Barcelona football star Lionel Messi is set to become the poster boy of cryptocurrency after his club – FC Barcelona – announced it would be launching its own token at the end of this season.
The 32-year-old club captain is understood to be part of the promotional deal which sees the Catalan giants partnering with blockchain start-up Chiliz in a scheme that began behind closed doors in 2018.
The Barca Fan Token (BAR) has been designed to give purchasing power and voting rights to the Camp Nou-based team’s army of global fans – estimated to stand at around 300m.
It is believed BAR will be launched in Q2 of this year initially priced at €2 a unit, with a total supply of 40 million tokens. It will be available for purchase via the Chiliz and Scoios apps.
According to FCB’s head of commercial activity – Josep Pont – the move is designed to bring the worldwide fanbase closer to Barcelona.
“This agreement will give us the chance to set up innovative marketing and partnership activations with a clear focus on the digital realm to take the club closer to our fans around the world,” he said.
“This agreement also forms part of FC Barcelona’s goal to become associated with leading brands that can help us consolidate our new commercial and digital strategy, with the development of new streams for the generation of resources helping to make us a benchmark both on and off the field.”
BAR investors will also be entitled to vote on certain ‘low level’ decisions facing the club, similar to the recent launch of the JUV token at Italian club Juventus.
Barca fans throughout the world will be rewarded for every action taken on Socios.com, climbing up leaderboards and receiving reward points which can be exchanged for exclusive merchandise and experiences.
Alexandre Drefyus, CEO & Founder of Socios.com and Chiliz, said involving Barcelona in cryptocurrency was helping to promote use cases of crypto and the blockchain technology underpinning it.
“We are very excited to welcome FC Barcelona to Socios.com, and even more excited to start engaging with their massive fan base around the world,” he said.
“Adding FC Barcelona fans to the Socios.com global community takes us one step closer to our goal of mainstream adoption of blockchain.
“Every time a fan downloads the app, we are furthering education, and every time a fan buys a Fan Tokens, we are strengthening the use cases of this innovative technology.”