The 2022 FIFA World Cup Could Drive Mainstream Adoption

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is less than two weeks away, and soccer fans are hyped as they get the opportunity to cheer their national teams to victory at one of the grandest occasions in sports. However, sports fans aren’t the only ones anticipating this event. The crypto community also has its eyes on this one, considering it could mark a significant milestone in the push for mainstream crypto adoption. Besides, many hope to see their crypto bags pump during this event, which proves the already-existent relationship between web3 and the soccer world. 

2022 FIFA World Cup Official Sponsors

FIFA has announced Crypto.com and Algorand as two of the official sponsors for the 2022 World Cup. These strategic partnerships with two prominent players in the web3 space is a huge win for the crypto community. Crypto.com prides itself as one of the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency platforms with more than 10 million users and will be providing financial support for the tournament. 

Algorand, on the other hand, is a green blockchain technology company. In May, the company sealed a partnership with FIFA to become the official blockchain partner of the biggest sporting governing body in the world. FIFA’s collaboration with Algorand is interesting as it entails a sponsorship and technical partnership deal that will outlive the World Cup tournament this year. Besides being a regional supporter for this year’s event, Algorand will also be the official sponsor of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, held next year in Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, FIFA has committed to adopting blockchain technology in its operations. Part of the agreement with Algorand is that the tech company will assist FIFA in further developing its digital assets strategy. At the same time, FIFA will provide brand exposure for Algorand and its native token ALGO. 

FIFA and Algorand didn’t waste time in getting the ground running. In September this year, FIFA launched FIFA+ Collect, a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) marketplace built on the Algorand blockchain. This innovation is similar to the NBA Top Shot which allows users to trade NFTs that showcase the most memorable moments in NBA history. FIFA+ Collect provides an opportunity for soccer and NFT fans to have blockchain ownership of iconic moments in the tournament’s 92-year history along with men’s and women’s World Cup art and imagery. It gets more interesting as users get a chance to win a VIP trip to the World Cup with every NFT pact they purchase. To get started, sign up here and gain access to purchase items on the marketplace

Thankfully, FIFA+ Collect isn’t the only opportunity for crypto users to partake in the World Cup, as fan tokens also provide an opportunity for soccer and crypto fans to engage with their favorite national teams at the tournament. Furthermore, these tokens allow users to access various services and exclusive events that the national teams may host during the World Cup. 

Likewise, crypto users have already shown enthusiasm towards the World Cup as we have recently seen various fan and soccer tokens pump, which means there is more trading activity around these coins. There is also optimism among the crypto community that these coins will pump further as the tournament kicks off on the 20th of November. We could see new all-time highs before the World Cup ends on the 18th of December. 

Let’s take a closer look at what fan tokens are and various fan tokens to keep an eye on ahead of the World Cup. 

What are Fan Tokens?

Fan tokens are digital assets on a blockchain that allow holders to interact and engage with their favorite teams through exclusive services and events provided by sports organizations. For example, holders of the Peruvian National Football Team Fan Token (FPFT) can interact with the team’s players, receive NFT drops, access the team’s locker rooms, and watch matches from the VIP area. However, ownership of these tokens doesn’t mean ownership of a stake in the team.

Crypto traders have also seen an opportunity to profit from these tokens. These tokens’ prices are mainly tied to the team’s activities and success. For example, Manchester City Fan Token (CITY) probably spiked up when the club won the English Premier League. So, how does this apply to the World Cup particularly? National teams playing at the World Cup could see their fan tokens pump depending on how well they perform at the tournament. That also provides an opportunity for crypto traders to make some profits as these tokens pump in response to the teams’ success. 

Let’s look at some tokens, especially fan tokens, to keep an eye on as the World Cup draws near. 

Socios.com/Chiliz (CHZ)

Socios, for obvious reasons, is the first name that comes to mind when talking about fan tokens. The decentralized sports application is the most prominent creator of fan tokens. Built on the Chiliz blockchain, it serves as a fan-engagement platform which aims to bring soccer fans closer to their respective teams. The platform stands out as the world’s first fan-voting and reward platform powered by blockchain technology. 

Users interested in purchasing fan tokens on the Socios app must first buy Chiliz’s native token, CHZ, which they will convert to their favorite team’s fan token. CHZ has seen gains recently, and the reason is not far-fetched. Soccer and crypto fans are using CHZ to purchase fan tokens as the World Cup draws near, and crypto traders are heavily investing in the CHZ because of the strong demand for it during this period. CHZ’s demand is further strengthened by the fact that Socios supports the fan tokens of the Spanish, Portuguese, and Argentine soccer teams. These national teams are some of the favorites to advance into the later stages of the World Cup tournament. Therefore, crypto investors may purchase as many of these national teams’ tokens as possible in hopes that one of them wins the World Cup, which would mean a massive spike for the winning team’s fan token.

By the way, Lionel Messi, arguably the greatest soccer player of all time, is a Global Brand Ambassador for Socios. CHZ could also pump if Messi scores the goal that helps Argentina win the World Cup trophy. Who knows? 

Algorand (ALGO)

Algorand’s native ALGO has also seen recent gains, and the reason is also not far-fetched. As mentioned earlier, Algorand is the official blockchain partner of FIFA, and FIFA’s Collect+ is powered on the Algorand blockchain, which translates to ALGO’s popularity among soccer and crypto fans.

Cronos (CRO)

Cronos is a utility token owned by Crypto.com to help facilitate transactions within its blockchain and crypto exchange platform. With Crypto.com being an official sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, one would expect this to mean well for the CRO token, which has lost almost 87% of its value since its all-time high price of $0.965407.

Binance (BNB)

Binance is the largest crypto exchange platform by trading volume and number of users. It has achieved this feat through various innovations and doesn’t plan to stop now. The crypto exchange recently launched a soccer challenge tagged “Binance Football Fever 2022” to celebrate the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This challenge is an avenue to engage crypto users that are soccer fans. Still, more importantly, it attracts soccer fans who could become new users on the platform, thereby driving further crypto adoption. Binance plans to share over $1M worth of rewards among users participating in the challenge.

Furthermore, this challenge introduces a new utility feature for Binance Fan Tokens ($LAZIO, $PORTO, $SANTOS, and $ALPINE) as holders of these tokens are eligible to claim the “NFT Passport” which allows users to join the Binance Football Fever 2022. This move could mean well for the Binance Fan Tokens and, possibly, an increase in the tokens’ prices. Above all, the soccer challenge is bullish for Binance, considering we are in the soccer euphoria at the moment, and Binance’s success translates to its native token, BNB’s success. 

National Teams’ Fan Tokens

In May 2021, Argentina launched its $ARG fan tokens on the fan-engagement platform Socios, becoming the first soccer national team to create a fan token. Other national soccer teams have followed suit and launched their fan tokens. Some of these teams, alongside Argentina, will participate in the World Cup starting later this month. Depending on how these teams perform, we could also see their tokens perform well on the charts. Let’s take a look at some of these teams and their fan tokens:

Brazil ($BFT)

The five-time world cup champions are one of the favorites to win the World Cup trophy and their success at the tournament could also translate to success for its Brazil National Football Team Fan Token ($BFT) which is currently priced around $0.98. 

Argentina ($ARG)

Argentina is another major title contender. On the one hand, the Argentine faithful would hope that Lionel Messi and his Argentine teammates can lead the country to its first World Cup victory since 1986. On the other hand, crypto investors would be hoping that such success would pump the national team’s fan token, which is currently priced at around $7.09.

Portugal ($POR)

Although Portugal had to participate in the playoffs to qualify for the World Cup, they remain one of the teams to watch out for at the tournament, especially with marksman Cristiano Ronaldo lining up for the team in what would most likely be his final appearances on the grandest soccer stage. Crypto investors going all in on the national team’s fan token would hope Ronaldo can pump it above its current price of $5.37. 

Spain ($SNFT)

The Spanish National Team is undoubtedly another title contender, and the 2010 World Cup Champions would look to replicate the form that won them Soccer’s biggest trophy in 2010. Likewise, crypto investors going all in on the national team’s fan token would hope the SNFT can replicate its all-time high of $0.86. It is currently priced at around $0.45. 

What Does The World Cup-Crypto Euphoria Mean For The Crypto Industry?

The FIFA World Cup is the biggest tournament of all sports. According to FIFA, more than 1.1 billion people tuned in to watch the 2018 World Cup final between France and Croatia. For context, the Super Bowl, the most-watched event in America, had a TV viewership of about 140 million people last year. Furthermore, The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is projected to be watched by 5 billion people worldwide, surpassing the record 3.5 billion who tuned in to the 2018 edition in Russia. As such, The FIFA World Cup is one of the biggest platforms the crypto industry can utilize to drive mainstream crypto adoption. Furthermore, it is the best avenue to acclimatize sports fans with cryptocurrency. 

Soccer fans’ involvement with fan tokens and challenges like the one Binance is putting together would increase awareness around the utility of cryptocurrencies. We could see a surge in the number of users on various crypto exchanges after the tournament.

Lastly, having Crypto.com and Algorand as official partners of the 2022 World Cup is also great for the corporate aspect of the crypto industry. Investors and non-web3 companies would become aware of the crypto industry’s reach and be more willing to take a chance on various startup web3 projects. 

One thing is for sure; the world is about to be exposed to the various use cases of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and NFTs.

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