Gibraltar just scored a major unexpected goal in the great tournament to be known as the most Bitcoin-friendly jurisdiction in Europe. A local football team made international sports headlines for deciding to pay its players with cryptocurrency.
Gibraltar United to Pay Its Players in Cryptocurrency
Gibraltar United F.C., a team founded in 1943 and currently playing in the Gibraltar Football League’s Premier Division, has decided to introduce cryptocurrency salary payments for its players. The club reportedly secured a sponsorship partnership with the help of the owner, Pablo Dana, an investor in the Quantocoin ICO. Dana told the UK’s Guardiannewspaper that all player contracts will include payment agreements in cryptocurrency by next season.
The owner explained that a “preoccupation with transparency” prompted the introduction of cryptocurrency to Gibraltar United, predicting that the technology’s open-access nature could curtail the “corruption scandals that have plagued football.” It has also reportedly given his club an easy way to help foreign players who have difficulty setting up bank accounts in the British Overseas Territory. As for the legal environment in Gibraltar, Dana commented that: “It was the first [place that] regulated betting companies 20 years back, when everyone was seeing them as horrible. They put compliance and anti-money laundering regulations and created a platform – they have the intelligence to do the same with cryptocurrencies.”
Cryptocurrency involvement in the sports field is nothing new, but it usually focuses on betting, gaming and project promotion deals. And as the newspaper notes, in January the Turkish amateur league club Harunustaspor signed 22-year old Omer Faruk Kiroglu for 2,000 liras worth of BTC and 2,500 liras in fiat cash.
Besides this latest development, Gibraltar has a few other claims to be a cryptocurrency hub. As we reported at the time, regulatory mechanisms tailored to protect customers of cryptocurrency businesses, and its own reputation, went into effect on January 1, 2018. And just a few days ago, the cryptocurrency exchange platform subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange officially opened to the public with six cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, RKT, LTC, BCH and ETC.