Arsene Wenger, the Professor with an economics degree, is dipping Arsenal’s pocket book into the crypto-currency markets. The club reached an agreement Wednesday with California-based CashBet, which will thus be allowed to advertise at Emirates Stadium. Now Gunners fans can watch ads for fake money while cheering for fake trophies. The Arsenal crypto-currency deal might just be the most Arsenal thing ever.
For those who have been willfully living under a rock awaiting all-out nuclear war between Rocket Man and Stormy’s man, crypto-currency is a currency not based in the backing of a government or gold/silver but in the backing of digital scarcity ensured by decentralized blockchain technology. Unlike cryptozoology, crypto-currency is a real thing, and it works better than your creaky left knee. BitCoin is the most well known crypto-currency, gaining popularity when the value of a single coin skyrocketed to $15,000 because of market values, supply/demand and people wanting to be appear cool — three things Arsenal often seems to know very little about.
But this Arsenal crypto-currency deal with CashBet fits right in with the Gunners under Wenger: weird, out of the ordinary and it might just work. It’s not exactly fake money in the same way finishing in the top four isn’t exactly a fake trophy.
To be clear here, this appears to be nothing more than an advertising deal. Arsenal isn’t about to convert its war chest into CashBet Coins. But the Gunners are getting some extra cash (in British pounds) to allow CashBet to advertise at the Emirates, home of the most expensive ticket in Europe. CashBet gets its logo in front of those high-priced eyes.
CashBet, founded in 2012, is a company that has created a software platform for other “gaming” companies to use, with the idea that other companies will integrate into using its crypto-currency through the software. Gaming in this case mostly means sports betting, but also includes “social and skill-based gaming apps” according to the company. The CashBet Coin is already available for presale as of Wednesday, with a public sale to take place in March.
Crypto-currency isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing. It’s a thing that exists because it can exist and because people apparently have too much money not being spent on McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Really though, crypto-currency is just the next step of evolution in the gamification of the world. Just like in annoying mobile games, we now have dozens of different currencies to keep track of, with some becoming all but impossible to convert to non-crypto-currency.
Because football fans are nuts for their team, chances are good many Gooners will be doing everything they can to get their eWallets full of CashBet Coins because they think that will help convince Arsene Wenger to finally pull the trigger on the Aubameyang deal.