Sports media firm Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN) and blockchain technology provider BLOK SPORTS have struck up a partnership to launch what they describe as a ‘new and innovative bracket challenge for the 2019 March Madness college basketball tournament’. The aim, said a joint statement, is to utilize BLOK SPORTS’ blockchain technology to power a unique simulated betting competition.

The 2019 Beat the Spread Challenge begins on March 18 and the competition will be automatically open to VSiN’s All-Access subscribers and available through the BLOK SPORTS web app on the homepage. Players will receive free credits in the form of the BLOK digital token – dubbed the VSiN token – which can be used to place simulated wagers on each game, including picking the team they think will beat the point spread. Players will compete for a variety of prizes, including a first prize of $10,000.

“Thanks to BLOK SPORTS’ blockchain technology, our ‘Beat The Spread Challenge’ will be even more challenging this year,” said Bill Adee, COO of VSiN. “In addition to picking winners, money management is essential to being a successful sports bettor and this new platform enables us to simulate the sports betting experience.”

The contest is powered by BLOK SPORTS’ proprietary web application and high-speed transaction engine capable of processing millions of bets simultaneously. The BLOK platform utilizes the latest ERC standards in a rich token economy that leverages a global network to securely escrow and manage all bet funds and flows. BLOK SPORTS’ predictive analytics engine will keep the team informed with a real-time view of all betting activity and insights throughout the tournament.

“We’re proud to be partnering with the leader in sports betting information and news to launch a new, highly engaging interactive experience for the VSiN audience,” said Mitchell Chun, founder and CEO of BLOK SPORTS. “We see an immense opportunity ahead to grow our platform into the most secure and trusted sports betting experience for players around the world while reducing the frictions that come with the traditional online sportsbook. We look forward to working with innovative partners like VSiN to bring this to market.”

In addition to the annual contest, VSiN will celebrate March Madness with ongoing coverage of the match-ups and line movements. It will kick off coverage on March 17 with its Selection Sunday broadcast, when its team of experts will take college hoops enthusiasts inside the process of setting the line to deliver the actionable information they need to win. The network’s sports betting experts will unveil the lines and share insights live immediately after the match-ups are announced.