The legendary Portuguese footballer, who has played for Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid, will team up with Binance to create a pool of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that will be sold exclusively by Binance.
Ronaldo’s cryptocurrency comes in a context where the price of bitcoin has fallen by more than 70% compared to the maximum reached last fall that negated 5 years of gains for investors. The sale sparked a crisis for some of the biggest traders and creditors in the digital asset industry and led to warnings of a “Lehman moment” for the sector.
“My relationship with the fans is very important to me,” Ronaldo said. “So the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through the NFT platform is something I wanted to get involved in.”
Digital asset companies have become big sponsors for sports stars and franchises due to the success of cryptocurrency, with deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, including Crypto.com’s rebranding of the Los Angeles mainland for $700 million. From TV commercials with celebrities to the Super Bowl.
Cryptocurrency prices have continued to fall from their highs in November last year, despite spending millions to attract new investors. Those who bought Bitcoin after the Super Bowl in February will suffer a 50% loss.
Falling prices and slowing transactions have affected the revenue of cryptocurrency exchanges. Major stock exchanges Coinbase, Gemini, and Crypto.com are among those that have announced layoffs in recent weeks. However, Binance said it remains financially sound and is moving forward with a number of more exciting functions and transactions.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best soccer players in the world and has used the sport to become an icon across many industries,” said Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance.
Ronaldo’s great rival, Argentine Lionel Messi, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, became Sosius’ global ambassador in March.
Prominent athletes promoting digital assets have triggered a backlash from financial regulators in many countries. Binance has been embroiled in a dispute between Spain’s National Securities Exchange Commission and soccer star Andrés Iniesta over social media posts. The exchange said Iniesta did not disclose that he was paid for scholarship promotion jobs due to a “misunderstanding”.
In May, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority warned consumers about the risks of investing in virtual assets, just days after former footballer Michael Owen promoted NFTs that he said “cannot lose their original value”.
“We have seen some recent posts on social media about virtual assets and NFTs,” said the FCA, which warned of the lack of consumer protection for these assets, and added that “if you buy virtual assets, you will have to be prepared that you lose all the money you invest.” .
Earlier this month, Zhao criticized other crypto companies that spent heavily on sports advertising before the price of digital assets plummeted. “It wasn’t easy turning down Super Bowl commercials, stadium naming rights, and big sponsorship deals a few months ago, but we did,” he wrote on Twitter on June 15. “Today, we are hiring 2,000 open jobs for #Binance.”
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