The disorder surrounding the UEFA Champions League final in Paris is likely to speed up the adoption of NFT ticketing in France.

The match on May 28th, which saw Real Madrid down Liverpool to claim a famous 14th European Cup triumph, was marred by disturbing scenes as thousands of legitimate ticket holders were unable to get close to the ground.

Kick-off was delayed, with authorities blaming the arrival of thousands of fans with counterfeit tickets, many of them supporting Liverpool. Observers criticised the police operation as officers used tear gas, while local gangs also targeted supporters after the match.

France had originally stated plans to introduce non-fungible tokens for ticketing at the 2023 Rugby World Cup and 2024 Paris Olympics. However a report submitted by French government Olympics envoy Michel Cadot to the office of the French Prime Minister last week recommended that it be brought in earlier.

“This would make it possible to prefigure the planned systems and to break in the working methods, as well as the reflexes of multi-actor management to face difficulties,” Cadot said in the report.

Digital-only NFT tickets, based on blockchain technology and QR codes, would be distributed by SMS just before an event and activated within a security zone at the venue.

NFT tickets could also incorporate access rights to VIP areas among other functions.

Crypto exchanges Coinbase and BlockFi lay off thousands of staff

Coinbase, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange, is to lay off 1,100 staff.

The company’s workforce will be reduced by 18% amid the persistent bear market to “ensure we stay healthy during this economic downturn”.

A message from CEO Brian Armstrong informed staff of the news and said those made redundant will be notified via personal email as their access to company systems will be terminated immediately.

Coinbase recently revoked job offers made to individuals, leading to a backlash on social media.

Meanwhile smaller exchange BlockFi is to lay off 20% of its staff, affecting around 170 people.

Cryptocurrency shorts

Crypto lending firm Celsius, which paused withdrawals and transfers from its platform citing ‘extreme market conditions’ recently, has hired legal companies specialising in restructuring, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Mairead McGuinness, European Commissioner for Financial Services, has requested that European Union lawmakers speed up the passage of its crypto-asset regulatory framework to ensure sanctions against Russia include cryptocurrency.

Fashion brand Lacoste has launched an NFT project, ‘Undw3’, to allow holders to vote on products and business partnerships via a decentralised autonomous organisation. Selling for $96 in Ether early on, the 11,212 NFTs depict an animated alligator poking its head out the water.

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, says NFT projects are “based on the greater-fool theory”. He told a TechCrunch environmental conference in California:  “Obviously, expensive digital images of monkeys are going to improve the world immensely.”

Crypto prices

The overall market cap of the more than 19,800 coins is at $900.79 billion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 5.9% decrease in the last 24 hours.

Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – fell 7% in the last 24 hours to $21,225. BTC is 31% down in a week.

Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – dropped 8% to $1,125. ETH is 38% down over the course of a week.

Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token lost 7% to $212, leaving it 27% down over seven days.

Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, lost 6% to 46 cents and is 29% down over the course of a week.

The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP shed 5% to 30.5c and its price is 24% down on seven days ago.

Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token lost 8% to $28.11 and is 29% down compared with a week ago.

Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE dropped 10% to 5.2c, leaving it 35% down in a week. It has been overtaken in the price table by market cap by Polkadot.

Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, lost 2% to $7.18 and is 22% lower than its price a week ago.

Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token shed 9% to $15.37 and is 37% down in a week.

To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.

For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.