With digital currency continuing to grow in terms of public recognition, mainstream adoption is emerging in places that many would not have predicted a few years ago. Ted-Jan Bloemen, a Canadian speed skater and double world record-holder recently earned a one-year digital currency sponsorship. This makes Bloemen the first Olympic athlete paid with digital currency. Bloemen’s sponsorship comes from onG, a self-professed decentralized social network and digital currency community, and CEEK VR, a virtual reality developer.

Currently, Bloemen is competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics, hosted in PyeongChang, South Korea. As a part of his sponsorship deal, his journey at the Olympic Winter Games will be shared on the onG.social network, and purportedly available in 360° virtual reality through CEEK VR.

“Speed skating success is all about progression – building and building to peak at the right time. I’m excited to step into the future with onG and CEEK,” he said. “Their progressive approach to social media and VR paired with cryptocurrencies bring a whole new perspective. A perspective that, I believe, has a lot of potential! I feel like I just got two new teammates to help put me over the top, at the most important point in the season.”

‘New teammates’ for Bloemen

Both of the projects now funding Bloeman share praise for the Olympian’s abilities. Further, both hold unique approaches to innovation in the digital currency sector.

The first of Bloemen’s new sponsors, onG, hopes to attract new users to its social platform through the promise of being able to track the Canadian Olympian as he tries for gold.

According to onG.Social, social media belongs on the blockchain for the purposes of privacy, encryption, and the prospect of rewarding members of the community with digital currency.

CEEK VR, on the other hand, claims that the partnership will allow its audience to view Bloemen’s journey, and says that the underlying technology has the potential to be used for training and ‘maximizing player performance and potential.’

An Olympic opportunity for digital currency

As Bloemen competes on the world stage, his financing through digital currency is significant of a bigger picture.

Increasingly, the digital currency industry is becoming more accessible for the average member of the public. As a result, its status as a ‘members only’ club is continuing to fade.

Now, as Bloemen competes in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, he represents not only Canada but also the growing mainstream adoption of the digital currency industry as well.  

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