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What is XDC Network, D.C. United’s new jersey sponsor?

Courtesy of D.C. United

D.C. United has announced their new front-of-the-jersey sponsor today, going with XDC Network, a crypto asset network created by Xinfin. Pablo Maurer reports that the deal is for $6M per year over three years, which is up from the $4M that Leidos was paying United.

But what is XDC? Who are Xinfin? What is a crypto asset network? Let’s jump in and find out.

Xinfin is the organization behind the XDC cryptocurrency and the XDC Network. Here is how Xinfin defines itself:

XinFin Foundation is a non-profit organization which liaises with different international governments in order to reduce the existing gap in global infrastructure. According to XinFin, the lack of government sponsored financing hinders the possibility of many infrastructure projects around the globe.

To me, this looks like they want to be the government contractor for the blockchain, and so in that way it makes a lot of sense that they would want to sponsor D.C. United. We all know that advertising and sponorship in the District is different than almost anywhere else. You only have to look at what signs you see on the Metro to know that, a lot of times, these are being narrowcast to politicians and members of the civil service, and not at all to regular people.

At the top level, this is what I think Xinfin wants to become. On their about page, these are the things that they highlight; they use the example of connecting investors and developers to fund an infrastructure project in another country as a primary use of their platform. But the XDC Network has a bunch of other uses, and those uses are what are highlighted in D.C. United’s announcement.

Folks may have heard of Ethereum, which is the second most popular cryptocurrency out there, after Bitcoin itself. And while Bitcoin is primarily only used as an investment or monetary equivalent, people use the Ethereum network for a bunch of other purposes. You may have heard about how a bunch of crypto enthusiasts tried to buy a copy of the Constitution. They created their entire organizational governance model on the Ethereum Network, using things like smart contracts and decentralized organizations. And while they also needed to raise money as a part of it, the way that people had the ability to vote on the future of the Constitution, had they won, was by having a specific set of tokens on the Ethereum Network.

NFTs are another crypto asset that isn’t a monetary equivalent; it its very name is “non-fungible”, meaning it can’t be directly exchanged for another currency. Almost all NFTs at the current moment are minted on the Ethereum Network, and so your proof of ownership of that NFT is on Ethereum as well.

Xinfin wants the XDC Network to be a big player in both of these places as well, and probably wants to pass the Ethereum network and be the primary player in these spaces. They highlight how they are faster, cheaper, and use less energy than the Bitcoin or Ethereum networks on the front of their page. They specifically feature tokenization and smart contracts on their website. They also talk about fan tokens and NFTs as something that they are going to bring to D.C. United, something that is much more public facing than the government funding of infrastructure potential that feature on their website. The initial play might be for the government contractor space, which is full of piles of money, but I think every crypto asset out there would also love to be a big player in the general crypto marketplace.

In our next article on XDC, we’ll look at the coin itself, the team behind it, its popularity, and other potential issues behind it.