Football has (still) some of the most loyal fans on the planet, many of whom would do anything for their team. To sell their team-specific tokens and NFTs to fans around the world, 24 different European football clubs are working with a digital platform.
It's called Socios, and it's a cryptocurrency-based company to retain and reward fans. Is it true glory, or will football from (now almost ex) sport definitely become a video game?
The era of the token
How much are unique digital artwork and team branding digital tokens worth to football fans? According to a recent BBC report, the market (also exploded due to the crisis of the clubs linked to Covid) is already very greedy. Right now it's worth more than $ 300 million, and it's growing dramatically.
The club-specific cryptocurrency tokens obtainable through Socios are now available for 24 different clubs in the Premier League and various European leagues. There is also Napoli, my favorite team. What do you do with tokens? You get benefits established by each team, which effectively establishes the value of these "tokens". This feature has led to tokens to be often traded for profit like many other cryptocurrencies.
Does football money make you rich? Yes and no. That is, no. That is, not you. It's complicated.
According to the head of strategy at Socios, Max Robinovich, tokens were created to be held and used for fan incentives, and not to be used and traded as cash. What incentives? Of all kinds: from the possibility of voting on music broadcast in the stadium to 5% discounts on items in the online shops of the clubs, up to free tickets. Some teams also offer tokens non-fungible (NFT), unique digital images that fans can own.
The skepticism around matches the enthusiasm in intensity. And skeptics raise right questions: first of all, concerns about the security and use of these tokens. This is followed by the lack of fair protections and regulations for buyers, to end up with the actual value of the rewards, considered by many to be insignificant.
A future token, more Fantasy than Football
And now, my boomer moment with a few questions. Are these tokens a new form of participation, a new form of profit, both or just a big bubble? Were they born to enrich clubs, to save them or to suffocate them more slowly (enriching platforms such as Socios)? The fact that each club holds the most tokens issued has also become a point of contention.
Despite my concerns (only mine?) Socios claims that they have already sold over $ 300 million worth of tokens through their app, which gives users the option to buy or win them as prizes through a virtual game called Token Hunt.
24 teams have clung to this trend. And I expect it will grow a lot in the next few years. There are clubs (such as the "small" Brighton and Hove Albion) who have openly refused entry into the token market.