Lionel Messi is backing the launch of the world’s first blockchain smartphone.
The Barcelona star is a brand ambassador for Israeli start-up Sirin Labs, which is launching the $1,000 Finney phone in Barcelona on November 29th.
Its previous device was the $16,000 Solarin smartphone, launched in 2016 and aimed at high net-worth individuals who wanted “military grade security”.
The Finney phone, named after cryptocurrency pioneer Hal Finney, will look to compete with premium consumer smartphones from the likes of Apple and Samsung.
It has an inbuilt cryptocurrency wallet viewed on a screen which slides out.
Sirin said: “After a significant amount of time discussing a wide range of issues, Messi saw the power, professionalism and future within Sirin Labs, and it was for these reasons he agreed to represent us to the masses.”
Acknowledging that sometimes apparent celebrity endorsements in the crypto space can lead to scams, a blog post continued: “If you’ve followed Messi’s career at all, you’d know he doesn’t just put his name on anything to make a buck.
“As the greatest of all time in the most popular sport in the world, you can imagine the type of vetting process that he and his team have to ensure they’re not going to associate with something criminal, illicit, or anything that might tarnish his stellar brand.”