Spanish soccer giant FC Barcelona wants to create its own cryptocurrency, its president has said, according to a report by ESPN.
FC Barcelona’s announced blockchain plans are not the club’s first foray into the crypto space. Since 2020, the club has been issuing BAR; a fan token launched through socios.com. BAR tokens allow holders to help the team make decisions, access VIP experiences, earn official products, and more.
Several other prominent European clubs have also launched similar tokens, including PSG, Premier League’s West Ham, Italy’s AC Milan and Poland’s Legia Warsaw. But notably, FC Barcelona turned down sponsorship bids from crypto companies Polkadot and Binance favouring the music streaming platform Spotify last week.
According to Barcelona president Joan Laporta: “We’re developing our metaverse, [which is why] we rejected the chance to be associated with any cryptocurrency enterprises…”
It is understood that this u-turn decision, which could make them the first soccer team to launch its own standalone cryptocurrency, is borne out of the team’s desire to ‘survive financially’. Speaking at the Mobile World Congress 2022 conference in the Catalan city Monday, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta cited the need for Barca to compete with clubs owned by big corporations and foreign investors as another reason behind the decision.
“We want to create our own cryptocurrency, and we have to do that ourselves. We are different because we survive financially from what we can generate through the industry of sport,” Laporta stated, explaining that the club doesn’t have big shareholders or backers and therefore needs to be innovative in how it connects with its fans.
In addition to an FC Barcelona cryptocurrency, Laporta also hinted that the club plans to create its own ‘Barça Metaverse’ and NFT collections. He noted that digital products like NFTs are intended for Barcelona fans, whose number is about 300 million worldwide. He also said that he has something else to announce, but it is confidential.
“It’s something we can share with our fans around the world – around 300 million of them. I could announce something else, but I have to be prudent because it’s confidential still.” Barca players are aware of the new directions the club is taking, and there are clauses in their contracts related to the NFT and the metaverse, the president added.
With the announcement of a standalone cryptocurrency, Metaverse, and NFTs, FC Barcelona looks set to go beyond its peers in leveraging blockchain technology. It is worthy of note that In November 2021, Barcelona announced the release of collectible digital assets in partnership with the Ownix marketplace. However, the club terminated the agreement due to the platform’s cooperation with crypto entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg, who was arrested for fraud and other crimes.
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