Distributed, transparent and open source – Blockchain technology is changing the way we look at, and use data. Already revolutionising the financial sector with its potential to bring real change, Blockchain is starting to shake up a number of other industries as the demand for transparency and ownership of data grows.
The blockchain is, by design, a decentralised technology which uses a global network of computers to manage a database of records or transactions jointly. Anyone can change the underlying code, and anyone can see what’s going on.
A group of innovative South Africans held a roundtable in Sandton this week to discuss how they plan to use this technology to build the largest decentralised database for sports data.
“I think that Blockchain technology has introduced us to a new way of solving some of our biggest problems,” says SportsPodium co-founder and CEO, Jaco Rossouw.
A concept first born in 2012, the introduction of Blockchain has catapulted SportsPodium to what it has become today, a platform that allows individuals participating in sport to record their sports information on a daily basis. The information is verified using various algorithms, and in return, the Blockchain will issue these individuals with tokens.
SportsPodium also has a network of sports ambassadors across several sporting disciplines, and this network of recognised, household names, along with community interaction, will ensure large-scale user adoption of the platform.
“Blockchain will enable people to capture their daily training, dietary and competition information while being rewarded with cryptocurrency. By incentivising users with Blockchain tokens, we are essentially unlocking a value in sport that is both transparent and fair,” he says.
Regardless of an athlete’s age or level, SportsPodium offers them the opportunity to earn an income, have access to much-needed sports equipment, measure and improve their performance, and market themselves to the right clubs or sports bodies.
“Sport empowers people, and it has the power to change the world. Through our network of ambassadors, SportsPodium is also a community project. A place where retired athletes, coaches, current athletes and peers all have a place. The benefits of this project filter from top to bottom and bottom to top, and it’s an opportunity for us to really grow sport and level the playing field,” says Natalie du Toit, Paralympic SA swimming star and Chief Development Officer for SportsPodium.
To kick off this first-of-its-kind project, SportsPodium will be holding a challenge to golfers worldwide from June 21 to 28 this year. Using golf as the first sports discipline to populate their database, SportsPodium hopes to break the World Record for the most golfers in one competition.
“We have decided to use golf as our first sport because, historically, golfers are used to logging their data. During the challenge, we will be asking golfers to enter their results into the app. There are over 60 million golfers worldwide, and we need over 325 000 players to take part in order to break the World Record,” Rossouw explains.
“We will be building SportsPodium sport by sport, where each sport has different criteria, and as a result, they will need different algorithms to verify information. We believe that decentralising this information is a vital step in changing the sports industry. With SportsPodium there will be a real, transparent and ethical way to facilitate the flow of funds in the sports industry, and this, in turn, will effectively reduce corruption.”
Edited by Daniëlle Kruger
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