Turkish football club completes world’s first bitcoin transfer
Turkish amateur football club Harunustaspor has completed the first ever transfer funded by cryptocurrency by paying a player in bitcoin.
The club forked out the equivalent of 2,000 Turkish lira in bitcoin (0.0534 bitcoin), in addition to paying 2,500 Turkish lira (US$666) to player Omer Faruk Kiroglu, 22, to secure his services.
OFFICIAL: Turkish amateur side Harunustaspor have signed 22-year-old Omar Faruk in return for Bitcoin. 😅👏🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/zAt4LJrIVB— SPORF (@Sporf) January 30, 2018
Club chairman Haldun Sehit told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency the club decided to sign Kiroglu with the cryptocurrency to make the team known “in Turkey and the world.” He added: “God willing, bitcoin will bring us the championship.”
On his world-first transfer, Kiroglu said: "This is a first for me and for the world. As the chairman said, we are doing something new. I am open to new things."
The club competes in the First Division Group B Amateur League in the country’s Sakarya Province, on the coast of the Black Sea.
Sakarya 1. Amatör Küme B Grubu'nda bulunan Harunustaspor sanal para birimi olan 'Bitcoin' ile kulübe futbolcu transferi gerçekleştirdi. pic.twitter.com/67fTxPFehf— FutbolArena (@futbolarena) January 30, 2018
The move comes amid warnings from the Turkish government against using bitcoin, which was created in 2009 and can be used to buy products and services, as a result of its volatile market fluctuations, claiming it carries risks as no legal foundations are available for transactions.
The market-leading digital currency slid 12 percent on Wednesday to $9,817, before recovering slightly above $10,000. Commentators believe it is headed for its biggest plunge since December 2013.