Former Real Madrid B striker David Barral has made transfer history after he became the first professional player ever to be signed exclusively by Bitcoin.
The striker was unveiled by Spanish third division side DUX Internacional de Madrid, also known as Inter Madrid, after they teamed up with their new sponsors to make a splash in the transfer market with nothing but cryptocurrency.
No transfer fee has been disclosed and the deal has not yet been acknowledged by authorities, leaving some doubts about the validity of deals in Bitcoin moving forward.
Third tier Spanish side Inter Madrid signed ex-Real Madrid B striker David Barral with Bitcoin
After announcing the veteran striker while he posed with Internacional's shirt, a statement read: 'David Barral new player of DUX Internacional de Madrid, welcome to the infinite club!'
'He becomes the first signing in history in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Criptan, our new sponsor, for making it possible.'
The club shared the statement on its social media pages.
Barral added: 'Glad to join the project of @interdemadrid with the ambition and responsibility to continue competing and achieve important challenges in my sports career.'
The decision to press on with Bitcoin has emerged from their links to their sponsors Criptan, which is a local platform to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as per CryptoAdventure.
It is a landmark moment in football history and could signal a shift in the way some clubs operate moving forward.
While this is viewed as the first professional transfer made via Bitcoin, there was an amateur side in Turkey in 2018 who made headlines dealing in cryptocurrency.
Barral (left) is now 37 but is still making moves and this is the most unique of his entire career
Omer Faruk Kıroğlu joined Harunustaspor at the cost of £1,226 worth of Bitcoin.
Harunustaspor paid 0.0524 Bitcoin (£385) plus 2,500 Turkish Lira in cash (£841) to his services and it generated lots of media attention.
Barral, now 37, made more than 50 appearances for the Real Madrid's reserve side, before going on to have spells with Sporting Gijon, Levante and Racing Santander.
Inter Madrid are generating lots of attention with Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois among the ownership group.
The Belgian teamed up with friends Borja Iglesias and DJ Mariio to buy the third-tier side last year.
In 2018, Omer Faruk Kiroglu (left) was signed by amateur side Harunustaspor using Bitcoin
You'll often hear it described as a cryptocurrency, which isn't very enlightening. In simple terms, it is virtual money, with no physical notes or coins. It was invented by someone claiming to be called Satoshi Nakamoto and to be Japanese, but his or her real identity is unknown. In its early days it was often used for illicit activity but bitcoin has become attractive to ordinary investors.
Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet on smartphones or computers. Transactions are recorded on Blockchain, the giant online ledger behind the currency. You can in theory use bitcoin to pay for goods and services, though they are not accepted everywhere. Or you can buy it in the hope of a profit.
Anyone with access to a computer or smartphone can buy bitcoin through an exchange. You will have to pay trading fees on top of the cost of the bitcoin itself.
Bitcoin is not backed by any tangible asset or underlying commodity such as gold, so it has no intrinsic value. It is 'worth' what people are prepared to pay – and that has been extremely volatile. Last March, one bitcoin was worth round $5,000. After a spectacular rally around Christmas, it surpassed $41,000 in the first week of January. It is at $38,000.
It depends on whether you believe bitcoin will rise in value. It's a huge risk. City watchdog the FCA recently reminded savers that they should be prepared to lose all the money they put into bitcoin, so only invest cash you can afford to lose. If things do go wrong, dealings in bitcoin are largely outside the regulators' safety nets.
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