LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) – A growing number of major soccer clubs are launching digital coins that allow fans to vote on a variety of minor decisions as the sport faces slumping revenues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
But supporters are divided over the so-called fan tokens. Some appreciate the novel way to engage with their teams – and help make decisions, even if only on small-time matters such as the song played at matches after a goal is scored or images used on social media. Others dismiss the tokens as superficial participation that adds to the already growing costs of following their teams.
Among the clubs to launch tokens in recent months are English Premier League champions Manchester City and Italy’s AC Milan. Spain’s national team – which drew its first match of the European Championship tournament on Monday – says it plans to launch a similar scheme. Argentina, which kicked off its Copa America campaign on the same day with a draw, launched its tokens last week.
Fan tokens can be traded on exchanges like other cryptocurrencies, and have also attracted the attention of retail traders and professional investors. And prices are prone to wild swings and can have little connection to on-field performance. Some of the big-name clubs’ tokens have lost about two-thirds or more of their value over recent weeks, mirroring similar declines in the broader cryptocurrency sector.
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