Cristiano Ronaldo became the first soccer player to be rewarded for his career achievements in cryptocurrency, after the Juventus F.C. star received 770 JUV tokens — one for each senior career goal scored, as reported by Spanish outlet Marca.
JUV is the official Juventus fan token, launched in 2019 by the Italian football club on the Chiliz (CHZ) blockchain, in conjunction with the Socios.com platform. Fan tokens give club supporters the chance to vote on club decisions, while giving them access to various perks, competitions and prizes.
The bounty of 770 JUV tokens — awarded to Ronaldo prior to Sunday’s league match against Benevento — is worth around $11,750 based on the current token price of $15.26. The JUV token was originally priced at $2 upon launch.
While the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star probably won’t need the funds any time soon, the occasion signifies the first time cryptocurrency has been awarded to a football player as a prize for career achievements. The growing connection between sports and cryptocurrency has seen several clubs flirt with the notion of paying players either wholly, or partly, in cryptocurrency for some time now.
Dozens of soccer teams have issued fan tokens on the Chiliz blockchain since its inception, including some of the biggest teams from the biggest leagues in the world, such as Manchester City, F.C. Barcelona, and Paris St. Germain.
The value of Chiliz native token, CHZ, has responded to the flurry of activity initiated by various soccer teams in recent times. Since Jan.1 alone, the dollar-value of CHZ rose over 2,500%, while its market cap shot from $100 million to $4.5 billion, before falling back to the $3.2 billion range.
Given Barcelona’s own issuance of a fan token (BAR), could Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-time rival Lionel Messi be in line for his own crypto rewards any time soon? The Argentine superstar has already scored 734 senior goals to Ronaldo’s 770, while still being two years younger.