Saudi Arabia’s NFT Collection Soars After Unexpected Soccer Win Against Argentina

Argentina's fan token, on the other hand, slid 21% following the team's loss on Monday.

AccessTimeIconNov 22, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 23, 2022 at 8:28 a.m. UTC

Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering the US economy, the Fed, and bitcoin. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

We’re only a few days into the FIFA World Cup in Qatar but fans are already betting on who will make it far in this year's tournament – and right now, Saudi Arabia seems to be a popular choice in the crypto industry.

Sales for the Saudi Arabia-themed non-fungible token (NFT) collection called “The Saudis” increased 387% on Tuesday following the country’s surprise 2-1 win against Argentina, which is considered one of the best soccer teams in the world.

Argentina’s fan token (ARG), in contrast, dropped 21% over the past 24 hours and is trading at $5.44 as of press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The South American team, led by Lionel Messi, was the clear favorite going into Monday’s match.

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Argentina's fan token, ARG, dropped 21% after the country's loss against Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup 2022 on Monday. (CoinMarketCap)

Crypto tokens have become popular among gamblers in this year’s World Cup. Chiliz (CHZ), the native token of the Chiliz blockchain that powers Socios.com, the largest sports fan token creator platform, surged 39% in the week before the start of the competiton as fans basked in a fresh wave of hype.

However, the hype died down quickly and other fan tokens, including those of Portugal (POR) and Brazil (BFT) all declined after Monday and underperformed both bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

“Big events often present big opportunities for traders,” Priyansh Patel of Delphi Digital wrote on Monday. “Some market participants begin positioning a few weeks before the actual event in order to take profits when the event occurs.” The World Cup, he wrote, was no exception and fan tokens “experienced hefty corrections just two days before the event began.”

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Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering the US economy, the Fed, and bitcoin. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Helene is a U.S. markets reporter at CoinDesk, covering the US economy, the Fed, and bitcoin. She is a recent graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.