It’s really difficult that you’ve heard of the JR10 token. That’s the name of Columbia’s star footballer James Rodriguez’s cryptocurrency, launched 2 days before the beginning of the World Cup and the latest in a line of peculiar football cryptocurrency crossovers.
The JR10 token, named after Rodriguez’s initials and shirt number 10, is marketed somewhat ambiguously as a way for supporters to join a “closer fan community”. Fans can buy JR10 tokens to have the chance to interact with James Rodriquez in the form of VIP tickets and “exclusive souvenirs”.
According to SelfSell, the blockchain-powered fintech platform behind the JR10 token, scoring goals and winning matches will help increase the value of the football cryptocurrency, giving investors the possibility to make a profit.
James Rodriguez football cryptocurrency: the latest step in crypto-market
The Colombian international, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Real Madrid, described it as a “super cool trial”.
It’s the latest quirk of crypto-mania, with Bitcoin’s skyrocketing value drawing scores of investors and opportunists into the world of cyryptocurrencies; digital currencies built on blockchain technology. Blockchain is an open ledger, decentralised system that records transactions, such as currency transactions.
It has come under fire from some, who have warned it is easy for scammers to set up fraudulent cyryptocurrencies.
Football has met cryptocurrency before
However, it is not the first time the world of football has merged with cryptocurrency.
In March, former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen unveiled the “Owen Coin”, in collaboration with Global Crypto Offering Exchange. Fans can use the tokens to buy Michael Owen merchandise, make donations to charities and for personalised interactions such as streamed training sessions. The limited use for the coin led to some critics arguing that the football cryptocurrency was effectively worthless.
More commonly, footballers have been used in an ambassadorial role, rather than spearheading their own football cryptocurrency, much in the same way that footballers are used to promote more traditional products such as clothing and drinks. Retired Portugal international Luis Figo was appointed ambassador of STRYKZ, a token issued by Berlin-based Stryking Entertainment for football fans to use in not real football matches. Brazillian superstar Ronaldinho has also shown an interest in cyryptocurrencies, endorsing decentralised sports investment ecosystem SportyFi.
The cryptocurrency support isn’t just limited to players, either. Ex Portsmouth and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp jumped on the crypto-bandwagon in October last year, tweeting that he was “proper excited” about the launch of a new cryptocurrency called electroneum.
Suspicions that Redknapp was being paid to promote the coin were quickly addressed by electroneum, who insisted that he wasn’t working for the cryptocurrency.