SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – The Sacramento Kings have announced that they will become the first major professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin, the popular online currency.

The team announced on Thursday that Bitcoin purchases will be processed through BitPay, the world’s largest payment processor for virtual currencies.

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The Kings have begun to accept Bitcoins in the official Kings Team Store. Starting on March 1, the team will offer fans the ability to pay online for team merchandise and tickets using the online currency.

In a statement, Kings majority team owner Vivek Ranadivé, who has placed a focus on investments in technology, globalization and community partnerships after purchasing the franchise earlier this year, said it is just the latest in his business philosophy, dubbed “NBA 3.0.”

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“We are maniacally focused on creating the most seamless experience for our fans in all facets,” said Ranadivé on the team’s website. “With BitPay, we are able to implement a technology that allows our fans to make Kings-related purchases without physically reaching into their wallets. A major tenet of the NBA 3.0 philosophy is about utilizing technology for the betterment of the fan experience, and this is yet another step in that process.”

Bitcoin’s value can fluctuate dramatically, and many still question the logic behind a purely digital currency.

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