The players of a Premier Division football team in Gibraltar will be the first sportsmen in the world to receive their salaries in cryptocurrency, announced the club’s owner Pablo Dana, an investor in the virtual currency quantocoin.
Decentralized Currency Entails Fewer Costs, Ease of Payment
Gibraltar United players (Source: Gibraltar United official blog)
Blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies are increasingly more present in every sphere of our daily lives, but combining football and cryptocurrency? Dana just might be onto something.
The players of Gibraltar United have made history by reaching an agreement with the club to receive a part of the payment in quantocoin next season.
Behind this unusual move, in Dana’s words is an attempt to wipe out the widespread financial corruption plaguing football in this country.
Another reason is the ease of payment for foreign players who might not be able to open an account in Gibraltar. Paying them in cryptocurrency, which is decentralized, might just make things easier for both the club and the players.
Gibraltar’s finance sector is one of the world leaders in technological integration and blockchain. Dana stated:
“It was the first [place that] regulated betting companies 20 years back, when everyone was seeing them as horrible. They put compliance and anti-money laundering regulations and created a platform – they have the intelligence to do the same with cryptocurrencies.”
Indeed, this comparison just might be right for this sport, as gambling companies have used football clubs for their advertising and have earned the clubs millions in return.
Moreover, carrying out transfers over blockchain might reduce the costs this entails, given that other payment methods have too many taxes and charges.
As for corruption, the aim of the project is to try to end illegal payments to clubs, agents, and other, which seem to be popular in this sport.
Gibraltar’s Vision for the Future – Crypto, Blockchain, ICOs
Gibraltar is one of those countries refusing to miss out on the opportunities offered by the budding financial market, so its government is doing its best to get the country on the bandwagon.
In January 2018, the Gibraltar government adopted regulations for businesses which use the blockchain and the government plans to launch the first legal framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs). This way the country is just keeping up with the times, which are inevitably bringing cryptocurrency into every country’s economy and influencing their development.
The fact that last year, investments in ICOs across the world amounted to $3.7 billion, which is an enormous increase in comparison to 2016, when investments were around $102 million, supports this.
Blockchain Attracts Football Clubs
Gibraltar United is hardly the first and only football club to explore the opportunities of the blockchain.
In January 2018, a Premier League Arsenal Football Club showed the potential of blockchain, signing a sponsorship deal with the US cryptocurrency company CashBet. The agreement envisioned the club promoting the company’s ICO at the 60,000-seat Emirates stadium.
The London Football Exchange (LFE) became the world’s first ever football club stock exchange to allow fans, traders, and investors to buy shares in their favorite football clubs across the world.
Danny Stroud, head of partnerships at the LFE, said the exchange wants to create a token-based football community so clubs could connect directly with fans “in a frictionless marketplace.”
In July 2018, Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba signed an agreement with the cryptocurrency-based social networking platform All.me. Drogba became the official ambassador for the platform.