The Barcelona Athletics Club – otherwise known as Barca or Barcelona FC – is looking to establish its own cryptocurrency so it has a fighting chance against foreign investors and corporate clubs.
Barca Is Headed for the Crypto Space
President Joan Laporta explained at the Mobile World Congress that he is also looking to launch a new string of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to bolster the club’s presence in the crypto industry. While Barca has turned down several opportunities to hook up with crypto companies and establish leading partnerships, he said that it’s the club’s goal to eventually create its own digital currency line to ensure independence and sovereignty in the world of sports.
He stated in an interview:
We’re developing our own metaverse, [which is why] we rejected the chance to be associated with any cryptocurrency enterprises. We want to create our own cryptocurrency, and we need to do that ourselves. We are different because we survive financially from what we can generate through the industry of sport. We do not have big corporations or shareholders behind us. That forces us to be imaginative, innovative, brave, and be a step ahead in many areas that surround the sports industry.
In addition, he believes that Barca can expand its revenue flow by moving into the crypto space. The availability of NFTs will allow fans and traders to increase their wealth by purchasing items that give them direct ownership rights with the club. He commented:
It’s something we can share with our fans around the world — around 300 million of them. I could announce something else, but I need to be prudent because it’s still confidential. The players know what we’re working on, that this is a modern club that makes use of new media. There are clauses in their contracts related to the NFT world and the metaverse.
This isn’t the first time Barca has worked to enter the NFT space. Last November, the club announced a contract with Ownix, a crypto marketplace. The contract was later cancelled after the company’s advisor Moshe Hogeg was arrested on fraud charges. At the time, Barca put out the following statement:
In light of information received today that goes against the club’s values, FC Barcelona hereby communicates the cancellation of the contract to create and market NFT digital assets with Ownix with immediate effect.
Russell Okung Is a Pioneer
The worlds of sports and crypto are becoming one and the same in many ways. Several football players, for example, have begun accepting their salaries in crypto. This was a trend arguably started by Russell Okung, a former football player for the Carolina Panthers.
In early 2021, Okung announced that he was going to be converting at least half of his $13 million+ salary into bitcoin, claiming the asset provided financial independence from third-party institutions looking to take over people’s lives.