FIFA World Cup- The Spirit and Passion
The world is whooping it up in Russia at the FIFA World Cup 2018- not just cheering for their favourite teams at the exhilarated stadiums but also gaming along virtually- thanks to cryptos!
Borrowing the lyrics of Jason Deurlo’s lastest track Colours, (Coca-cola’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Anthem)- “There’s beauty in the unity we’ve found.” Only this time there’s more to this unity than just cultural unification of 32 national teams. Apparently, FIFA 2018 is the world’s largest event endorsing trades done over Bitcoin as well as many other crypto currencies.
The Making of FIFA
The FIFA World Cup has already kicked off from 14 June and the winner’s trophy shall be lifted after a month-long feast on 15 July 2018; Russia being the host country this year.
A total of 12 stadiums in 11 Russian cities have been either built or renovated for the FIFA Cup. These include- Kaliningrad’s Kaliningrad Stadium, Kazan’s Kazan Arena, Moscow’s Luzhniki and Spartak Stadium among several other opulent arenas. No wonder FIFA 2018 is the most expensive World Cup in history with an estimated budget of over $14.2 billion announced as in June 2018, surpassing the cost of 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
One can only imagine the unmatchable zeal for football by the fact that the official match ball of the 2018 World Cup was sent into space with the International Space Station crew in March and came back to Earth in early June – the ball was lifted back by Ronaldo at the opening ceremony of the tournament.
Of late, major sporting events such as Super Bowls and Winter Olympics have already witnessed the footprints of Bitcoin on the hospitality and commerce business. Provided its far accessibility and of course the fad, crytpo currencies such as Bitcoin, Ehereum, Litecoin etc have managed to surf smoothly over various global payment infrastructures. Moreover, a predicted footfall of approx. 5,70,000 international visitors shall only amplify this vogue.
So, here are some innovative ways to game along with your Bitcoins at the football ground:
- Fly to Russia
Being there at the stadium to watch a World Cup match is a chance that no one wants to miss. Cheapair was the maiden flight service to accept Bitcoin payments on flight bookings since 2013, followed by Latvia’s national airline AirBatlic- which joined the league in 2014. Another flight service- AbitSky is specifically geared towards travel around continental Europe and provides instant booking facilities supporting bitcoin transactions.
In correspondence to the industry trends, a chain of Russian hotels have also committed to render their services in exchange for bitcoins. The one in the limelight is the Kaliningrad Hotel, nestled in the country’s capital, which has partnered with Free-Kassa – one of Russia’s electronic payment platforms supporting cryptcurrency transactions. “This is an interesting experience for us – we haven’t worked with hotels so far”, said Vitaliy Lavrov, Development Manager at Free-Kassa. “The hospitality industry is quite sensitive towards new trends”, he noted.
Kaliningrad is among the most expensive destinations and the cities’ top hotels are expecting guests from 8 countries. Perhaps, booking a room during the FIFA Cup would cost you approx $300 in fiat, which is “10 times the regular fare”- claims Yanis Dzenis, PR Director at Aviasales Travel.
“We are seeing increasing interest in cryptocurrencies. They will gradually come into use as a means of payment”, says Anna Subbotina, manager for Apartments Malina.
Among others are travel agencies namely CheapAir and Destinia (which also accept Bitcoin payments for hotel bookings), 9flats.com, Airbnb’s European rival headquartered in Berlin which accepts Bitcoin payments for its short term home rentals and Expedia.
What’s your bet?
Although, the industry is still in its embryonic stage, a number of online betting platform are attracting fans (both of football as well as cryptos) to rejoice as well as earn a few bucks over their team’s win.
There are a number of sport betting platforms that have adopted cryptocurrencies as a payment and betting option. Interlop and Bodog are two such websites that facilitate cryptocurrency bets as well as normal fiat betting.
If you’re a native of Russia and a hodler of cryptocurrency, you may wish to take a car ride with, again, CheapAir and Destinia which provide car rental facilities as well.
You can also chill out at Killfish, a chain of bars in Russia, which accepts Bitcoins for booze, as part of an extensive promotional program that promises great discounts. Need some Russian cash? Here you go – a crypto exchange is now open in Moscow near the main railroad stations, Kursky Vokzal.
Cheers to Football and Crytpos
With the Russian government’s official publication of the draft federal law entitled “On Digital Financial Assets” in Dec 2017, regulating cryptocurrencies in Russia- it seems that a formal layout had already been prepared to welcome the digital currency. Moreover, mining activities are subsequently described as “legally valid” actions in Russia now. Watching the policy trends, the advocation of crypto currency at the FIFA World Cup hasn’t come as a surprise to virtual world.