Barcelona, Manchester City End Blockchain Partnerships

    • FC Barcelona and Manchester City both called off deals with blockchain companies due to legitimacy concerns.
    • Each deal was agreed to earlier this month.

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Two top European soccer clubs are ending blockchain sponsorship deals in unrelated fallouts.

On Friday, FC Barcelona cut off its deal with Ownix after a businessman associated with the company was arrested for fraud. The two sides had agreed to a deal on Nov. 5 to launch NFTs related to Barcelona’s history.

  • Moshe Hogeg was tagged by Israeli media as one of eight suspects arrested by Israeli police on suspicion of cryptocurrency-related fraud totaling at least $65 million.
  • Hogeg, an entrepreneur behind a slew of crypto-related startups, was charged with misleading investors, theft, money laundering, and sexual assault. Hogeg has denied the charges.

Manchester City also dropped a partnership last week, nixing a deal it made with decentralized finance company 3Key Technologies on Nov. 12.

While no lawbreaking is apparent in this case, City got cold feet after reports surfaced that 3Key and its executives have a very scarce online presence. Two websites associated with 3Key went offline on Tuesday, and searches on key executives failed to turn up any information.

The club suspended the partnership until further notice. City and 3Key had said they would launch products overseas, beginning in Germany and South Korea.