Fan tokens gain popularity amid football tournaments

Despite regulatory concerns, football clubs are increasingly adopting blockchain technologies.

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As football fever rises ahead of major European and American tournaments, fan tokens are gaining significant attention. These digital assets, issued by national teams or individual clubs, offer supporters a tradeable way to engage with their favourite teams. Interest in fan tokens has surged as the Euro 2024 in Germany and Copa América approach, driving the market value of Chiliz, the cryptocurrency powering many fan tokens, to over $1.07 billion, up from $687 million at the start of the year.

Trading volumes of fan tokens have also increased dramatically, with recent figures showing over $170 million in activity, compared to $25 million to $57 million in January. The total market value of listed fan tokens now stands around $413 million. The surge comes as the sector faces a critical test this summer, offering perks like raffle entries, early ticket access, and voting on minor team decisions.

Supporters of fan tokens praise them as a practical use of cryptocurrency, while critics point out the potential risks and speculative nature of these assets. Chiliz emphasises that fan tokens are intended for engagement rather than investment. Despite this, trading patterns often reflect traditional financial behaviours, with increased activity before major events and declines once tournaments begin.

Club-linked tokens have grown slower than national teams, but the number of fan tokens has increased. Notable launches include tokens for Tottenham Hotspur and Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain’s move to become a network validator for the Chiliz Chain blockchain. Some clubs, like Watford FC, offer digital equity tokens that provide unique perks, blending fan engagement with investment opportunities.