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26th Jan 2022

Collapse of sports crypto giant leaves fans with worthless tokens

Callum Boyle

Thousands of fans have been left with tokens which are now worthless

A major sporting cryptocurrency-based fan platform has gone into liquidation, leaving thousands of fans with tokens which are now deemed as worthless.

The company, IQONIQ – who are based in Monaco, held deals with leagues such as La Liga in Spain as well as several football clubs around Europe and the McClaren Formula One Team – acted as a social media engagement platform for fans of the sports that it sponsored, selling cryptocurrency tokens.

IQONIQ’s chief executive, Kazim Atilla,  admitted that “millions” of tokens and coins had been bought and were now worth practically nothing, however insisted that the value of them could still go back up.

Atilla also denied that the company had been liquidated, but had instead suffered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and are now looking to move away from Monaco to continue their business.

The Times have reported that Spanish side Real Sociedad are owed €820,000 (about £685,000) by the company, whilst Crystal Palace – who featured the company on their shirt as a sleeve sponsors – have also begun legal action over missing payments.

Palace first announced a deal with IQONIQ in September, 2020 however suspended their partnership in February 2021 after a payment had been missed. At the time, the Eagles had yet to launch any form of fan token or promotion.

Whilst there are currently no regulations in place surrounding cryptocurrency in football, a spokesperson for the Football Supporter’s Association (FSA) said that they are ‘concerned’ by their presence in the game.

“FSA members have raised legitimate concerns about cryptocurrency-based engagement partnerships at their clubs,” they said.

“Some of which are shared by the Advertising Standards Agency, [which] said promotion of these deals trivialised the dangers around cryptoassets.”

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