How Blockchain Is Driving the Future of Sports

2020 Feb, 21     Moscow, Russia

The exciting role of BitcoinSV technology in the sporting world was presented at the Future of Sports Conference held at the Moscow Government Palais for Innovation in the Russian capital on February 14. Organized by award-winning Russian Composer and Bitcoin Entrepreneur and Founding Partner of Bitcoin Association - Alexander Shulgin, the event brought together from across the globe to share their experiences and vision of how Blockchain technology is changing the world of sport for good.

The first speaker was the event organizer and host, Alexander Shulgin. Renowned as a successful composer, Shuglin is also passionate about combining creativity with business and is one of the world's leading experts in digital transformation, the creative economy, and Blockchain technology in media, entertainment and sports. Through his Gruppa Kompaniy Familia, Shuglin has invested in many leading companies in this industry, including Bitfury and DotBlockchainMedia. Previously a member of the Expert Council under the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation for IT and Digital Economy, Shuglin has also been awarded the Order for Professionalism and Business Reputation. He got the event underway by explaining how he was inspired to organize the conference after Russian athletes were banned from international competition for four years in a doping scandal. Shuglin went on to explain how he sees technology in general, and Blockchain in particular, as vital tools in solving many of the problems affecting not only Russia but also the wider sporting world by making sport more accessible to all and transparent.

Next on the podium was the co-founder of EX Sports, Toli Makris. Following on from the vision outlined by Shuglin, Makris gave a real-world example of how Blockchain is already improving aspects of the sports industry when he showcased the EX Sports app for digital collectibles. Makris explained how the EX Sports app empowers sporting federations and event organizers to build and develop fan engagement in a way that benefits all stakeholders, not only the federations and event organizers but also the athletes and fans.

One sporting federation that has already benefited from Blockchain technology is the Ju Jitsu International Federation (JJIF). The federation’s UAE-based Director General, Joachim Thumfart, and Greek-based President, Panagiotis Theodoropoulos, both spoke at the Future of Sports Conference. They began by endorsing EX Sports and the work it has done in making Blockchain work for the benefit of all stakeholders in the ju jitsu community. However, they also highlighted the two major challenges that their federation is facing, namely doping and athlete security. Following its ban for doping, the Russian national team is not able to compete in this year’s Ju Jitsu World Championships in Abu Dhabi, while the issue of athlete security relates to athletes who train and compete in different disciplines, such as ju jutsu and muaythai. In an issue that has also been raised by Panagiotis Theodoropoulos in his capacity as the Vice President of the Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS), the JJIF has called for better tracking of athlete activities when they are involved in different sports overseen by different federations. Athletes are placed at increased risk of serious injury and even death when an injury sustained while training or competing under one federation is not reported to or known by another federation when the athlete transitions across.

The role of Blockchain in helping to address both of these and various other issues in sport was explored in the next presentation. As head of Bitcoin Association, Jimmy Nguyen has a deep understanding of the potential of technologies such as Blockchain and its possible applications and benefits for the world of sport. In what was the conference’s most technical presentation, Nguyen also outlined how technical solutions can help companies like EX Sports to scale up their operations during spikes in activity, such as when there is a major event or tournament.

Despite its growing presence in sport, Blockchain can still offer so much more. When English soccer team, Tottenham FC, recently opened their brand new state-of-the-art stadium, it was hailed as a stadium of the future. However, Roman Dubov, also spoke at the conference about how he wants to learn more about Blockchain to explore how it can improve fan engagement at the stadium.

The role of Blockchain in sport is one that is attracting a great deal of attention across the sporting world. This was clearly evidenced in the widespread interest generated by the Future of Sports Conference and the event’s organizer, Alexander Shuglin, has been invited to speak at the upcoming Sport Accord Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland. The six-day conference will feature the inaugural Invest Accord mini-conference which will provide start-ups and small companies with a focus on incorporating technology in sport with a chance to present their products, business plans and ideas to potential investors. The Sport Accord Conference is scheduled for from 19 to 24 April, 2020.