Brazillian football star Ronaldo de Assis Moreira -- better known as Ronaldinho -- is launching an ambitious new cryptocurrency project which aims to establish a football academy, host amateur and global league matches around the world, develop and operate a betting platform and marketplace, and develop digital VR stadiums that will analyze player skills and compile a blockchain database with which to create new teams.
The stadiums will be developed in 300 locations around the world, with facilities planned for countries in Africa, S.E. Asia, and the Middle East over the next three years.
The project is titled Ronaldinho Soccer Coin, formerly World Soccer Coin prior to inking the partnership with the football superstar. Earlier this year Ronaldinho tweeted about the project, now entering the initial coin offering (ICO) phase, to his 18.1 million followers.
— Ronaldinho Gaúcho (@10Ronaldinho) February 20, 2018
The roadmap states that two stadiums will be completed this July in Asia, with operations to commence before the end of the year. An alliance has also been formed with five existing stadiums in South East Asia. The project continues with the further development of the VR and virtual services technologies that will enhance the eSports aspect of the project, and the Ronaldinho Academy will be launched in March 2019.
Stadiums in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand will be operational in 2019 and an eSports tournament will be held in Bangkok in July 2019. All services in terms of betting, enrolling in the academy, or participating in the VR stadium eSports, will be secured by NEO technology.
"Ever since I thought of retiring, I started to think about my life after retirement," said Ronaldinho of his decision to partner with the project. "I wish to contribute to the world as much as I can."
Ronaldinho is arguably the most high-profile sports player to enter a cryptocurrency project, although others have come before him.
The ill-fated Centra token was endorsed by world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather, but the project ground to a halt after the SEC arrested and charged the founders with fraud among other charges, leading many to view the project as a scam from the outset, with other high-profile celebrities like Dj Khaled also giving their endorsements through social media before the charges.
NBA star Stephen Curry also entered the crypto space by launching his own line of CryptoKitties earlier this year, re-igniting the interesting debate around the use and development of non-fungible digital assets. However, the CurryKitties project has since been suspended.