The Bitcoin Standard has many formulations. For some, it means selling all your possessions and living off the magic money of the internet; for others, it’s about turning every penny into Satoshis. For famous podcaster Peter McCormack – a huge football fan – it was all about buying the local club and getting Bitcoin (BTC) on the scoresheet.
Bitcoin defender McCormack bought his hometown football club in December 2021 and renamed it Real Bedford, and on the pitch bitcoins can be used to pay for shirts, drinks and tickets.
But with the price of bitcoin hovering around $20,000, can the ethics behind a plumbing currency change the future of a football club? And most importantly, why has this lower league club attracted the attention of bitcoin advocates around the world?
On the field, Cointelegraph spoke to McCormack, a local fan and Bitcoiners during the season opener, which was streamed to hundreds of Bitcoiners around the world.
Since he was a child, McCormack had dreamed of buying Bedford Town, the local football club. “Bedford could validly stand with a Fooball League team,” he told Cointelegraph. He bought the smallest local side, Bedford Football Club, who play in the Spartan South Midlands Football League.
At six levels in the English Football League (EFL), Real Bedford sit well above the football ladder. McCormack jokes that playing in the Premier League is more rewarding, at least for now. However, while football success is crucial for promotion, the club’s biggest challenge at the moment is that “team sponsors are bitcoin companies.”
In slightly surreal scenes, advertisements for bitcoin-friendly brands such as Casa, Gemini and Compass Mining fill billboards around the stadium, and crypto companies are also available in day suits. However, with the bitcoin bear market in full swing, these companies may be in trouble.
“At some point, towards the end of the season, I have to go back to them, tell them, look, we delivered, hopefully we got promoted, and everything is going really well, but I have to go back and say, okay, we have to take it to the next level. OK, I need you to sponsor me again. »
Some local fans were confused by the Bitcoin billboards around the park; others insisted on asking where to get their hands on bitcoins. Despite the bitcoin-centric approach, Cointelegraph fans spoke to value the influence of the manager more than the influence of the club that puts “bitcoin at the heart.” Basically, President McCormack funded the team; now it is the duty of the manager to motivate the team and motivate the athletes.
To his credit, the team had some impressive results in pre-season. Real Bedford have drawn with teams from several top leagues and the teams at the top of the table at the time of writing are as follows.
The manager, along with several key players, moved from local rivals Bedford Town FC before the season, despite Real Bedford sitting two tiers lower in the English football pyramid. In addition, McCormack claims that more people are attending the Bitcoin pre-game meeting than on game days last season.
Community building is one of those important things for our club. Today’s game had 273, a big increase on last season.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the game, bought merchandise and supported the lads. pic.twitter.com/s5mCOXO5o2
— Real Bedford FC (@realbedford) August 6, 2022
Community building is one of those important things for our club. We had 273 people at the game today, a big increase on last season. Thanks to everyone who came out to the game, bought merchandise and supported the guys. pic.twitter.com/s5mCOXO5o2 — Real Bedford FC (@realbedford) August 6, 2022.
Bitcoin Gandalf of mining company Bitcoin Braiins, who attended the game, summed up the atmosphere:
“The fact that people are coming from all over the UK and even Europe to watch a lower league team mainly because they are the first club to run on standard Bitcoin is really a testament to the paradigm shifting technology that Bitcoin is . »
Attendees at the Bitcoin rally ranged from seasoned node runners to newbies. A woman asked him “Who controls the mining?” and some enthusiasts made their first peer-to-peer or Lightning Network transactions. Bitcoin “₿” is hard to miss on the pitch, and the reach of lower league clubs is global. There are fans from Amsterdam and Minnesota bought merchandise for this lower league club.
At the club, meanwhile, bitcoin bonuses for scorers were discussed. Daniel Prince, another Bitcoin podcaster, suggested sharing player-specific Bitcoin QR codes during the live stream. This allows bitcoin and soccer fans around the world to push players in real time, for example when a player scores a goal or wins a challenge. “This is proof of work in action,” explained Prince.
Despite McCormack’s focus on bitcoin, gamers are still interested in altcoins. The season’s leading scorer, Dan Walker, told Cointelegraph that he made a lot of money tinkering with ‘smart DeFi protocols’ in 2022. Admittedly, ‘Bitcoin is the future’, he explained, but there was no bitcoin him on the day of the game despite the fact that his salary was. paid in pounds sterling.
Bitcoin aside, McCormack’s passion for his city is contagious. He gives body and soul to the team and, by extension, to the city. The team’s t-shirt simply reads “₿edford” – as opposed to Real Bedford – signaling their intention to put their hometown on the global bitcoin map. El Salvador is already taking center stage by adopting bitcoin, so perhaps Bedford could ride that wave as well.
In a post-match interview, McCormack told Cointelegraph that he’d much rather have a pint at the local pub than the big one in Las Vegas, and that he’d prefer Bedford in Texas any day of the week, despite Texas’ taste for bitcoin. . Furthermore, promotion from Real Bedford means much more to him than leaving Tottenham Hotspur. Tottenham Hotspur, a London club in the Premier League, are bitter rivals and are often McCormack’s thrashings.
Also read: Oxford City Football Club accepts bitcoins for match tickets
Locals also told Cointelegraph that McCormack’s character isn’t about internet money magic: he’s the first to lend a hand and support the community. In reality, McCormack could be found serving drinks, sweeping the tables and greeting supporters on match days, most, if not all, of whom he knew on a first name basis.
It would be shortsighted to call the team and the transition to the Bitcoin Standard was successful. However, with 3-0 and 7-1 results to start the season, along with spirited bitcoin matchups and growing fan engagement, there are encouraging signs that bitcoin is setting the standard.