American Pro Baseball Team Oakland Athletics on Bitcoin: ‘We Are Going To Hold It’

On Friday (March 26), Dave Kaval, president of American pro baseball team Oakland A’s talked about Bitcoin and blockchain technology during an interview with Emily Chang on “Bloomberg Technology” (a daily show on Bloomberg TV).

On March 14, the A’s issued a press release, which stated that from March 14 through April 1 (Opening Day), they are selling full-season suites for the 2021 regular reason for one Bitcoin (BTC).

The A’s president said back then:

We’re excited to be one of a handful of teams to accept cryptocurrency for payment and the first to price tickets in crypto instead of US currency. The price of a season suite may fluctuate depending on when it’s purchased, which adds to the excitement!

According to the A’s website, the regular price for a full-season suite is $64,800. So, with Bitcoin currently (as of 08:00 UTC on March 29), trading around $55,383, anyone buying now with Bitcoin would be saving over $9,000.

Note that what the A’s are doing is very different from Tesla; unlike the latter, they are setting the price in Bitcoin, which is a highly volatile crypto asset, rather than in U.S. dollars.

Anyway, on Friday, Kaval (the A’s president) gave an interview to Emily Chang, the anchor of the daily show “Bloomberg Technology”, during which he was asked why his organization had decided to accept Bitcoin.

Kaval replied:

We heard from our fans that they’re interested in paying with crypto, and we heard it for about six or eight months until we said, ‘hey let’s see and take one of our products — our suite — put it on sale for one Bitcoin and see if we can get any takers.

Chang then asked if anyone had paid with Bitcoin yet. Kaval answered:

You know, we have not had a transaction yet. We had over a hundred inbound inquiries and we have still basically next Thursday to get people on board and I’m hopeful that we get two or three. There’s ten suites we’ve set aside for this. Hopefully, we’ll get two or three by Opening Day.

Chang also wanted to know if the A’s were open to the idea of other cryptocurrencies, perhaps Ether (ETH) or Dogecoin (DOGE).

Kaval replied:

We’re focused on just Bitcoin for now, but I think if it catches on and we get interest, we are open. We use bitPay in terms of our processing backend and they can accept other forms of cryptocurrency. So we are very open to that.

The most interesting part of the interview came when Chang asked Kaval if the A’s plan to hold any BTC they receive in this way or if they will convert it to fiat currency.

Kaval said:

No, we’re gonna to hold it. We’re gonna hold it… We’re believers in it, and hopefully it continues to go up and maybe we can find some big free agents with some of the proceeds, who knows.

And then near the end of the interview, Chang asked if the A’s had any other ideas for differentiation.

He answered:

We like blockchain in general, and so the non-fungible tokens are something we’re taking a look at, especially with our intellectual property and our players and plays and being able to use that as a giveaway. And so, I think there’s some things like that that we’re looking to break some new ground in baseball and in sports.

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