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Paris Saint-Germain Welcomes Lionel Messi With Crypto

Six-times Ballon D’Or winner Lionel Messi received part of his signing-on fee as $PSG fan tokens, becoming the latest major sports figure associated with digital assets.

Image Credits: Chaos Soccer GearUnsplash 

Football superstar Lionel Messi signed a two-year deal with French club Paris Saint-Germain this August, with an option for a third. The Argentinian has received part of his signing fee at PSG in the club’s cryptocurrency fan token ($PSG).

His “welcome package” has been estimated at 25-30 million by various media reports. According to news outlet Reuters, PSG did not disclose the proportion of tokens in the package, but stated that the amount was “significant”.

Fan tokens, also called fan coins, are digital assets that represent your ownership of a voting right and give you access to earn unique specific rewards and experiences linked to an organization (in this case, a sports club).

The $PSG fan tokens are issued by the Socios.com, the leading fan token provider in sports. The blockchain startup has partnerships with many other major football clubs and sports teams such as FC Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester City, UFC, Aston Martin F1, the Chicago Bulls and UFC.

“The remuneration of Messi in a crypto asset put blockchain and crypto initiatives in the sports world in the spotlight.”

The value of the $PSG token exploded in the days preceding the officialization of Messi’s move, as reports associated the Argentinian footballer with the Parisian club as soon as FC Barcelona announced that it would not be able to resign its start player.

However, the value of the token decreased steeply as soon as the deal was done, with many traders probably trying to sell their tokens in the hope of making a profit, in a pattern called “buy the rumour, sell the news” in the financial world.

Messi is the latest major sports figure associated with new digital assets. In the last months, an increasing number of athletes and sports teams have endorsed new digital assets such as fungible and non-fungible tokens.

In March 2021, the other football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo had received 770 $JUV tokens – one for each career goal – becoming the first football to be rewarded with digital assets.

The remuneration of Messi in a crypto asset put blockchain and crypto initiatives in the sports world in the spotlight once again, after many blockchain platforms such as NBA Top Shot and Sorare experienced tremendous growth following an NFT and crypto craze beginning of 2021. Nevertheless, the volatility around the $PSG token shows that crypto projects in the sports industry are subject to the same volatility as more mainstream cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

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