Barcelona canceled its agreement with Ownix after a businessman connected to the company was arrested for fraud related to cryptocurrencies
In response to concerns regarding cryptocurrency companies, two of Europe’s most prominent soccer clubs, Barcelona and Manchester City, dropped short-lived sponsorship agreements. Premier league Champion City have suspended their deal with 3Key Technologies due to concerns about the company’s limited digital footprint and its executives limited online presence.
Barcelona canceled its agreement with Ownix after a businessman connected to the company was arrested for fraud related to cryptocurrencies. Despite the fact that the police did not identify the high-tech entrepreneur and the owner of Beitar Jerusalem, entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg was identified by Israeli media as being among eight suspects detained. Hogeg’s lawyers, who could not be reached for comment, were quoted as denying the allegations.
It was announced by Ownix on Nov. 5 that it was partnering with Barcelona to launch non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which would be purchased with Ethereum, a digital currency. By purchasing the NFTs, people could have purchased digital certificates of authenticity of items related to the team’s history.
“As a result of information received today that contradicts their values,” FC Barcelona said Friday, “FC Barcelona is canceling the contract with Ownix to create and market NFT digital assets with immediate effect.”.
Hogeg is a well-known figure in Israel after buying Beitar in 2018.
There is less information about who is behind 3Key’s sponsorship, which City announced a week ago. The company was to become a regional partner in the decentralized finance trading analytics and advisory service. As reported this week in The Times of London, 3Key founder Oliver Chen said the company was in its “start-up phase” before a product launch coming up. The company statement lists no online presence for company executives.
In response to City’s recent interactions with 3Key Technologies, the club said in a statement Friday, “Manchester City is now undertaking further inquiries regarding 3Key Technologies, and we have terminated the partnership pending satisfactory resolution to all of those enquiries”.
Author Martin Calladine told followers on Twitter that, unusually for one of a huge football club’s partners, the website lacks any information about the company’s location, office number, or contact information. Its digital channels were only a few monthsi old and its named staff have zero digital footprint.
3Key’s website’s contact form was down on Friday.