What with F1’s 9-year Miami Grand Prix deal with Crypto.com, Red Bull’s recent $150-million deal with Bybit claiming to be the largest single per-annum cryptocurrency sponsorship in international sport or Alpine’s deal with Binance to launch digital collectibles.
Whether you like it or not, Crypto and NFT’s are on an upward trajectory and this is just the beginning.
Back in 2013 I first heard of Bitcoin. The whole cryptocurrency concept was quite new to the world. I was sitting on a rock in Thailand and I was thoroughly confused about this thing called cryptocurrency.
I imagined a physical coin but learned soon after that they were digital and there was only a finite number in existence, and they would be a currency that people could use to buy things with. I was intrigued, bewildered, and utterly confused.
The price of a bitcoin was 13 cents at the time. I remember some of my friends had bought some while others thought they had run their course. Imagine.
One year later they were worth a staggering $1000 and a friend convinced me to buy €5 worth. He told me to write down the passphrase and store it which I did. Roll on to 2021 and I remember that I have bought some and that €5 is now worth $1000!!!
Do you think I can find the wallet they were stored in? Not a chance. Anyhow the point of why I am writing is not to whine about the loss of my Bitcoin but rather the fact that cryptocurrencies have been growing steadily and whether you like it or not they are here to stay.
Like in the world of physical art there is good and bad art, the same goes for the digital world of NFT’s. To be honest, a lot of it is pants. But there are some super talented computer artists out there and I am thrilled they are getting a chance to shine.
I couldn‘t give a monkeys ass about some ridiculous computer-generated bunch of apes. To me, that is a complete waste of money and as a man once said way, way back, “There’s a fool born every minute.” But who am I to say what is good or bad art. It’s not like I own a Basquiat or a Picasso so who am I to judge what is good or bad taste?
But what of the positives regarding cryptocurrencies and NFT’s and what has all this got to do with F1? Well the writing is on the wall as F1 has teamed up with Crypto.com for a 9 year partnership with the Miami Grand Prix and F1 only goes where the money is. Fact!
Cryptocurrency Exchange Bybit will become Red Bull Racing’s fan token issuance partner to help the team distribute digital collectibles to its fanbase. As a new generation of competition of Formula One begins in 2022, crypto, NFT’s and blockchains also exist at the cutting edge of technology.
The NFT marketplace known as Opensea.io has plenty of good and bad NFT F1-related art. One cool thing I came across was Motorsport Domain Names which have a collection of Ethereum domain names on offer.
.ETH domain names are native on the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), the leading blockchain-based naming system that runs as a set of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. ENS is the Internet naming infrastructure of the future.
In principle, ENS can provide naming for anything. But right now the main uses are allowing people to have one name for all of their cryptocurrency addresses (not just ETH, but also BTC, LTC, DOGE, et al), point to a decentralized IPFS website, name Tor .onion websites, and even voluntarily share personal info like an email address or personal website — all with the decentralization, censorship-resistance, and security of the Ethereum blockchain.
Whether you choose to embrace it or not this is where we are all moving to in the world of the internet and F1 has spotted where the money is with Crypto.com. Ethereum domain names are the next thing.
Think of the Dot Com boom when domain names really took off back in the nineties/noughties. An Ethereum domain name not only allows you to link your existing Dot com domain name to it, but it also allows you to link your crypto wallet and accept payments in many crypto forms.
No longer do you need to give a lengthy 24-36 string of letters and numbers to receive crypto payments but you can use your utterly cool Ethereum domain names such as indycar.eth or mercedesamg.eth or astonmartinf1.eth as your wallet address and Twitter handle.
In short, Ethereum Domain names are the next step in the world of the internet, metaverse and web3. In part 2 of this article, I will break down what it all means in an easy-to-understand fashion.
For now, F1 and the world of cryptocurrencies are speeding ahead hand in hand so jump on and enjoy the ride. (Report by Ian Thuillier F1 Photographer and Consultant)