Spanish soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona, or Barca, has teamed up with fintech platform Chiliz to create a blockchain-based token for the sports franchise.
Spanish soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona, or Barca, has teamed up with fintech platform Chiliz to create a blockchain-based token for the sports franchise. As part of the partnership with FC Barcelona, Chiliz created Barca Fan Tokens (BAR) for use on its social mobile app called Socios, according to a press release. “We are really proud to launch the Barca token on the Chiliz blockchain platform,” Chiliz and Socios CEO and founder Alexandre Dreyfus said, referring to Chiliz’s own Ethereum-based blockchain.
“This is the ultimate goal and the best confirmation of our long term vision about fan engagement and monetization.”
Several months ago, Chiliz began working on Socios, seeing 100,000 users during beta testing, Dreyfus said in an email, confirming that the platform is no longer in the beta phase.
With technological advancement comes the need for new customer engagement methods, especially regarding FC Barcelona, which is the fourth most valuable sports team in the world, as rated by Forbes. After receiving the token as a reward for participation on Socios, fans and interested parties can spend the asset on products and events, the press release detailed. Professional Italian soccer club Juventus and French soccer organization Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) also have their own tokens, as it has been reported in previous stories. These assets will be priced against Chiliz’ own native token, CHZ. “Our model is to issue BAR/CHZ, PSG/CHZ, JUV/CHZ, etc. on our platforms,” Dreyfus said, adding:
“Each team issues their own fan token, with a limited amount of supply based on the potential over five years. Barca has 40 million tokens for example.”
Similar to PSG and JUV, FC Barcelona’s BAR tokens were built on Chiliz’s Proof of Authority Ethereum-based blockchain as ERC-20 tokens, with the organizations acting as chain validators, Dreyfus explained. Users cannot, however, transfer these assets to their own wallets and exchanges, as is the case with other digital assets. “At this stage, Barca tokens will be only available on Socios.com and Chiliz.net, our exclusive crypto exchange for sports and entertainment tokens to be launched in Q1,” Dreyfus said.
“Over time, we will open a bit more to strategic partners who want to grow the ecosystem,” he added. “Our priority is to validate the model toward fans and users.” Socios plans to enable “casual trading” sometime near the end of Q1 or beginning of Q2 this year, Dreyfus clarified, adding that Chiliz.net — a cryptocurrency exchange exclusively for sports and entertainment tokens announced earlier this year — offers a more trader-centric atmosphere.
Is Crypto Growing In Africa?
Crypto adoption is making significant advances in Africa, with crypto ownership, trade volume, and regulation all moving toward greater adoption. A recent report by Arcane Research and Luno found that Uganda, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya are frequently among the top 10 countries by Google searches for the word “Bitcoin.” The report describes the continent as “one of, if not the most promising region for the adoption of cryptocurrencies,” emphasizing Africa’s combination of low existing crypto adoption alongside an “enormous” domain possibility. The firms emphasize that Africa exhibits a young population, frequent monetary crises and currency failures, large unbanked or underbanked populations, and expensive means of payment.
While Nigeria has long dominated the continent’s trade volume, the report found that South Africa has the highest percent of cryptocurrency ownership or use among internet users in Africa with 13%, followed by Nigeria with 11%. Worldwide, South Africa ranks fifth for crypto adoption among connected citizens. This past week saw South Africa post its second-strongest weekly volume on peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) marketplace Localbitcoins, with nearly $1.65 million worth of BTC changing hands.
The surge in trade activity saw total P2P volume for South African trade edge out Kenya last week with $1.95 million in trade across Localbitcoins and Paxful. Last month, South Africa’s financial regulator issued a policy document asserting that crypto-assets and activities relating to virtual currencies “can no longer remain outside of the regulatory perimeter.”
Nigerian P2P trade is rallying to record highs, producing $9.2 million in combined weekly trade. Kenyan trade has also seen a recent spike, with Localbitcoins trade between BTC and the Kenyan shilling producing its second-strongest week on record for the third consecutive time. Morocco and Egypt have also posted record trade activity in recent weeks. The increase in volume across the continent has also seen P2P volume from Sub Saharan Africa beat out Latin America for the first time.
A Hacker Sells Personal Info From Databases Of Trezor, Ledger And Other Platforms
The hacker that breached the Ethereum.org forum is allegedly selling the databases for the three most-popular crypto hard wallets — Ledger, Trezor, and KeepKey. The three databases contain the name, address, phone number, and email for more than 80,000 users combined, however, they do not contain passwords for the accounts. The hacker has also recently listed the SQL database for the online investment platform, BnkToTheFuture.
On May 24, cybercrime monitoring website, Under the Breach, spotted the hacker’s new listings for the databases of the top hardware wallet providers. The hacker claims to be in possession of account information corresponding to nearly 41,500 Ledger users, over 27,100 Trezor users, and KeepKey’s 14,000 customers. Chat logs posted to Twitter indicate that the data was stolen through exploiting a vulnerability to the popular e-commerce website platform Shopify.
The hacker is now advertising the databases of 18 virtual currency exchanges and forums, in addition to the email lists of two crypto tax platforms. The databases include the full SQL for Korean exchange Korbit spanning 4,500 users, three databases for Mexican trading platform Bitso, and the complete account information including passwords for blockchain platforms Blockcypher, Nimirum, and Plutus. The hacker specifies he is only interested in premium bids, stating: “Don’t offer me low dollar, only big money allowed.”
Last week, BlockFi reported a data breach resulting from a Sim-swap attack. Customers’ full names, email addresses, dates of birth, and physical addresses were leaked. Client funds were not impacted. At the end of April, Etana, a custody firm that provides services to Kraken, also suffered a data breach that did not see any customer funds lost.
JP Morgan Feels That CBDC Will Have Long-Lasting Effects Of USD
JPMorgan believes the central bank digital currencies, or CBDC, could pose a threat to the global hegemony of the US dollar. According to a report covered by Bloomberg, the bank’s chief U.S. economist asserted that “[t]here is no country with more to lose from the disruptive potential of digital currency than the United States.” “This revolves primarily around U.S. dollar hegemony. Issuing the global reserve currency and the medium of exchange for international trade in commodities, goods, and services conveys immense advantages,” the report added.
While JPMorgan doubts the dollar will be displaced as the global reserve currency soon, the report warns that “fragile” peripheral aspects of the currency’s dominance may be eroded, including trade finance and the SWIFT messaging system. During March, eight major banks including HSBC and Citi announced that a collaboratively developed blockchain trade finance will see a commercial launch in Singapore during the second half of 2020. Blockchain-based trade finance initiatives have also been launched in China, Oman, and Europe.
The report advocates that the U.S. launch a digital dollar project in order to migrate its monetary dominance into the rapidly growing digital sphere. JPMorgan warns that other countries could use digital currencies to circumvent the SWIFT system and the reach of economic sanctions, undermining the ability for the United States to exercise power on a global stage through control over the global reserve currency. “Offering a cross-border payment solution built on top of a digital dollar would, particularly if designed to be minimally disruptive to the structure of the domestic financial system, be a very modest investment to protect a key means to project power in the global economy,” the report said.
“For high-income countries and the U.S. in particular, digital currency is an exercise in geopolitical risk management.”
Economist John Vaz offered a critical appraisal of CBDCs, arguing that central bank digital currencies comprise “a kind of rearguard action being fought by the central banks because they don’t like cryptocurrency.” Vaz argued that cryptocurrencies take away the ability for central banks “to pull a lever in the economy because under things like Bitcoin, you can’t create money by the way of credit.” “Central bank digital currencies are probably more about tracking money than providing benefit,” he added.
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