Many times when a NASCAR driver isn’t actually racing, they can be found outdoors somewhere; hunting, fishing, racing in another series, working on a farm perhaps.
NASCAR driver Landon Cassill is a little different.
When he’s not racing on an actual track the 31-year-old Iowan can be found racing online amongst whomever decides to join him, most often streaming himself on “Twitch” an online platform that allows others to watch.
The point is that Cassill is part of a generation of younger people who live much of their lives on the information superhighway, aka the Internet. It should come as no surprise then that Cassill knows a lot about cryptocurrency, the once mysterious form of money that to many of us remains nothing more than “magic money.” Cryptocurrency is made up of a bunch of numbers that lives in “digital wallets” on blocks in a “blockchain” on a “node” and can be “mined.”
And Cassill knows all about it.
He’s been dabbling in cryptocurrency for quite some time and has even “mined” it. Recently though, he’s started to do something else with cryptocurrency. You see, Landon Cassill is the first NASCAR driver to get a cryptocurrency platform to sponsor the car he races in NASCAR’s Xfinity series for JD Motorsports using cryptocurrency to pay for the sponsorship. And that’s a pretty big deal.
“I’ve, I’ve traded it. I bought it, I’ve held it, I’ve mined it,” Cassill said. “But a couple of years ago, I really decided that in addition to it being a part of my personal portfolio I wanted to build a network in the space.”
“As a race car driver. I make my living by having sponsors and representing brands that I’m aligned with.”
The sponsorship is with Voyager Digital which operates a crypto-asset trading platform. Cassill met CEO Steve Ehrlich a couple years ago at a crypto conference and the two became friends. It was this friendship that led to the partnership.
“It just seems like the space has gotten bigger and bigger and more and more active,” Cassill said. “And it’s matured to a point where companies are ready for something like a mainstream sponsorship of a sports team or a race.”
“The timing is perfect for it.”
With no centralized banks that hold onto cryptocurrency, it’s been the Wild West in the crypto space in years past. But that space is starting to be tamed. Voyager is one of the newer platforms, basically a brokerage firm, that allows users to build a portfolio of different forms of cryptocurrency. It’s opening the once mysterious world to more and more people, including those who might not be too comfortable trading “magic money.”
“It’s easy for someone that doesn’t know much to understand it,” Cassill said. “For me to tell my parents or you know, my grandmother, who last time Bitcoin was at $60,000 called me and asked me, ‘how did my Bitcoin do?’ It takes me two seconds to copy and paste an invite link to Voyager and she’s on the platform in a second.”
And that platform brings something that Cassill has been doing on the internet full circle, as in the circle that is a racetrack.
“To me that’s a perfect alignment for something I’m invested in already but also compliments my career as a race car driver.”
One thing that cryptocurrency market is known for however is volatility, the value can swing wildly. That’s something that Cassill says isn’t an issue with Voyager and similar platforms.
“Yes, it’s an active market,” Cassill said. But he adds: “Just like if you’re holding a stock or anything else crypto, Bitcoin, light coin, Ethereum, they’re all going up and down.”
“One thing that’s really awesome about Voyager is you earn interest on your holdings,” he said. “And not just like a little bit of interest, like holding cash in the bank. I think that for Bitcoin, you earn like six and a quarter percent interest. And if you hold their native token, Voyager token, a certain amount, they’ll give you a 1% bonus. You can earn between six and 9% interest, 10% interest, actually, I think on some tokens just by holding it in your account. That’s pretty awesome.”
“I mean for a crypto guy; I hold my personal portfolio. A lot of people hold off exchanges. So for those of you that are willing to hold on an exchange or want to see your cryptocurrency earning some yield, even while the market is going up and down, it’s a great way to, I suppose, hedge the market.”
Holding on then is the best way for crypto to pay off.
“We’ve seen the price change, it swings of 10 or 15% at a time,” Cassill said. “It can definitely be a volatile market. But I mean, if you’re holding one Bitcoin in your Voyager account that one Bitcoin is earning a six and a quarter percent interest annual interest rate, that’s nothing to sneeze about.”
It’s obvious that Cassill is passionate about the cryptocurrency market and enjoys educating others about the once mysterious world. Cassill has seen how interest has grown in the crypto market and it’s a big part of the sponsorship.
Something he doesn’t mind at all.
“It is fun to just tie things from other aspects of my life into racing,” Cassill said. “And I think that really what it does is strengthens my community and strengthens Voyager’s community. Because that’s one thing that is really strong about cryptocurrency is the community. And Voyager, I think a big part of the sponsorship is that community and how can they tap into the NASCAR community and really just provide a good service.”
While the sponsorship may be something new to the sport, the contracts weren’t any different than any other sponsorship deal. And the process of turning cryptocurrency into the cash needed to pay the race team’s bills isn’t all that difficult Cassill said.
“Fortunately, on Voyager’s brokerage platform I can just liquidate the crypto that I need and send it right to my bank account,” Cassill said. “The sponsorship is paid fully in cryptocurrency. That’s a part of this sponsorship. And from that point I can hold what I want to hold, keep it in my Voyager account. But I could also sell it carve out what I need to pay bills. And obviously, go racing with it.”
Cassill’s JD Motorsports car he’s racing at Nashville Superspeedway (and raced at the Circuit of the Americas several weeks ago) isn’t the first to have a crypto sponsor on the hood and get its funding from cryptocurrency, Stefan Parsons has a partial sponsorship for the same race with Dogecoin. And Josh Wise famously had Dogecoin sponsorship for a race in 2014. But the Voyager sponsorship isn’t just a one or two race deal; in fact, it’s a deal that will see it as a primary sponsor for the rest of the season, with that sponsorship paid for fully in cryptocurrency; that’s a first for NASCAR.
“I’ve been a NASCAR long enough, I guess I don’t count anything out in this sport,” Cassill said. “But I think that the one thing that I probably didn’t imagine when I first got into cryptocurrency; the level of professionalism I would deal with when, doing a sponsorship with a brokerage exchange like Voyager you know, Steve, or like Pam Kramer and the whole team there. These people are really good people and they’re professionals and I’m excited to work with them. Because I think it’s a, a really great brand.”
Cryptocurrency is indeed becoming less mysterious. It’s exiting the information superhighway, and thanks to enthusiasts, like race car driver Landon Cassill, its going racing in NASCAR.