Following his surprising departure from Barcelona, football star Lionel Messi signed with Paris St-Germain (PSG) earlier this week. He was given fan tokens as part of his new club’s welcoming gift.
The tokens, according to the club, connect the Argentine star to “millions of Paris St-Germain supporters around the world.”
But what are they, exactly?
The PSG fan token is a type of cryptocurrency that allows supporters to participate in club decisions. They can contribute to the selection of the captain’s armband message, the design of the Paris St-Germain bus, and the design of the curtain in the players’ tunnel at the Parc des Princes stadium via an app.
Fans can also vote for the season’s best goal and participate in the club’s end-of-year awards.
Using the app, some users have even gotten video calls from first-team players.
The app, according to PSG, allows fans to interact with the club in a new way.
Fan tokens can be traded on exchanges like Bitcoin and other digital currencies. PSG reported a high volume of trade of the token just days before Messi officially signed with the club.
Trading volumes for the token had surpassed $1.2 billion (£722 million) in the days leading up to his arrival, according to the company. According to Reuters news agency, new sales produced over 30 million euros.
In just five days, the token’s value increased by more than 130 percent, according to reports.
It’s unclear how many tokens the footballer received as part of the arrangement, but the team said he received a “substantial quantity” in a statement.
Arsenal, Aston Villa, and Inter Milan are among the clubs that have announced their own fan tokens.