EXCLUSIVE. Sorare recruits crypto regulation expert

EXCLUSIVE. Sorare recruits crypto regulation expert

Jennifer D'Hoir, who is leaving the Kraken exchange platform, worked for years at the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). She joins the French unicorn in charge of global regulation.

For Sorare, transfers don't just happen on the pitch. The French fantasy sport has just recruited Jennifer D'Hoir to look after its "public affairs", i.e. lobbying activities, on a global level. The Frenchwoman was previously head of regulation for Kraken (in Europe), which is one of the world's leading exchange platforms.

Jennifer D'Hoir has been working on blockchain and crypto regulation for years. Before joining Kraken in 2021, she worked at Gide 255, the crypto team at French law firm Gide. Above all, she spent five years at the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), where she helped create the first regulations on the sector, such as the 2019 Pacte law, which created the status of digital asset service providers (DASPs).

It is in particular for her fine knowledge of regulation that Jennifer D'Hoir is joining Sorare, and there is no shortage of subjects for the French unicorn! For the past year, the company, which has raised $680 million in 2021, has been campaigning for the creation of a specific status for games based on blockchain and NFTs so that they are not reclassified as gambling.

The argument of Sorare and other players is that gambling legislation is not adapted to the blockchain universe and that it could penalise a fast-growing French crypto industry. "Regulation should be a lever for development and not the other way around," explains Jennifer D'Hoir.

This idea has been taken up by the French government, which has pushed for the creation of a status for "digital games with a monetisable object" (Jonum). In an interview with The Big Whale, Digital Minister Jean-Noël Barrot said in 2022 that "when it comes to certain uses such as Sorare, we need to know how to be agile".

But the incumbent gambling players are opposed to this status, denouncing a form of unfair competition with more flexible taxation and control. The National Gaming Authority (ANJ), which has provisionally agreed with Sorare in 2022 so as not to reclassify the company as a gambling operation, is also reluctant to set up a specific status on a permanent basis.

The creation of the Jonum status is provided for in the bill to secure and regulate the digital space (SREN). The bill is due to reach the National Assembly in the next few days. The debates are likely to be lively.

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