Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been making inroads in regards to their popularity in recent years, however it seems they are also about to enter the sport of football in a big way.
Of course, anyone following cryptocurrency and football together will already know that there have been a number of transactions that have been made, with world-famous names having been provided with the virtual currency, whilst clubs have also made transfers for players.
One of the biggest advancements in this method of payment was when Segunda B side, DUX Internacional de Madrid, used it as a way of acquiring former Real Madrid B and Levante striker, David Barral.
Furthermore, powerhouses such as Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have each adopted the virtual payment methods, whilst Juventus superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, was recently provided with 770 Fan Tokens after reaching the same number in goals. Expect CR7 to continue to score, though, and take a punt on it on betting24.fi.
However, it seems Bitcoin could be coming to the Premier League, as Southampton could be introducing it as an option in which players are paid when bonuses have been achieved or triggered.
According to a report by The Athletic, the Saints have struck a three-year deal with Coingaming Group that will replace Sportsbet.io as their main sponsor and be displayed on the front of their shirts.
It is claimed that the deal is worth a reported £7.5 million a year, which means it will instantly become the biggest sponsorship deal the southern football club have ever had in their history.
And, as part of the new sponsorship agreement, players who are able to achieve bonuses after performances worthy of triggering them could be paid via the virtual currency.
It is thought that achievements such as obtaining qualification to the Champions League – which looks incredibly unlikely any time soon – or winning a domestic trophy could see players rewarded entirely in cryptocurrency.
David Thomas, Southampton’s chief commercial officer, said: “The team at Sportsbet.io have built a successful business by challenging convention and disrupting the market, but in a responsible way, and their approach to our partnership with them has been no different.
“In a short timeframe they’ve proven to be innovative, forward-thinking and extremely supportive of the club, our fans and the wider community, and we’ve welcomed the opportunity to develop and promote safe gambling messages together.”
Indeed, with Bitcoin continuing to grow and having recently hit a record of $62,575 (£45,511), it could be worth a pretty penny for all of them.