Football and Crypto: Who (and What) Connects the Two Worlds?
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In light of the 2018 FFA World Cup in Russia, Insider.Pro finds out how popular the cryptocurrencies are among footballers.

Lionel Messi and the cryptophone

Messi has become an ambassador of the first ever producer of a blockchain-based smartphone Sirin Labs. In December last year Barcelona’s Argentinian star, a five time ‘Ballon D’or’ winner has participated in the advertisement campaign for FINNEY phone. Their official slogan says: “Let's score a couple of goals together and we will bring the technology of blocking in mass.” SIRIN, and Israeli company behind the FINNEY, claims their phone is the only ready product that is able to store cryptocurrencies. The users will be able to use crypto wallets and conduct safe transactions.

Michael Owen and his OWN

This March, the 38-year-old former Liverpool FC striker Michael Owen has made a deal with a Singapore-based startup Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX), to launch the OWN token, reported by Bloomberg. The first tokens are said to be released towards the end of Q2. It is believed that they will be used only within the footballing world: in particular the token owners could use them to buy club merchandise and donate to the charitable organisations chosen by the players.

James Rodriguez and the JR10 Tokens

Michael Owen is not the only footballer to represent a token. In the end of May, James Rodriguez who’s plying his trade in Germany at Bayern Munich has launched a JR10 token (JR - being the initials and his number 10 shirt). The 26-year-old Colombian has partnered up with SelfSell platform. The first private sale was held on May 27 and was over in just 12 seconds. As the result Rodriguez became the first footballer to issue his own cryptocurrency.

Arsenal and ICO push

In January English football team Arsenal has signed a contract with a mobile casino platform CashBet. This included Arsenal supporting the ICO and its gambling cryptocurrency CashBet Coin during their home fixtures in the British Premier League, according to BBC.

Critics have pointed out that at the time of striking a deal, Arsenal was at risk of not reaching a UEFA Champions League spot for the second season in the row. This mean that the club would miss out on some of the continental bonuses forcing the management to look for additional sources of income, and the crypto world was there to help out. On June 19, CashBet has announced that their ICO was completed. The project has gathered $38 million by selling 142,975,000 tokens.

Bitcoin Transfer

Towards the end of the January transfer window, a Turkish side Harunustaspor became the first club in history to buy a player using bitcoins. The amature team has payed 0,0524 bitcoin in addition to 2,500 Turkish lira for the 22-year-old Omer Faruk Kiroglu. “We did it to make a name for ourselves in the country and the world. We are proud of this,” Harunustaspor chairman Haldun Sehit said to a Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

Bonus: Crypto-oracle has announced the 2018 WC winner

A Chinese forecasting platform Bodhi has announced the winner of the World Cup in Russia, and it is the Portuguese side.

Bodhi is a decentralised platform which utilizes the Qtum blockchain. Bodhi users may place bets on the results of sport events, financial results and political events. The platform works through Bodhi’s own BOT token which can also be traded.

By Alex Savenko

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