The Oxford City Football Club, nicknamed ‘The Hoops,’ are now the first National League club to accept Bitcoin for matchday payments. Oxford City and CoinCorner, an Isle of Man-based company that will also be City's back of shirt sponsor this season, have entered a multi-year partnership.
With CoinCorner's ‘Bolt Card,’ a contactless Bitcoin card, fans may now buy tickets at turnstiles and pay for refreshments seven days a week.
Prior to the start of the new National League South season, the RAW Charging Stadium has recently installed Bitcoin Point-of-Sale payment infrastructure for all booths. The club’s first match will be on August 6th, 2022 at home against Eastbourne Borough.
Other clubs within the U.K. have also started accepting Bitcoin for their matches. Bedford FC, a team in the tenth division of English football, was purchased by Bitcoin investor and podcaster Peter McCormack in December of 2022.
Bedford will also start taking Bitcoin payments for matchday tickets the same day as City. However, City competes in the sixth tier of the English football pyramid while Bedford competes in the Spartan South Midlands League, a lower division league.
Justin Merritt, director of football for City, believes that using Bitcoin will “become the new normal in English football.”
Merrit goes on to explain that “More than 3.3 million people living in the U.K. now own digital currency, an increase of approximately one million people in the last year alone.”
These figures have been one of the main reasons why City is now accepting Bitcoin. Merrit elaborates by stating that the club is working hard to build and enhance their overall customer experience, which is why they value the relationship they have with CoinCorner.
Additionally, accepting Bitcoin is in line with City’s long-term objectives to operate as a self-sustaining club.
“It’s not mandatory for people to engage with our new technology, but we believe in time paying via Bitcoin will become the new normal in English football,” says Merrit.
While a Bitcoin conference will be hosted in Edinburgh later in October, grassroots Bitcoin use is expected to continue to expand across the U.K.