Cryptocurrencies tied to national soccer teams have failed to keep the attention of 2022 FIFA World Cup fans, with many soccer-linked fan token prices plummeting since the tournament began.
Between Portugal, Spain, Brazil and Argentina, the associated digital fan tokens have fallen between 60% to 88% percent in price since the start of the World Cup on Nov. 20, according to CoinGecko.
This is despite Brazil, Argentina and Portugal reaching the quarter-finals, while Spain was a strong contender up until they were knocked out on Dec. 6.
The tokens do generally react to immediate results, with Spain’s SNFT token down 39.1% over the past 24 hours following the team’s loss against Morocco. However, Portugal’s POR token is also down 6.1% over that same time frame, despite them beating Switzerland 6-1 on Dec.6. Such suggests that the tokens are becoming less reactive to the associated teams’ success.
Notably, these cryptocurrencies saw their peaks well before any of the teams even walked on the soccer field in Qatar, suggesting a classic “buy the rumor, sell the news” event took place.
Both the Portugal and Argentina fan tokens hit their all-time highs (ATHs) on Nov. 18, while the ATHs for Spain and Brazil fan tokens came two months prior on Sept. 28.
A similar occurrence can also be seen on the chart for Chiliz (CHZ), the native token behind the major fan token platform Socios, which pumped to its own ATH on Nov. 20 but has since dropped 36%.
The 24-hour trading volumes of tokens have also dropped off drastically since kick-off — falling between 79% to 88% since Nov. 20.
This class of tokens was originally designed to offer fans unique interaction opportunities with teams they support, such as allowing tokenholders to vote on minor decisions like what is to be written on the captain’s armband.
Critics of fan tokens see it differently, however, and view the market as a predatory way for experienced traders to milk enthusiastic fans out of capital.
Speaking to The Athletic in Aug. 2021, Martin Calladine, author of The Ugly Game — a book exploring the dark side of FIFA’s dealings with Qatar and its bid for the 2022 World Cup — offered a grim take on the fan tokens.
“We see the price of tokens being driven up in anticipation of football events like signings or titles,” he said, adding that “traders cash them out, prices crash, and fans are left sitting on losses — victims of their enthusiasm for their clubs.”