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Exclusive Interview: Nicolas Julia, CEO & Co-Founder of Sorare

Sorare is taking the NFT space by storm. It is a collective fantasy football experience with more than 4 billion potential user base across the world. We had the pleasure of chatting with its CEO and Co-Founder Nicolas Julia.

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1. We know you as Co-founder and CEO of Sorare. What about your life and business endeavors before that, can you tell us a little more about that? How did the idea for the Sorare project come about?

In the summer of 2018 my co-founder Adrien and I decided to launch Sorare because we discovered a technology enabling the creation of scarce digital items (also known as NFTs today). We were immediately fascinated by it.
The creation of digital scarce goods thanks to blockchain technology is unlocking the act of collecting in the digital space. 

As two huge football fans, we wanted to build something that we could use daily, that would help us connect with football in a fun way. We decided to create scarce digital cards mixed with one of the most coveted intellectual properties in the world, football players. Now we had scarce digital cards.

But since these cards are digital, we can give them utility. We decided to make this new class of collectibles usable in a compelling global fantasy football game. That way, we could engage fans over the years, one on the collecting aspect of these cards but also on the gaming aspect.

2. When was the first time you got involved in cryptocurrencies, and more importantly, NFTs?

I got involved in cryptocurrencies and blockchain a bit before starting my role as VP Operations at Stratumn at, beginning of 2016. NFTs I started collecting some end of 2017, beginning of 2018 and that’s when we had the idea for Sorare.

3. Let’s dig a little deeper into Sorare. Tell us more about the project. How would you describe Sorare to somebody that does not know about it yet? (probably not a lot of those anymore)

Sorare is a unique game experience, with a real-world impact and secured by the Blockchain. Through tradable digital cards, Sorare is designing a collective fantasy football experience where users manage their favorite players and hone their passion to earn prizes. Anyone, anywhere, can connect with the beautiful game on Sorare.

4. We would love to know about your team. Who are the key members and what do they do to keep the project interesting to the crowds?

We’ve got a team of 17 people working at Sorare. We’ve got over 20+ open roles, recruiting a world-class team to become the game within the game. 

5. Let’s say we want to get involved in Sorare and jump in the game of fantasy football! How do we start? Do you have any tips for us, regarding the game? What’s a good starting budget? Do you find the time to play the game yourself?

Create an account on the Sorare platform. Users can then start collecting their cards.
Once you’ve collected your first card after the onboarding, you can compose your first team.
Enjoy the live experience of seeing your players compete in real life and watch your team score on Sorare. Earn rewards if you’ve built a great team, that can be both new cards and merchandising. 

Every single tournament on Sorare is completely free to enter. However if you want to participate in specific tournaments, you will have to collect a team of 5 cards that will cost around 200 euros today, depending on the players that you are collecting. 

6. Let’s look at NFTs in general for a moment. The market has gone crazy in 2021, Q1 was 2000% bigger in terms of sales comparing it to Q4 in 2020. Prices of digital collectibles and memorabilia are skyrocketing, what is your take on that, is it way overhyped or is that just the new reality? Do you own any NFT digital collectibles yourself, if so, which ones?

The major advantage of NFTs on Sorare is that they are provenly scarce. This creates inherent value. Blockchain technology gives Sorare cards superpowers: digital scarcity, true ownership, authenticity, and most importantly interoperability.

We are building more than collectibles. Our digital cards have a utility that can be used in our global fantasy football games but also myriads of games. The utility is what will make NFTs here to stay. 

However, we’ve seen NFTs capture culture like never before from Art to Gaming, helping artists monetize their work and subsidizing their future work. We’re only at the beginning of what this technology can bring. 

If the massive spike in interest might be temporarily overvalued, the trend is not. Like most innovations, there can always be a bit of frothiness and euphoria in the market. The major advantages of Sorare NFTs is that they are:

1. Provenly scarce (it is known by inspecting the NFT contract or looking on Sorare)
2. Have utility (you can use Sorare cards in multiple games developed by Sorare, Ubisoft, and indie game developers)

7. So, at the moment, most of the NFTs currently are connected to art, memorabilia, digital collectibles, but we can see already that NFTs could be useful in “the real world.” Do you see NFTs as something that can change the world in the future, because some people see it just as the latest overhyped crypto trend?

NFTs are changing the way we consume culture. They act as a store of culture and I think we’re only scratching the surface of what we’ll be able to do with NFTs in the future. I’m very excited about NFTs as access to a cultural experience.

8. The cryptocurrency market has taken a pretty steep downturn, Bitcoin dropped about 50% from its all-time high market value of $60,000. How did that affect Sorare?

Sorare is not dependent on the crypto market, most of our users are not crypto enthusiasts but rather fantasy football fans. 

9. Last but not least: what’s in store for Sorare, what are some of your future plans and visions for the project?

Sorare is building new ways to be connected to the game and other fans. We want to become the game in the game, allowing football supporters to express their fandom and passion in ways that were unimaginable just a year ago. We’ve started with football, the world’s most popular sport. We’re laser-focused on football. There are 4 billion people that are football fans around the world. We feel that the opportunity is huge to build the most compelling football digital collectible platform there is out there, with great games around it. 

We would like to thank Nicolas Julia and the Sorare team for this extensive interview, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this amazing project. If you want to know more about Sorare and experience it firsthand, go to: https://sorare.com/.

NFT

Could this trademark application indicate that PayPal is developing an NFT market? 

A trademark application for blockchain and cryptocurrency technology has been submitted by PayPal. Some claim that the file has something to do with Web3 and the metaverse, although it may be tied to an NFT marketplace.

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A recent trademark application by PayPal has been found, and it suggests the development of a service pertaining to several facets of blockchain technology. The file, which was made on October 18, makes a notable allusion to the potential introduction of a non-fungible token (NFT) market.

For its logo, PayPal submitted two trademark applications. The first one concerns “downloadable software” for cryptocurrency trading and storage. The second discusses cryptocurrency-related payment processing services.

Although users may currently buy cryptocurrencies on PayPal’s platform, this filing suggests that there may be more to come. The concept of assets is substantially broader in the filing’s terminology. Mike Kondoudis, a trademark lawyer licensed by the USPTO, claimed on Twitter that this filing relates to NFTs and the metaverse.

Although there is no proof to support this, it would not be shocking if it were true. The finance business would be adding its name to a lengthy list of businesses that are starting to make inroads into the Web3 and metaverse spaces.

PayPal is investing more in cryptocurrency.
Over the past two years, PayPal has intensified its focus on cryptocurrencies. First, the company made a huge announcement for the industry by saying that consumers would be able to purchase cryptocurrency on its platform.

However, it didn’t start enabling users to move those funds into wallets outside of the network until recently. It indicated that it would roll out additional crypto-related features in the latter part of last year. One of those additions might be an NFT marketplace.

It teamed up with Coinbase’s TRUST network more recently. This was viewed by many as an endorsement of the sector. The TRUST network upholds consumer security and privacy while adhering to the banking industry’s Travel Rule.

Increased Criticism of Payment Giant
Additionally, PayPal has been in the spotlight for all the incorrect reasons. The business has recently come under fire for a contentious policy that penalized users for disseminating false information. Later, it claimed that false information was released with the amended policy. Crypto aficionados, however, were eager to point to this as evidence of the value of decentralization.

PayPal established a blockchain and cryptocurrency advisory committee earlier this year. According to the company’s management, working with governments is essential to overcoming obstacles and seizing possibilities.

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NFT

Seba Bank, a cryptocurrency company, aims to store valuable NFTs

Seba Bank, a cryptocurrency company, has launched its first NFT service, a blue-chip NFT-specific institutional-grade, certified, and independently audited hot and cold storage custody product.

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The launch comes in response to requests from customers to keep their NFTs with the bank alongside other crypto assets, such as the already-approved Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cryptopunk, and Clone X NFTs. The bank stated that new collections would be added based on customer demand.

With its newest offering, Seba Bank seeks to entice investors who view NFTs as an asset class and crypto natives. Not your keys, not your bitcoin is a well-known phrase in the crypto sphere, and adherents of this maxim could object to having their Apes or Punks stored with a third-party custodian.

Urs Bernegger, co-head of markets and investment solutions at Seba Bank, however, highlights a growing group of NFT holders who are more at ease handing up their NFTs and private keys to a company.

They don’t want the key because they aren’t even aware of how to handle and store it. He claimed that they’re more concerned with damaging the key than giving it to a bank.

It’s a significant issue. Between 2.3 million and 3.7 million bitcoins, according to Chainalysis, are trapped in inaccessible wallets. Numerous accounts of people have lost millions owing to losing private keys, including Russian officials, students, and engineers. Families have also been prevented from accessing substantial quantities of money following sudden deaths in which wallet owners had not disclosed their private keys.

Bernegger asserts institutional custody can be advantageous for native crypto users as well. There has been an increase in businesses providing services that employ NFTs as collateral for conventional banking services like loans.

Seba Bank is thinking about implementing these features in the future. Based in the crypto-friendly Swiss town of Zug, the four-year-old bank already backs several investing, credit, lending, and staking options for cryptocurrencies and might extend them to NFTs.

“Instead of traveling to the market, for instance, we could create a club for collectors and assist them in finding other collectors. There are a few things we have in mind, but we laid the groundwork by storing NFTs securely at first, “explained he.

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Projects

The NFT album maker for Kings of Leon now includes a metaverse music venue

YellowHeart, a Web3 ticketing startup, is opening a metaverse music venue in an effort to transform how performers, teams, and event organizers distribute tickets and interact with fans.

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The facility, constructed on Spatial, will feature Grammy-nominated blues musician G.Love as its opening act later this year. Fans can communicate with one another, participate in meet-and-greets before and after performances, and use several screens to view what is happening in various areas of the stadium simultaneously.

They will soon be able to order meals and drinks before the event, which will also be available as digital things.

The idea of an online concert has so far primarily been popularized by big gaming companies. The most well-liked virtual competitions have occurred on sites like Fortnite and Roblox. Ariana Grande’s Fortnite concert in August 2021 received 78 million viewers. Next month, Decentraland will host its second Metaverse Music Festival. Over 100 musicians are on the lineup, including well-known performers like Ozzy Osbourne and Soulja Boy.

In addition to throwing an event, YellowHeart, which assisted Kings of Leon in releasing an NFT version of their most recent album, stated that it hoped to accomplish more. It was established in 2017 with the lofty goal of revolutionizing the music ticketing sector as a whole, which has historically been dominated by powerful reselling organizations and exclusive ticketing relationships. These alliances frequently impose limitations on what purchasers can and cannot do with their tickets. Trying to resell a ticket for a concert you can’t go to might be a headache.

YellowHeart believes these issues can be resolved by returning control to artists and fans via web3 technology. Additionally, it may provide advantages that cannot be programmed into conventional tickets.

“These range from complete albums to personalized vinyl records, exclusive merchandise, and immersive visual art. Web3 tickets also allow performers to update fans on new tour dates, music releases, giveaway possibilities, and much more, according to the business.

It has already collaborated with well-known figures, including Julian Lennon, Maroon 5, and MGM Resorts. Contrary to the non-NFT versions offered on Spotify, iTunes, and other platforms, those obtained through YellowHeart entailed particular customer benefits.

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