The football club Arsenal has announced that they have become the first club in the world to have an official cryptocurrency partner. The club has reached an agreement with the gaming company CashBet, which is planning to launch its own currency CashBet Coin.
The Premier League club promote the firm’s initial coin offering (ICO) at the 60,000-seat Emirates stadium.
The deal, the value of which was undisclosed, is the first time a major global sporting team has officially partnered with a cryptocurrency firm. It comes as an increasing number of regulators and business leaders express concern about the dangers of consumers risking their savings in unregulated virtual currencies.
The City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority warned consumers last year that they should be prepared to lose their money if they invested in Bitcoin.
The FCA declined to comment on Arsenal’s decision to promote a cryptocurrency, but a spokesman pointed out that the regulator was planning to conduct a deeper examination of the fast-paced developments of ICOs and would take further regulatory action if necessary.
Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal chief commercial officer, said: “We are pleased to welcome CashBet Coin as our partner.”
“We are looking forward to working with CashBet Coin as they launch their new cryptocurrency.”
CashBet said it was delighted to be able to secure a deal with Arsenal as the firm is actively targeting a global, multibillion-dollar marketplace of i-gaming content providers, operators and players.
CashBet, which plans to raise between $40m (£28m) and $70m from the sale of CashBet Coins tokens in its ICO, uses Arsenal’s crest and player’s images on its website and the club describes
Tim Buckley, the chief executive of investment firm Vanguard, said on Wednesday that his company would never invest in cryptocurrencies because they have no value.
Axel Weber, the chairman of Swiss bank UBS, said on Tuesday that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were speculative, risky and not an investment we would advise.
The consultancy Ernst & Young warned that ICOs are at risk of cybercrime. Of the $3.7bn raised in ICOs last year, about $400m has been stolen by hackers, according to an EY analysis.