Bulgaria’s oldest football club, Botev Plovdiv FC, has embraced the world of cryptocurrency by integrating Bitcoin and Lightning Network payments. This historic shift also marks the club’s entry into the decentralized protocol, Nostr.

Bitcoin in the Parva Liga and the President’s Vision

With immediate effect, fans can now use Bitcoin for peer-to-peer payments at Botev Plovdiv FC’s fan shops and stands during matches in the top-flight Bulgarian Parva Liga. Furthermore, the club has ambitious plans to extend Bitcoin payments for ticketing and its online store in the near future.

Expressing enthusiasm for the move, Anton Zingarevich, the president of the 111-year-old football club, highlighted the potential of the Lightning Network. In a press release, he stated,

“We foresee Bitcoin payments becoming as ubiquitous as the internet in our daily lives. This integration not only aligns with our vision but also offers our fans and stakeholders unparalleled convenience.”

The bitcoin enabled point-of-sale device

Strategic Partnerships

This initiative became a reality through a strategic partnership with BTCPay Server. This is a renowned Bitcoin payment processor known for its open-source architecture, secure infrastructure, and low merchant fees. Further, the payment hardware was expertly handled by CryptoDesk.bg, in collaboration with Bitcoinize.com, the providers of the point-of-sale devices.

George Manolov, Bitcoin director at Botev Plovdiv FC, expressed the club’s excitement about leading innovations into sports. He stated,

“Bitcoin offers a universe of technological, social, and financial opportunities. At Botev, we’re thrilled to lead these innovations into sports, harnessing their transformative energy to elevate our club to unprecedented heights.”

Beyond Bitcoin and Global Influence

In addition to adopting Bitcoin, Botev Plovdiv FC has revamped its online presence. The club’s official website has been updated and English social media channels brought up to speed. Also, an account on Nostr—a decentralized protocol offering censorship-resistant social media—has been created.

Bulgarian football club adopts Bitcoin

This move further echoes the footsteps of Real Bedford, a United Kingdom-based football club, which was the world’s first to adopt Bitcoin. Peter McCormack, chairman of Real Bedford, commended the news from Bulgaria. He stated,

“It is so cool to see more football clubs adopt the Bitcoin cheat code. Not only will it bring more success to their club, but it will also widen the net for Bitcoin awareness.”

Bitcoin Game Day

Football fans attending Plovdiv’s home game against second in the league Lokomotiv Plovdiv will experience a historic moment. Now, they can pay using Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. The team made the announcement on Bitcoin white paper day to mark the occasion and highlight its unwavering support for Bitcoin.

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