The last few months have been completely unprecedented. The novel coronavirus has spread throughout the world, putting life as we know it on pause. With a great deal of planning, effort, and willpower, things are slowly coming back in order to retain some semblance of normalcy. One such welcome change has been the restarting of top flight football leagues, such as the Premier League and La Liga, among others. If you’re a follower of FC Barcelona, you’re likely off put by their current league standings, but Barca isn’t just making splashes on the field.
The Catalan based football club is known for its star power and massive financial standing. Now, they’ve gone one step further, partnering with the blockchain firm Chiliz, to launch their own crypto token. Ostensibly called Barca Fan Token ($BAR), this cryptocurrency can be used by fans of the club to vote in online polls and surveys on Socios.com, Chiliz’ new app for in-house produced crypto tokens.
This move puts FC Barcelona, the fourth largest football club by valuation, in rarefied company. Thus far, only Italian heavy weights Juventus and perennial winners Paris Saint Germain have also developed crypto tokens for usage. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, the tokens of all three football clubs will be pegged to Chiliz’ native token, Chaz. Chiliz and Socios CEO and founder Alexandre Dreyfus has also revealed that Barca is offering 40 million tokens. He also explained that FC Barcelona’s tokens will only be available on Chiliz run sites such as socios.com and chiliz.net, and that the tokens cannot be transferred to personal wallets like is typically possible with other cryptocurrencies. From a technical perspective, Barcelona’s cryptocurrency $BAR was built upon Chiliz’ proof of authority ethereum based blockchain. It is expected that by Q1 2021, casual trading of the tokens should be implemented.
$BAR token fully subscribed in under two hours at launch
Sales of the token first started last Monday, and was fully subscribed just two hours later. Starting at roughly €2, FC Barcelona reported that the price of $BAR rocketed by Wednesday to about €6, and intraday volume exceeded €2.4 million. Keeping true to its motto of “mes que un club” or “more than a club” the decision was meant to help improve fan engagement and participation in the club. Unlike most other football clubs of its stature, FC Barcelona is not owned by a single wealthy owner, but rather by a large number of paying supporters who can provide input into the affairs of the club, such as voting on leadership. There are plans for developing the use of the coins beyond simply allowing fans to purchase merchandise, though the club has not yet outlined what that may include. Just as they lead on the pitch, FC Barcelona is leading the switch to a token-based platform in the footballing world.