Football is arguably the biggest and most celebrated sport in the world, and with roughly 4 billion people hooked on it, it was only a matter of time before cryptocurrencies began to show their heads in a market that is essentially fan-driven. The application of this technology seems to be slowly but surely picking up pace.
Famous Colombian footballer and Real Madrid star (currently on loan to Bayern Munich) James Rodriguez was the first footballer to launch his own cryptocurrency, as reported by Wired, and as such may well have started a new football economy where alternate currencies stand to completely change the football industry. The Chinese company SelfSell has been developing the token for Rodriguez. Amazingly, it reports that the first bunch of tokens released to the market for an online auction managed to be sold out in a matter of just 12 seconds, raking in $500,000.
A more recent development that has begun gathering pace is the partnership between London-based Arsenal F.C. and crypto firm Cashbet. Many more ground-breaking crypto tokens such as ICO and MVP have already started gaining ground. The meaning of these developments is that now there’s a brand new way in which fans might support their favourite teams while having a potential ownership stake as well. MVP can be used for the purchase of team merchandise and match tickets, to fund player transfers, and eventually, as the market develops, even purchase teams.
While this new wave of currencies is already poised to disrupt the football industry as a whole, personalised cryptocurrencies such as Rodriguez’s would also have an important impact on the performance of a player and vice-versa. The poor performance of a player would definitely promote a negative effect on the value of his coin; an exceptional performance would have the opposite effect, which would eventually raise the price of the player’s token, and thus directly benefit him.
However, to kick-start massive investments as these requires incentive, and token coins could very well be used to serve that purpose. Fans would almost surely buy the coins of their favourite footballer as they would believe that their favourites would definitely perform well; many others would use this opportunity to speculate. Therefore most of these tokens would initially have to be very cheap, but hype, speculation, and a careful PR strategy could see the prices taken to much higher levels, very similar to the working of the current cryptocurrency market.
While there’s a lot of scope in this partnership between the football economy and cryptocurrency that would bring immense benefits to both industries, a third industry that would definitely feel the competition is the traditional sports betting industry. What’s most exciting, however, is the level of transparency that cryptocurrencies bring to an organization that has been in the midst of corruption claims for the past 3 years.