Should You Develop a Blockchain Startup With ‘Football Cryptocurrencies’

While fans around the world are slowly beginning to recapitulate the impressions of a strange football season in which they were not able to support their favorite clubs in stadiums due to the Covid-19 pandemic, one phenomenon that hit the planet in 2017 seems to be just beginning to heat up on the field of, globally, the most popular sport. We are talking about ‘tokenmania’. 

From sports betting in bitcoins, through player transfers, to the launch of new cryptocurrencies promoted by some of the world’s most famous footballers and clubs – cryptocurrencies have added confusion to the potentially huge market, where inconsistent regulations and interests of big sponsors and managers are already intertwined with the underworld. For now, no one knows what tokenmania will do but everyone is hoping for a profit. Check our blockchain software development services.


Startup companies that deal with cryptocurrencies have been hiring celebrities for marketing promotion from the very beginning of this specific industry. For example, in regard to our story, in the year of the World Cup in football, in 2018, they especially focused on football players. The reason is quite obvious – football is played and gladly watched by over four billion people, and the most famous football players attract several million followers on social networks.

James Rodríguez, a popular Colombian footballer who now plays for English Everton, and once for German Bayern and Spanish Real Madrid, is the best indicator of the success of such a strategy. In the first 12 seconds since the launch of its cryptocurrency JR10, created and distributed in cooperation with the Chinese company SelfSell, its online sales reached a value of about half a million US dollars.

Reacting to this news, the editorial board of the British magazine Wired predicted a future flood of football cryptocurrencies, racing to come up with interesting names for them, and among the proposals were BitKane (after Harry Kane), Cointinho (after Coutinho), or Ronaldoken (after Cristiano Ronaldo) – the possibilities are practically endless. On the other hand, the real question is what are the exact possibilities of their use.

Tokenization of Football Players

Following the example of a blockchain project called EOS, which raised almost four billion dollars from investors three years ago before launching the currency of the same name, without any indication that the investment would pay off, it is believed that the football cryptocurrency market can only be even more lucrative, given that it does not even have to provide a return on investment. Simply, a lot of fans will want to buy them as a certain type of souvenir that will remind them of their favorite player. In that case, that ‘nothing’ at least has emotional value, unlike ‘nothing’ offered by EOS, a small startup that, by the way, is registered in the Cayman Islands.

However, it is assumed that all future ‘football cryptocurrencies’ will be able to be exchanged in so-called secondary markets for cryptocurrencies that are already functional, such as Bitcoin, and perhaps even for real money. However, it is especially interesting in this case that the market value of cryptocurrencies linked to certain football players will directly depend on their performance on the pitch. In other words, the whole system of this particular subcategory of cryptocurrencies is conceived as betting on individual players. But, unlike the usual bookmakers among which there are bookmakers with no deposit bonus at, trading in football currencies will take place in real-time, i.e. during the matches, and not after their end.

Analysts in several leading Western media dealing with the phenomenon of cryptocurrencies go so far as to predict that, in the near future, broadcasts of football matches for each of the 22 players on the pitch will have separate charts, which will release changes in their value expressed in cryptocurrency.

Speaking of betting, the world’s largest online bookmakers have been offering the option of investing in bitcoins since the second half of 2016, where the act of payment itself represents an instant conversion of the current value of the most famous cryptocurrency into the US dollars. There are also several online platforms that offer the option of betting in other currencies, however, apart from the relatively attractive interface, they do not provide any guarantee in the security of the transactions made. Generally speaking, the existence of a large number of such brokerage sites is enabled by completely inconsistent international regulations, not only when it comes to betting with cryptocurrencies, but also when it comes to their use for any other purpose.

Who Pays Whom, With What, and How Much

In January 2018, Turkish Harunustaspor became the first football club to pay a share in bitcoins for the transfer of a player. During the signing of his contract, football player Ömer Faruk Kıroğlu posed for photo reporters, showing an application for an e-wallet, in which the cryptocurrency payment had just been placed, on his smartphone. Regardless of the fact that this is a lower-class club, with young and innovative management, which in this way wanted to draw attention to its existence, it was undoubtedly a move that might encourage some much bigger and richer clubs. 

Imagine an endless global market of football players where you will be able to trade virtual money that can change its value many times in an instant, and the origin of that money cannot be determined with certainty… Of course, such a situation would not last long but many managers who are already accustomed to hunting in murky water will certainly take advantage of it.

In the same month as the mentioned event in Turkey occurred, another historical moment happened when one of the most popular clubs in the world, English Arsenal, signed the first sponsorship agreement with a cryptocurrency in the world of sports. It is the American CashBet currency, whose name openly speaks of its primary purpose – use for sports betting purposes. The multiple champions of the English Premier League promoted on their jerseys the CashBet’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) at their luxurious Emirates Stadium in front of 60,000 loyal fans. Representatives of the regulatory bodies of the Premier League, including the City of London, just spread their arms helplessly. Officials from the FCA, the UK’s main financial regulator, said there is no law that could prevent clubs and individuals from promoting initial cryptocurrency offerings.

In contrast, Arsenal executives were overjoyed even though details about the total amount of the sponsorship deal were not made public. CashBet was created to monetize as a means of payment in online games for mobile platforms so that its value would be determined by the fans of those games, and during the initial release, it was believed that Arsenal fans will determine it as well.

When CashBet was officially launched, its starting price was 50 US cents. At the end of the ICO, approximately 143 million of these tokens were distributed in a total value of about $ 40 million, and at the beginning of July of the same year, the value of one CashBet coin was only 14 cents, which means that investors did not earn at all. Whether they bet on the ’wrong horse’ or whether the fans proved to be less susceptible to modern trends, and less naive, only time will tell.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.