AntChain Goes West with Euro 2020 Sponsorship

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  • AntChain, the blockchain arm of Ant Group, has signed a deal to provide blockchain solutions to UEFA
  • The company is advertising during the Euro 2020 tournament
  • AntChain will provide blockchain solutions during the tournament and beyond

Eagle eyed viewers of matches in the Euro 2020 soccer tournament may have noticed something intriguing, alongside the action itself. One of the advertisers on the hoardings that run the length of the pitches is AntChain, a name that some in the blockchain world may recognize. Others may not recognize it but may suspect that this is a blockchain company, and they’d be right. But AntChain is not just any old blockchain company, it’s the blockchain subsidiary of Ant Group, owners of AliPay, one of China’s dominant two cashless payment providers, and, as official blockchain partner, its technology is being used during the tournament as part of a five-year deal with UEFA.

AntChain Branching Out

AntChain began life as Ant Blockchain in 2015 before rebranding to AntChain in July last year. At the same time it announced deals with Dell, HP, and Lenovo for leasing computers to SMEs, with Ant Group claiming at the time that AntChain was “the largest productivity blockchain platform in China’,’ with on average over 100 million digital assets per day uploaded onto AntChain.

Top Scorer Trophy Will Integrate Blockchain Tech

Ant Group was clearly keen to spread the word of AntChain in Europe and saw the Euro 2020 tournament as the perfect chance to do that, although the year delay in hosting the tournament meant they missed a perfect PR opportunity. Nevertheless, on the day of the tournament launch Ant Group and UEFA announced a five-year global partnership where the two promised to explore the options for blockchain technology to further digitize the football industry.

The jewel in the Ant Group crown, Alipay, signed its own deal with UEFA in 2018 which will see them design the tournament’s top scorer trophy. The trophy will utilize blockchain in its design and will sport a hash value at its base through which the scoring records of the tournament’s top scorers will be uploaded and permanently stored on AntChain.

HDAC Memories From 2018 Live Long

Hopefully AntChain will fare a little better than the sole blockchain company that advertised in the last major football tournament; Hyundai Digital Asset Company (HDAC), which advertised during the 2018 World Cup, was labelled the worst ICO of 2017 by an ICO review website whom HDAC had approached for a paid review.

With Ant Group backing them and the UEFA deal inked, it seems that AntChain is already set for a more successful period than HDAC.