Major League Baseball to Launch an Ethereum-Based Collectibles Game

  • In an attempt to revive America’s favorite pastime, Major League Baseball (MLB) will launch a crypto-based game.
  • Attendance at MLB’s games has been low, so the crypto game can potentially bring fans back.

Major League Baseball (MLB) recently announced that it will release a cryptocurrency-based baseball game through a partnership with blockchain gaming startup Lucid Sight. The US-based professional sports organization stated the game will be launched sometime this summer on the Ethereum blockchain.

The basic concept of the league’s blockchain-based game will be to allow players to buy avatars symbolizing historical moments in baseball’s history. Users will then have the option to trade or sell their avatars in exchange for built-in rewards.

MLB’s new game is being compared to another popular Ethereum-based game called CryptoKitties. However, the sporting league’s game will reportedly feature classic baseball collectibles instead of virtual cats.

An “Interesting Intersection”

Notably, MLB had been thinking “about bitcoin and whether [it] should accept [the cryptocurrency] as payment” for its products, but “decided [it wasn’t their] business.” This, according to MLB’s VP Kenny Gersh is because the sports organization does not want to be a part of what it considers a “speculative” cryptocurrency market.

Gersh feels, however, that the MLB crypto baseball game, being developed through a licensing deal with Lucid Sight, “is a more interesting intersection of blockchain technology and what they do.”

The MLB executive added the organization had been discussing the idea of such a game with Lucid Sight when CryptoKitties was launched. Gersh then noted that the success of the Ethereum-based virtual cats game further “validated” the MLB’s idea.

Interestingly, it announced its crypto-related plans at a time when attendance at the league’s games has fallen. Presumably, by introducing a game that uses cryptocurrencies, the MLB is looking to bring back fans who appear to have lost interest in the sport.

Commenting further on MLB’s crypto game, Gersh stated:

That is 100% one of the strategic goals of this initiative. Collecting items related to your team, engaging with your team in a new way. These will be event-based things—those moments in sports that happen that you want to remember and cherish, and have a sense that you were there, even if only digitally.

Kenny Gersh

Last month, the NBA’s Sacramento Kings also announced a crypto-related initiative in which the professional basketball team said it will mine Ether and donate earnings to charity.

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Trans-Fee Mining Crypto Exchange 'FCoin' Insolvent After Mistakenly Being Too Generous

One of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to adopt the controversial trans-fee mining (TFM) model, which has been called a “disguised ICO” has paused trading and withdrawals over a shortage of crypto worth up to $130 million.

According to a statement published by FCoin’s founder Zhang Jian, a former Huobi CTO, the exchange is now unable to process withdrawals as its reserves are down by between 7,000 to 13,000 bitcoin, worth over $130 million at press time, over an issue that’s “a little too complicated to be explained in a single sentence.”

Zhang’s statement details the cryptocurrency exchange wasn’t hacked, nor is it pulling an exit scam on its users. He detailed that an internal system error gave users more mining rewards than they should have received, noting the error wasn’t detected for a long period of time.

The transaction-fee mining model, which saw FCoin’s trading volume surpass $5 billion per 24 hours numerous times, sees the cryptocurrency exchange incentivize trading via its own token, FT. FCoin reimbursed users for transaction fees paid in BTC or ETH with FTs until 51% of the coin’s supply was distributed, and redistributed 80% of the BTC and ETH it collected to those holding FT tokens.

The controversial model drew criticism and saw Zhang defend it, claiming it was a misunderstood invention. At the time, he said:

If you look back at history, all new things were not recognized at the beginning. Many were believed to be fraud. Jack Ma was recognized as a fraud when he first promoted the internet in China.

Various cryptocurrency exchanges started adopting the TFM model shortly after, with research showing these platforms had unusually thin order books and low traffic taking into account the trading volumes they had.

According to Zhang, the errors in FCoin’s system gave away too many tokens in mining rewards from mid-2018 to mid-2019, when a complete back-end auditing system was implemented. As throughout 2019 the price of FT kept on dropping, Zhang and his team reportedly used their own funds to buy back tokens and drive up demand, a decision he claims was an error.

This, as it gave users a chance to sell their FT tokens and withdraw as much as possible from their accounts, while FCoin bought up tokens that kept on losing value. Zhang’s announcement came shortly after FCoin suspended its platform over a risk-control issue.

Zhang is now reportedly manually processing users’ withdrawal requests sent via email. The founder of the exchange claimed he will “switch tracks” to start again, and noted he hopes he can use the profits made from new ventures to “compensate everyone for their losses.”

Featured image via Unsplash.