Moneyball Pt. 2? The A’s Bet on Cryptocurrency – SF Weekly

Last Sunday, the Oakland A’s introduced that they’d be promoting their luxurious suites, usually priced at $64,000, for a single bitcoin. When I heard the information, I used to be a little bit confused — in any case, isn’t crypto, together with Big Tech and enterprise capital, form of San Francisco’s factor? 

Many are aware of class-based stereotypes surrounding the A’s and the Giants: Oracle Park is a spot the place spectators sip chardonnay and nosh on gluten-free flatbread at The Garden, whereas The RingCentral (huh?) Coliseum is a spot to chow down on a loaded scorching canine, slurp on a heat home, and stare out at that taxpayer-funded boondoggle often known as Mount Davis.

Since it’s opening in 2000, the Giants’ ballpark has modified names 4 instances, all the time taking over the moniker of its newest telecommunications overlord: Pacific Bell, SBC Global, AT&T, and now Oracle. So forgive me for considering of McCovey Cove — situated within the SoMa neighborhood, only a stone’s throw from Lyft headquarters — as a extra pure habitat for crypto bros than East Oakland.

But perhaps that was a classist assumption. When it involves the historical past of The A’s, crypto is definitely proper on model. 

Cryptocurrency, like every foreign money, is a type of cost one can use for items and providers. What makes it totally different is that it runs on a completely decentralized system. No financial institution, authorities, particular person, or firm has authority over cryptocurrencies. Rather, it makes use of a distributed ledger, known as blockchain, to provide it real-life worth. Cryptocurrencies have worth as a result of a bunch of individuals, all over the world, all agree that they do — and each time a crypto “token” is exchanged, that trade is verified on the publicly accessible ledger. Bitcoin is essentially the most well-known token, presently valued round $60,000. 

Cryptocurrencies, although gaining in recognition, are nonetheless a fairly area of interest commerce. Most buyers stick to the inventory market and real-world corporations. But some are floored by cryptocurrencies’ liberatory potential, unconstrained by corrupt monetary pursuits or federal regulation. Because blockchain is so advanced and data-driven, the most important followers are sometimes individuals who like to play with numbers — engineers, mathematicians, and financiers, primarily. Blockchain expertise has gained plenty of recognition within the final 12 months, nevertheless, after being embraced by well-known moneymen like Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Mark Cuban, and even Snoop Dogg. 

The A’s, in fact, have achieved success by taking part in the numbers sport earlier than. In the early 2000s, the staff was reworked by common supervisor Billy Beane and his Yale-educated bean counter, Paul Podesta — who got here up with a successful formulation by nerding out Nate Silver-style. Leaning virtually totally on knowledge, slightly than the antiquated and extra subjective instruments of conventional baseball scouts, the pair maximized the staff’s comparatively miniscule price range to pick ignored gamers and outsmart their far richer competitors. They ended the 2002 season with a 103-59 report, together with a 20-game streak of wins.

For those that are unfamiliar, the 2011 movie Moneyball, based mostly on the 2003 ebook by Michael Lewis (creator of The Big Short), tells the story in biopic kind and stars Brad Pitt (as Beane).

Just as with Beane’s gamble on sabermetrics The A’s massive guess on cryptocurrency could also be a complete flop. The value of bitcoin fluctuates at a nerve wracking charge, and sometimes crashes at unpredictable instances. For those that really imagine in crypto, nevertheless, investing in bitcoin is sort of like a vote of confidence — and given the inspirational stories of everyday investors who have made it big in crypto, this might grow to be a really worthwhile wage for The A’s.

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