MIAMI, Aug 12 (Reuters) – In the latest big-name endorsement of new digital assets, soccer star Lionel Messi’s signing fee at Paris St Germain includes some of the French club’s cryptocurrency fan tokens. Messi joins the crypto trend by receiving a Portion of his PSG fee in Fan Tokens.
On Tuesday, the Argentine, 34, parted ways with Barcelona and signed a two-year contract with Qatari-owned Paris St. Germain (PSG), with a third-year option.
PSG said on Thursday that the tokens were part of his “welcome present,” which media reports have estimated to be worth 25-30 million euros ($29-35 million). The number of tokens in the package was not disclosed by the club, but it was “significant,” according to the club. Messi joins the crypto trend by receiving a portion of his PSG fee in Fan tokens.
Fan tokens are a sort of cryptocurrency that allows holders to vote on a variety of minor club decisions. Manchester City, the English Premier League champions, and AC Milan, the Italian champions, are among the clubs launching tokens this year. Last year, Messi’s previous team Barcelona released one.
Teams are increasingly considering tokens as a source of fresh money, with Socios.com, which provides tokens to PSG and other top clubs, claiming that tokens produced approximately $200 million for its partner clubs in 2021, with PSG experiencing cash from the Messi deal already.
Fan tokens, like Bitcoin and other digital currencies, are traded on exchanges. They also share a tendency for extreme price swings with other cryptocurrencies, prompting several regulators to issue investor warnings regarding digital assets.
Nonetheless, numerous high-profile corporate and entertainment leaders have expressed support for crypto assets, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and rapper Jay-Z.
Following speculations that Messi was ready to join the club, PSG reported there was a large level of trade in its fan tokens.
It started trading volumes in the days leading up to the arrival of the six-time winner of the Ballon d’Or world’s greatest soccer player award exceeded $1.2 billion.
“We have been able to engage with a new global audience, creating a significant digital revenue stream,” said Marc Armstrong, PSG’s chief partnerships officer.
On rumors of the Messi agreement, the price of PSG’s fan token rose this week, with new sales earning roughly 30 million euros and PSG collecting an undisclosed majority of that cash – at least 15 million euros, according to a person familiar with the situation. PSG did not respond to a request for comment. Messi joins the crypto trend by receiving a portion of his PSG fee in Fan tokens.
The price of fan tokens may or may not be related to on-field performance or results.
PSG’s token, which has a market capitalization of approximately $52 million, rose more than 130 percent in only five days amid speculation of Messi’s coming, reaching an all-time high of more than $60 on Tuesday. According to the CoinMarketCap website, they were recently down 10% at around $40.
PSG benefited from its token, according to Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Socios.com, and other clubs could follow. Messi joins the crypto trend by receiving a portion of his PSG fee in Fan tokens.
“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.
Since their deep-pocketed owners, Qatar Sports Investment, took over in 2011, PSG has racked up domestic titles. They have, however, never won the famous and lucrative Champions League in Europe. Messi has won the award four times, the most recent time being in 2015.
PSG’s objectives will be boosted by the acquisition of Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer, who has 672 goals to his name. Commercial deals and retail sales are expected to improve as well.