Bitcoin (BTC) has achieved another adoption milestone with the oldest football club in Bulgaria, Botev Plovdiv FC, now accepting Bitcoin and Lightning Network payments. The club has also joined the decentralized protocol, Nostr.
Fans can now use Bitcoin for peer-to-peer payments at Botev Plovdiv FC’s fan shops and stands during matches in the Bulgarian Parva Liga. The club also plans to expand Bitcoin payments to ticketing and its online store.
The president of the football club, Anton Zingarevich, expressed excitement for the move, particularly highlighting the potential of the Lightning Network. He stated in a press release:
“We foresee Bitcoin payments becoming as ubiquitous as the internet in our daily lives. This integration not only aligns with our vision but also offers our fans and stakeholders unparalleled convenience.“
The partnership with BTCPay Server and CryptoDesk.bg facilitated the integration of Bitcoin payments. BTCPay Server is known for its open-source architecture, secure infrastructure, and low merchant fees, while CryptoDesk.bg provided the payment hardware.
Nicolas Dorier, the founder of BTCPay Server, emphasized the importance of local Bitcoin adoption and expressed commitment to supporting transformative endeavors such as the one in Plovdiv.
George Manolov, Bitcoin director at Botev Plovdiv FC, stated that “Bitcoin offers a universe of technological, social, and financial opportunities.” He added:
“At Botev, we’re thrilled to lead these innovations into sports, harnessing their transformative energy to elevate our club to unprecedented heights. As Bulgaria’s oldest football club, anticipate pioneering products and initiatives from us.“
In addition to adopting Bitcoin, Botev Plovdiv FC has also improved its online presence, updated its official website, brought its English social media channels up to speed, and joined the decentralized protocol Nostr, which offers censorship-resistant social media.
Real Bedford, a football club based in the United Kingdom, was the first football club to adopt Bitcoin. Peter McCormack, the chairman of Real Bedford, commended the news from Bulgaria, stating that it will bring more success to the club and increase Bitcoin awareness.
McCormack, who has already integrated Bitcoin at Real Bedford, spoke with Plovdiv before their adoption of Bitcoin. He believes that the unique characteristics of Bitcoin act as a cheat code for life and is organizing a conference called “Cheat Code” in Bedford in Spring 2024.
McCormack shared his perspective, stating that clubs adopting Bitcoin as part of their strategy are building solid foundations amid a plague of financial irresponsibility in football. He expects more sports teams to adopt the “cheat code” in the future.
During Plovdiv’s home game against Lokomotiv Plovdiv, football fans will have the option to pay using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. The team made the announcement on Bitcoin white paper day to demonstrate their support for Bitcoin.