Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the world’s most famous footballers, has signed a deal with Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, making him the latest high-profile celebrity to sign a lucrative deal with a digital asset firm despite the current crisis.

As part of a partnership with Binance, the legendary Portuguese footballer will collaborate with the exchange to create a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Bitcoin has fallen more than 70 percent since its peak last autumn, erasing five years of gains for investors in the cryptocurrency. A “Lehman moment” has been predicted for the digital asset market as a result of the sell-off, which has put some of the largest traders and lenders in danger.

“My relationship with the fans is very important to me,” said Ronaldo. “So the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of.” 

—Cristiano Ronaldo

Crypto prices have continued to fall despite the millions of dollars spent to attract new investors since their November highs. After the February Super Bowl, anyone who invested in Bitcoin would have lost 50% of their money.

Cryptocurrency exchanges’ revenues have been slashed by the fall in prices and a decrease in trading activity. There have been a slew of layoffs at major exchanges in the last few weeks, including Coinbase, Gemini, and Crypto.com. Binance, on the other hand, has stated that it is in good financial health and plans to continue expanding by hiring more staff and making more high-profile deals.

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, said Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s greatest footballers and has become an icon in multiple industries.

Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s main competition at PSG and Argentina, recently signed on as a global brand ambassador for cryptocurrency fan token company Socios.

Financial regulators in several countries have taken issue with high-profile athletes promoting digital assets. The National Securities Market Commission of Spain and footballer Andrés Iniesta got into a fight over social media posts, and Binance was caught in the middle of it. Apparently, Iniesta was unaware that he was paid to promote the exchange, and the exchange blamed this on a misinterpretation.

After retired footballer Michael Owen promoted NFTs he claimed couldn’t lose their initial value, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority issued a warning about the dangers of investing in crypto assets in May.

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