In the FTX Crypto Cup, world chess champions compete for Bitcoin.

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At the close of a nine-day chess game, 2.18 Bitcoin is up for grabs.

This week, the world’s best chess players will fight for 2.18 Bitcoin ($83,840 in today’s price) in a tournament hosted by cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

Magnus Carlsen will defend his world champion title against longtime foe Ian Nepomniachtchi in the first match of the nine-day FTX Crypto Cup tomorrow. Carlsen will also compete against 15 of the world’s top chess players.

The FTX Cup is a member of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2021, which started in November 2020 and will last ten months. A limited prise pool of $1.5 million is available.

According to Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, the “chess demographic overlaps a fair bit with the cryptocurrency demographic,” as both crypto and chess draw young, tech-savvy mathematicians.



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However, thrilling chess matches would not be the only thing to watch during the FTX Cup. The cryptocurrency exchange would also display the Bitcoin volume, which travels even faster than a chess game.

On Monday, FTX purchased 2.1825 Bitcoin, which was worth about $100,000 at the time. It is actually worth $83,840, although that figure is expected to change by the end of the Cup. There is also a grand prise of $220,000, which is unlikely to vary in value by as much.


The FTX Crypto Cup will be broadcast online, as well as on TV channels TV2 and Eurosport.

There is, however, an option for those who are more interested in crypto than chess. reported on May 18 that cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase had funded its own chess tournament.

Unlike the FTX Crypto Cup, though, which features chess experts, Coinbase’s tournament will feature crypto ‘experts.’ Participants confirmed so far include Bitcoin promoter Anthony Pompliano, Civic and SiliconCape founder Vinny Lingham, and former rapper and crypto investor Logic.

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The tournament on will take place between June 12 and June 13. The recipient will donate $25,000 to a cause of their choice.


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