Barca terminate NFT contract with Ownix over fraud allegations
Barca terminate NFT contract with Ownix over fraud allegationsBarca terminate NFT contract with Ownix over fraud allegationsBarca kündigt Marketingvertrag mit NFT-Markplatz Ownix wegen BetrugsvorwürfenBarca kündigt Marketingvertrag mit NFT-Markplatz Ownix wegen Betrugsvorwürfen

FC Barcelona has terminated its agreement with NFT marketplace Ownix. In less than a week, world-famous club Barca was planning to auction its first NFT collection through the platform.

According to reports from the Associated Press and other publications, the decision was made after Israeli crypto mogul Moshe Hogeg was arrested on Thursday. He is accused of cryptocurrency fraud and assault. Hogeg is reportedly behind Ownix – the NFT marketplace on the Ethereum blockchain. This is supported by the fact that Ownix is listed in the “Interests” section of the mogul’s LinkedIn profile.

Barca released the following statement:

In light of the information received today, which is contrary to the values of the club, FC Barcelona hereby informs that the contract for the creation and marketing of NFT digital assets with Ownix is terminated with immediate effect.

NFT auction scheduled in less than a week

FC Barcelona’s NFT auction, announced about two weeks ago, was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 24. The countdown to that is still going on at the Ownix site. The NFTs are based on photos and videos from the club’s 122-year history. They are also said to include statements from Joan Laporta, Barca’s current president, as well as other key representatives of the club.

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Guy Elhanani, CEO of Ownix, said in a press statement:

As NFTs become increasingly popular, we feel it is important to give Barca collectors the opportunity to own a piece of the club’s history. This new and exciting asset class makes it possible to own things that were not possible before. We are thrilled that sports fans have the opportunity to lead this movement. Our goal is to get customers to buy NFTs. Not just to market them further, but for the joy and pride of owning a piece of club history.

According to a ranking by Brand Finance, Barca is second only to Spanish rivals Real Madrid in value. However, the team is expected to lose value with the departure of Lionel Messi to Paris St Germain. Messi has his own NFT collection, even his transfer agreement included a clause about NFTs.

Sports clubs look to generate more revenue with NFTs

Sports clubs around the world have discovered NFTs as a valuable way to generate revenue as well as increase fan loyalty. In recent years, FC Barcelona has struggled with major financial problems. Chief executive Ferran Reverter told reporters last month that the club was “technically bankrupt”.