The sports and related industries have trouble verifying if sports data are authentic. This is reflected by several incidents where players claimed to achieve results that they never did. Even identity fraud is still a problem in the sports industry, for instance, when players claim the performances of another person.
SportChain, a project by Validated ID and funded byNGI TruBlo, tackles the before mentioned issues by providing services that can be used to ensure data integrity and authenticity of sports data with the support of services provided by the Alastria blockchain.
SportChain enables the notarization of sports data. This notarization is performed by a so-called notary, a person with special permissions. This notary verifies the entered sports data - such as players who attended a game, score, fouls, and more -and, if these data are correct, notarizes these data.
This process is supported by blockchain technology. Thus, notarization data are anchored on the blockchain allowing other parties to verify the authenticity and integrity of sports data sets, elevating the trust in these data. The project is executed in two phases. Currently, SportChain is approaching the end of phase one, which ends with the implementation of a proof-of-concept that mocks some of the functionality listed in the main outcomes below.
- SportChain Portal. The heart of SportChain represents the SportChain portal. This web portal offers the full functionality and all services of SportChain to its stakeholders. It offers public services without having to login to the portal as well as special functionality and services that can only be accessed if the right permissions have been presented during the login. SportChain portal allows the login with VIDchain wallet and utilizes self-sovereign identity technology.
- League and Team Management. League officials, as well as team manager, can manage their league or team in the so-called management part of the SportChain portal. SportChain provides a tool that can be used, for example, to onboard new users, issue credentials even with special permissions, and manage persons and entities. This management tool ensures that issued credentials can be revoked, reissued, and more.
- Game Attendance Management. The game attendance management is used to verify which users are participating in a game. To do so, a league official logs into the portal and is able to access a special page where the players can be added to a game. Next, this league official creates a QR code that is going to bed is played on a separate page. Before the game, each player must register themselves by scanning the QR code, followed by performing identification and authentication to the SportChain portal. This way, the SportChain portal tracks which are participating players. This process replaces the manual process which has to be performed for most sports.
- Notarization of Sports Data. During a game, a team manager or league official enters the sports data related to an event into the SportChain portal. After the sports event, a notary verifies the entered data, and if all these data are correct, the notary notarizes the data. The hash of the data set is signed and anchored in a blockchain network.
- Verification of Sports Data. Data that SportChain has notarized can afterwards be verified using SportChain. When a party, like for instance, a sports team, wants to verify if a player really attended the claimed games, this party could verify the notarization status on the sports data. This is just one example use case of how verification of sports data through data notarization could enrich the sports industry.
- Sports Data Catalog. SportChain portal offers a sports data catalog, which data consumers can use to determine what data and data sets should be used for data analysis. For example, statistics of players or teams can be calculated to support managers in the hiring process of new players. SportChain also allows statistics about meta player information such as the number of injuries or fouls and more. Insurance companies could use this kind of data analysis to calculate their insurance costs.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 957228.