Why did Barcelona cancel their NFT partnership after two weeks?

Barcelona have cancelled their NFT partnership with Ownix with immediate effect after two weeks.

A statement on their official club website read: “In light of information received today that goes against the Club’s values, FC Barcelona hereby communicate the cancellation of the contract to create and market NFT digital assets with Ownix with immediate effect.”

What was the contract between the two parties? Furthermore, what are NFT assets and why was the partnership cancelled? Let’s take a look:

What are NFT’s?

An NFT – non-fungible token – is a type of digital asset which is becoming increasingly popular in recent months and years.

The asset, which can be a piece of artwork, a digital image or another form of media, can be ‘tokenised’. That means that it becomes unique. Therefore, the value of the NFT becomes far more significant to a person than for an asset that could be duplicated or replicated.

According to an article from dexterto, a piece of work from prominent digital artist Beeple titled ‘Everydays: the First 5000 Days’ was sold as an NFT for an eye-watering $69.3 million. That sums up the scale of how big NFTs are. In addition, it perhaps explains why big organisations are delving into cryptocurrency.

When did the NFT contract between Barcelona and Ownix commence?

Barcelona announced on November 4 that they had agreed a deal with Ownix.

The club planned for fans to be able to purchase imagery and video from its 122-year history using its digital auction house.

Barca president Joan Laporta said: “Barca has a very large fanbase around the world and is leading the way in the digital domain with over 400 million followers in social networks.”

“Given this scenario, the Club is constantly looking for new ways to connect with its fans, and we believe that creating these NFTs is a unique opportunity to continue growing and consolidating the Barca brand by bringing unique moments that have made Barca fans dream and FC Barcelona a well-known club on every level.”

Barcelona are not the first team to set up a cryptocurrency partnership. Paris Saint-Germain currently have a deal with blockchain firm Socios. In addition, the partnership allows fans to have their say on club decisions.

Fans who own ‘PSG Fan Tokens’ can vote on ‘fan judgement’ polls set up by PSG. They can also choose motivational messages for the dressing room wall. Additionally, fans can select the winner of the club’s Goal of the Season award.

Messi PSG
Image Credit: Getty

Lionel Messi owns a number of PSG Fan Tokens following his signing for the club.

Why did Barcelona cancel their NFT contract?

Barca cancelled their contract shortly after it was reported by Jerusalem Post that Moshe Hogeg, who was a consultant for Ownix, was arrested for alleged fraud using cryptocurrencies and alleged sexual offences. As per the same report, Hogeg’s lawyers stated that he “denies all suspicions against him”.

In addition to his Ownix consultancy, Hogeg is also the owner of Israeli club Beitar Jerusalem. The club are six-time Israeli Premier League champions.

Featured Image Credit: Getty