Lionel Messi completed his move from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain (PSG) this week in a two-year deal – and while the move felt like an earthquake in the footballing world, it has also left an impact in the cryptocurrency sphere.
PSG confirmed this week that Messi’s welcome package, estimated at between €25 and €30 million, also includes a “significant” amount of the club’s fan tokens.
Fan tokens are a type of digital asset – like cryptocurrencies – that allows fans to interact with the club and weigh in on certain decisions taken by the club. It also allows access to gamified fan experiences. They are developed by the Malta-based company Socios.com.
Over $1.2 billion worth of fan tokens were traded in the run-up to and immediately after the transfer.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, fan tokens aren’t about transactions but about giving fans more ownership of the club they support, allowing them to both have a greater involvement but also access to exclusive rewards and prizes.
Despite this, news of Messi’s move, and the inclusion of fan tokens in his welcome package has seen the tokens’ value shoot up over the last few days.
On Tuesday, a bidding war broke out for PSG tokens with their value doubling at one point in time.
PSG isn’t the only club to use Socios.com’s fan tokens. In fact, over 30 top clubs across Europe, including Juventus, Barcelona, and Manchester City all provide their fans the option of buying their tokens.
Socios.com CEO and founder Alexandre Dreyfus, writing on Linkedin, described the inclusion of fan tokens in Messi’s welcome package as a major milestone.
“This is a major milestone for us, again, and we will launch a new trend for the clubs we work with… Stay tuned. Embrace innovation.”
In addition to European football clubs, the tokens are also used by several US basketball franchises including, most recently the Sacramento Kings.
Do you own any of your favourite club’s fan tokens?