David Barral, the former Real Madrid B and Levante striker, has become the first-ever player to be purchased using cryptocurrency. The 37-year-old has officially signed for Segunda B side DUX Internacional de Madrid this week in a deal funded entirely through the use of bitcoin - the digital or virtual currency that uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments.
The club, who are part of DUX Gaming - an eSports club owned by footballers Borja Iglesias and Thibaut Courtois, has not yet disclosed the total value of the deal, but the move for Barral was 'made possible' by the Spanish club's sponsor with Criptan.
In a post on social media, Internacional welcomed the experienced forward while thanking their sponsor. "David Barral new player of DUX Internacional de Madrid, welcome to the infinite club!" the club wrote. "He becomes the first signing in history in cryptocurrencies. Thanks to Criptan, our new sponsor, for making it possible."
Barral, who made over 50 appearances for Real Madrid's reserve side, also expressed his delight at his latest move. "Glad to join the project of @interdemadrid with eager ambition and responsibility to continue competing and achieve important challenges in my sports career." he wrote on his official Twitter page.
Back in December, Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Russell Okung became the first high-profile athlete in the United States to be paid in bitcoin. Okung, who will have exactly half of his NFL salary paid in the crypto-currency, has encouraged other professional sports stars to do the same.
"Money is more than currency; it's power," said Okung in a statement.
"The way money is handled from creation to dissemination is part of that power. Getting paid in bitcoin is the first step of opting out of the corrupt, manipulated economy we all inhabit."