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New Newcastle sponsorship cash to be paid in bitcoin after deal signed with eToro

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Newcastle United have signed a landmark sponsorship deal which will be paid in the cryptocurrency bitcoin rather than pounds.

The move will see global investment platform eToro become an official club partner, with its branding appearing on LED boards, player access, tickets and digital rights.

eToro has also signed simultaneous deals with Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Brighton & Hove Albion, Cardiff City and Leicester City.

Newcastle United’s head of partnerships, Dale Aitchison, said: "We are delighted to welcome eToro to our family of high-profile commercial partners.

"This is a leading player in an emerging industry and we are looking forward to exploring opportunities in cryptocurrency and technology together."

eToro is anl investment platform which enables people to invest in cryptoassets, alongside more traditional financial products such as stocks and commodities, and it currently has a community of more than ten million registered users.

Bitcoin and other digital currencies are rarely far from the headlines.

Police have warned that they are popular among criminals as they can be used to evade traditional money-laundering checks and other regulations.

A number of UK and US banks banned customers from buying Bitcoin and other digital currencies with their credit cards.

There were fears customers could run up debts following a sharp fall in the value of digital currencies at the beginning of the year.

In its own announcement on the sponsorship deal with eToro, NUFC ran a warning at the bottom which read: "Cryptocurrencies are a highly volatile, non-regulated and are not appropriate for all investors.

"Trading cryptocurrencies is not supervised by any EU regulatory framework. Your capital is at risk."

Cryptocurrencies are underpinned by blockchain, which is a technology that allows transactions to be made without the need for a middle man.

Newcastle said in their statement today that blockchain has the potential to improve the process of making purchases by clubs and supporters.

eToro said it believes in the future, all assets will be tokenised - and "crypto" is the first step in this journey.

Iqbal V. Gandham, UK managing director at eToro, said: "As a leading multi-asset company, we are excited to be partnering with so many Premier League clubs and to make history by being the first company ever to pay for a Premier League partnership in bitcoin."

Iqbal V. Gandham added: "Today’s announcement is very much the first small step on a long road to football fully embracing blockchain technology.

"Education will be key so that industries can understand the potential, however, the openness of these Premier League clubs to taking this first step, is very exciting for everyone.

"Blockchain brings transparency, which means it can improve the experience for everyone who loves the ‘beautiful game’.”