The French president wants to make Paris a hub for cryptocurrency, but tougher rules are needed to protect users.
Paris provides shelter from the crypto winter. The City of Lights welcomed Binance and recently Crypto.com (of Matt Damon fame) with regulatory licenses; The “NFT Factory” displaying digital artwork also opened its doors opposite the Pompidou Center.
President Emmanuel Macron’s administration sees an advantage in attracting talent and tech investments, while France’s culture and entertainment champions have felt pressure to engage in meta-collections in a world dominated by Silicon Valley — even as enthusiasm has faded somewhat.
But hopes for a French “exception” from the wreckage of the broader cryptocurrency market are turning toward the need for stricter rules.
An example is Sorare, the NFT-based fantasy football game that was valued at $4.3 billion last year in a funding round led by SoftBank. It was an undeniable success, in the top 20 best-selling NFT pool of all-time, according to CryptoSlam data, even if average prices seemed to have cooled off. Like regular sports cards, there is an appeal to be collected; And just like fantasy football, there is a game involved, where the performer scores points.
However, it has become impossible to ignore the allure of risky speculation as cards can be bought and sold with Cryptocurrencyresulting in noisy tales of players borrowing or withdrawing from loans Careers To win big prizes, and as the best prizes and Ethereum Rewards are offered on the cheapest and most rare cards. “What we have with the likes of Sorare is a deliberate blurring of the lines between gaming and gambling,” says Kieran Maguire, author of The Price of Football.
And now regulators keen to clean up cryptocurrency are looking for Sorare. These are not the financial market regulators seen in wewhere Bloomberg News reports The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking a look at bored monkeys, which is another matter NFT Collection. Instead, interest is coming from gambling regulators in various jurisdictions who are nervous about addiction and money laundry.
last year , United kingdom The Gambling Commission has begun “investigations” into Sorari and has blacklisted Swiss Gisba watcher Sorari. The scrutiny has now come to a head with the French regulator asking Sorari for information. Republican Senator Christine Lavard has asked the government to explain why Sorari has not been placed under the supervision of the country’s gambling regulator, with all the resulting taxes and red tape that might be implied.
Sorari and, to some extent, the Macron administration reacted that this was a new kind of business model that should not be stifled at birth. Sorare Chief of Staff Thibaut Predhomme says the game is not gambling, players won’t see their cards disappear the way a normal money bet might, and that free cards are available. French Digital Minister Jean-Noel Barro echoed the idea that regulation should be “agile” while still overseeing money laundering and addiction risks.
However, just as the SEC has to abide by current rules, Surari’s arguments are unlikely to deter regulators. in FranceIf the game combines a financial sacrifice, an offer to the public, and a hope for reward, it is considered gambling. Gambling experts say that when cards are swapped for six-figure sums in the hope of better tournament prizes or higher resale value, it seems to fit the criteria clearly. Ditching this by saying Sorare is an entirely new “model” is a lot like wanting to get it both ways as the startup expands into areas like NBA.
Getting out of this predicament would be messy. Gambling law expert Mathieu Escande says special exceptions require legislation, which is likely not something the French government can easily do in the current political environment. Or it could require Sorare to seek an existing regulatory rating under the oversight of the gambling authority, which could affect the Sorare purchase and its ability to sign lucrative deals with sports clubs that monitor cryptocurrency with caution.
However, if Paris wants to become a cryptocurrency hub, it must realize that more censorship, more consumer protection and more digital literacy are a small price to pay to avoid the potential social costs of “gambling.” The UK’s reputation is still reeling from the 2021 football index scandal, which left people in financial and mental distress after the collapse of the stock market-style trading game. If innovation essentially becomes a way to jump ahead of regulation rather than create sustainable businesses, then this particular technological dream will not be a fun one.
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