Argentina’s crypto token plummets after historic World Cup upset

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Argentina’s World Cup loss to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday has players, fans, and now crypto investors reeling, as the token sponsored by the Argentine Football Association fell more than 20% in the aftermath.

After a shocking 2-1 loss for Argentina’s national team, led by superstar Lionel Messi, the $ARG token plummeted about 20% to $5.39 on Tuesday morning, according to CoinMarketCap. When the token was created in May 2021, it sold for about $4.30.

The token, one of several digital crypto assets created on the Chiliz blockchain by Socios.com in partnership with soccer teams, gives buyers a vote in some decisions made by sponsoring teams and access to rewards. The tokens can be bought and sold like other crypto tokens on exchanges like OKX.

Socios.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fortune.

Lionel Messi

The price of the fan token associated with Argentina’s national soccer team fell as the team led by Lionel Messi lost to Saudi Arabia in the group stage of the World Cup on Tuesday.

Richard Heathcote—Getty Images

Over the past year, several of the world’s largest clubs, such as FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain F.C., and Manchester City F.C., as well as some national teams, have partnered with Socios.com and Bitci to create fan tokens. The tokens have quickly become a new source of revenue for teams, some of which have generated millions of dollars.

The tokens, although they don’t represent ownership in teams, are a way for investors to bet on the success of their favorite team. They can fluctuate greatly in value and fans can lose money, especially as the wider crypto market faces the fallout of crypto exchange FTX’s financial collapse earlier this month.

As the FIFA World Cup kicked off this week, the prices of several national team-linked fan tokens have plummeted. The Brazil National Football Team Fan Token, created in partnership with Bitci, fell by nearly 10% to $0.7386 on Tuesday, while the Spain National Fan Token fell about 7% to $0.7386. The price for the official token of the Chiliz blockchain fell about 4% on Tuesday to $0.1839.

The World Cup in Qatar runs until Dec. 18.

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