Manchester City star İlkay Gündoğan today announced his collaboration with OKX, a cryptocurrency exchange and leading developer of Web3 technology.
The midfielder, who captains Manchester City and is widely considered amongst the best in the world, will be able to engage virtually with his fans and the public via the “OKX collective” metaverse.
Crypto and DeFi products have garnered increasing interest following recent turbulence in the traditional banking system, with Bitcoin breaching $30,000 for the first time in almost a year following the recent collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse.
OKX allows members to trade a range of DeFi tokens, including BitCoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.
The company calls itself a “Web3” firm, referring to the third generation of the internet.
Previous generations of the internet have concentrated data and wealth in large firms, but it is hoped that the coming change will decentralise data and power.
Speaking to Crypto A.M., Gündoğan compared the current state of Web3 and the metaverse to the internet in the 1990s, explaining that this is what made it so exciting.
“Now everything is social media, it’s what you post on there, it’s liking, commenting, but it’s become bigger and bigger, for fans one day to maybe get in touch with players through the metaverse it’s something that could be very, very exciting to learn exactly how that would look in the future,” he said.
“It’s a field that seems at the moment like it can give you unlimited opportunities, it will be very interesting to see how people take advantage of it”, he added.
Gündoğan said the possibilities were particularly relevant for football as a sport that connects millions around the world.
“It’s great for fans, it’s great for the players, with us travelling a lot, flying around a lot, I think this is a space you can make use of very quickly. That’s what fans appreciate a lot, it’s what players appreciate a lot”, he said.
OKX has collaborated with Gündoğan, Jack Grealish and Ruben Dias from the Manchester City men’s team as well as Alex Greenwood from the women’s team.
Last month OKX and Ruben Dias rolled out a training course in the metaverse in which the defender coached fans on how he maintains top performance in the virtual space.