Revix Roundup
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Revix Roundup

Run toward where the ball’s going, not where it is now.

You’ve probably seen plenty of articles predicting an upcoming boom in blockchain-based gaming applications, and probably even some that proclaim they will be the trigger for mass cryptocurrency adoption. But what about offline games?

In case you think they don’t have as much access to mainstream consumers as the sprawling online sector, let me remind you that football (soccer to Americans) is the most popular sport in the world, with over 4 billion fans. Yes, billion with a b, almost half the world’s population.

It is also one of the oldest sports in the world — some reports claim its origins go back 2000 years, others say it started to take root in the Middle Ages, and the basis for the current rules appears to have been established in the mid-19th century.

Which makes it all the more surprising that football is increasingly getting involved in the crypto sector. This is significant, even for non-sports fans like me.

This week, two announcements reinforced a trend that points to a growing use case that could trigger mainstream awareness of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based tokens.

Spain’s F.C. Barcelona, one of the largest football clubs in the world, launched a crypto token ($BAR) to encourage participation from its global fan base in elections and surveys, in exchange for points that can be swapped for merchandise and club experiences. Token holders will also have access to features such as chat, trading and games.

And London Football Exchange Group (LFE), which raised US$70 million in a 2018 token offering, has agreed to acquire a minority stake in Australian A-League football team Perth Glory. LFE aims to be a token-based fundraising platform for clubs, as well as a marketplace where fans can access merchandise and tickets.

These teams are joining good company. Last year, Bayern Munich announced the development of blockchain-based collectible tokens of its players, which could be used to compete in fantasy sports. Spain’s Atlético de Madrid launched a token platform to give fans special access to team merchandise, information and experiences. Paris Saint-Germain issued its own token as a way to incentivize participation in club decisions from fans around the world, as did Italy’s Juventus. Portugal’s S.L. Benfica became the first major European soccer team to accept cryptocurrency payments. And the list goes on…

It’s probable that not all of these tokens will do well. Most, for now, have frictions (such as the need to use native platform tokens for purchase), and while fans may be enthusiastic, token participation is not yet seen as an essential expression of devotion.

But the reach and the cachet are considerable, and even if only 1% of the expectations of current football token projects are met, it’s still a significant step towards mainstream awareness. It’s worth bearing in mind that, according to some reports, over half of the sport’s 4 billion fans are under 40, a demographic more likely to not be intimidated by new technologies. Especially if they could get you a cool shirt.

Even more compelling, these new tokens are not just about monetary value; they also confer special access and other holder privileges, highlighting the changing role of the nature of “transactions” and the innovative ways that value can be placed on community. This is a much more exciting step, even, than greater adoption of cryptocurrency for payments or speculation — a step towards redefining what we mean by “money.”

Yet perhaps even more indicative of the importance of the potential reach of these applications is the fact that I find myself writing about football. And this will probably not be the last time. I think I need to go for a walk around the block now.

This article was originally written and posted in the Institutional Crypto newsletter published by CoinDesk.

About Revix

At Revix, we’re driven to empower everyday people to become their own wealth managers. Cryptocurrencies have been our first investable category. We offer Bitcoin, a regulated gold tokenised-commodity called Paxos Gold, and 3 ready-made crypto Bundles. These Bundles are like the S&P500 for crypto, and offer passive diversified exposure to the crypto asset class. Investing is as easy as signing up, choosing an asset, and then watching your portfolio grow.

We have some exciting new products on their way. Soon you’ll be able to invest in emerging themes, sectors and asset classes in an effortless way. Sign-up to learn more.

Disclaimer

This article is intended for informational purposes only. The views expressed are not and should not be construed as investment advice or recommendations. This article is not an offer, nor the solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell any of the assets or securities mentioned herein. You should not invest more than you can afford to lose and before investing, please take into consideration your level of experience, investment objectives, and seek independent financial advice if necessary.

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Sean Andrew Sanders

Sean Andrew Sanders

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CEO & Founder of Revix | CFA® | Finance nerd with a passion for fintech, a flair for detail, and a hint of OCD.