Argentina’s economic restrictions have reached the sports industry, with the first cryptocurrency signing of a local soccer player making national headlines.

The transfer of midfielder Giuliano Galoppo from Athletic Club de Banfield to Sao Paulo Futebol Clube was made in USD Coin (USDC), exceeding $6 million and up to $8 million depending on the volatile exchange rate of the Argentine peso, according to local sources. The transfer was made possible through a collaboration with Mexican crypto exchange Bitso.

“We are very proud to work with these two clubs for this historic transfer from Sao Paulo with all the security, transparency and flexibility that the crypto economy offers,” said Thales Freitas, director of Bitso in Brazil.

The transfer occurred in the midst of a difficult economic situation for Argentine sports clubs. The reported exchange rate gap between pesos and dollars continues to grow, affecting the possibility of soccer players being signed by international teams and prompting them to renegotiate their contracts to adjust their salaries to the volatile price of the dollar.

The unstable economy of the country has led to a huge adoption of cryptocurrencies, especially stablecoins. The trend towards stablecoins intensified markedly after the shocking resignation of Argentina’s finance minister earlier this month.

The practice of crypto adoption has also been replicated in sports by players and clubs in the country. However, this would be the first time that clubs could accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment for international transfers to regain a competitive advantage in the market for their players.

Despite its novelty, the cryptocurrency transaction involving Galoppo will still be subject to regulation. According to Bloomberg, sources from the Argentine central bank clarified that the transfer of Galoppo is an export operation. As a result, Banfield will be forced to settle its USDC in local currency, pesos, using the official foreign exchange market.

On the other hand, it is unclear how the professional footballer chooses to exchange USDC directly on the official foreign exchange market while allowing the club to resist central bank measures.

Related: Blockchain, crypto set to take sports industry beyond NFT collectibles

A recent study by Big Four accounting firm Deloitte revealed the potential of the crypto ecosystem to redefine revenue streams and fan engagement in the esports industry.

The report anticipates that cryptocurrencies will create a nexus “around sports collectibles, ticketing, betting and gaming.” For example, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the sports industry can introduce initiatives around fractional ownership, which could trigger the reinvention of the ticket resale process.

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