Benfica partners blockchain firm Socios to join crypto wagon

Portugal’s biggest soccer club, Benfica, has become the country’s first to join the crypto craze.

Benfica is partnering with blockchain-powered fan engagement firm Socios.com to launch a fan token.

“We have been paying very close attention to Digital Assets,” SL Benfica CEO Domingos Soares de Oliveira said in a statement issued by Socios.com.

Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that allow holders to vote on mostly minor decisions related to their clubs.

They are increasingly seen by clubs as a source of new revenue.

Socios.com provides such tokens for Manchester City, Barcelona, Paris St Germain and other top clubs.

Socios.com says they generated nearly $200 million for its partner clubs in 2021.

Like bitcoin and other digital currencies, fan tokens can be traded on exchanges. They also share with other cryptocurrencies a tendency for wild price swings.

In a related development, Soccer star Lionel Messi signed an agreement worth more than $20 million in March to promote Socios.com after the two-year contract he signed with PSG in August 2021 included some of the French club’s cryptocurrency fan tokens in a “welcome package”.

The Argentinian became only the latest global sports personality to enter the crypto world, following NFL quarterback Tom Brady and NBA star LeBron James.

Messi’s deal was part of a growing wave of tie-ups between crypto firms and soccer.

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