Football superstar Lionel Messi paid with crypto ‘fan tokens’ in PSG transfer deal; Arsenal tokens sell out
Link copied to
In yet-more football-related crypto news this week, Argentinian star Lionel Messi has been partly paid with crypto “fan tokens” in his high-profile transfer from FC Barcelona to Paris St Germain.
The French club, commonly referred to as PSG, is one of several major football teams to have launched its own fan token, through Socios.com, which is a Chiliz (CHZ) blockchain-built project.
The actual crypto portion of Messi’s two-year, US$75 million deal with PSG is undisclosed, however, it is a “large number” according to a statement made by the Parisian club.
The token itself is also called PSG and has been available for a bit over a year, taking brief surges and dips along the way that might be correlated with the team’s performance and various other signings.
The signing of football god Messi, however, has caused dramatic up-down-up price movements for the token this week.
Speculation had been building earlier in the week that the Argentine was joining PSG. “Paris Saint-Germain is a possibility, yes,” said Messi in teary-eyed farewell address to FC Barcelona on Sunday. He first joined the Spanish club when he was just 13 years old, 19 years ago.
The price of one PSG token more than doubled after the star’s farewell address, booting close to an an all-time high – at US$50.20.
Not long after the transfer news was confirmed midweek in a PSG press conference, however, the token appeared to have scored an own goal, rolling around on the pitch, clutching its knee around the US$35 mark. It was straight from the buy-the-rumour, sell-the-news playbook.
The PSG token has had some magic spray and a bit of a hug since then, though, and appears to be making a late surge once again into the final minutes of injury time this week, currently running around for US$42.34.
You might be wondering how the Socios app, the PSG token and the overarching blockchain Chiliz (CHZ) are interconnected.
Fans need CHZ to fuel their Socios app account, which they can then exchange for the specific fan tokens. Other football fan tokens include ones for Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester City.
Arsenal fans participated in an FTO (Fan Token Offering) sale of Socios tokens today, which appear to have sold out quickly.
😳Two with six zeros after it.
The @Arsenal FTO is SOLD-OUT. Massive thank you to everyone who joined from all over the world!
PS. The first Fan Desicion is now live on the Socios App.
— Socios.com (@socios) August 12, 2021
These FTOs are available for a short time at a fixed entry price before they reach the marketplace and go about their wild, fluctuating ways.
The fan tokens, which are a type of “social token” or “community token”, are deemed valuable because they engage holders with governance rights in the clubs’ decision-making process. It’s potentially powerful stuff and a good reason for hardcore fans to “HODL” their tokens. The more tokens they have, the more say they get in the future of their club.
That’s only scratching the surface for social tokens, however.
The former Goldman Sachs hedge fund manager Raoul Pal, now the CEO of RealVision, a crypto-focused financial news and analysis enterprise, recently told Business Insider that social tokens “are the biggest thing” he’s ever seen.
“We all know how big crypto is,” he said, “but within crypto, community tokens are going to change all business models.”
Pal also said he believes the market in social tokens will go from being a “billion dollar” business to a “trillion dollar” one in the next five to 10 years.