What does Blockchain Have to do with the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
Once every four years, thirty two countries compete against each other in a battle of twenty two players. Even though numbers are important when it comes to football (or soccer, if you hail from the land of the apple pie), there are better subjects to cover when it comes to FIFA’s 2022 World Cup.
In the close to hundred years of history of the World Cup, seventeen countries have hosted the championship, but this will be the first time for a small, wealthy, middle eastern country like Qatar.
With no football history whatsoever, the FIFA baptism of Qatar comes with pandemic challenges, and a full load of opportunities that could make the fourth richest country in the world, even more prominent after the end of the final match.
But what do the most popular competition in the world and the most avant-garde technology introduced to humanity since the Internet have in common? A lot. For starters, Qatar’s World Cup committee announced that it’s using Blockchain Technology to help them with their ticketing process, which is definitely notable because this will be one of the first times that this cutting-edge resource will be used in a widespread global sporting event.
Blockchain is similar to a database that many users can access and edit. Every action done in this database, or ledger, is recorded and accounted for, so corrupting the blockchain is impossible. This accountability makes blockchain technology ideal for maintaining efficient, immutable lists of records, like cryptocurrency transactions. The great thing about blockchain is that it's decentralized, meaning no one party controls it, and every time someone makes a transaction, a record of it is added to a block of the public ledger.
Welcoming millions of football fans was a challenge even before the pandemic struck. For a small country of close to three million residents, the existing infrastructure was insufficient so, Qatar had to invest millions in the construction of bridges, buildings, stadiums, and the lot.
To complete the goal of constructions needed for the world cup, the Qatari building sector hired Bimtrazer, a multi-national company that uses cutting-edge technologies to optimize construction processes. The company combines BIM (Building Information Modelling) with Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology. Using a peer-to-peer network allows the parties involved in the building project to have constant feedback, trace materials, and collaborate transparently through a secure channel elevating work standards.
Of course, a major sport event like the World Cup will feature a logical amount of betting. However, betting is illegal under Islamic law, and Qatar is primarily Muslim. In addition, there is a current ban on crypto enforced by Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority.
Given these facts, we’d have to assume that, at least legal, betting will not be carried out in Qatar during the FIFA World Cup. Least of all, in crypto.
However, thousands of crypto gambling sites will thrive outside of the hosting country since the pandemic made most governments relax regarding both crypto and gambling restrictions.
Adopting new technologies in such high-profile sporting events will set a precedent for sporting and non-sporting events worldwide. It could also provide a fertile ground to make Blockchain Technology mainstream.
A contributing factor is that the MEA sector is on the verge of potential growth in this arena, which allows investors to collect high returns on investment.
A clear result of this stimulus is Microsoft’s recent partnership announcement with Qatar Science & Technology Park to boost the development of Qatar based start-ups. This partnership includes the monthly hosting of workshops on blockchain services and other relevant topics.
All things considered, some people might think that Blockchain Technology is a distant, complicated concept, but it is clear that this tool can take many forms and simplify everyday processes in all kinds of scenarios. So no matter if you are introduced to blockchain while playing in your favorite online casino or when you buy a ticket for your team’s match, this technology is changing modern life, adapting to different necessities, and pushing for a more decentralized world.