Bitcoin invades college football! Last week the University of Central Florida played North Carolina State in the inaugural St. Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl. BitPay bought the naming rights to market its payments platform to the game's 3 million viewers.
College football fans and bitcoin fans are both lively groups, and the whole event seemed pretty festive. Bitcoin enthusiasts used the virtual currency to snap up more than 300 travel packages to the contest, said Ashley Wheeler, the coordinator for the game. Organizers also arranged a special option that allowed tickets to be purchased with bitcoin before general sales to the dollar-wielding public. More than 100 merchants in the area were accepting bitcoin around the time of the game, Ms. Wheeler said. But for bitcoiners – and BitPay, which bought a three-year sponsorship – victory won’t be determined by the score after 60 minutes, but rather by how widely bitcoin’s acceptance grows among consumers. At this point in time, it appears that merchants are running ahead of consumers in jumping on board.