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The cryptocurrency world has been enlisting the help of celebrities for marketing for quite some time now. But lately, they have started to recruit a new breed of celebrity – football stars. This is because football is the favorite sport of more than 4 billion people around the globe and each player often has followers over a million too.

Global football powerhouses like Real Madrid and Manchester United have fan bases that reach to the farthest corner of the world like Seoul, Jakarta, New York, etc. With such an economy that is tied to different types of currencies and countries, it is sufficient to say that the football industry will experience certain inefficiencies.

Clubs often end up paying hefty transaction fees to intermediaries to sell tickets, merchandise, broadcasting rights, sponsorship rights, etc. Sometimes, they end up selling their best players to other clubs as well. The FIFA industry is also battling against corruption as well. The association has been trying its best to ensure financial fair play by pushing for transparency in financial transactions and club ownership structures.

It is believed by experts that such problems can be eliminated if clubs adopt cryptocurrency modes of payment and the blockchain technology. The digital currency can be used to facilitate transactions with agents, broadcasters, sponsors and fans across different countries.

This year, a semi-professional football team in Gibraltar became the world’s first team to be paid in part with cryptocurrency in a move announced by Pablo Dana, the club’s owner. According to the owner Dana, he stated that with this mode of payment, he could help root out corruption from the game. He also mentioned that this payment mode could help his club secure foreign players who cannot create a bank account easily in Gibraltar.

While some may see this incident as a random point of entry for cryptocurrency in the world of football, it makes more sense if you look clearly. The finance sector of Gibraltar is leading the charges in fin-tech (technological innovation in the financial sector) and the blockchain.

Currently, BlocSide is selling a digital token called MVP, which is specifically designed for the football industry. According to the first phase of this plan, these tokens can be used to buy football merchandises, food and tickets at the stadium, or subscribe to the streaming service of the club through BlocSide’s dedicated platform all across the world.

Arsenal, to show the potential of blockchain technology, became the first major football club to sign a sponsorship deal with CashBet, a cryptocurrency exchange, in 2018. Beyond the regular advantages cryptocurrency provides, blockchain transfers are completely free. The London Football Exchange stated that these lowered costs provide ample opportunities to engage fans in many different ways.

As seen in the case of Gibraltar, crypto trading could become an integral part of the football universe. With the right leadership and the right environment, we will witness more cryptocurrency-based payments done more often. But, since football has the luxury of stability due to the unwavering demand of the fans worldwide, the volatility of blockchain might mean bigger clubs fearing partnership that could tarnish their reputation, as it happened to Milan’s previous owner, who tried paying a portion of €10m the loan he took to buy the club.