The use of cryptocurrency has grown massively over the past few years and it is now making its mark in the world of football.
Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are amongst seven Premier League clubs who recently agreed to set up digital wallets with an online trading platform.
Leicester City, Southampton, Cardiff City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace were the other clubs involved in the deal.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were first created in 2009 with the goal of becoming decentralised currencies.
Bitcoin is essentially a computer file which is stored in a ‘digital wallet’ application on a smartphone, tablet or personal computer.
People can send Bitcoins, or part of one, to a digital wallet or to other people. Every transaction is recorded in a public list called the blockchain.
This makes it possible to trace the history of Bitcoins to prevent people from spending coins they do not own, making copies or undoing transactions.
Football clubs could use cryptocurrencies to tackle illegal ticket sales and counterfeit merchandising or provide fans with special Bitcoins bonus codes offers.
The deal is not the first time that football has linked up with the cryptocurrency industry. Arsenal became official partners of a US cryptocurrency firm in 2018, while Barcelona star Lionel Messi recently endorsed a blockchain smartphone.
Ex-AC Milan owner Yonghong Li also saw the potential benefits of using Bitcoin, although his efforts to use the cryptocurrency to refinance the club’s debt eventually failed.
It is believed that Bitcoin could soon be used in Premier League transfer deals, something that could move cryptocurrencies onto a whole new level.
Ross Peet, a managing partner at the London-based ideas agency Yes&Pepper, believes the technology could remove the need for football agents and make transfers much more transparent.
“The days of trading assets through complex paperwork and red tape could well be numbered as the world is gearing up to embrace blockchain,” he told the Independent.
“This introduces the possibility to conduct online transactions of any assets that can be digitised, whether that be a piece of music or deeds to a house, through a trusted, decentralised democratic system.”
“If you follow that chain of thought to its ultimate conclusion we could be entering Star Trek territory where the Tokenisation of Everything (TOE) will mean money becomes obsolete and we can exchange anything for anything.
“Next stop the stars. Proper, big, world changing, future thinking, awesome stuff.”