The XXXII Tokyo Summer Olympics are special not only because they take place under such difficult circumstances but also because they are happening when our understanding of the definition of money and assets is changing. Here’s why.
Olympians Dig Crypto: As far back as 2018, Canadian speed skater Ted-Jan Bloemen became the first Olympic athlete to accept cryptocurrency. Bloemen announced at the time that he was the first athlete to be sponsored by the cryptocurrency industry.
I’m very excited to be the first ever #Crypto Sponsored Athlete. Thanks @CEEK #VirtualReality and @Ong_Social for being at the forefront of technology and this great achievement. Looking forward to a great relationship and the exciting times ahead. pic.twitter.com/mCHbNzkKW8
— Ted-Jan Bloemen (@TedJan) January 31, 2018
In 2018, the U.S. Luge team resorted to using Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) to fund their Olympic ambitions, as per a Time report. The former 1980 era Olympian Ty Danco pushed the idea of accepting the apex cryptocurrency.
See Also: How To Buy Bitcoin (BTC)
“Both know all about speed, crashes, risk management, and holding on. Which is maybe why the US Luge Team and Bitcoin are made for each other,” wrote the team on their website at the time, as per Time.
Tokenized Collectibles: Olympic pins have always attracted fans, but while this year fans would not be able to visit Tokyo to get their hands on trade these collectibles, the International Olympic Committee has joined forces with nWay to release Olympic-themed non-fungible tokens or NFTs.
These NFT pins are digital versions of collectible and tradeable Olympic Pins, according to an IOC statement.
Timo Lumme, Managing Director of IOC Television and Marketing Services noted that over the past 125 years collecting pins has become an Olympic Games tradition “where everyone from athletes to event staff, journalists and spectators all take part to collect and trade pins in the Olympic Village and beyond.”
On the release of NFT pins, Lumme said, “They can now connect with the excitement of the Games in a whole new way and own a piece of Olympic history.”
Not only the IOC, but even athletes are jumping on the NFT bandwagon. Earlier in April, Kenyan long-distance runner and Olympic marathoner Eliud Kipchoge auctioned a set of NFTs for 17.9837 Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) or $33,592.29 at press time on the Open Sea platform.
Kipchoge’s token commemorating his 2019 record-breaking run in Vienna, Austria sold for 14.8837 ETH or $27,801.71 at press time on the platform.
Japan — A Crypto Haven: Japan is one of the most welcoming countries for cryptocurrency acceptance, as more and more Olympic athletes accept cryptocurrencies, there is no dearth of locations where Olympians and others associated with the games can spend their BTC, Dogecoin (CRYPTO: DOGE) and other altcoins. Provided they are allowed to leave the venue.
Shortly after Bitcoin became a method of payment in Japan in 2017, it became possible to make payments at over 260,000 stores in the country thanks to a partnership between local firm Coincheck and Recruit Lifestyle, as per Bitcoin.com.
As a Tokyo resident, I can walk into one of the largest electronics retailers in Japan — Biccamera — and pay using BTC. The Olympians would be able to do the same and load up on anything from Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) gadgets to gigantic televisions.
Tokyo is not really known to be a city that is vegetarian or vegan friendly, but if you like those options, and you like BTC, you can drop in at Dot Raw, a vegan cafe featuring an all-you-can-eat salad and a la carte menu and eat to your fill and pay up using your BTC wallet.
Ebisu-located hairdresser Mint offers its services for international clients and they are experienced in dealing with clients from all over the world. The hair salon offers private rooms for Muslim women who want to have their hair done and also provide a prayer space. They accept Bitcoin Cash (CRYPTO: BCH).
Also, fans of luxury watches can pick up timeless timepieces at Yukizaki. The jeweler accepts BTC.
Finally, for those who are confined to their rooms at the Olympics village and would like to shop online, Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten allows its Rakuten Cash balance to be recharged using BTC, BCH, and ETH, as per a company statement.
After the Rakuten Cash balance is recharged with cryptocurrency shoppers can then pay at Rakuten Pay and Rakuten Point Card affiliated businesses across Japan.
Photo: Courtesy of IOC Media via Flickr