Following in the footsteps of soccer clubs around the world, Indian cricket teams are gearing up to take advantage of the internet’s most recent craze: fan tokens. The upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) could see a rush of fan tokens from participating teams, according to a report in the Economic Times.
Non-fungible tokens include fan tokens. Fans can purchase these tokens with non-digital currency such as the rupee or the US dollar in order to gain particular privileges or benefits related to their favourite team. Simply defined, a fan token gives fans a say — or at least some impact — in club choices.
It’s a means for clubs to get extra money, especially following the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when ticket sales were low and stadiums were vacant.
It’s unclear what kind of benefits Indian cricket fans will receive for investing in their favourite team. Fan tokens are used in football to vote on kit designs, celebratory music, and other small decisions.
According to sources, the majority of these tokens will most likely be powered by Polygon, an Indian blockchain platform that has been gaining popularity among NFT platforms worldwide, not just in India.
The first of these fan tokens, according to ET, might be available as early as December this year. Sandeep Nailwal, Polygon’s co-founder, also stated that “exciting announcements” from the Indian sports community are expected to be made public shortly.
Cricket NFTs are not a new thing
To be clear, while the business may be taking advantage of the pause between the just finished IPL season and the approaching World T20 Championship, the speculation surrounding cricket fan tokens is far from new.
Socios, one of the major platforms for sports NFTs worldwide, lists IPL clubs like Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Punjab Kings as partners.
Cricketers’ NFTs are likewise becoming increasingly popular. Rario, a collectibles platform, joined with Polygon in August to develop the country’s first cricket-focused NFT platform. Since then, the Singapore-based Cricket Foundation, which is supported by cricketers VVS Laxman and Parthiv Patel, has been powered by the blockchain platform Zebi. Rario also signed wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant earlier this month.
Mark Cuban, the billionaire and Mavericks owner, has sponsored Polygon, the proposed destination for these fan tokens. It offers a way for NFT platforms to lower transaction fees on the Ethereum network, which can be excessive at times when there are too many users.
Many new platforms in India, such as NFTically and Wall.app, have incorporated Polygon, as have global platforms like as OpenSea.
NFTs gaining steam in India
Despite the global enthusiasm surrounding the tokens waning during the September slowdown, the last two or three months have been wonderful for NFT platforms in India. Amitabh Bachhan, a Bollywood star, revealed in August that he will be minting NFTs through a platform named BeyondLife.club. This month, Bollywood superstar Salman Khan joined the trend, pushing NFTs on a Bollywood-only website dubbed BollyCoin and Chingari’s new crypto games.
Despite the fact that restrictions are still unclear, industry analysts predict that many more celebrities will join the battlefield, and discussions are currently underway.