Cryptocurrency LFE is like Bitcoin for Soccer Fans, Has a Plan
It’s Bitcoin, but for soccer. London Football Exchange, which claims to be the world’s first cryptocurrency for fans of the sport, had its grand unveiling Friday.
It’s a chance to democratize club ownership, says its creators, providing fans and clubs with a way of exchanging money while cutting out intermediaries. It sounds great, but it will have to prove itself fast — on average, a new cryptocurrency launches every 24 hours.
The token has a number of benefits. Clubs will be encouraged to offer equity to fans through the tokens, along with some other perks. This could include tours, meet-and-greets, or discounts on merchandise. The LFE team also envisions the tokens being used as a way to improve ticket technology and reduce fees, as currently tickets take up to eight percent of commission based on value sold.
The group is hosting discussions with over 50 clubs, including those in the British Premier League as well as ones elsewhere in Europe, Australia, and the United States. The team touts the four billion soccer fans worldwide as the sign of a big potential market.
The LFE is hosting an initial coin offering, with pre-sale running until February 11, and a general sale starting the next day and ending on May 20. The platform will use the Ripple and Stellar networks for supporting token issuance. A total of four billion tokens will be generated for the initial sale, with 2.4 million available on the market at a price of $0.20 per token. That equates to a total valuation of $350 million — it sounds like a lot, but considering how Manchester United is valued at $2.23 billion, it’s a small amount in the grander scheme.
Inverse spoke with Ben Leigh-Hunt, the main board advisor to LFE, to find out more.
Is this going to be the Bitcoin for football fans?
LFE takes cryptocurrency to the next level. Not only is it a transactional token, but it brings value to the fans in the experience all the way through to fan ownership and revenue for the clubs. It is building a true marketplace and ecosystem for the LFE token where all stakeholders can participate. Our system is built for high speed transaction processing bringing efficiency, savings and reduced fraud to the clubs and supporting community businesses, unlike Bitcoin.
Even Stripe recently announced their discontinuing support for bitcoin because it can’t handle the speed and volume of what’s needed for payment processing. The LFE token and market will be able to disrupt this space with proven blockchain solutions in the market already.
The official number of how many people use bitcoin is unknown, but approximately 2-3 percent of the world’s population, whereas, what we do know for certain is that the number of people that watch football contribute to 50 percent of the world’s population.
It sounds like an ideal way of avoiding ticket site fees and for fans to support their club, is this just for the hardcore fans or will people use this to buy tickets more generally?
Both. We’re blockchain-enhancing the ticketing system with higher security, less middlemen so that savings can be passed onto the fans.
How does it compare to Arsenal’s cryptocurrency announced Wednesday, do the two compete?
They don’t compare. All premier leagues have a betting partner, and the Arsenal cryptocurrency announcement was simply to support their betting partner’s initiative. This is not an Arsenal cryptocurrency. LFE is not associated with betting at all. In theory, LFE will become the new way for clubs to replace gambling revenue - with more wholesome cross-generational opportunity.
Is this a long-term plan, do you see this outlasting the initial crypto craze?
Absolutely. The advent of the LFE Group is intended to be the conduit for football fan engagement as well as club financing while promoting the social good, youth development and gender equality. These goals will sustain the LFE initiative long last the crypto craze.
We are beyond the craze! The LFE team is made up of experienced business, technology and finance professionals that know the business of sports. We’ve seen the real challenges in the market and LFE brings a solution to solve the business problems with consideration to fans all around the world.
When you buy bitcoin you want the price to go up or down. When you buy the LFE token, you’ll want to use them! For an experience, an item or actual ownership in a club.