FIFA World Cup could lead to a boost in global crypto adoption
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(Kitco News) - Sporting events are well-known for being excellent platforms for companies to advertise their services and gain exposure to a wide and diverse audience from all walks of life.
The World Cup is arguably the second biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympics, which makes it an ideal venue for cryptocurrency companies to present their case to the global public at large in an effort to increase awareness and adoption.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to take place in Qatar from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18 and could be one of the most significant events of the year in terms of helping to launch crypto into the mainstream due to the heavy level of crypto-related sponsorships.
Earlier this year, the cryptocurrency exchange platform Crypto.com was selected as one of the main sponsors for the event, which has the potential to expose the platform to a global audience of five billion users.
Crypto.com has been one of the most active companies in terms of promoting to sports fans, with the firm running several ads during the Super Bowl and purchasing the naming rights to the multipurpose arena in downtown Los Angeles that was formerly known as the Staple Center.
The company is now looking to take is advertisements to a more global audience via the World Cup, and is enlisting the help of payments processor Visa, which facilitates transactions for Crypto.com debit cards.
As part of the collaboration, Visa will be auctioning five non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that feature notable goals from different countries in past World Cups. The auction will remain open until Nov. 8, with all proceeds going to charity, according to Visa.
Fans in attendance will also have an opportunity to create their own NFTs during the World Cup by participating in four-minute-long, six-on-six matches occurring at the FIFA Fan Festival.
An interactive playing field will capture their movements and create one-of-a-kind GIFs that can be colored to match their favorite national team. Once generated, fans can then elect to have their GIFs sent to them as NFTs through a Crypto.com account.
FIFA’s official blockchain sponsor
Another project that is well-positioned to benefit from exposure at the FIFA World Cup is Algorand, which was selected as the official blockchain partner of FIFA in May. In the original partnership announcement, FIFA praised Algorand as being “founded by Turing Award-winning cryptographer Silvio Micali” and a “green blockchain technology company.”
In a world of increasing costs and environmental concerns, Algorand’s ability to offer high-speed, low-cost transactions while having a minimal environmental footprint is what attracted FIFA to the protocol.
As part of the partnership, Algorand will provide the official blockchain-supported wallet solution for FIFA and will also assist the organization in developing its digital assets strategy.
The opportunity this partnership presents for Algorand was not lost Silvio Micali, who stated “This partnership with FIFA, the most globally recognized and distinguished organization in sports, will showcase the potential that the Algorand blockchain has to transform the way we all experience the world’s game.”
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Previous World Cup
Evidence that the upcoming World Cup could have an effect on the global adoption of cryptocurrencies can be found by looking at the uptick in adoption following the last World Cup in Russia.
While extenuating circumstances have helped push up the level of adoption, including sanctions placed on Russia by the international community that have pushed citizens into crypto as a workaround, an upward trend was already present before 2022.
Meanwhile, data from Chainalysis shows that cryptocurrency adoption in the Middle East outpaced all other geographic regions in 2022, with the United Arab Emirates now looking to establish itself as a global hub for cryptocurrencies.
Following the high level of exposure, cryptocurrencies are going to get at the World Cup, there’s a good chance that the adoption rate will continue to increase for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to the growing popularity of fan tokens – with the cryptocurrency firm Chiliz (CHZ) partnering with some of the most well-known football clubs in the world to release their own exclusive tokens – the ways for fans to get engaged have never been greater thanks to blockchain technology.
And with the 2022 FIFA World Cup likely to be Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’s final World Cup, at least as players in their prime, there are sure to be plenty of key moments that fans would like to have memorialized as unique NFTs that can be traded, sold and stored on the blockchain.
Evidence for such demand can be seen in the performance of the fan tokens for Mesi and Ronaldo’s national teams, Argentina (ARG) and Portugal (POR), which put on gains of nearly 50% in the past two weeks.