Last month, Forbes speculated that the 2018 World Cup in Russia could boost the price of Bitcoin. That prediction has obviously not aged well and with the tournament in full swing, now might be a good time to take a break from obsessively checking your blockfolio and just enjoy some football.
It’s to that end that we stop and consider what a crypto lineup might look like if blockchain had qualified.
With a 51% majority, we’ve appointed ourselves head of the crypto Football Association. Team selection was based on a highly scientific process that considered projects on the basis of their personalities, strengths, histories, reputations and, of course, unrepentant personal bias.
If you can handle a few heavy-handed sports analogies, then read on to find out who made the cut and who was unceremoniously benched.
Manager: Vitalik Buterin
Getting the manager right is step one in building any successful team and after considerable deliberation, we’ve decided to appoint Vitalik “Twitter feud” Buterin.
Buterin is the young tactical genius who is too inexperienced to know what fear is. He’s a breath of fresh air in comparison to the cadre of legacy coaches desperate to hold onto their power. He’s the man to marshal our team and deliver the glory we all crave.
Being of Russian descent also won’t hurt his team’s efforts to navigate the potentially less than friendly climes of the host country. Whether or not Buterin can sustain himself in the glare of the spotlight remains to be seen, but for now, our faith is bulletproof.
Goalkeeping is a position that’s all about mentality. A goalkeeper needs to be calm, consistent, and firm in order to weather a volatile match.
In this case, the stablecoin Tether is the obvious choice between the sticks. Tether is not going to stray too far from its line, it’s backed by figures you can (allegedly) rely on, and most importantly it won’t attempt any scorpion kicks.
Center-Backs: Monero & Zcash
Anchoring the middle of the park for team crypto are Monero and Zcash. Monero is the hulking defender waiting to clatter anyone willing to challenge the privacy or sanctity of its box. On active duty since 2014, XMR has some crafty moves (like ring signatures) up its sleeve, is a well-capped stalwart, and an easy pick at the back.
Zcash, while slightly less experienced, is another robust privacy and security play in defense. zk-SNARKs is one of the most interesting defensive protocols out there, and it will be interesting to see how it does in prime time (particularly with other good options at CB should it fail).
Full-Backs: Iota & Nano
Covering the flanks requires speed and the ability to handle whatever is thrown at you, which may lead many to assume that Ripple (with its 4 seconds average time for confirmed transactions) is the first name on the team sheet. But as in the case of the case of Leroy Sané, there is something else going on behind the scenes and therefore Ripple has been left out of the squad.
Although we hold a soft spot in our hearts for Litecoin, it also just missed the cut as it’s looking a bit laggy these days (average 30 minutes transaction speed). Filling in the ranks are Iota and Nano with average transaction speeds of 3 minutes and 5 seconds respectively. NEM (with an average transaction speed of 30 seconds) is waiting eagerly on the bench should the need arise.
Center Midfielders: Bitcoin (Captain) & Ethereum
Center midfield is perhaps the most important position on the field, and as such, playing our two most distinguished players only makes sense. Some may question this pairing and predict it ending in a Gerrard-Lampard style clusterf***, but there is a symbiosis here that make all other parts of the ecosystem tick.
Bitcoin is the most experienced player available for selection and has the battle scars to prove it. Some have questioned its performance in recent times but when push comes to shove, the old warhorse can still be counted on. “Past it” or not, Bitcoin gets our captain’s armband.
Ethereum, on the other hand, has its own unique set of qualities that blend nicely with Bitcoin’s transactional focus. Ethereum is not as flashy as Bitcoin and it is much more comfortable in the background. It’s the glue, the heart, the brains, the connective tissue and the foundation from which the team operates. Ethereum is Andrés Iniesta.
Wingers: EOS & TRON
In a 4-4-2 formation, a lot is asked of wide players – they’ve gotta truly play both ways; there is no room for imposters. EOS has been called the next Messi for well over a year now and although our judgment remains on the skeptical side, this much talk of prodigy convinced us to give EOS a shot. Whether or not it becomes a household name or spectacularly fizzles remains to be seen.
TRON has a free, open, and entertaining style that seems likely to excite fans and produce results despite the rumors that it borrows the style of other players. With a constant drive for success, TRON has the ability to really cover the pitch.
If either of the outside players (or the big names in the middle) need a sub, there are options off the bench. Most notable is Stellar, a fan favorite with a streak of genius buried somewhere within.
Strikers: Vechain & Lisk
On the business end of the field, there doesn’t seem to be a true number 9 but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to get excited about.
Bitcoin Cash was the initial choice but after a falling out with its brother Bitcoin, it has been removed from the team. Despite taking quite a few fans with it, Bitcoin Cash is now somewhat bitterly playing for the Japanese team.
Not many top-level footballers come out of Asia but Vechain is a diamond in the rough. It’s a solid choice at striker for its inherent promise and ability to form useful partnerships all over the field. Although not rated as a world class player yet, this year could be its big breakthrough.
Completing the strike duo is Lisk, and while this choice might raise some eyebrows we consider it akin to a player like Miroslav Klose. Not necessarily the big name you dream of but hard-working, pragmatic, and ruthlessly efficient. Lisk has an angle, is playing to its strengths, and is patient. Besides, betting against the Germans is generally ill-advised.
The Official 2018 Crypto World Cup Squad
There you have it, a team and a manager set to conquer the world (and the Moon).
Questioning our lineup? Think you can do better? Feel free to weigh in below!