Batter Up! MLB Crypto Baseball Is on Deck

Baseball meets the blockchain as MLB Crypto Baseball allows gamers to collect, play, and sell MLB players and teams.

A new player is coming up to bat in the blockchain sphere. The launch of CryptoKitties helped scratch a collecting itch for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and now people can compete with each other while collecting blockchain-based baseball players. Just as the regular baseball season is winding down towards the playoffs, MLB Crypto Baseball is taking the field.

MLB Baseball on the Blockchain

Major League Baseball has teamed up with Lucid Sight to launch MLB Crypto Baseball. This is a blockchain-based collectible game where players collect their favorite baseball players (and even teams).

The basic setup of this Ethereum-based game is that each professional baseball team will release 500 digital versions of its players. This means that 15,000 blockchain baseball players will be released. People can purchase individual players or they can opt to buy a whole team.

The catch is that there is a built-in scarcity. The best players will have the least digital versions of them released. Highly-rated players like Mike Trout might only have seven or eight versions released. The CEO of Lucid Sight, Randy Saaf, says that there will only be one version of certain players. You can bet such players will be the best of the best, not to mention highly coveted by gamers.

How Does MLB Crypto Baseball Work?

The game is built upon the Ethereum blockchain, and gamers will need to spend ETH to buy players. Players that remain unsold will automatically lower in price. If you’re willing to wait, and the player isn’t in demand, you can pick them up cheap. An example is Niko Goodrum of the Detroit Tigers, who recently sold for just 56 cents (0.00118 ETH). By contrast, Matt Chapman of the Oakland A’s is selling for $117.43 (0.24827 ETH).

As stated, you can buy a whole team. The Los Angeles Dodgers is currently on sale for $41,915.31 (88.61962 ETH). For gamers on a budget, they can pick up the Boston Red Sox for a measly $10,872.35 (22.98691 ETH).

The rundown for MLB Crypto Baseball is that the gamer’s digital players will generate points depending upon what the real-life player does in real games. Gamers with winning rosters have the chance to get special collectibles. Collectibles can be awarded if a player does something spectacular in a real-life game, such as pitching a no-hitter or hitting a grand slam.

MLB Crypto Baseball

An interesting facet of the game is that it wants gamers to collect players from the same team. The chances for gaining a collectible go up the more players a gamer has from the same real-life baseball team. Saaf notes:

There will be a benefit to those who can assemble an entire team of say, Yankees or Red Sox. If your team wins, and you’re playing all nine players, you’re guaranteed to generate a collectible.

Gamers can buy and sell their players and collectibles in the game’s market (or anywhere else if they wish). The marketplace will truly determine the value of these digital baseball teams and players. Currently, gamers are selling the full team of the New York Yankees for $9,978.02 (21.09607 ETH) or $19,949.24 (42.17776 ETH).

Will the players in MLB Crypto Baseball hold their value? That depends upon how excited baseball enthusiasts get about the game. These are essentially just digital collectibles, a blockchain version of the traditional baseball card. However, the market for baseball cards has fallen out completely, but perhaps the digital frontier of the blockchain could make collecting MLB players fun.

What do you think about MLB Crypto Baseball? Let us know in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Lucid Sight.

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Use of Ripple as a Cross-Border Solution Confirmed by Kuwait Finance House (KFH)

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has released a video on YouTube that’s generating a lot of buzz about its latest cross-border transaction powered by Ripple blockchain technology.

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) is establishing the first blockchain-powered transaction system in the country. A series of questions arose when the formation of this system was announced. Out of them, the most crucial one was: “what is the technology they are using for the completion and development of the system?” The answer has now been revealed as the KFH has itself confirmed that they are using Ripple’s cross-border solutions to complete the blockchain-based transaction.

What’s The Buzz All About?

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) revealed the news through a two and a half minute commercial.

The video is originally in the Arabic language, but as soon as it got released, the users of the /r/Ripple subreddit were so enthusiastic that they immediately started looking for a person who could translate it to English for them. One of the Redditors then translated the video, which says, in part:

The Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has successfully accomplished the first ever blockchain transaction in the country. And this transaction had been possible due to the use of Ripple Technology. The transaction was tested and successfully completed with a beneficiary of KSA Bank.

What’s Next?

The transfer is said to have been the first successful financial transaction based on blockchain technology in the entire Kingdom. The transaction trial was conducted along with the Saudi Funding House platform, which is in collaboration with Ripple. However, KFH announced that the live version will be installed after a successful quality and performance check which then would be sent to the Central Bank of Kuwait for approval.

Besides this announcement, KFH also conveyed that they would soon be joining RippleNet, which they initially announced back in May. This would enable them to become an active part of the globally recognized and ever-growing blockchain technology ecosystem. The KFH is all set to use Ripple’s software solutions to enhance the quality and service of cross-border payments and make it more efficient for its clients. While neighboring Saudi Arabia may have banned cryptocurrency trading, it is obvious that Kuwait very bullish on the underlying technology of virtual currencies.

What do you think about this news? Should companies like Ripple find more markets to revolutionize the payment system? Share your views in the comment section below.

Images courtesy of ShutterStock and YouTube/@KFHGroup.

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Ripple Eyeing Expansion into China, says Company Exec

According to an executive at Ripple, the distributed payments service provider has its eye on expanding operations into the Chinese market.

Jeremy Light, Ripple’s vice president of European Union strategic accounts, spoke with CNBC by phone yesterday, during which time he confirmed the company’s interest in expanding into China.

According to Light, Ripple is looking closely at China as part of an ongoing effort to streamline and speed up international payments using its distributed ledger technology (DLT). “China is definitely a country and region of interest,” he said.

In February of this year, Ripple began making inroads into the Chinese market by entering into a partnership with Hong Kong-based LianLian International. The financial services company planned to utilize Ripple’s technology to facilitate faster and cheaper cross-border transactions to its customers in China, the US, and Europe.

Even with its latest partnership, however, Ripple’s entry into the Chinese market is likely to be an uphill climb. China is home to numerous fintech firms and there are several existing payment apps – like Ant Financial’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay – that already have a growing and loyal user base among Chinese consumers. To realistically compete, Ripple will have to bring something extra to the table.

What Does This Mean for XRP?

Investors and enthusiasts waiting for XRP to “moon” shouldn’t start planning their retirement just yet. Any expansion into the Chinese market will see Ripple focusing on expanding its financial and institutional client network rather than on advancing the adoption of XRP.

Part of the reason is that Ripple’s flagship solution xCurrent, which is tailored primarily for banks and other financial institutions – you know, the ones who could inject big money into the XRP market – doesn’t actually use XRP at all.

Ripple’s xRapid platform – which does utilize XRP tokens – has garnered interest from money transfer firms like MoneyGram and Western Union, however, both implementations are still in the trial phase.

Ripple’s client portfolio boasts over 100 banks and financial institutions, including big names like Santander, Standard Chartered, UBS, UniCredit, and others.

Another likely reason for not focusing on advancing the adoption of XRP is China’s inhospitable climate where cryptocurrencies are concerned. Last September, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) issued a ban on ICOs and then doubled down and banned trading on domestic and foreign exchanges. The move caused many China-based exchanges to move to friendlier locations and resulted in a spike in P2P trading as investors sought to circumvent the ban.

If Ripple is able to gain a foothold in China, could it help relax the country’s stance on cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Image courtesy of ShutterStock

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