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Sorare NFTs should be regulated under new frameworks, says CEO

A federal judge in Manhattan recently ruled that Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot NFTs may be unregistered securities, implying that the US government may regulate the multibillion-dollar NFT sector.

Nicolas Julia, CEO of Sorare, a supplier of fantasy sports non-financial transactions, believes his company’s offering should be classified separately from existing sports betting and daily fantasy sports legislation.

“We have been proactive with all regulators in the U.S. and Europe to help build the framework that might be appropriate for the new category we are building,” Julia said. “It’s very clear that it’s not a betting product, not a [daily fantasy sports] product. It’s a new category where you truly own your own items. There’s no notion of financial sacrifice. Hopefully something is going to be built in the future.”

Julia and other Sorare officials met with invited journalists at Wednesday’s Knicks-Nets NBA game at Madison Square Garden. Julia soon returned to Paris, where Sorare made its debut in 2018.

The French company claims that its fantasy NFT connections with over 300 sports organizations around the world, including the NBA, MLB, MLS, and virtually every top European soccer league, have attracted more than three million users. The company signed a four-year deal with the English Premier League in January.

“We’ve gotten support from the government in France that is pushing for a new framework that’s hopefully going to happen in the coming months. Hopefully the U.S. will follow,” Julia said on Wednesday.

Users of the Sorare app can buy, sell, and trade licensed digital player cards, and then insert those players into their lineups to compete in free-to-play fantasy games against others. Fans that win Sorare contests can win jerseys, merchandise, match tickets, and VIP passes to meet their favorite teams and players in person.

SoftBank, a Japanese investment firm, launched a $680 million funding round in September 2021, valuing Sorare at $4.3 billion. Other investors in Sorare include LionTree, tennis legend Serena Williams, and soccer players Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé.

The Ethereum blockchain is used by Sorare’s NFT games, whereas the Flow blockchain is used by Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot and digital collectible marketplaces for the NFL, UFC, and others.

Judge Victor Marrero remarked in a judgement made last month that Dapper’s reliance on a private blockchain was “essential” to the court’s determination that its NFTs are securities. Dapper Labs asserted in October 2021 that it resists the concept that it operates a private blockchain and instead asserts that Flow is gradually decentralizing, with 68% of its nodes operated by external validators.

Other European soccer leagues that offer NFT contests on Sorare include Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s LaLiga, France’s Ligue 1, and Italy’s Serie A. Sorare is headquartered in Paris and plans to launch its first U.S. office in New York in early 2022. Engineers, data scientists, designers, and legal team members are currently being sought for the company’s New York City office.

“One of the key goals for us this year is to break into the U.S. market,” Julia said. “We started with soccer, which is probably the biggest sport in the world. But if you have the ambition that we have to build the biggest brand in the world of sport, having the NBA and MLB is absolutely critical,” he made a remark.

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About MahKa

MahKa loves exploring the decentralized world. She writes about NFTs, the metaverse, Web3 and similar topics.

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