gambling platform CashBet, will see the presale for its ICO, or initial coin offering, at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday. It goes on public sale on March 20. A total of 430 million CBC tokens — starting value at 50 cents — will be issued, but the bad news for U.S. citizens is that they are only purchasable by accredited investors. CashBet hopes to raise nearly $40 million from the venture. Purchases of CBC can be made with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Here’s the full Cashbet Coin whitepaper.
Trade publication iGaming Business offers this explanation of how CashBet Coin will be used.
CashBet Coin can be used for payments on any casino application or website powered by CashBet, with player to benefit from access to what the company described as a “greater variety of provably-fair content, reduced transaction costs, and faster payouts.”
The cryptocurrency can be used to gamble — where legal — on so-called “iGaming” phone apps to play Bingo and slot machine-styled games. In 2016, online gambling claimed a $43 billion market.
Gambling is nothing new to football in the United Kingdom. Several Premier League teams have sold jersey sponsorships to gambling businesses. In America, cryptocurrency has been accepted for ticket purchases in the NBA, and who can forget the Bitcoin Bowl of 2014?
Arsenal issued this perfunctory press release about becoming the first Premier League team partner with a cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency can generally be defined as peer-to-peer currency that doesn’t need a central bank and the value of which rises and falls based on demand for its use. All transactions are transparent and publicly logged, and added to the blockchain. The “crypto” aspect comes from the term cryptography — which is used to match a coin’s public key (a series of characters) to an person’s private key.