San Jose Quakes get in on bitcoin game (the Winklevii are already playing)

The Winklevoss twins have, in so many words, called bitcoin earthshaking. Now, the San Jose Earthquakes say they’re becoming the first pro sports team to accept bitcoin.

Starting Sunday when the soccer team plays the Houston Dynamo, bitcoin will be accepted at Santa Clara’s Buck Shaw Stadium for buying tickets, food and team merchandise. The goal, according to Quakes President Dave Kaval in a statement, is to bring “another cutting-edge payment option that further streamlines the commerce experience for fans.”

How it works: Bring your bitcoin wallet. That is, use Quakes partner Coinbase to create a wallet for the online currency. Coinbase is the San Francisco startup backed by big names such as Andreessen Horowitz. The Quakes’ press release refers to Coinbase as “one of the most reputable bitcoin platforms.” Because, you know, there have been issues with bitcoins worth hundreds of millions of dollars disappearing into thin air.

Despite security and regulatory concerns, the Quakes are joining the growing number of parties accepting bitcoins. They include online retailer Overstock.com, TigerDirect.com, a tea room in Capitola, startups and more.

And in case you thought it gratuitous that we mentioned the Winklevii — of “The Social Network” and Facebook lawsuit fame — at the top of this post, the twins actually are talking about the virtue of bitcoin. Again. (They are, after all, launching what will likely be the first publicly traded bitcoin fund, which they want to list on the Nasdaq.) Tyler Winklevoss told the Guardian in a report published today that bitcoin could be bigger than Facebook: “Bitcoin potentially could be more impactful because being able to donate 50 cents to someone across the world has more impact than potentially sharing a picture.”

 

Illustration: Chicago Tribune/MCT archives

 

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