AFL announces partnership with Crypto.com and it’s immediately controversial
The Australian Football League (AFL) announced today a five-year partnership with Crypto.com, which will become the official cryptocurrency exchange and official cryptocurrency trading platform of the AFL and the AFL Women’s (AFLW).
Crypto.com will also feature as the exclusive naming rights partner of the “Crypto.com AFL Score Review” for all Toyota AFL Premiership Season and Final Series matches.
The agreement is the first time the crypto exchange has partnered with an Australian sports league, with the AFLW being the first professional women’s sports competition Crypto.com has ever sponsored.
AFL Executive General Manager – Customer and Commercial, Kylie Rogers, said that “the new partnership marks one of the most significant corporate partner deals since the COVID-19 pandemic, which will help strengthen our industry as we continue to recover and rebuild key growth areas of our game.
“The growth of blockchain technology, services and cryptocurrency products available provide a range of exciting opportunities, and we look forward to partnering with Crypto.com to drive innovation throughout the sports industry.”
Meanwhile, Crypto.com Co-Founder and CEO, Kris Marszalek, reaffirmed his commitment to investing in Australia, citing it as a key market and leader in cryptocurrency adoption.
Crypto.com General Manager Asia & Pacific, Karl Mohan, said its latest consumer research in Australia found that around 53 per cent of crypto investors were women. He therefore believed the partnership will resonate with AFL fans across the country, due to how the AFL has broken ground on gender diversity in Australian sport.
“It is very encouraging to see that Australians from all walks of life, irrespective of gender or background, are very keen to adopt cryptocurrencies, and we’re excited about being their go-to platform,” Mohan said.
“We couldn’t be happier with the timing of this partnership at a moment when more Australians are engaging with cryptocurrency and the Australian Government is taking steps to put necessary regulations in place to protect consumers while fostering innovation.”
However, not everyone seems to be happy with the timing, and dozens of Twitter users were quick to point out the news of today’s hack of Crypto.com in response:
Late yesterday, Crypto.com announced that a “small number” of users reported suspicious activity on their accounts, in response, withdraws were paused for 14 hours whilst an investigation was undertaken.
All users were logged out of their accounts and required to sign back in and reset 2-factor authentication, with CEO Kris Marszalek claiming that “no customer funds were lost”.
Some users are also claiming that they still cannot reset 2FA, are unable to recover thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and, according to crypto influencer and podcast host Ben Baller, over US$16 million worth of Ethereum was stolen.