Cryptocurrency companies are closing sports sponsorship deals around the world, but FC Barcelona bucked the trend by rejecting an $80 million offer from an unnamed cryptocurrency exchange.

The chairman and board turned down the offer, saying they were concerned that cryptocurrency was an “unethical” industry.

According to Marca, Spain’s best-selling sports newspaper, Barcelona “received several offers from cryptocurrency exchange companies” before accepting a lower offer from music streaming company Spotify.

“It’s a speculative, risky, highly variable and unethical sector,” a spokesperson for the club’s board told the newspaper.

The unnamed exchange’s offer included a 20% bonus dependent on the performance of the first team, but club president Joan Laporta rejected it despite authorization from the club’s compliance department.

The rival deal with Spotify includes not only the shirt sponsorship rights for the men’s and women’s first teams, but also the title rights to the Nou Camp stadium for the 2022-3 season.

The rejection of the deal comes after reports late last year in Spanish media putting Binance and FTX on the board as potential backers.

However, Barcelona is not entirely hostile to cryptocurrency. already have agreements with socios.com and Chiliz, who together manage the club’s fan files.

But the club’s contract with Ownix ​​ended last November, less than a month after the arrest of a businessman linked to the company.

Ownix’s intention was partner with FC Barcelona to create non-fungible tokens that provide a digital certificate of authenticity for non-tangible pieces of the club’s illustrious history.

This would have created a way for fans to “acquire and own digital assets that will replay unforgettable Blaugrana moments” through NFT auctions that would take place throughout the season.

Everything was to be part of Barça’s plan to seek new ways of engaging with new generations of fans.

The BBC estimated fans have spent over $350 million on digital collectibles, with 24 clubs across Europe offering them or soon to offer them

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