The blockchain just got one step closer to reaching the mainstream. FC Barcelona, which at more than USD 4 billion is one of the most valuable soccer teams in the world, has inked a deal with blockchain startup Chiliz that will create new ways for fans a way to interact with the organization. Fans of players such as Lionel Messi, who is on the FC Barcelona team, can do this through a new cryptocurrency dubbed Barça Fan Tokens, which are described as “digital assets that provide owners with the right to participate in polls about Barca’s everyday activities and earn unique prizes related to the Club.”
Barca Fan Tokens can be used to participate in surveys and polls surrounding the direction of club, giving fans more of an invested interest in decisions. In addition to voting, fans will also be rewarded with Barca Fan Tokens for their engagement with the club and will compete via leaderboards and earning reward points. They can then direct the points toward “exclusive merchandise and unique once-in-a-lifetime experiences linked to Barça,” according to the announcement.
Mati Greenspan, Founder of Quantum Economics, sees it as a win for the blockchain space, saying in today’s note:
“With over 300 million fans, this is about as mainstream as it gets. A total of 40 million $BAR tokens will be sold at €2 a piece. As it seems, they will only be available for sale through the club’s official app so at least initially, these will be no free market or floating exchange rate.”
If you’re wondering how FC Barcelona plans to launch Barça Fan Tokens, there won’t be an ICO or even a IEO. But they will issue tokens via what’s known as a Fan Token Offering (FTO), through which fans can get their hands on the coins. Barca Fan Tokens will also be available through the club’s new partner Chiliz, whose CHZ coin is listed on crypto exchanges, and can earn tokens for free via augmented reality feature Token Hunt from time to time. According to reports, Barca Fan Tokens are planned to make their debut in the second quarter, at which time they will be accessible to approximately 300 million fans globally.
Reports reveal that the deal between FC Barcelona and Chiliz has been in the works for about a year and a half. Barca isn’t the first soccer club to launch its own token, however. Juventus, on which famous player Cristiano Ronaldo belongs, similarly announced a deal with Chiliz and Socios in recent weeks for the JUV token. According to The Block, they’ve sold approximately USD 200,000 worth of JUV tokens so far.
JPMorgan and ConsenSys in Talks: Report
Sports isn’t the only arena where blockchain deals are happening. According to Reuters, JPMorgan is in talks to merge its Quorum blockchain with ConsenSys, the latter of which was started by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin. This deal could similarly take a while as talks are expected to continue for the next six months. JPMorgan has a team of more than two-dozen employees working on its Quorum blockchain, which is used internally for client transactions and on which the JPM Coin for payments is expected to launch.