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Bitcoin Enters American Pop Culture, Partners With ESPN & NCAA Football

Bitcoin Enters American Pop Culture, Partners With ESPN & NCAA Football

College football has turned a little more digital.

The former Beef O'Brady's Bowl will now be known as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, ESPN Events and BitPay announced Wednesday morning. The game will be played December 26, 2014 in Florida.

"It certainly serves to help further legitimize bitcoin as a platform and alternative form of currency," Darren Heitner, founder of Heitner Legal, told Benzinga.

BitPay Mainstreaming Bitcoin

BitPay is an Atlanta-based bitcoin payment processor and will be the title sponsor. BitPay earlier this year raised $30 million and is using that capital to mainstream bitcoin. Partners are coming aboard at a fast pace now: Dish Network, Expedia, Overstock, as well as rapper 50 Cent and the NBA’s Sacramento Kings have already begun accepting bitcoin.

By December even more large companies may be accepting bitcoin and this bowl will see more media buzzing about the cryptocurrency.

Related Link: iPhone No Longer Barrier To Bitcoin Adoption

In line with the bitcoin branding of this event, tickets and merchandise will be available for purchase with bitcoin. "It will also open bitcoin up to a major demographic that may not have heard of or not yet appreciates its potential value," said Heitner.

A wildcard is whether or not fans will be holding up bitcoin signs hoping for donations.Last year on Auburn University's campus, a student held up a bitcoin sign enabling people to send him the digital money. ESPN’s cameras caught the sign and the student received $24,000 worth of bitcoin. Smart money says there will be signs again this year, perhaps with savvy bitcoin companies funding them.

Catalyst For A Price Runup?

The big unknown is what bitcoin’s price will be. Bitcoin went on a huge ride last November from the $100 range into the $1,000 range. In December, bitcoin retracted into the $800 range.

"An association with college football may calm some concerns about its lasting value in the marketplace," said Heitner.

Like it or not, depending on where the price is and where people see it going, the price will be discussed in conjunction with this event. If the Winklevoss ETF has launched or is on the verge of launching, this event may be the catalyst for retail investors to jump into bitcoin in a big way.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing David Smith has a long bitcoin position.


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