Major French Soccer Club Plans to Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), a major French soccer team in the country’s top league, is planning to issue its own cryptocurrency as a way to incentivize participation from its fans around the world.

PSG, which boasts prominent players including Brazil star Neymar, announced a multi-year partnership on Tuesday with a Malta-based blockchain startup called Socios that will tackle on the technology for the so-called Fan Token Offering.

According to a French news site, PSG is now eyeing a deadline of spring 2019 to start issuing its proprietary tokens, making it potentially one of the first soccer clubs anywhere to do so.

Rather than a monetary role for PSG’s coin however, the goal is to allow fans who hold the token to be able to vote for and decide on less strategic matters, such as team jersey choices or opponents in friendly matches, the report said.

Token ownership will further give fans access to more exclusive offers such as meeting with players or participating in certain matches, the report added.

By adopting blockchain as the underlying technology for the issuance, PSG said the hope is to make the polling process more secure and transparent, with transactions being publicly visible.

PSG’s chief partnership officer Marc Armstrong commented in the announcement:

“Paris Saint-Germain is determined to leverage the opportunities that cryptocurrency can provide. This revolutionary technology will have an important impact on the club’s overall business strategy and the way we engage with our fanbase.”

With the news, PSG follows other European soccer clubs into embracing the idea of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

CoinDesk reported last month that seven major clubs in the U.K.’s Premier League including Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, and Leicester City inked a deal with online investment firm eToro to allow sponsorship payments in bitcoin.

And, in August, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) said it had completed a “successful” trial of a blockchain-based ticketing application for a match between two top Spanish clubs.

PSG jersey image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.