Not really. But, kind of.
On Saturday, martial arts champions faced off for the Muay Thai Nights 6 event at the Hotel Riu in Panama City, Panama.
Not only did Americans and Columbians fight Mexicans and Costa Ricans, but private investment company The Panama Fund sponsored the show to promote their new project, the Bitcoin Venture Capital Fund.
Photos of the night posted by the company online showed the Bitcoin logo plastered all over the event – on the ring girls’ leotards, the Round cards, banners and posters around the venue, and on much of the clothing worn by the fighters.
“It’s not NASCAR, but it’s a start ;) “ the investment company wrote on Reddit, promoting their sponsorship in the run-up to the fight night. According to the company’s website, “private companies looking for venture capital to start or expand their current business operations will apply to be funded” exclusively in Bitcoin through their project.
As it turns out, boxing and Bitcoin are becoming a bit of an item. A Bitcoin Fighting Championship in London in April, the idea for which grew out of a local Bitcoin meetup, saw 8 fighters go head-to-head in a kickboxing tournament for a prize of £5000 in Bitcoin.
The organizers of the London event said they hope to arrange a follow-up fight for Bitcoin – a heavyweight round – this summer.
Are martial arts the next frontier for Bitcoin sponsorship? If and when you see Russian President Vladimir Putin (steely politician and judo enthusiast) sparring in a Bitcoin-logoed gi, you’ll know the answer is yes.