Gibraltar United, a Premium Division football team, will become the first football team to pay its players in cryptocurrency next season, according to The Guardian. Team owner Pablo Dana, who has invested in Quantocoin, a platform designed to provide cryptocurrencies for everyday uses, has started a sponsorship partnership, one of several instances of football teams and athletes finding use for cryptocurrencies.
Gibraltar’s financial sector has embraced blockchain technology and is leading the state in its adoption. In January, the government introduced regulations for businesses using blockchain technology. The government also plans to introduce a regulatory framework for ICOs.
Transparency Needed In Football
Where Gibraltar as a nation is hoping to bring legitimacy to crypto trading, Dana said Gibraltar United wants to bring more transparency to football, believing that the technology will reduce the corruption that has befallen the sport.
Cryptocurrency has also provided a means for paying foreign players who struggle to establish bank accounts in Gibraltar, while sidestepping taxes and fees.
Gibraltar was the first jurisdiction to regulate betting firms 20 years ago, Dana said. The government established anti-money laundering regulations. Gambling, for its part, has become established in football, bringing in millions of pounds worth of advertising. Betting companies were the leading shirt sponsors for the Nine Premier League teams.
Football Teams Embrace Crypto
Other football teams have embraced cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
The London based Arsenal Football Club signed a sponsorship with CashBet, a cryptocurrency in January.
Danny Stroud, head of partnerships for the London Football Exchange, said the exchange is interested in having a token-based football community to allow clubs to interact directly with fans without friction.
The exchange has also arranged to introduce cryptocurrency to the Bari, an Italian club, and Alcobendas, a Madrid based club. The agreements will reduce merchandise and ticket prices and will provide a chance for fans to purchase equity in the clubs.
Players Support Crypto Platforms
Players that have formed partnerships with cryptocurrencies include Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo, Michael Owen and Lionel Messi.
Harunustaspor, an amateur Turkish club, in January signed player Omer Faruk Kiroglu partly with cryptocurrency.
Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast recently became the official ambassador for All.me, a cryptocurrency based social network, and wore a shirt with All.me’s logo to show his support.
Luis Suarez, an Uruguayan player, last year promoted Stox, a blockchain platform for predictions, on his Instagram account.
Last week, Ronaldinho, another player, announced a project called the Ronaldhino Soccer Coin which plans to become a platform for soccer betting, digital stadiums and e-commerce.
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