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FIFA World Cup could launch cryptocurrencies into the mainstream

It is arguably the biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympics, and this month’s FIFA World Cup should also be unprecedented in the launch of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.

One of the reasons is the industry’s prominence among the sponsorships of the event. Earlier this year, World Cup organizers chose cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com as one of the main sponsors of the event. It will give the exchange exposure to an estimated audience of five billion viewers when the event kicks off on November 20.

The platform is among the most successful in securing promotional deals, producing commercials and winning arena naming rights. These have been seminal in not only keeping the brand afloat, but also providing broader exposure to cryptocurrencies in general.

Visa is the latest Trading company to adopt NFTs

Visa, a major sponsor of the global football association FIFA, is also collaborating with Crypto.com to raise awareness of the event. The payments company is auctioning off five non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that feature notable goals from different countries in past World Cups. The auction is open until Nov. 8, and proceeds will go to charity, Visa said.

In addition to these NFTs, Visa will also provide an opportunity for fans to create their own during the event. Fans watching the World Cup can participate in four-minute, six-on-six matches that take place at the FIFA Fan Festival.

The interactive playing field will capture your movements and create unique GIFs in the colors of your favorite selection. Players can choose to receive their GIF as an NFT through a Crypto.com account.

Adoption jumps since the last World Cup

While awareness of cryptocurrencies has spread since the last World Cup, circumstances have also changed for the previous host country, Russia. The country invaded Ukraine in February, resulting in economic sanctions that cut it off financially from much of the world. Consequently, many Russians have started using cryptocurrencies to carry out transactions or store their funds.

However, despite the cryptocurrency’s spirit of financial inclusion independent of the centralized authority, it has become difficult for exchanges to continue offering their services to Russian users.

Subsequent sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union banned many exchanges from operating in Russia. Others sold their businesses in the country due to the limited prospects for expansion created by the war.

Meanwhile, the use of cryptocurrencies has also accelerated dramatically in the region that will host the next World Cup.

Cryptocurrency adoption grew faster in the Middle East last year than anywhere else, according to Chainalysis. Much of this was spurred by investments in the United Arab Emirates, a Gulf country neighboring Qatar.

With the establishment of regional headquarters by some of the largest cryptocurrency companies in the world, the UAE is positioning itself as a global cryptocurrency hub.

Football tokens popping up in the world in anticipation

As the World Cup approaches, cryptocurrencies associated with the sport are also emerging. Most notable was Chiliz (CHZ), the token behind Socios.com, which has partnered with many major football clubs. In the last two weeks, the price of CHZ has risen by almost 43%, according to CoinGecko.

This year’s World Cup could also be the last to feature two of the sport’s greatest players. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are in their thirties, the end of years of professional play.

Even so, their participation stimulated interest in fan files from their respective national teams, Argentina and Portugal. ARG and POR fan tokens have increased by almost 50% in the last two weeks.

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