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Ethereum NFT Fantasy Soccer Game Sorare Raises $680 Million

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In brief

  • Sorare, a fantasy soccer game based on Ethereum NFT cards, has raised $680 million at a valuation of $4.3 billion.
  • The French startup plans to expand into other sports, onboard women’s soccer teams, and open a U.S. office.

Sorare, an Ethereum-based fantasy soccer game based around NFT trading cards, has grown significantly in 2021 with a rising player base and sizable trading volume, not to mention dozens of new licensed teams in the mix. Today, the French startup put an exclamation mark on that upward momentum with the announcement of a $680 million funding round.

The $680 million Series B round values the company at $4.3 billion and follows a $50 million Series A round that was announced back in February. This new Series B round was led by Japanese tech and investment conglomerate SoftBank, which has a number of existing crypto industry dealings, particularly through its SBI Holdings financial services division.

Sorare is currently focused specifically on soccer, with players from more than 175 licensed clubs available in the game. Popular clubs like FC Barcelona, Juventus FC, and Paris Saint-Germain FC are part of Sorare, as is the United States’ Major League Soccer Players Association—just the players, not the clubs themselves.

Nicolas Julia, co-founder and CEO of Sorare, told Decrypt this week that the company plans to expand into other sports, as well. It will also open a United States-based office in the coming months to “help us continue to grow with fans and sports leagues” in the country, he said.

“We have ambitious plans to keep growing Sorare into a sports entertainment giant,” Julia said. “The new funding will be used to help us continue to grow a world-class team, expand to new leagues and new sports, and keep improving our experience for users, including shipping a mobile app.”

Like Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot, Sorare is built around NFTs based on professional athletes. An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a provably scarce digital item. In the case of Sorare, it’s a digital trading card that can be bought and resold, with each available in limited quantities. One such NFT card sold for nearly $290,000 worth of ETH in March, for example.

Unlike Top Shot, however, Sorare has an ongoing game component. It’s similar to other fantasy sports in that you can choose a lineup of pro players each week and enter leagues with other users, earning points based on your players’ respective real-world performances. With Sorare, you can only build your team with the player cards you own, but there are rewards in the form of rare cards and ETH.

According to the company, Sorare has seen more than $150 million worth of trading volume since the start of 2021, and has more than 600,000 registered users on the platform. Sorare aims to onboard the top 20 soccer leagues and top 50 soccer associations around the world, as well as bring in women’s soccer clubs to join the current selection of men’s teams.

The $680 million Series B round—which Sorare dubbed Europe’s largest to date—also includes participation from new investors Atomico, D1 Capital, Bessemer Ventures, Eurazeo, IVP, Hillhouse, and Liontree, as well as existing Sorare investors Accel, Benchmark, and Headline.

Professional soccer players Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, Rio Ferdinand, and César Azpilicueta also invested in this round. February’s Series A round, meanwhile, included notable investors such as entrepreneur and NFT enthusiast Gary Vaynerchuk, as well as Seven Seven Six founder and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Sorare also has close ties to leading game publisher Ubisoft. The startup took part in Ubisoft’s Entrepreneurs Lab accelerator program, plus the companies collaborated this spring on One Shot League, a Sorare spinoff game focused on Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League.

Source: https://decrypt.co/81332/ethereum-nft-fantasy-soccer-game-sorare-raises-680-million

Blockchain

DraftKings Doubles Down, Partners With Polygon

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Yes, it was just a few short months ago that DraftKings launched the ‘DraftKings Marketplace‘ in partnership with Autograph.io. In that short time, we’ve seen the sports gambling powerhouse churn out some successful NFT releases with the likes of Tiger Woods, Simone Biles, Tom Brady, and more.

Now, DraftKings is doubling down on crypto, this time pairing up with Polygon for some versatility and support in secondary-market transactions.

DraftKings & Polygon: A Prime Pair

Scalability and sustainability are two traits that Paul Liberman, co-founder and president of global product and technology at DraftKings, cited as “critical challenges of blockchain technology” that Polygon was able to address to meet DraftKings’ needs. According to the press release, the company will also have an option to potentially contribute to Polygon’s governance protocol and keep the network secure as a validator node with its own stake pool.

Polygon will hone in on custom NFT drops and secondary-market transactions.

The marketplace is available for millions of DraftKings’ users, and the platform is currently working towards transferability of NFTs to decentralized wallets via Ethereum mainnet. Meanwhile, Polygon has continued to show investment in NFTs, gaming, and corresponding areas. Existing partners for Polygon include the likes of Atari, ZED RUN, Decentraland, The Sandbox, and more.

“Although DraftKings Marketplace is still in it’s nascency, we are bullish on the possibilities that blockchain, NFTs, cryptocurrency and more will present as we prepare for Web 3.0 alongside Polygon and the new innovations ahead for digital collectibles,” added Liberman. A refreshing take from brand executives that shows the immense potential ahead for crypto in online gaming and gambling.

Polygon continues to solidify partners to build further investment in gaming and NFTs. | Source: $MATIC on TradingView.com

Related Reading | Crypto Scammers Take Over Dating Apps Users’ iPhones

Gaming, Gambling & Crypto

The emergence of young industries stateside, such as sports gambling and cannabis, are prime contenders for crypto integration – and this move for DraftKings is a prime example. They are also industries that are on the rise throughout the US in particular.

Reports emerged this week that New Jersey was the first state to hit a $1B month of bets last month. The first online sports betting entrant in the state was none other than DraftKings, who partnered with Resorts Digital; that partnership yielded nearly $42M last month, leading the online-only handle in the state.

All that to say that DraftKings is one of the largest players in the game, publicly traded with a valuation north of $20B.

Many platforms are targeting the crossover of gambling, gaming and crypto. Polymarket, for example, describes itself as an “information markets platform” that runs on Ethereum, where users can place bets on sports and current events.

Related Reading | Who Funds Bitcoin Core Developers? Here Are The Facts

Featured image from Pexels, Charts from TradingView.com

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Source: https://bitcoinist.com/draftkings-doubles-down-partners-with-polygon/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=draftkings-doubles-down-partners-with-polygon

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Anthony Scaramucci Sees Bright Future as First US Bitcoin Futures ETF Makes NYSE Debut Following Positive Nod from S.E.C.

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In Tuesday morning trading, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (NYSE: BITO) made its debut, marking a monumental occasion in the developing story of cryptocurrency regulation. The fund, which tracks CME bitcoin futures, or contracts speculating on the future prices of bitcoin, rose by roughly 3% early in the session and continues to hold those gains at time of publishing.

The crypto sector as a whole has pursued a bitcoin-focused ETF for years now, with asset managers submitting proposals for spot bitcoin ETFs as early as 2017. To date, however, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had consistently rejected these proposals, maintaining the stance that none of the applications were able to prove market resistance to manipulation.

While the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF falls short of the spot bitcoin ETF that many in the industry hope is on the horizon, experts agree that Tuesday’s opening stands as a turning point in the regulatory approach of the SEC.

“Remember, there’s a difference between the cash ETF, obviously, and the ETF that everybody’s talking about right now. I have a preference for the cash ETF, but I love the fact that the SEC is allowing for the futures ETF,” Anthony Scaramucci, founder and managing partner of SkyBridge Capital, told CryptoCurrencyWire in an exclusive. “It’s just a sign that they’ve decided that they know the blockchain is going to be a very big component of the future of the financial services industry. I take this as a monumental decision…to allow the United States to stay the leader in financial services globally. I think it’s a very positive sign.”

To stay up to date on the latest cryptocurrency news, signup for the CryptoCurrencyWire newsletter at www.CryptoCurrencyWire.com and for more on SkyBridge Capital & First Trust Skybridge Bitcoin Fund L.P. visit www.SkyBridgeBitcoin.com.

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Blockchain

Traders Start Longing Cardano ($ADA) Over Other Altcoins, Here’s Why

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Cardano ($ADA), the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap seems to have lost market momentum post its Alonzo upgrade in September. The smart contract integration was seen as a key catalyst to its price as $ADA rose to a new all-time high of $3.10 in the run-up to the upgrade. Even though the upgrade made Cardano a Defi and NFT hub, its price hasn’t made much progress since then.

$ADA is currently trading at $2.13 with a 1% loss over the last 24-hours, the altcoin price has fluctuated in the range of $2.10-$2.70 since September. At present Bitcoin is leading the market rally with eyes set of new ATH, while altcoins seem to be in a consolidation phase.  Historically, the real altcoin bull run begins when the $BTC market tops as seen in April-May when the majority of the altcoins hit new ATH.

Cardano
Source: TradingView

The market sentiment towards altcoins looks stable at present, but recent data from Santiment indicate an unusual rise in interest of traders for $ADA, something that was seen during the Alonzo hardfork.

Can Cardano Make a Turn-Around?

Cardano’s social media mentions went through the roof during the Alonzo upgrade, but the hype died down with the successful completion of the upgrade. Many critics believe the September high was the top for the altcoin, however, new data shows traders on Binance is longing $ADA more than other altcoins showing a bullish sentiment in the making.

Cardano
Source: Santiment

The sharp rise in long position is often followed by a bullish price rally for the altcoin and if the trader’s interest continues to mount, it could build a bullish momentum strong enough to help it record new ATHs.

The altcoin had quite a phenomenal year until now having broken into top-3 crypto rankings and currently sitting at third. $ADA with its new decentralized ecosystem is expected to become the go-to option for Defi and NFTs due to the scalability and security that Cardano offers.

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The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.
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Source: https://coingape.com/traders-start-longing-cardano-ada-over-other-altcoins-heres-why/

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