The Sacramento Kings’ off-court technological prowess is no secret. Their owner, Vivek Ranadivé, constantly pushes innovation to make the business better. The Kings first began accepting bitcoin back in the 2013/14 season. Now they are becoming the first NBA team to actually mine cryptocurrency.
On Wednesday, the Kings announced an initiative called MiningForGood that will mine the Ethereum currency. Initial mining will go toward supporting the team’s new partner, Build. Black.—a group supporting transformational change for black communities in Sacramento.
A partnership with global cryptocurrency leader MiningStore.com will help make this project possible.
“We’ve decided to partner with the MiningStore because that team really knows what they’re doing in terms of setting up the software to do this,” said Kings Chief Technology Officer, Ryan Montoya. “It was really a conversation with them and we said, ‘look, here’s what we want to do. Can you partner with us, can you bring your expertise in and let’s create this project together.’”
While MiningStore.com will provide the hardware and full-service hosting, the actual mining will take place at the Kings’ Golden 1 Center.
“We have a tier-four data center in our arena,” Montoya explained. “It’s the same type of data center that you find at Facebook, Google and Amazon. We have two 100 [gigabyte] pipes that come into the arena. That’s the same amount of bandwidth you’d have for 17,000 homes … we have that for 17,000 fans.”
This goal for MiningForGood extends further than just supporting Build. Black. The Kings hope to build more rigs and support more organizations within their community.
“I think this is definitely going to become a blueprint,” Montoya said. “The NBA is a very innovative company and organization in general, so I can guarantee at the next league meetings where the community group’s together … I can guarantee you today that a lot of the groups are reaching out to our community group asking exactly how we did this.”
Kings First Sports Team to Mine Cryptocurrency, Establish Multi-year Scholarship Fund » https://t.co/lNUisNeHCY pic.twitter.com/itBBWyh2hk
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) June 27, 2018
The Sacramento Kings have used the Golden 1 Center as a center for innovation. In late-2017, they unveiled a first-of-its-kind full-stack Esports training facility. That space is being used primarily by the Kings’ NBA 2K League team but also serves as a platform to hold events.
This also won’t be the team’s first unique charitable activation. The Kings used Facebook Live during last season’s home opener to raise money for the American Red Cross. A special live-streamed halftime concert with rapper Lil Jon encouraged basketball fans tuning in from anywhere to donate.