Major League Triathlon has announced a partnership with Bitcoin.com that will pay top finishers of the 2018 MLT Championship event in Charlotte prize money via Bitcoin Cash. The race will mark the first time ever that athlete prize money will be paid out using cryptocurrency, according to an MLT press release.
MLT Charlotte takes place Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center. As the top five overall finishers step onto the podium to receive their medals, they will be awarded their individual winnings in Bitcoin Cash in real time.
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“This partnership is a really special one for MLT,” said Daniel Cassidy, CEO of Major League Triathlon, in the press release. “Cryptocurrency is a hot topic in the world right now, and there is no question that it provides a significant amount of benefit to the end user. With other major professional sports leagues across the globe beginning to bring Crypto into their sports, it is a huge step forward for MLT to partner with a world leader in the Cryptocurrency market.”
Founded in 2016, Major League Triathlon is the first and only professional triathlon league in the United States. The league consists of nine mixed-gender teams and several MLT triathletes have previously competed in the Olympics.
“MLT is a great partner to showcase the everyday usability of Bitcoin Cash, bearing in mind our goal of worldwide adoption of cryptocurrency,” said Gergo Szoke, Marketing Manager at Bitcoin.com, in the announcement. “We see BCH as the future of money and MLT as the future of sports and triathlon, which makes for great synergy between our brands. Spectators at this great event will be able to experience the security and speed of sending Bitcoin Cash from one wallet to another when we give away podium prizes on the spot.”
While this appears to be the first instance where athletes will receive their winnings via bitcoin, cryptocurrency has made a rapid surge into the sports marketplace through other mediums. The Houston Rockets recently signed a cryptocurrency sponsorship with bitcoin-mining company AntPool for the upcoming NBA season. The closest precedent to what MLT Charlotte is planning with bitcoin could be FanDuel’s experiment to award fantasy football contest winners with cryptocurrency prize money during last year’s NFL season.