Nationals to accept cryptocurrency at ballpark as early as 2023 season

Crypto is making its way to the ballpark, and it could be there by the 2023 season.

The Nationals announced Wednesday a partnership with the cryptocurrency community Terra, a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) run by stakeholders rather a traditional corporate structure. As part of the agreement, the cryptocurrency TerraUSD (UST) could be accepted at Nationals Park as a form of payment as early as next season. A team spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports Washington they were referring to 2023.

The Nationals continue to push the envelope, Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner said in a statement. We are excited to partner with Terra to name our most exclusive club and explore bringing powerful new fan experiences to Nationals Park, including the use of UST cryptocurrency to make purchases.

Washingtons deal includes title sponsorship of the club space directly behind home plate, formerly known as the Nationals Club. There will also be Terra advertisements around the ballpark and a social media campaign sponsored by the DAO.

This first-of-its-kind partnership between a DAO and a sports franchise opens a new world of opportunities for bringing crypto and DeFi to the masses, Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon said in a statement. By approving this sponsorship deal, the community has a new way to engage and educate the public, including the policy makers doing important work in Washington, D.C., about decentralized money and the burgeoning technology that underlies it.

UST is a type of cryptocurrency called stablecoin with a value tied to that of the American dollar. Founded in 2018 by a pair of South Korean entrepreneurs, Terra doesn’t back UST with U.S. currency and instead usesdigital reserve assets called LUNA tokens.

The agreement with Terra is the second sponsorship deal the Nationals have announced this offseason. BetMGM, which opened a sportsbook just outside the center field gate of Nationals Park, opened its doors Jan. 31 and will be a prominent sponsor of the team beginning in 2022.