Turkish amateur football player paid in Bitcoins
An amateur Turkish football club has acquired a player by paying in Bitcoin.
Harunustaspor in the northwestern province of Sakarya announced on Jan. 30 that it signed 22-year-old Ömer Faruk Kıroğlu by paying in the cryptocurrency, a first in the world of football, according to the club.
“We decided to do it to be mentioned in Turkey and the world. Our club is playing for the title. I hope this ‘Bitcoin signing’ will bring us the title,” said the club’s chairman Haldun Şehit at the signing ceremony late on Jan. 30.
Kıroğlu was offered 0.0524 in Bitcoin in addition to 2,500 Turkish Liras ($666) for the rest of the season.
Based in Sakarya, Harunustaspor plays in the first amateur division group B.
Bitcoin is a virtual currency created from a computer code that allows anonymous transactions. Unlike a real-world unit such as the U.S. dollar or euro, it has no central bank and is not backed by any government.
It has been on a highly volatile track in the last few months. After hitting an all-time high just shy of $20,000 on Dec. 17 on the Bitstamp platform, it plunged more than 50 percent over the ensuing month to below $10,000, but has since stabilized to just shy of $11,000.
The Turkish government has warned against the use of the cryptocurrency, saying it carries risks as no legal foundations were available for such transactions.
Authorities around the world, particularly in Asia, have attempted to rein in the global boom in trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies - which is created and maintained by its users.
European Union states and legislators agreed last month on stricter rules to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing on exchange platforms for Bitcoin and other virtual currencies.