Sacramento Kings, the new cryptocurrency miners on the block

Ethereum mining for charity: Yay or nay?

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
2 min read

The Sacramento Kings announce Wednesday they'll be the first known sports team to mine cryptocurrency.

Sacramento Kings

The tech-friendly Sacramento Kings are tapping into the world of crypto miners.

The NBA franchise on Wednesday said it's launching a charitable program called "MiningforGood" with MiningStore.com to mine cryptocurrency at the Golden 1 Center, the Kings' home arena in Sacramento. The basketball team will use MiningStore's "Imperium"  machines to mine the the Ethereum cryptocurrency.

"By installing an advanced data center and infrastructure at Golden 1 Center, we've redefined how fans interact with our team and venue – creating a hyper-personalized and interactive experience," said Ryan Montoya, chief technology officer at Sacramento Kings. "We're able to extend our technology reach for good and support our partners working to make profound change in our community, while embracing emerging innovations and technology solutions."

The Kings say they're the first sports team to mine digital coins. MiningForGood will be part of a multi-year scholarship fund that supports career development and technology education programs in Sacramento through the local community group Build. Black., which supports positive changes in the black communities.

"Opportunity begins when technology allows the world to find innovative solutions to complex problems," Vivek Ranadivé, the Kings' owner and chairman, said in a release. "Through MiningForGood, not only will we raise funds to help with workforce development and training, we aim to inspire the next generation of tinkerers and thinkers to create change in their own community and around the globe."

This isn't the Kings' first time employing cryptocurrency. The team was the first sports team to accept Bitcoin in 2014. They also sponsored a contest in 2016 for tech startups, where finalists pitched themselves to the Kings' fans in order to win a cash prize, a consultation with Kings executives and lunch with a team owner.

First published on June 27, 9:30 a.m. PT.

Updates, June 28, 5:51 a.m. PT: Adds Chief Technology Officer Ryan Montoya statement.