IPL teams are reportedly launching fan tokens, which will give followers a bigger say in club decisions

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IPL teams are reportedly launching fan tokens, which will give followers a bigger say in club decisions
Indian Premier League (IPL) team, the Kolkata Knight RidersIANS
  • More cricket teams in India plan to join the world of crypto by launching fan tokens in the coming months.
  • Fan tokens give followers access to a number of membership perks, like having a say in club decisions, rewards, merchandise design and so on.
  • Teams within the Indian Premier League (IPL) will reportedly be launching these tokens on Polygon, a blockchain solution based out of India backed by billionaire Mark Cuban.
After soccer clubs around the world, cricket teams in India are getting ready to take advantage of the internet’s most recent fad — fan tokens. According to a report by Economic Times, the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) could see a flurry of fan tokens from teams participating in the tournament.

Fan tokens are a subset of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Fans can buy these tokens with non-digital money like the rupee or the US dollar to get certain rights or advantages when it comes to their favorite club. Simply put, a fan token lets followers have a say in club decisions -- or at least some level of influence.

For clubs, it’s a way to get their hands on more capital, especially after the year of the COVID-19 pandemic where ticket sales were scarce and stadiums lay empty.

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It is unclear what kind of perks Indian fans will get for investing in their favorite cricket club. In the world of football, fan tokens give voting rights on kit designs, celebratory music, and other minor decisions.

Sources said that it’s likely that most of these tokens will be powered by the Indian blockchain platform, Polygon, which has been gaining popularity, not just in India, but amongst NFT platforms worldwide.

According to ET’s report, the first of these fan tokens might be available as early as December this year. Polygon’s co-founder, Sandeep Nailwal, also indicated that “interesting announcements” from the Indian sports community are expected to go public soon.

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Cricket NFTs are not a new thing


To be clear, while the speculation around cricket fan tokens could be the industry taking advantage of the lull between the recently concluded IPL season and the upcoming World T20 Championship, they are anything but new.

IPL teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings are listed as partners on Socios, one of the leading platforms for sports NFTs worldwide.

NFTs from cricketers have also been a burgeoning phenomenon. Collectible platform Rario partnered with Polygon back in August to launch the first cricket-focused NFT platform in the country. Since then, blockchain platform Zebi has powered Singapore-based Cricket Foundation, which was backed by cricketers VVS Laxman and Parthiv Patel. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant also signed on with Rario earlier this month.
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Polygon, the proposed destination for these fan tokens, is backed by billionaire and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. It provides a solution that allows NFT platforms to reduce transaction fees on the Ethereum network, which at times has been exorbitantly high when there are too many users..

Polygon has been used by many new platforms in India, like NFTically and Wall.app, and has also been adopted by global platforms like OpenSea.

NFTs gaining steam in India


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The last two or three months have actually been great for NFT platforms in India even as the global hype around the tokens drummed down during the September lull. In August, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachhan announced that he would be minting NFTs on a platform called BeyondLife.club. Superstar Salman Khan also joined the craze this month, promoting NFTs on a Bollywood-only platform called BollyCoin and short-video platform Chingari’s new crypto play.

Even though regulations remain unclear, Industry experts have said that many more celebrities are expected to join the fray, and conversations are ongoing at the moment.

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