PSG signed an agreement in 2018 with socios.com to create its first digital currency, and so the French club became the first sports club to enter the world of cryptocurrencies. The company was responsible for creating PSG Fan Tokens, a cryptocurrency created on the Chiliz$HZ blockchain that allows sports fans to access a wide range of benefits linked to the club and its activities. The PSG fan can thus participate in club decisions through voting, access to promotions or get VIP tickets.
With Messi’s contract, the biggest in the world at 110 million net over three years, very similar to Neymar’s earnings, PSG went a step further in its commitment to this virtual asset. One of the big news is that the agreement with Leo includes payments to the player in Fan Tokens, PSG’s official currency.
Last September, a month after Messi’s arrival, the club signed a major sponsorship deal with crypto.com, a platform that allows the exchange of cryptocurrencies and already operates with Serie A and Formula 1 clubs. The three-year deal is estimated to bring the Gallic club around €30 million and will also be cashed in its virtual currency. The group was therefore the third with blockchain technology to join PSG, which is mainly used for cryptocurrencies and NFTs. PSG has also entered the world of NFTs or unique non-fungible tokens, digital assets certified through blockchain technology.
Messi’s arrival has boosted the value of cryptocurrency at PSG. Even before Leo’s arrival was finalized, its value already grew by 43% and reached an all-time high on the day of his presentation, at US$63.3, when its initial value was US$3.57 and this week’s was around US$16. According to Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of socios.com, the cryptocurrency could reach a market value of around US$10,000 in a few years.
The club itself spoke in a statement about the volume of business in the days leading up to the announcement of Messi’s signing: “The excitement generated by the arrival of new players during the summer transfer window caused trading volumes of $PSG Fan Tokens to soar, even exceeding US$1.2 billion in the days leading up to the announcement of Messi’s arrival.”
Many clubs are already trading cryptocurrencies, but PSG is the leader in the sector. In Spain, it is Barcelona and Atlético, among others, while Real Madrid has not yet entered the sector. According to Coinmarketcap, PSG had the highest market capitalization at the start of the season, with nearly €80 million, followed by City with €61.3 million and Barça with €57.3 million.
Messi’s impact on the digital currency business is also noticeable. The crisis has caused the value of the currency to fall in recent months, but PSG’s Fan Token is the most stable and the market leader among football clubs.