Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Gives Bitcoin ‘No Chance’

Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban Gives Bitcoin ‘No Chance’

Shark Tank personality and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says there is no chance Bitcoin ever gains the type of mass adoption that enthusiasts are hoping for. He goes on to say that it will never be a reliable currency because it’s easily hacked, too difficult to use and it’s hard to assess the value of a digital currency.

It’s funny to hear one of the NBA’s younger and more in-tune owners speak ill of a budding and promising technology. In fact, one of the reasons Cuban became an NBA owner is because he was able to successfully develop a digital property of his own. What was that property? Broadcast.com, an early video streaming service that was first launched as a way to broadcast college basketball games online. Cuban took his idea and sold it to Yahoo for billions of dollars.

Regarding the cryptocurrency market in general, Cuban goes on to say that there are far too many cryptocurrencies on the market for people to understand them and that the plethora of options available confuses people and makes them less likely to learn about Bitcoin.

Bitcoin and 5,000 Other Cryptos

He has a point. At the moment there are around 5,000 cryptocurrencies on the market as tracked by CoinMarketCap.com. Many detractors of the world of digital currencies in general posit that the overwhelming majority of these projects have no intrinsic value. Obviously the developers of these technologies disagree. But while Bitcoin acts as a peer-to-peer payment network for any kind of transaction and has also exploded in popularity in the gambling world, many other projects serve very specific use cases that don’t necessarily have mass appeal.

Another issue is that many of these projects are actually run by central figures. The whole point of a democratic digital currency like Bitcoin is that it is borderless and doesn’t require people to trust each other, because the structure of the underlying technology, called the blockchain, allows everything to be managed by algorithms. This means there’s no need for a central authority and there’s at least theoretically no chance that anybody can manipulate or duplicate transactions.

Bitcoin Acceptance in the NBA

To his credit, Cuban actually supports the use of cryptocurrencies and likes the idea of Bitcoin. From a business standpoint, his opinion is that Bitcoin will go the way of many other products and services that people don’t use. They may serve a specific and clear purpose and spark excitement within consumers, but not enough to garner widespread adoption. He may just have a point.

The Dallas Mavericks are now accepting Bitcoin. As of right now, the team has only seen five transactions come through its wallets. Considering close to 20,000 people can fit into the average NBA arena for 41 home games every year plus the playoffs, taking in a total of five transactions across a whole year isn’t very many at all.

Perhaps Cuban and the Mavericks can learn a thing or two from Vivek Ranadivè, the owner of the Sacramento Kings. His team is already five years into accepting Bitcoin. The Kings don’t just accept Bitcoin, the team also mines it and donates the mining proceeds to charity. They’re also rewarding fans with prizes through an in-game prediction app that uses the blockchain to award points and tokens to fans who guess the correct outcome of many given events that occur within a game. What the Kings have also learned from their experience is that sports fans stop spending Bitcoin when the price skyrockets.

Cuban Owns a Different Crypto

Just because the larger-than-life owner of the Mavericks doesn’t believe Bitcoin is going to revolutionize the world any time soon doesn’t mean he’s opposed to hedging his bets. Cuban and Ethereum blockchain co-founder Anthony Di Iorio own a $25-million stake in a project called Unikoin Gold. The project allows participants to place bets on esports competitions using tokens. It’s an idea with a proven use case for cryptocurrency (gambling), which targets an audience that’s pretty passionate about both esports and wagering (gaming nerds).

While the project is promising from a technological and marketing standpoint, it’s currently facing a class-action lawsuit because of the way its initial coin offering was conducted, as are many other projects.

Time will tell if Cuban’s big bet on Unikoin Gold pays off in the long run. For now, it’s clear he believes the rest of the world isn’t going to bet big on Bitcoin any time soon.