March Madness and Bitcoin

Today marks the first day of March Madness, with First Four matches beginning today. As many are already aware, March Madness is the title of the 64 team tournament that takes place at the end of each NCAA college basketball season. March Madness is notorious for the bracket challenges that take place every year, and is what amounts to many of the tournament’s fans every year.

Of course, much of the bracket creation popularity is due to the one million dollars paid out to anyone who can create the perfect bracket. The odds of creating a perfect bracket are less than the odds of winning the lottery, getting struck by lightning, or killed by a falling vending machine. Even so, millions of Americans create a bracket every year, many because of the chance of earning the sweet million.

Many demographics that are not typically interested in sports participate in the event, and the bitcoin community is no exception. In spirit of the basketball festivities, several bitcoin companies and communities put together contests, wagers, and giveaways regarding the bracket.

Bitmadness held their first March Madness contest in 2012, where they paid out 100 bitcoins to the most accurate brackets out of a pool of players. The giveaway was such a success, it has continued in every year following. The website has since shut down since the last March Madness tournament, but they are continuing the tradition with a 2 bitcoin giveaway this year. The bitcoin will be divided as followed: 1 BTC for first place, .5 BTC for second, .2 BTC to both 3rd and 4th place, and .1 BTC to 5th. Scoring follows the typical set up for March Madness, with each round of the tournament being worth the same amount of points, and the value of each correct prediction being determined by (total points per round)/(total matches within the round). Using this formula, later matches in the tournament are worth exponentially more, and an early mistake can lead to many points lost down the road.

Crypto Infinity, a community dedicated to giveaways, is also holding their own contest. Crypto Infinity is a community forum that doubles as a host for contests and giveaways to members within the community. These contests are typically tied to web games also found on the site, and they pay out skilled players in a variety of cryptocurrencies. Continuous with the overall purpose of the website, they are also hosting a free to enter March Madness contest. Crypto Infinity is offering $50 worth of BTC to the most accurate bracket, $30 to 2nd place, and $20 to 3rd, using the same formula mentioned above. There will also be a conselation prize of some cryptocurrencies to all who participate. This contest is not open to anyone, however, as possible entrants must have five constructive forum posts on the website in order to participate.

Backed is a website that allows its members to post projects they are working on, as well as to contribute funds and exposure to other projects. They recently announced their own contest today. Similar to Crypto Infinity, this pool is exclusive to Backed members. Unlike Crypto Infinity, however, there is no prior activity requirement to signing up, and registration is simple and open to anyone. The contest is awarding top brackets with the following prizes: .25 BTC to the top bracket, .1 BTC to the top runner up, and .05 BTC to the 2nd runner up. Unlike other contests, Backed is also offering .05 BTC to the worst bracket within the pool.

Lastly, Casino Bitcoin is holding their own March Madness event. This event is not like any of the previous. Rather than filling out a bracket, the website has created a game similar to Superbowl Squares. Casino Bitcoin has explained the game on their March Madness page, which is shown below:

If you are familiar with Super Bowl Squares, the core concept is the same for March Madness. A 10×10 grid of boxes is setup and each row and column are assigned a number from 0 to 9. Just like a Super Bowl Squares pool, each square of the grid can be claimed by a pool member.

  • Grid numbers are hidden from your members until the day before Tournament begins, or the grid is filled up, whichever comes first.
  • Unlike the Super Bowl where there is only ONE game, members’ squares are theirs for EVERY game, starting with the 2nd round on March 20th 2014
  • At the end of each round, we automatically compare the last digit of both teams’ score for every game to determine a winner.
  • We will list each individual winner as well as as aggregate count of how many times each pool member has won.

They are offering three pools: free, .05 BTC entry, and .1 BTC entry. The free pool has a total prize of 2 BTC, which are distributed to the winning square of every game throughout the tournament.

Even if you aren’t a sports fan, there are many incentives to participating in this popular event. If you haven’t done so already, check out the giveaways listed above and create your own bracket today. You have until Thursday, March 19th to finalize your bracket.

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