Clyde defender Conrad Balatoni has warned players of the dangers they face investing in cryptocurrency.
Scottish football has seen a rise in clubs becoming involved with crypto and NFTs. Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used to buy goods and services, but uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to obtain transactions.
Much of the interest in these unregulated currencies is to trade for profit, with interested parties at times driving prices upwards.
A non-fungible token (NFT) meanwhile is a unique digital asset that represents ownership of a real-world item like art. NFTs use the same technology that powers some cryptocurrencies, but isn’t a currency.
Rangers are sponsored by a cryptocurrency brand called Bitci and both the Ibrox club and Hibs have sponsorship deals with Sportemon Go, which brands itself as a world leader in NFT augmented reality sports trading.
Ayr United are also sponsored by Bitcoin SV.
Balatoni works as a financial adviser for players and those involved in sport, and some have made enquiries over crypto and NFT investments.
The 30-year-old say while he’ll never tell someone not to invest, it’s not something he’ll be doing.
Speaking on the fourth episode of the Lanarkshire Live Sport Podcast – which is released this Thursday at 9am – Balatoni said: “I don’t advise it. It’s unregulated. I hold a very small amount but I won’t fully get into it.
“If you want to have a dabble, be my guest. But I’m letting you know that it is very volatile. If you are comfortable losing what you put in, that’s fine.
“You can get good returns on crypto but you might lose out on it. You don’t know what cryptocurrency lurks as a scam or what is actually legitimate.
“I tell my clients not to go all in. There are better ways to make your money work for you. There’s better ways to be safer with regulation. But people have the fear of missing out.”
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Balatoni adds that fans also have to be wary of what they invest in: “Clubs have got to make income from different avenues. It’s just about making sure that anyone looking to invest in this stuff does their due diligence.
“They don’t just see it on a sponsor and buy it. You need to make sure you’re money isn’t taken away from you.”