The ways things have been, especially under Ellis Short and even now as new owners try to bury the legacy of mismanagement and debt, assistance from any source for Sunderland AFC is welcome as they try to fight their way back to the Championship and then the Premier League. This writer feels the use of sports cryptocurrency could provide one such helping hand …

Photo by Joshjdss Arsenal recently became the first Premier League team to sign with a blockchain sponsor, and now the London Football Exchange is to release its own cryptocurrency.

The London Football Exchange (LFE) has released a football-related cryptocurrency, which it hopes will lead to the formation of a fan-driven football community. With this being an idea that they can take forward, it is important to consider potential scams and hacks when it comes to something like cryptocurrency. For example, a small Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, Maplechange were hacked. This resulted in the loss of funds.

The LFE’s token presale began in January while the public sale ran from February to May. The LFE cryptocurrency token is to be used to power an ecosystem of sports, entertainment and finance that will benefit both clubs and fans.

The news comes shortly after CashBet’s announcement that they will partner with Arsenal FC as the Premier League team’s exclusive blockchain sponsor.

CashBet coins are used for iGaming in the sports and casino sectors, industries in which cryptocurrency is quickly gaining traction. As well as Bitcoin sports betting sites, there are also poker sites which utilise gaming tokens on blockchain systems. Anywhere in which betting is possible, cryptocurrency seems to fit well.

Yet the LFE cryptocurrency is a little bit different. It doesn’t focus on sports betting, but rather on creating a point of interaction between fans and their favorite clubs.

Fan-Driven Football Community

The LFE will use blockchain technology to allow clubs to provide loyal fans with exclusive access to match tickets, VIP experiences, such as tours and player “meet and greets”, and unique merchandise, all using the LFE token as a means of transaction.

They plan to launch both an LFE Market and LFE exchange where fans who are token holders can gain access to services, merchandise and offers directly from participating clubs as well as buy the LFE token needed to take part.

LFE will utilise the Ripple and Stellar networks to support the creation and distribution of tokens and allow trades and transfers. The LFE token will be available to buy with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple or bank transfers using fiat currencies like the pound and the dollar.

Fans will also be rewarded for engagement using an LFE points system. The more an LFE token holder engages with their favorite club or league, the more points they will gain. These points will allow fans access to offers, rewards and incentives.

The overall goal is to create the ultimate fan-driven football community where clubs and players can interact, and clubs can offer better services at reduced costs, directly to players.

Financial Incentives for Clubs

The incentives for clubs to get involved with the LFE token and exchange are plentiful. For example, several clubs within the UK outsource their ticketing to legacy platforms and suffer a 5-8 percent fee for doing so. With the LFE, clubs can offer match tickets directly to fans with zero costs — the LFE says some of these savings must go back to the fans and the community.

Also, the LFE token will grant fans the opportunity to involve themselves in club financing packages. Clubs of all sizes, from La Liga legends to amateur sides, will be able to raise fresh capital by creating their token. Fans can buy this token to finance their side, and in return, could be given equity stakes and returns as well as unique experiences and rewards. In doing so, the LFE opens up the door for clubs to utilise the token economy for funding.

The Italian Series B club FC Bari 1908 was the first club in the world to get involved. It is believed that the LFE is in discussions with 50+ clubs from the UK, Europe, the US and Australia.

If Sunderland were to get involved, perhaps the financing options would help their chance of promotion. If the idea takes off, fans could soon see themselves interacting, trading and investing in their favorite club.

Over to you, SAFC’s new owner Stewart Donald …

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

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