Who’s behind this? #20: SORARE, Nicolas (CEO), First blockchain-based football card game

Etienne
Etienne
Sep 29 · 4 min read

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Sorare (First blockchain-based football card game)

Hi Nicolas, Sorare was founded in 2018, quickly becoming a leading and trusted platform to collect and play with official football crypto-assets. Could share a bit about your background?

I met my co-founder (and CTO) Adrien at Stratumn, where he was leading a 10+ people crypto engineering team. We spent two years working together on pushing an enterprise grade blockchain-based software to the market.

Last summer we decided to leave the company to pursue our deeper internal drive: bring a crypto product into the hands of millions of people.

We have been fascinated by the emergence of Non Fungible Tokens (CryptoKitties pioneered the space) and are convinced they will drive the next wave of consumer adoption.

Unlike most of the other projects in the space, we decided to build much more than a collectible project: the core of the product is a competitive fantasy manager where all the assets (NFTs) are officially licensed by football clubs and leagues.

How did you get into the bitcoin and blockchain industry?

Adrien has been a bitcoiner for many years. He started his journey at Paymium (the French crypto exchange) before joining Stratumn.

I joined the movement in 2015, working on a blockchain project for a retail bank. I came to realize that while the “blockchain” could bring some incremental gains to big corporates, the radical innovation lies into crypto-assets.

What’s your business model?

We sell crypto-assets (non fungible tokens) representing football players. We give back a percentage of our sales to the right holders (leagues, clubs or player associations).

What are the advantages of applying blockchain-based solutions to fantasy sports platforms?

The first and obvious one is digital scarcity of the players you own. We have been collecting things for millennia. However, in a digital space, it is impossible to collect memorabilia.

That’s because for the first 25 years of the internet’s existence, we have had no digital scarcity. It’s our bet (and the bet of the NBA, MLB, and many more) that this will unlock digital collecting.

Digital goods with these properties behave a lot more like real-world assets than the virtual items (stickers, skins, etc.) popularized in games and apps released in the last 15 years.

Blockchain-based goods gain new possibilities: they can be owned by the users, not the platform or game developer, and can move from game to game, or network to network, gaining new attributes over time.

Can you share a bit more information on what makes Sorare’s blockchain technology unique compared to its competitors

We are blockchain agnostic. There are two important things for our users: having a smooth experience, similar to consumer-grade app, and being able to move their assets wherever they want.

That’s why we initially built on Loom Network’s plasma chain, which started as an Ethereum sidechain. Now we have a bridge with Ethereum, and many others blockchains will follow.

Who is your target audience?

Our goal is to build a crypto product that appeals to millions of football fans. Our target audience is an 18–45 y.o. football fan, living in the US or in Europe, spending time playing casual fantasy football games.

What are your thoughts on the crypto European ecosystem compared to the US ecosystem?

We do have access to great engineering talents and the policy makers in France have a pragmatic and reasonable approach towards crypto startups.

However the number of VC funds with a strong crypto thesis is way lower than in other parts of the world, and it’s harder to find design people with top consumer experience.

What’s the most underrated project in Europe?

Spot: https://www.spot-bitcoin.com/

Is there any recent industry news that you would like to highlight?

The NBA entering the crypto-collectible space is probably the one that we are most excited about!

Are you hiring? If so what type of roles and where?

We are hiring in Paris.

We are looking for a Product Designer to design and build a category-leading consumer product.

We are also looking for Full Stack Developers willing to have an impact on a consumer product with a cutting-edge crypto stack.


Please share it with others, sign up and retweet. I write every week on the European crypto ecosystem.

Etienne

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Etienne

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