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Football industry embraces crypto as Messi helps ‘fan tokens’ take off

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PARIS: When Paris Saint-Germain signed Lionel Messi, the salary package included something previously unheard of for a player — a one-off payment, understood to be worth around one million euros ($1.15m), made in PSG ‘fan tokens’.

It was the result of a partnership signed by the French giants in 2018 with Socios.com which sees fans use a cryptocurrency called ‘chiliz’ to buy tokens allowing them to vote on issues related to the club.

The company has grown quickly since signing its first partnerships with PSG and Juventus to being involved with 56 football clubs and around 100 sports teams worldwide, says CEO Alexandre Dreyfus.

Messi has brought more publicity, and Dreyfus believes the Argentinian will “set a trend”.

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