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.
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.
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.