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How Cryptocurrencies, Fan Tokens And NFTs Are Regulated In Germany

German flag with coin
Thursday, 16 February 2023 By Maximilian Wegge

Particularly in sports, the importance of cryptocurrencies, (fan) tokens and NFTs (collectively as “crypto-assets”)has been increasing considerably for a few years1. This is especially reflected in the enormous increase in the prevalence of crypto sponsorship, i. e. sports sponsorship in the area of “crypto, blockchain and NFT”. From 2019 to 2022, the volume of crypto sponsorship in sports increased by 1,100 per cent.2 By way of example, the online trading platform “crypto.com” has entered into new sponsorship partnerships with Formula 13, the Ultimate Fighting Championship4, the Italian Serie A5, the Philadelphia 76ers6, the Montreal Canadiens7 and Paris St. Germain8 in 2020 and 2021 alone.

The enormous popularity of crypto sponsorship is not diminished by the high volatility of crypto-assets and the associated financial risk for investors. In just one day in 2021, the value of the probably best-known cryptocurrency “Bitcoin” fell by 30%.9 While crypto, blockchain and NFT are on everyone’s lips and have long since become a relevant economic factor – also in sports – the legal discussion about them is still somewhat in its infancy.

This article outlines the legal framework in which cryptocurrencies, fan tokens and NFTs operate in Germany and looks at the opportunities and risks for stakeholders in sports.

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Written by

Maximilian Wegge

Maximilian Wegge

Associate, Martens Lawyers

At the beginning of his legal career, Maximilian Wegge worked at a German commercial law firm in the field of media and entertainment and therefore gained vast experience in the areas of IT, media law and digital business. Since joining the sports law firm Martens Lawyers, Maximilian Wegge has been regularly involved in supporting associations and clubs in sports law matters. In addition, he advises clients in connection with ordinary court and arbitration proceedings in the fields of general civil law as well as corporate and association law.

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