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Soccer Clubs Embrace Cryptocurrency, but Fans Are Divided | Technology News



By Tom Wilson and Anna Irrera

LONDON (Reuters) – A growing number of major football clubs are launching digital coins that allow fans to vote on a wide variety of smaller decisions as the sport faces declining revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the supporters are divided about the so-called fan tokens. Some appreciate the novel way of interacting with their teams – and making decisions, even if they’re just small things, like the song that is scored after a goal in games or the use of images in social media. Others are dismissing the tokens as shallow participation that adds to the already growing cost of tracking their teams.

Clubs that have launched tokens in recent months include English Premier League champions Manchester City and Italy’s AC Milan. Spain’s national team, which played their first game of the European Championship on Monday, are planning to start a similar program. Argentina, which launched its Copa America campaign with a draw on the same day, launched its tokens last week.

Fan tokens, like other cryptocurrencies, can be traded on exchanges and have also caught the attention of retailers and professional investors. And prices are prone to wild fluctuations and have little impact on field performance. Some of the big clubs’ tokens have lost about two-thirds or more of their value in the past few weeks, reflecting similar declines in the broader cryptocurrency sector.

Malcolm Clarke, chairman of the Football Supporters’ Association, which represents fans in England and Wales, said the clubs are either trying to make money by giving fans a say in the running of the clubs, or “they’re trying to get extra money out “Extract supporters by creating trivial online ‘engagement’ surveys,” he said. “Both of them don’t look good.”

Fan tokens have become more attractive to clubs amid the pandemic revenue shortage as games have been played in the absence of fans, executives from three medium-sized European clubs said. According to auditing and advisory firm Deloitte LLP, sales of the top 20 clubs in Europe fell 12% to 8.2 billion euros (9.9 billion US dollars) in fiscal 2020, which ended for most clubs in June.

These executives and others from larger clubs said the tokens helped increase engagement with fans, often spread around the world. Some tokens also provide access to promotions and competitions.

Soccer teams usually work with a crypto technology company that issues the tokens and receives a share of the proceeds from their first sale. Prices vary, but at least some well-known clubs originally launched their tokens for around $ 2 each; Later the prices fluctuated.

Manchester City and the football associations of Spain and Argentina did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for AC Milan said the adoption of fan tokens was a strategic move to enhance its digital presence and “stay closer” to its 500 million+ fans around the world.

The ability to connect with fans during the lockdown “was beneficial for clubs and fans,” said Giorgio Ricci, chief revenue officer at Italy’s Juventus, which launched its tokens ahead of the pandemic.

Katia Gigliotti, a fan of Italy’s AS Roma, said she was initially reluctant to pay the tokens but appreciated the engagement with the team and other fans during the lockdown.

“Not being able to go to games was traumatic, because football means stadiums to me,” says the 48-year-old electrical engineer, who regularly spent hours watching games.

GRAPHIC – Fan Token: A volatile bet

The rise of fan tokens is part of a deepening acceptance of the cryptocurrency by the sports industry. In some sports, teams have offered to pay players and employees in digital currencies, while others accept cryptocurrencies for tickets or goods. Fans and investors can buy and trade non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the form of officially licensed videos of game highlights from a National Basketball Association website.

Football clubs have taken the lead in offering fan tokens. A number of well-known European clubs have partnered with Chiliz, a unit of Malta-based Mediarex Enterprises Ltd. Spain’s national team and Scotland’s Rangers have partnered with a Turkish blockchain platform. Germany’s Borussia Dortmund works with two other startups.

Chiliz chief executive Alexandre Dreyfus, a former online betting manager, said the company will pay a fee to the club and share the proceeds from the first sale of tokens. Chiliz said it is targeting $ 200 million in sales this year; Around half of the turnover is then shared with the partner clubs.

Dreyfus said Chiliz is giving “hardcore” fans like season ticket holders some tokens “so there is no additional cost to follow their teams”.

Chiliz has launched 20 fan tokens with soccer teams. It also introduced eight tokens with teams from other sports, including motorsports and mixed martial arts.

The total market value of the 21 publicly traded tokens issued by Chiliz was around $ 260 million as of June 13, two-thirds more than at the end of 2020 but half lower than in May, according to blockchain researcher Christian Ott on the Fantokenstats website. These tokens are primarily related to soccer, but also include teams from a few other niche sports.

Chiliz did not respond to a request for comment on the volatility of the tokens or possible risks for investors.

Some fans reject the idea of ​​having to pay to join their teams. “Why should you have to pay to have a say in the club?” said Sue Watson, chair of the West Ham United Independent Supporters’ Association. She said this adds to the existing costs of keeping track of a team, such as B. the purchase of season tickets and football shirts. “It’s rising, it’s not cheap.”

West Ham’s plans to launch a token with chiliz last year did not go through, according to the technology company. West Ham did not respond to requests for comment.

Borussia Dortmund has resisted the tokens from supporters. The club told Reuters that it was changing its plans for a token that was due to hit the market in March without giving any further details.

Still, some soccer fans like the tokens because they like to get more involved. “It’s nice that the song you voted for is the one you hear and you think, ‘I took part in it,'” said Giuseppe Bognani, a 39-year-old retail manager and fan of Juventus.

(Reporting by Tom Wilson and Anna Irrera; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Cassell Bryan-Low)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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Cryptocurrency: Here’s How the Top 5 Coins Have Performed Since April 2021



Cryptocurrencies have got off to a slow start this year, largely due to an order from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to banks telling them not to trade crypto. Cryptocurrency trading accelerated after the Supreme Court lifted the RBI ban in March and allowed coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and others to be traded. Since then, several online exchanges such as CoinSwitch Kuber and CoinDCX have flourished. But investing in these virtual assets requires due diligence given the extreme volatility of most cryptocurrencies. One way to do this is to look at the historical dates of these coins.

How cryptocurrencies have behaved in the past few weeks and months can give an idea of ​​their potential in the near future and whether a person should invest now or wait.

This is how the top 5 digital coins have behaved since the beginning of this financial year (as of April 1):


Bitcoin is the oldest cryptocurrency in the world. Since its introduction in 2009, it has remained an undisputed leader in the cryptocurrency market. It was Rs. 42 lakh on April 1st of that year, but by the end of May, when the market collapsed massively due to a Chinese crackdown on mining, it had hit a low of Rs. 22 lakh. However, Bitcoin has recovered. On September 17th it was Rs. 37 lakhs.


Experts say this is the only virtual currency that has a chance to challenge Bitcoin’s dominance, but it is far from realizing its true potential. At the beginning of this fiscal year, Ethereum was trading at Rs. 1.40 lakh. It broke the Rs. 2 lakh barrier by early August. This was the time when the Ethereum blockchain had the big London upgrade. Since then, it has grown in value continuously. As of September 17, at the time of writing, it was Rs. 2.76 lakhs.


Launched in 2017, Cardano is a relatively new cryptocurrency coin that has skipped the line to find its place in the top 5. Billed as a third-generation blockchain (Bitcoin and Ethereum are the first and second generation, respectively), Cardano achieved a return of almost 150 percent in just one month. On July 20, it was trading at Rs. 79.71 but by August it had peaked at Rs. 191.41. It saw further gains over the next few weeks, hitting an all-time high of Rs. 227 earlier this month. But profits have since started to decline. On September 17, at the time of writing, it was Rs. 187.82.


Tether is a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. As the first coin, it is the most popular stablecoin. Since it is pegged to the dollar, meaning that each Tether coin should be backed by actual dollars in Tether Limited’s reserves, it is very stable compared to other cryptocurrencies. If this stability is predictable, it also limits the ability to grow wealth quickly. It stayed within the Rs. 73–75 this fiscal year. It was about Rs. 77 on 09/17.


It is the fifth ranked cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. Technically, Ripple is not a cryptocurrency. It facilitates open source payments and XRP is the cryptocurrency that runs on this network. The price has doubled from Rs since April 1st. 41 to Rs. 80 now. But it hasn’t seen a rally similar to what it did in late 2017, which hit its all-time high of Rs 242 in early January 2018. At the time of writing, it was Rs. 84.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss everything about crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and anywhere you get your podcasts.

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financial: Cryptocurrency Hyper Fund under government scanner



NEW DELHI: The government is closely monitoring the cryptocurrency in the market based outside of the country after alerting that the authorities responsible for investigating financial fraud are watching a company called Hyper Fund.

Sources said Hyper Fund, a DEFI from the Hyper Tech Group, recently got under the radar. The group claims to have launched the Hyperfonds to provide a decentralized financial infrastructure. Hyper Fund was announced in mid-2020.

However, according to the company’s website, it is run by Ryan Xu, however, using the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) model, Hyper Fund has attracted investors with higher returns and such offers, a common practice with Ponzi programs that have alerted authorities first place.

According to sources, complaints against such funds are piling up in several states. In India, the RBI, the Union Finance Ministry and SEBI had warned against trading in cryptocurrencies. The RBI plans to launch India’s official digital currency – E rupee – shortly.

The Treasury Department has made it clear that virtual currencies are not legal tender either. Therefore, VCs are not currencies. The RBI has also made it clear that it has not granted any company / company a license / authorization to operate or trade in Bitcoin or a virtual currency.

In June 2018, Amit Bhardwaj and his brother Vivek Bhardwaj were arrested by Pune police at Delhi Airport in connection with an alleged pyramid scheme. Bhardwaj, started his own Bitcoin mining operation and reportedly defrauded more than 8,000 people across the country for Rs 2,000 crore.

He has filed a complaint with the Delhi Police Department’s special cell alleging that he received a blackmail call and was asked to pay protection money on September 6, 2021 in exchange for promised higher returns.

UK regulators have issued warnings about such funds, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued warnings for both hyper-funds and fund advisers.

On its website, first published March 23, 2021 and later updated on August 31, the FCA said, “We believe this company may offer, advertise or sell financial services or products in the UK without our approval Any financial service or product required in the UK must be authorized or registered by us. This company is not authorized by us and is aimed at individuals in the UK. ”

She warns investors against such a fund and goes on to say, “You do not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service or are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so you are unlikely to get your money back if something goes wrong . ”

The website used by these companies under the FCA is,

Decentralized finance offering (DEFI) via blockchain technology from HyperTech Group, which is said to be based in Hong Kong, sources said Indian regulators and agencies have started monitoring the situation.

Following actions by financial regulators such as the US Security and Exchange Commission and the UK Financial Conduct Authority, Indian regulators and enforcement agencies have started overseeing investments in Hyper Fund – a decentralized financial offering powered by blockchain technology from the HyperTech Group.

Financial regulators around the world recognize the fact that Ponzi program organizers often use the latest innovations, technologies, products, or growth industries to attract investors and promise high returns on their program. Potential investors are often less skeptical of an investment opportunity when they judge something new, new or “current”. On its website, Hyper Fund claims to be “the strongest rocket in blockchain funding”.

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A Lawyer Beginner’s Guide to Cryptocurrency Exchange



A cryptocurrency exchange is a platform that enables users to trade different currencies and Cryptocurrency Types.

A crypto exchange has an interface similar to that of a bank or investment firm, but differs in a few notable ways. The exchange acts as a central platform that connects buyers and sellers of various cryptocurrencies. Its main value is that it provides near-instant liquidity around the clock for many cryptocurrency asset pairs.

Popular exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini hold billions of dollars in cryptocurrencies, some of which are owned directly by the company and some by users who use it Exchange’s cryptocurrency wallet.

There are some notable differences in the field of cryptocurrency exchanges that we will go into in detail.

  1. Is the cryptocurrency exchange centralized or is it completely decentralized?
  2. Is the exchange safe or not?

Here’s what every lawyer, and frankly everyone who interacts with the financial world, should know why choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange makes all the difference.

Is the cryptocurrency exchange centralized or is it completely decentralized?

As you may have learned from reading The Legal Examiner The Blockchain: A Guide for Lawyers Series, cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is completely decentralized.

This means that there is no central company or entity responsible for Bitcoin – there is no fancy San Francisco tech startup office or a 1-800 number to dial if things get mixed up.

This is in contrast to a centralized exchange, which is a formally established entity that must adhere to guidelines and regulations. Of course there are fraudulent centralized exchanges that do not conform to the “formally established” definition, per se, but the point remains valid.

A centralized exchange, such as Coinbase or many of its direct alternatives, has chiseled its value proposition to make cryptocurrencies much more accessible to the average person.

Instead of two individuals agreeing to send each other different currencies (e.g. BTC for ETH), a central exchange handles the transaction and takes a small cut. This fee, often referred to as the maker-taker fee, gives the centralized exchange (or liquidity provider as we will learn below) an incentive to participate in the market. Makers are the market makers who create the bilateral markets (the exchange) and the takers are those who trade at the prices set by the market makers.

If you’re curious about how much money an exchange like Coinbase can make with these relatively low fees, take a look at these S-1 statement It was released before it went public in 2021.

Now imagine taking centralized exchange out of the equation. With no intermediary, the trading parties would be responsible for setting the prices at which they would be willing to trade the assets and trusting that the other party would send their fair share of the transaction.

As you can imagine, without a structure, this is an incredibly inefficient and untrustworthy way to trade digital assets on a large scale.

This is where decentralized exchanges (DEX) come into play.

A DEX is basically a decentralized platform that allows users to trade directly and instantly through preprogrammed contracts. The DEX forwards the order and only completes it when both parties have signed the transaction and the blockchain validates the entire ordeal.

Companies like Shapeshifting and MetaMask allow users to instantly trade their funds with one another without ever giving intermediate custody of their assets.

How do DEXs make money? They sometimes charge fees (not to be confused with the actual blockchain network fees that are incurred on every transaction, centralized or not) that can be distributed to the token holders of that exchange’s token.

the DEX model gets a little hairy, but it’s a fascinating journey to experience, especially as it serves as a portal into the world of decentralized finance (DeFi).

Is the exchange safe or not?

As mentioned in the previous section, centralized exchanges (CEXs) differ from decentralized exchanges (DEXs) in that they hold user assets while DEXs do not.

To be technically more precise, the CEXs keep your private keys, as they are not actual ones “Coins” or “Tokens” exist somewhere in a vault. A DEX allows you to trade without revealing your private key to the DEX or the receiving party.

Custody exchanges pose a significant risk. For one, your private keys are at risk if the exchange is hacked or exposed as an elusive fraud.

Hacking Mt. Gox, a popular early exchange, posed an existential threat to the burgeoning bitcoin. In February 2014, hackers stole a whopping 840,000 bitcoins from Mt. Gox customers and the company itself, with only 100,000 owned by the company – which is today equates to about $ 33.6 billion.

Other notable centralized exchange hacks and glitches include: Bithumb ($ 30 million), Coinrail ($ 37.2 million), BitGrail ($ 195 million), Coincheck ($ 534 million) – each value being set in the period in which it was was hacked.

Hopefully, while today’s exchanges have learned from the mistakes of the past, the threat remains. These exchanges use a combination of Warm and cold storage to make sure a Mt Gox disaster doesn’t happen again.

When you use a DEX, you are the greatest threat for your money. Since you are keeping your assets safe at all times, you are the primary point of potential failure. If you lose your device and cannot recover your account, or if someone targets your wallet directly, you could lose your money indefinitely.

However, these events can be avoided almost entirely with proper digital safety hygiene.

Final Thoughts: How to Pick the Right Crypto Exchange for You

Your choice of cryptocurrency exchanges ultimately depends on convenience, assuming you choose from a handful of vetted and reputable companies.

If you fall into the absolute beginner archetype of cryptocurrency, it’s worth creating a Coinbase account and trying the beginner-friendly platform. It lacks much of the advanced trading functionality, but it does achieve what you’re looking for: buying your first bitcoin, ether, or any other cryptocurrency.

Coinbase Learn also gives you some options to find out about specific cryptocurrency projects and earn a small fraction of their tokens.

If you choose to buy cryptocurrencies on Coinbase, you will likely soon outgrow the comparatively high fees – they’re nothing to sleep on, but they add up and there are cheaper options.

The good news is that you don’t have to leave the Coinbase ecosystem to avoid the high fees. Coinbase Pro is the “Pro” version of Coinbase and belongs to the same company. Not only does it have much lower fees across the board, but it also has a lot more investment pairs and the ability to deposit and buy crypto directly with USD.

Other Coinbase alternatives are: Twins, octopus, and BlockFi.

However, each of the options listed above is a custody platform, which means that they will keep your private keys in their own cryptocurrency wallet. This removes (albeit abandoned) the responsibility of maintaining your private keys, which makes it a lot easier for a beginner in the ecosystem.

For those who are in line with the “Be Your Own Bank” ethos of cryptocurrency, consider a non-custodial exchange platform like ShapeShift, MyEtherWallet, or Metamask. You will still keep your private keys in custody, but you can trade for other assets and likely pay much lower fees than on a central exchange.

Platforms without custody usually also facilitate the connection to the world of decentralized finance (DeFi). However, if you’re just getting started, we don’t recommend jumping in here just yet!

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