“This is the future of sport”: Perth Heat’s Chief Bitcoin Officer goes through the team’s BTC playbook
The Perth Heat Pro Baseball Club recently announced that its players and staff can now all be paid in Bitcoin. Stockhead met with Heat’s CEO and Chief Bitcoin Officer to find out why they are now calling themselves “The Bitcoin Baseball Team”.
First with the bat, then is CEO Steven Nelkovski…
Hello Steven. As we reported a few days ago, the Perth Heat is operated on a “Bitcoin standard”. Tell us again what that is?
This means that we are using Bitcoin as the standard for payments and withdrawals across our company. This means that we are fully embracing the underlying values of the Bitcoin protocol.
Is it optional? Can employees and gamblers still choose to receive inferior fiat money – Australian dollars?
Yes, through our partnership with OpenNode [a leading BTC payments processor] Each player and employee is free to receive Bitcoin or any number of currencies, depending on their unique circumstances.
So if If a player only wants to be paid out in dollars, he can simply instruct OpenNode to automatically transfer his salary in AUD and, as with any other direct debit, forward it to his traditional bank account.
The CEO of Perth Heat, Steven Nelkovski
If they want to take half in Bitcoin and half in AUD (or any other combination) they can always do so through the OpenNode application and they are set.
We give players the freedom to choose what is best for them. The whole process is very similar to the traditional payment process, with one additional variable, which is how much of your salary you want to keep in Bitcoin.
Are you currently considering other types of crypto payments?
“The future of sport”
How long has a Chief Bitcoin Officer been on the payroll?
Twelve months. Patrick’s previous role has focused on working with our partners in the transition from the legacy system to the Bitcoin network.
He has a strong background and understanding of the inner workings of the Bitcoin network, the community, and the monetary principles that are at the core of the protocol, and his guidance was instrumental in this process.
And going forward, he will be responsible for making sure the club is in the best possible shape to capitalize on the increasing efficiencies that the team can leverage with our Bitcoin partners and the network as a whole.
Do you expect other sports teams in Australia to follow suit? Is this just the beginning? You clearly want to be a pioneer here …
Absolutely. We are definitely proud to be the pioneers and the first team in world sport to work on a Bitcoin standard. and We expect a tsunami of teams from around the world to follow suit.
This is the future of sport. Get ready!
Regarding your plans to allow fans to purchase Heat tickets and merchandise using BTC …
These are not plans – we are already living with them! Check it out – here … Jerseys, hats, a Bitcoin membership and tickets for our movie night. All Items can be purchased using BTC over the Lightning Network [a super-fast Bitcoin payments rail].
Beautiful! Oh … and one more thing … WAGMI?
“Largest transfer of wealth in 5,000 years”
Next up on the plate is Perth Heat (last obvious metaphor … honestly). Chief Bitcoin Officer Patrick O’Sullivan…
Hello Patrick. Chief Bitcoin Officer is definitely the best job title we’ve heard this week. Are you a world’s first CBO?
I haven’t found another dedicated CBO yet, but as other organizations begin to see the writing on the wall I think the position will be of vital importance to companies around the world. Bitcoin is complex and that is a strength and a weakness.
So it’s like a CFO … but Bitcoin?
I describe it this way: The role of the CBO is to bring the organization’s decision-makers up to date with Bitcoin and to ensure that the company is in a strong position for the future.
Should every sports organization or large corporation try to hire a CBO? Can you see it’s becoming a trend
If companies are to realize the full potential of the biggest transfer of wealth in 5,000 years, they would do well to try to attract talent for this type of role now!
Based on the conversations we’ve had with other companies interested in following our example, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the number of announcements over the coming months.
What brought you to the position? What are you doing right for the role?
As in any emerging sector, it comes down to having a strong understanding of many different areas and being able to quickly synthesize complex topics … and then translate them into easy-to-understand chunks of information that I can pass on to the leadership team around to best move the team forward.
So I would say that forward thinking and the ability to spot discrepancies in new information are the most important components of a CBO’s day-to-day success. And that’s because the Bitcoin landscape is in a constant state of flux.
The ability to infer from first principles is a skill that I rely heavily on to make the most of my time dealing with the organization and our roadmap for the future.
‘There can only be one’
Your job title might suggest that you are a “Bitcoin Maxi” … is that the case? Or are you open to other cryptos and a broad decentralized crypto economy?
Simple answer. Bitcoin maximalist. And that’s because of that The discovery of absolute scarcity is a one-time achievement.
I always look at other projects through a technical lens, but if the goal is to unlock the world’s closest global reserve, there can only be one – and the market chose Bitcoin for several reasons.
So So we won’t expect the Perth Heat to do an NFT-style engagement?
There are no current plans outside of our all-in push for a Bitcoin standard. We strongly believe the future of sport is powered by Bitcoin, and look forward to leading this push.
I have it! I will stop asking about other cryptos …
Regarding the “all-in-push” on the Bitcoin standard – does this mean that you are aiming for an extremely high MicroStrategy-style allocation in Bitcoin with the club’s till?
History has shown that taking the first mover advantage and adding it to your winners is the formula for winning any investment. So we are all at Bitcoin and we will continue to work on it.
Do you have any tips for investors looking to get into Bitcoin?
The world of bitcoin education has made monumental strides in the past 24 months. The quality of the content and conversations that people can now access for free is staggering. There is no excuse not to do research on Bitcoin.
So, that’s essentially my tip. It is the most valuable use of time and energy available to any investor.
However, the fact is that the Bitcoin train has left the station. And you had 12 years to book a ticket.
Wait, leave the train station? We assume $ 60,000 is pretty high …
I’m just saying if you missed that particular window of time, you’d better get started running right away or you will tell your grandchildren that you missed the most asymmetrical investment opportunity ever presented to the market.
Start with the educational aspect of The Bitcoin Standard and don’t stop until you can explain Bitcoin to a five year old. Get away from zero as quickly as possible. And learn by using it.
Is there Any specific bitcoin investment strategies that you or the club are pursuing?
Buy Bitcoin and HODL. Forever.
Echoes from Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, there! And finally … I guess I can guess your answer to that, but have you been concerned about the decline in Bitcoin over the past week at all?
Dips are gifts for stackers. I love a good fire sale.
The Perth Heat is a founding member of the Australian Baseball League and, having won the Claxton Shield, is the most successful club in ABL history 15 times.
The 2021/22 Australian Baseball League season was canceled by Baseball Australia in October due to uncertainty about Australia’s ongoing COVID-related restrictions.
This interview has been edited slightly for the sake of clarity. At the time of writing, the author holds BTC and other crypto assets.
Stockhead has not provided, endorsed, or otherwise responsible for any of the financial product advice contained in this article.
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