Rario News: Rario set to reopen with own blockchain

Dream Sports-backed cricket non-fungible token (NFT) platform Rario will launch its marketplace in August, after abruptly halting trading in March amid regulatory uncertainty surrounding virtual digital assets.

It has also transitioned out of Polygon to its own private blockchain, called Rario Chain, senior executives said at a live interaction on the Discord messaging platform Monday.

Rario raised $120 million led by Dream Capital, the corporate venture capital and M&A arm of Dream Sports, in April this year. The strategic investment by Dream Capital gives Rario access to the 140 million user base of Dream Sports.

Singapore-based Rario was founded by Sunny Bhanot and Ankit Wadhwa amid a global boom in NFTs and cryptocurrency. Last year in August, Rario partnered with Polygon to mint digital collectibles of cricketers Zaheer Khan, Smriti Mandhana, Shefali Verma, Shakib Al Hassan and Faf du Plessis. Those collectibles will move to Rario Chain and all new NFTs will also be on the company’s private chain, executives said.

In March, Rario shut down its marketplace, bringing NFT trading to a halt. In the following months, its messaging community on Telegram and Discord has been abuzz with worries from users about the shutdown and a lack of clarity on its relaunch.

Rario’s cofounders said the marketplace would go live on August 15.

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“There are a lot of regulatory changes that have happened with taxation coming in and new rules being formed … it was too risky for our users to have a predictable experience which is why we switched off our marketplace at that time,” Bhanot said during the Discord session.

“At launch, users will be able to transact via their credit and debit cards and bank transfers. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will be launched shortly,” Wadhwa told ET, adding that the company will only accept fiat payments. “Fiat is the universally accepted payment method among cricket fans which is a key audience for us. Rario complies with all regulatory norms across countries that we operate in. So, we are building for a fiat-only (currency only) environment in India,” he said.

UPI’s manager, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), has put informal curbs on member banks from using UPI for buying and selling virtual digital assets such as crypto.

Cricket strategy game
Cofounder Bhanot said the company wanted to develop a blockchain that could handle a large volume of transactions per second, was secure from hacks, and delivered a smooth user experience.

“Rario Chain is built leveraging the Polygon Edge framework. Blockchain throughput is dependent on several factors — number of validator nodes, node size, consensus mechanism and smart contract business logic. We are in the process of optimising the throughput at every stage and improving performance,” said Wadhwa, in response to ET’s query.

Dream Sports and Rario are working together to launch a cricket strategy game that will utilise Rario’s nonfungible tokens, Wadhwa said during the Discord session. It is expected to be launched later in August. “We are launching a marketplace in the middle of August. The game launch will happen after the marketplace,” said Bhanot.

Rario has been focussed on embedding utilities into its NFTs. It has a multiyear exclusive partnership with Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association to create an Australian cricket metaverse of collectibles and gaming.

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