Special Report: In a move that signals the growing mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies, sports fans, and concertgoers can now use their digital assets to make purchases at the iconic Adelaide Oval.

This ground-breaking integration is possible through a partnership between Crypto.com, the Adelaide Crows AFL club, and leading fintech software firm DataMesh.

As a world-first at this scale for a major stadium, various food and beverage outlets inside Adelaide Oval are now equipped to accept crypto payments via Crypto.com’s payment solution, Crypto.com Pay. The services will be available for fans at the AFL’s Gather Round on April 4.


Streamlining crypto spending

The process is designed to be seamless for both merchants and customers. Customers select Crypto.com as their preferred payment method at checkout to generate a QR code on the merchant terminal. They then scan this code using the Crypto.com app and authorise their chosen crypto for the transaction amount.

To encourage adoption during the initial rollout, Crypto.com is offering AUD $10 cashback on the first 1,000 transactions made at Gather Round. More promotions are planned throughout the 2024 AFL season and Adelaide Crows home games.

“Australians are adopting cryptocurrency at a rapid rate, and we’re constantly innovating to integrate crypto into real-world use cases,” said Karl Mohan, General Manager for APAC at Crypto.com.

“The payment technology we’ve introduced at Adelaide Oval is user-friendly and extremely scalable, and it holds immense promise for future integrations of this kind.”


Unlocking payments innovation

Crypto.com’s partnership with DataMesh has been instrumental in bringing this new payment solution to fruition. DataMesh’s innovative Unify switching platform provides the underlying technology backbone, seamlessly bridging traditional payment systems with cryptocurrencies.

“From the outset, our mission has been to dismantle barriers between traditional payments and digital currencies,” said DataMesh CEO Mark Nagy. “We empower consumers by enabling smooth, secure cryptocurrency transactions and unlocking new frontiers of payment acceptance.”

DataMesh’s technology integrates directly with point-of-sale systems like Echidna POS used at Adelaide Oval, allowing Crypto.com users to make everyday purchases with their digital assets.


A pioneering partnership

For Crypto.com, a major sponsor of the AFL and Adelaide Crows, this launch represents an exciting milestone in providing seamless crypto payment options to thousands of passionate sports fans.

“As a valued partner continually breaking new ground, we’re delighted to collaborate with Crypto.com on delivering this innovative initiative to our members and supporters,” said Adelaide Crows CEO Tim Silvers.

“We always aim to give our fans choices suited to their preferences, whether for membership, merchandise, or now for food and beverage purchases on game days.”


The road to mainstream adoption

This deployment at Adelaide Oval builds on Crypto.com’s growing momentum in facilitating real-world crypto payments across Australia. Late last year, the platform partnered with DataMesh and OTR to launch the nation’s first in-store cryptocurrency payments system, enabling acceptance at over 440 Peregrine retail outlets.

Analysts forecast substantial growth in mainstream crypto usage as the regulatory landscape evolves and consumer demand rises.

Juniper Research predicts total contactless payment transactions will skyrocket to over $15.3 trillion by 2027, with a 221% increase in contactless payments expected between 2022 and 2026.

Decentralized finance (DeFi) and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are also poised to shake up the payments sector.

By offering cryptocurrency as a payment method at significant venues like Adelaide Oval, Crypto.com is positioning itself at the forefront of this transformation, aligning with its core mission.

“We are trusted by over 80 million customers worldwide due to our industry-leading regulatory compliance, security, and privacy standards,” Mohan said.

“As cryptocurrency transcends its niche origins, integration on this scale showcases our capability to facilitate mainstream adoption securely and responsibly.”


Blazing a trail for stadiums globally

While Adelaide Oval leads the charge in Australia, this integration could set a precedent for sports venues worldwide to explore cryptocurrency payment solutions. The low-cost, high-performance nature of DataMesh’s Unify platform makes it highly scalable for deployment across merchants of all sizes.

With estimates that digital asset usage will soar in the coming years, early adopters will gain a competitive edge by future-proofing their payment infrastructures. As consumers increasingly expect alternative payment options catering to their cryptocurrency holdings, companies that stay ahead of the curve will be well positioned to capitalise on this rapidly evolving landscape.

“The customer appetite for crypto payments is undeniable, and this collaboration showcases how businesses can meet that demand in an innovative yet compliant manner,” Nagy said.

“We foresee growing opportunities for DataMesh’s solutions as more sectors recognise the need to accept digital currencies seamlessly alongside traditional payment methods.”

From its modest beginnings, the cryptocurrency space has often defied sceptics and emerged as a potential disruptor to conventional finance.

As this uncharted territory unfolds, groundbreaking partnerships like the one at Adelaide Oval could represent just the beginning of digital assets transcending their speculative nature to become an integral part of day-to-day commercial activity.


This article was developed in collaboration with DataMesh, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.  

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.