A recent development in the world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has sparked a legal battle that could potentially redefine how these digital assets are classified in the United States. A U.S. judge in Massachusetts has rejected DraftKings’ attempt to dismiss a class action lawsuit alleging that its NFTs should be considered securities.

The lawsuit, brought forth by a buyer named Justin Dufoe on behalf of other NFT owners, claims that DraftKings’ sports-themed NFTs meet the criteria to be classified as investment contracts under the Howey test. This test considers whether an asset involves an investment of money in a common enterprise with an expectation of profits based on the efforts of others.

The court ruling concluded that DraftKings’ NFTs indeed met these criteria, as their value was closely tied to the success of the DraftKings Marketplace. This decision sets the stage for a potential trial that will delve deeper into the classification of NFTs as securities.

This legal battle is not the first of its kind, as Dapper Labs, the creator of the popular NBA Top Shot NFTs, recently settled a similar class action lawsuit for $4 million. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had also previously investigated Dapper Labs over similar concerns but closed the case in 2023.

One key difference between Dapper Labs and DraftKings is the use of different blockchains. Dapper Labs operates on its proprietary Flow blockchain, while DraftKings utilizes the Polygon blockchain. The court noted that Dapper Labs’ use of a private blockchain like Flow posed a higher risk of violating securities laws, as it created a dependency on the company’s success.

As the legal proceedings against DraftKings continue, the outcome of this case could have broader implications for the NFT market and how these digital assets are regulated in the future. The exact date for the continuation of the class action suit against DraftKings has yet to be determined.

The intersection of emerging technologies like NFTs with traditional securities laws presents complex challenges for regulators and companies alike. As the legal landscape continues to evolve, it will be crucial for stakeholders to navigate these issues carefully to ensure compliance and protect investors’ interests.