Cryptocurrency could well be the future of transfers in football | OneFootball

Cryptocurrency could well be the future of transfers in football | OneFootball

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OneFootball·19 February 2021

Cryptocurrency could well be the future of transfers in football

Article image:Cryptocurrency could well be the future of transfers in football

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It might sound surreal but unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few months, cryptocurrency has arrived in the mainstream, but are we looking at a future where football adopts the digital wallet?

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The possibilities are becoming an ever increasing reality. Transfers have begun to be facilitated by cryptocurrency, as have club sponsorship deals and supporter based incentives, just to name a few.

But will clubs begin to conduct one of their biggest outlays, transfers, without any physical cash? Maybe, and here’s why.

Just seven years ago cryptocurrency was an exceptionally niche way of paying for goods and services off the internet. If you had sent cash by blockchain the odds were you were one of only six million users to do so, fast forward to February 2021 and over 67 million people now use digital wallets across the globe.

With the world a constantly evolving and changing place, cryptocurrency is coming out of the shadows and into everyday life.

Fancy a flight abroad (remember those?), or a burger and chips, maybe even a new car? Well, you can now buy all of these with cryptocurrency; Bitcoin to be precise, and it’s just one of the main electronic currencies transferring its way into this new normal we all now live in.

If you’re unsure if football is forward thinking enough to take a step into the unknown, then you could be in for a surprise, two transfers have already been completed with cryptocurrency. Albeit outside of the traditional top leagues, but from acorns grow oak trees as the saying goes.

There is a good reason why football clubs are starting to cast their eyes towards electronic wallets, as they come with a couple of incentives close to every chairman or chairwoman’s heart, almost instant payment and no loss of revenue due to currency conversion.

Cryptocurrency is 100% digital, in its purest terms it is a computer file stored in a digital wallet, accessed via a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Transactions are completed as whole parts or as tiny percentages, it is fully traceable via the blockchain, a list where every transaction is recorded, and you can’t spend more than you own – you can already hear the ears of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play reps twitch with excitement.

Transfer times of cryptocurrencies can take as little as 10 minutes from wallet to wallet. Before the ink is dry on the paperwork, the selling club could have its funds ready for reinvestment or parking, depending on the chairman.

But has there been any real history of cryptocurrency being used in the transfers of players? Yes, back at the start of 2018, Turkish amateur side Harunustaspor completed a transfer for 22-year-old Omer Faruk Kiroglu using Bitcoin as part payment.

The figures were small time for the footballing arena but the part cash-part crypto payment made the game take note of a global business trend, it might have only been £377 out of a deal worth just under £850, but the tone had been set: cryptocurrency had arrived in football and the appetite to push the boundaries had begun.

Fast forward three years and another transfer has just been completed via cryptocurrency.

This time it is Spanish Segunda División B side, DUX Internacional de Madrid snapped up former Real Madrid B striker, David Barral, in the recently closed January transfer window.

Neither the club or player made the details public, so the final fee and exact cryptocurrency used is shrouded in secrecy. The Segunda divisions may be amateur in name but for all intents and purposes they are professional in nature, the next step on the ladder has been taken.

“This is all well and good, but it’s not the Premier League is it?” –  it’s a fair question, and one that has probably just popped into your mind but maybe it isn’t too far away.

Watford were the first team to embrace Bitcoin, the ex-Premier League side have its striking emblem on their sleeve, as a main sponsor and corporate partner. The collaboration allows fans to buy official club merchandise and products using the cryptocurrency.

Scott Duxbury, Watford’s chairman and chief executive explained why the club took such a  forward thinking step at the start of the 2019/20 season.

“Placing the Bitcoin logo on a Premier League shirt is something that challenges the accepted norm,” Duxbury said.

We’re excited about the partnerships and the potential for new global conversations that it could help start for our club.

February 2021 saw Southampton and cryptocurrency betting website announce a matchday rights partnership, allowing Saints’ fans to be immersed in matchday experiences during the coronavirus lockdown via virtual reality headsets.

Crystal Palace, Everton and Leicester City have ties to cryptocurrency trading platforms, as do German Bundesliga sides Union Berlin and Wolfsburg, the notice taken by clubs in the biggest leagues is starting to ramp up.

If you thought that crypto was the domain of internet geeks then 2021 could be a bit of an eye opener for you.

While the transfer of top players might be just over the horizon, the seriousness in which football has begun to take digital currency means it’s inevitable, like the Germans and penalty shootout victories.

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