The San Jose Earthquakes, an actual professional soccer team playing in Major League Soccer, will now accept Bitcoin throughout their stadium. Although the Sacramento Kings started accepting the virtual currency in January, making the Earthquakes just the second pro sports franchise to accept Bitcoin in their stadium.
What is Bitcoin? Well, that's a rather complicated concept. It is not a physical currency, like, say, the U.S. dollar. It's not simply a banking currency, like the Euro was during its first year of existence. It's not even a third-party transaction system backed by another currency, like PayPal. Bitcoin is something else. It can be exchanged for goods or services like normal money, but exists outside of the world's existing monetary structure. If you're really interested about it, I highly recommend watching this video.
But be careful, the more you learn about it the harder it will be to make jokes. So, I've saved myself from learning too much for the sake of this story.
The TL;DW version of the Earthquakes' decision is that they're now using the currency of choice for drug dealers and contract killers (I totally stole that joke from Last Week Tonight, btw). They are also opening their doors to the type of people who believe hoarding gold is best way to invest your money.
A quick internet query about Bitcoin reveals a rather hearty debate about just how legitimate of a currency it is. U.S. congressman Ron Paul apparently thinks Bitcoin will "destroy the dollar." Of course, the former U.S. presidential nominee also has said Bitcoin is "not true money." So, yeah, it's all a bit confusing.
It's a bold move to be sure, but one that also seems hopelessly desperate to seem more relevant and grab a few headlines or ... is the first domino to fall in the full legitimization of Bitcoin. Your move, world.