Hot copy: Stories that caught our eye this week from around the sector
Introducing the New York NFT Exchange?
According to a scoop from Bitcoinist, the New York Stock Exchange has filed a trademark which suggests it could be moving towards building its own NFT marketplace.
Apparently, the exchange has within the past week filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), for the use of several different blockchain and crypto-adjacent goods and services, including areas like “virtual reality and augmented reality software, NFTs, and online marketplaces.”
It’s not the first time the NYSE has explored the NFT space, as it minted six tokens last year to commemorate notable past public listings.
Dubbed ‘First Trade’, the tokens went on sale as digital memorabilia of public debuts by companies and the first collection featured Spotify, Snowflake, Unity, Doordash, Roblox and Coupang.
There’s no shortage of suggestions that NFTs are penetrating the mainstream – and the possible entrance of the world’s largest stock exchange is sure to be a welcome signal to early adopters.
French firm’s bid for Premier League NFT licence raises eyebrows
The NYSE isn’t the only mainstream player entering the NFT craze as the metaverse starts to capture the imagination of sports fans. The Premier League is also making waves in the space and is seeking a partner to launch a range of digital collectibles in a deal worth more than £400m to clubs, according to the Daily Mail.
The newspaper revealed this week that one of the four companies currently in the running to secure the Premier League’s first NFT licence is France-based Sorare, which has been subject to a Gambling Commission investigation for allegedly launching a blockchain-based fantasy football game in the UK without the appropriate certification.
The presence of the firm in the competition has certainly raised eyebrows, but with bids thought to be between £220m and £434m over four years, competition is likely to be fierce.
Whichever company is successful will be permitted to offer NFT versions of virtual trading cards, the likes of which have already sold at auction for £300,000 (Cristiano Ronaldo) and £511,000 (Erling Haaland).
What to expect next from Super Group
Business publication Yogonet put out an interview with Betway-owner Super Group’s president Richard Hasson and board member John Collins earlier this week.
The pair hinted the operator may use the funds raised from its NYSE listing to facilitate M&A activity and talked up a healthy pipeline of new market entries in the coming year.
Hasson even commented on flavour of the month. He said: “If the metaverse comes into [Super Group’s product development] at some point, then we’ll leave it to our product guys and to our country teams in terms of understanding exactly what it is that our customers are after.”
Nothing concrete from Super Group yet, just a week after its public listing went live – but certainly one to watch.
What are the odds the UK will get the Gambling Act right?
According to the Guardian, British MPs betrayed a lack of understanding of statistics and probability when a staggering 48% of members surveyed were unable to correctly identify the chances of getting two ‘heads’ when tossing a coin twice.
“It would be interesting to see the results if 101 racing punters were asked to calculate the return on a £10 win double on two even-money shots, which is a different way of phrasing exactly the same question,” commented author Greg Wood.
“This is, of course, pure speculation, but my money would be on rather more than 52% of the punters knowing that the double is 3-1 against, and that they would be looking at £40 back.”
The point Wood was illustrating is that members of the UK government may well be woefully unequipped to come up with appropriate rules for a new Gambling Act – and unaware of the consequences their rulings could have.
He concluded: “Gamblers often seemed to be ignored, or dismissed as an irrelevance, in debates around the forthcoming legislation, which could have huge implications for racing’s revenue stream from betting.
“It seems likely many punters have a stronger grasp of chance than the MPs, which hardly increases confidence that the next Gambling Act will be any less of a poorly thought-out mess than the last one.” Indeed.