By CCN: The beautiful game just got much prettier after European football giant Benfica announced they’d be accepting bitcoin and Ethereum payments. Now, fans of the Portuguese Primera Liga champions can pay for match tickets and club merchandise using cryptocurrency.
This isn’t the first time the footballing elite has flirted with cryptocurrency, but it is the first time its been accepted as regular payment.
In the recent past, Italian champions Juventus played around with the idea of launching its own club token. Football supporters were even able to pay for match access with bitcoin during 2018’s World Cup in Russia – although that was a one-off.
Now the transactional value of cryptocurrency can be employed in full around the Estádio da Luz – Benfica’s home ground. The sudden move comes courtesy of UTRUST, a crypto payments processing firm which also utilizes its own ETH-based token, UTK.
According to Wednesday’s press release:
“UTRUST’s core technology will allow Benfica to take advantage of the increased security and convenience of cryptocurrency payments while protecting the club from market volatility. It will also significantly reduce processing fees and eliminate inconvenient credit-card chargebacks and fraudulent payments.”
Benfica CEO Domingos Soares de Oliveira said the decision to accept crypto payments came from a recognition that the club must “stay ahead of the curve,” adding:
“[We] recognize that many of our supporters are now digital users first so we want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to accepting novel technologies.”
It would have been difficult to imagine a more unlikely bedfellow for bitcoin than football, but no other popular industry has embraced crypto anywhere near as much.
Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp once pumped a cryptocurrency via his Twitter account. Footballing legend Ronaldinho even launched his own token. More names familiar to British and European football fans round up this list, which is growing by the month.
Indeed, as recently as April, controversial cryptocurrency Bitcoin SV (BSV) signed a sponsorship deal with Scottish club Ayr United. The small seaside club carries the nickname of ‘The Honest Men.’ Make of that tidbit what you will.
Benfica has a long, glorious history in European football and regularly fills out its 65,000 capacity stadium weekly. The club boasts 14 million followers worldwide and 7 million active fans across the internet and social media accounts.
Only bitcoin, Ethereum, and UTRUST’s UTK token will be accepted for payments to start.
This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.
Last modified: June 5, 2019 13:18 UTC