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Could Billiards Be Set for a Blockchain-powered Facelift?

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To the untrained eye, billiards looks like a relatively straightforward game. But players and referees can attest that the game’s scoring system and rules can be a headache to memorize. Nowhere has this proven to be truer than in South Korea’s billiards leagues, where scoring is often an exceptionally contentious matter, with individual referees often using guesswork to determine the outcome of key contests.

Source: iStock/Grassetto

Thus, as billiards prepares to welcome its first professional league in June this year, the Korea Billiards Foundation (KBF) has turned to the world of blockchain technology for a solution.

Per media outlet Newsfreezone, the KBF has penned a deal with domestic blockchain provider Asia Blockchain Public Service Association that will allow it to create tamper-proof rulebooks and scoring systems that it will store and update on a blockchain platform. The KBF says this will be a particular boon to amateur league players and referees.

The KBF says that widespread confusion about scoring and rules has been the “biggest obstacle” to the game’s development in South Korea – despite the fact that billiards is enjoying growing popularity in the East Asian nation, with many major games televised. Joongang Daily reported last year that the KBF’s budget had doubled in the space of just five years.

Last month, former billiards star Kim Sang-ho took on a role as “billiards advisor” to a sports-themed blockchain and cryptocurrency venture.

Kim was quoted by Tour Times as stating, “Billiards data management is currently poor, both in terms of individual players and competitions.” He spoke of developing “a [blockchain-powered] platform that can transparently manage and accumulate data on both billiards pro and amateurs.”

Also last month, a blockchain company named BetStore 9 became the first fintech firm to sponsor an international billiards competition held in South Korea, in an event that was televised in 80 countries – as reported by Asia Kyungjae.

The Asia Blockchain Public Service Association earlier this year signed a deal with the World Taekwondo Industry Foundation, per Fn News. Taekwondo governing bodies say they are keen to explore ways that decentralized technology and “digital assets” could be used to promote Taekwondo internationally.