Messi Receives PSG Fan Tokens as Part of Welcome Package

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In Brief
  • The signing bonus soccer superstar Lionel Messi received from soccer club Paris St. Germain (PSG) includes the club's cryptocurrency fan tokens.

  • Part of the soccer superstar’s “welcome package” of €25-30 million ($29-35 million) includes a “large number” of fan tokens.

  • PSG earlier reported that there had been high trading volume in its fan tokens amid reports of acquiring Messi.

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The signing bonus soccer superstar Lionel Messi received from soccer club Paris St. Germain (PSG) includes the club’s fan tokens.

The preeminent French club said that its fan tokens had been included as part of the soccer superstar’s “welcome package.” The club neglected to say what proportion of the €25-30 million ($29-35 million) package consisted of fan tokens. However, they state that Messi had received a “large number.” This historic signing represents the first time fan tokens have been included as part of a player’s payment package.

After leaving Spanish club Barcelona, the 34-year-old Argentine signed a two-year contract with Paris St Germain (PSG). The contract includes an option for a third year. Now, as an official bearer of a cryptocurrency, Messi represents the latest big name endorsement for digital assets.

PSG’s fan tokens

PSG reported that there had been high trading volume in its fan tokens amid reports of acquiring Messi. According to the club, trading volumes exceeded $1.2 billion in the days preceding the move. The token’s market capitalization more than tripled, from roughly $50 million on August 6 to $166 million on August 11. At this zenith, the PSG coin achieved an all-time high of over $60.

Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that enable holders to voting rights regarding minor club decisions and access to exclusive merchandise. To issue these fan tokens, teams usually collaborate with a crypto technology firm that produces them. They then get a share of revenue from their initial sale. 

Many sports teams have collaborated with Socios.com, launching their fan tokens on its Chiliz (CHZ) blockchain. These include English Premier League champions Manchester City and Italy’s AC Milan. Meanwhile, Messi’s former club Barcelona launched one last year.

Highlighting the precedent set by the deal, Socios.com CEO Alexandre Dreyfus remarked that other clubs could imitate the deal with Messi. “I believe this could be the start of a new trend as fan tokens and Socios.com play an increasingly prominent role across sport at the very highest level,” he said.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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