NFTs are still in the game – log | Jewelry Dukan

Good morning and welcome to Protocol Fintech. This Wednesday: Why sports-powered NFTs are still in play, new Zell and Venmo scams, and UBS and Wealthfront’s split.

From the chain

Are Fintech Stocks Oversold? The F-Prime Fintech Index is down another 15% for the month, compounding its losses for the year. Browse the index component list and you’ll find companies after companies with strong revenue growth. Eventually, the multiples reach the point where either the stock goes up or buyers step in. It’s always difficult to predict stock movements, but saying these stocks won’t fall that far seems like simple arithmetic.

– Owen Thomas (E-mail | chirp)

A safe bet in NFTs

The crypto market has been rocky in recent months, and some NFTs have seen their prices plummet, but esports digital tokens are still scoring with fans and investors. Several companies are working to bring mainstream esports into the world of NFTs, with the support of major blockchain protocols eager to show broader utility.

Sports NFTs have enormous potential. According to one analysis, the NFT sports collectors market alone could be worth $92 billion in a decade. And while sports-related NFTs are now primarily used for collecting or playing fantasy sports, many expect NFTs to also serve as a way for fans to connect with their favorite teams or players.

  • Sales of Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot NFTs, which feature collectible video “moments” that can be bought, sold and traded, have continued to grow, and the company has expanded into UFC and NFL collectibles. Most recently, Ticketmaster announced a deal to use the Flow blockchain built by Dapper Labs to attach NFTs to tickets.
  • Sorare, which started with a fantasy NFT football game and added Major League Baseball this year, announced an expansion of NFT play with NBA Wednesday. Expected to launch early in the NBA season this year, the basketball game will feature tournaments and a marketplace, but will also have NBA-specific features.
  • Since Sorare announced its MLB product in May, it has so far attracted 250,000 new signups and $5 million in MLB trade volume.

It’s all about the fans, because that’s where the money comes from. Fans benefit when there are many different ways to interact with teams and leagues, said Jorge Urrutia del Pozo, vice president of football at Dapper Labs. (It’s soccer like soccer.)

  • Dapper is preparing to launch a bilingual NFT collectible product with the Spanish soccer league LaLiga, which has large fan bases in Spain, South America, Indonesia and the Middle East. The product will have access to 15 years of archives for its products, including stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Technology can make sense of the growing number of touchpoints with fans, Urrutia del Pozo said. This is important if NFTs can be used as proof of attendance or offer rewards, he added.
  • The protocol Algorand is working with FIFA who are creating their NFT marketplace FIFA+ Collect. It will contain digital moments from FIFA World Cup matches, as well as other artwork and images.

Sean Ford, interim CEO at Algorand, sees sports as well as games and music as key growth drivers for blockchains. “Underlying all three are very passionate and deeply connected user bases,” he said. But the possibilities for NFTs in esports go far beyond collectibles or fantasy games. Sports teams or leagues can use NFTs to sell partial team shares, sell seat licenses, give fans access to special areas of the stadium or special merchandise, or allow them to own unique digital moments of a game they attended experience. It’s a way to increase engagement, which is the goal, after all.

— Tomio Gerón (E-mail | chirp)

A version of this story first appeared on Protocol.com. Read it here.

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On the money

Apple has dodged a lawsuit over a fake crypto app. A federal judge ruled that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects Apple from a proposed class action lawsuit over a fraudulent cryptocurrency wallet app downloadable from its app store.

Scammers “accidentally” send people money on Venmo and cell. The Los Angeles Times explains the risks of a popular scam: “A scammer will send you $500, but if the charge is reversed, that original $500 will be reclaimed. The money you sent ‘back’ is another $500. It’s your $500.” Incidentally, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has promised new rules to crack down on peer-to-peer payment fraud.

The IMF Says Countries Need to Coordinate on Crypto Regulation According to a new report from the agency, cryptocurrencies are no longer “niche” and regulators need to coordinate a meaningful global response.

One area for NFTs that isn’t slowing down: trademark filings. More than 5,800 NFT-related trademark applications were filed in 2022, compared to 2,087 for all of 2021.

PayPal and Intuit have joined the Financial Technology Association. The list of members of the industry group already includes Block, Klarna, Plaid and Stripe.

overheard

Bram Cohen believes that Bitcoin’s biggest supporters could be their own worst enemies. “You can do a lot of good with crypto, but maxis don’t help” the Bittorrent founder tweeted in a thread about the impact of crypto adoption on transfer costs. “They are also bad at PR. ‘We’re assholes’ is a position I’m happy to cede to them.”

Fintechs that compete with banks without the same regulatory burden are the ones “get away with murder”, Eugene Ludwig, a former comptroller under the Clinton administration, told an audience Tuesday at the annual conference of the Clearing House and Bank Policy Institute. Ludwig also thinks that banks should be relieved “Play more aggressively in the crypto markets.”

deal flow

Real estate marketing and analytics firm VTS raised $125 million in a Series E round of financing. CBRE led the round, which The Wall Street Journal described as a bet on workers returning to the office.

TimePayment, which specializes in sales financing for specialty devices, has acquired e-commerce financing company QuickSpark Financial. More than 30 QuickSpark employees have been hired to work at TimePayment.

UBS and Wealthfront canceled their $1.4 billion deal after a mutual termination. The acquisition of the smaller robo-advisor was announced eight months ago but has been plagued by regulatory concerns, according to insiders who spoke to Axios. UBS will now invest USD 69.7 million in Wealthfront via a convertible bond.

Alloy, an identity decision service for the financial sector, raised $52 million in an additional round of funding co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Avenir Growth. Canapi Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Avid Ventures and Felicis Ventures also participated in the round, valuing the company at $1.55 billion.

NFT collective Proof, founded by Kevin Rose, raised $50 million in a Series A funding round led by a16z. Seven Seven Six, True Ventures, Flamingo DAO, VaynerFund and SV Angel also participated in the round.

Embedded fintech Solid raised $63 million in a Series B round led by FTV Capital. The company, rebranded from Wise in 2021, has raised $80.7 million.

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Thanks for reading – see you tomorrow!

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