Digital-currency experiment: mixed martial arts edition

Creating my own digital currency started out as an experiment but now it's taken on a life of its own. The coin has emerged as the 50th most valuable digital currency in the world out of over 300 currencies. We have an incredibly active BitcoinTalk forum, a Reddit page that has been tricked out by a supporter, and several real-world applications in the works.

The technology of bitcoin and digital currencies can be applied anywhere secure information needs to be transmitted. For example, voting. Bitcoin technology can be used to ensure that votes are transmitted over the internet without ballot tampering. An individual ballot can be encrypted, sent over the internet, and then decoded by a network of computers.

Jon Fitch
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Jon Fitch

When I launched Nautiluscoin, I took a page out of Wall Street's old playbook and added a stability fund so that we can use some of the coins to act as speed bumps when big swings in price occur. As well, we have reduced the transaction time down to 60 seconds, compared to bitcoin's 10-minute transaction time.

Read MoreHow I'm dodging bitcoin's flaw: Brian Kelly

The next step for Nautiluscoin was actually a little trickier than trying to solve the volatility problem: How to get the word out about Nautiluscoin?

I decided it was time for a fight.

So, I'm sponsoring Jon Fitch (, the No.2 Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) World Ranked Welterweight, in his upcoming fight on July 5 on NBC. Like many of us, Jon has recently caught the digital currency bug and with this sponsorship, he will become the first professional athlete to be paid in a digital currency.

This sponsorship is just the beginning of the journey toward acceptance as a medium of exchange. I have also partnered with Moolah ( so that any retailer in the world can accept Nautiluscoin and convert those coins into seven major fiat currencies. In the next few weeks, retailers will be able to accept Nautiluscoin for both online and offline transactions. As well, members of the Nautiluscoin community are launching several new ventures that will use Nautiluscoin exclusively.

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As digital currencies mature, they have the potential to become a new investment asset class. Some will be used as a broad medium of exchange, while others will solve specific economic problems. This emerging asset class is in training daily and fighting to become a new way to diversify an investment portfolio.

Brian Kelly is founder and managing member of Brian Kelly Capital LLC, a global macro investment firm catering to high net worth individuals, family offices and institutions. He is also the creator of the BKCM Indexes, benchmarks for multi-asset money managers. Kelly, a CNBC contributor, often appears on "Fast Money." Follow him on Twitter @BrianKellyBK.

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